With less than a week before the world’s attention coalesces on a stage in front of Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, let’s take a moment to temporarily shift our focus to an alternate perspective on the 2023 NFL Draft.
As fans, we have spent the last month (or three) hyper-focused on who the Seattle Seahawks should (or should not) select with each of the ten picks they possess in this year’s draft, including their two 1st-round picks and their five Top-100 picks.
However, it feels like we’ve forgotten that there are 31 other teams with picks, each of them intent on improving their own rosters, with some of them possessing the ability to create some real problems for our team.
It is in that vein that I offer up this thought exercise:
What are the “nightmare scenarios” for the Seattle Seahawks based on the picks that other teams have and could make?
Here are my Top-3:
No. 3: The top of the draft goes sideways (and no one wants #5)
For as much as we like to think it’s predictable, the NFL Draft seldom goes as expected.
In this scenario there are four prospects atop the Seahawks’ draft board: Alabama EDGE Will Anderson Jr., Georgia DT Jalen Carter, Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud, and Florida QB Anthony Richardson.
Everyone expects the Carolina Panthers to take Alabama QB Bryce Young at #1, but they don’t; instead, they take C.J. Stroud, and Seattle’s board is suddenly down to three names (with three picks to go).
The Texans make the sports bettors happy by taking Will Anderson Jr. off the board.
Fun Fact: Anderson is now the betting favorite for the 2nd overall pick. (Feel free to Google it.)
The Arizona Cardinals send the #3 pick to the Detroit Lions (for #6, #48, and a 2024 R3) and the Lions take Jalen Carter who Dan Campbell “feels better about now”.
Seattle is down to one player at the top of their board so, of course, the commissioner walks to the podium and announces that the Indianapolis Colts have selected Anthony Richardson at #4.
John Schneider is a man possessed with a phone in each hand, a landline on speakerphone in front of him, and assistants hovering nearby with other GMs on hold.
Pete Carroll is off on the side shooting hoops.
With less than a minute left on the clock, John writes a name on a card, hands it to someone else, and . . .
I wake up in a cold sweat.
No. 2: The Philadelphia Eagles select Texas RB Bijan Robinson
I’ve made peace with the idea that my #1 draft crush probably won’t be drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. What gives me nightmares is the idea that Bijan might land with the defending NFC Champions.
The reason this terrifies me is twofold:
ONE. For the moment, the Seahawks’ path to the Super Bowl runs through the City of Brotherly Love.
Yes, it might be a dream, but I believe - I always believe - that the Seahawks could be Super Bowl contenders. Laugh at me if you must.
TWO. An offensive line is a running back’s best friend, and the Philadelphia Eagles had the best offensive line in the league last year.
For those that don’t know, the Eagles retained four of the five starters from last year’s O-line. They did lose RG Isaac Seumalo to the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency (3 years, $24M), but Jason Kelce’s hand-picked successor (Cam Jurgens, 2022 R2.51) is slated to slide into the RG vacancy for a year (or two) and then slide over to Center whenever Kelce decides to ride off into the midnight green sunset.
Meanwhile, Philly used free agency to poach a West Coast running back who, if history is any indicator, should remain healthy just long enough for Bijan Robinson to get his footing. Then, once Rashaad Penny goes on IR, Robinson will run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award that eluded Kenneth Walker III last season.
Admittedly, it would be the ultimate “luxury” pick if the Eagles were to select Bijan Robinson at #10, but this is my nightmare and my nightmare isn’t that simple.
Oh no, not nearly that simple.
Before the nightmare really kicks into gear, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers move up nine spots and use the #10 pick to select a quarterback (which one doesn’t really matter, but let’s say Will Levis).
In return for moving back to #19, the Eagles get an R2 (#50), and a future R4.
Then, with the 19th overall pick - one pick before WE could have drafted him, the Eagles snag Bijan Robinson (and I cry into my Seahawks pillow).
No. 1: The Los Angeles Rams select Pittburgh DT Calijah Kancey at #36.
For months, we’ve had a never-ending national discussion where one person compares Calijah Kancey to Aaron Donald and someone else responds that they only thing they have in common is where they went to school.
“Both are undersized and uber-athletic,” one person will say. “That’s a lazy argument,” the other will reply.
Then the NFL Combine rolled around and THIS HAPPENED:
UPDATED: Fastest 40-yard dash times by a DT at #NFLCombine since 2000.— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) March 2, 2023
1. Calijah Kancey - 4.67 ⏱
2. Aaron Donald - 4.68 ⏱#H2P » @NFL » @NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/HjBKdMw3Vc
That picture keeps me awake at night!
The last freaking thing I want to see is Aaron Donald and Calijah Kancey in matching royal blue uniforms after the NFL Draft concludes.
Aaron Donald is a 9-year NFL veteran who has earned nine Pro Bowl nominations, seven first-team All-Pro awards, one Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and an NFL record three Defensive Player of the Year awards.
It’s true that Calijah Kancey isn’t Aaron Donald.
At least not yet.
But, as 12’s, do we really want Aaron Donald to take a fellow Pittsburgh alum under his wing and pass on all that he knows about Seattle’s tendencies and weaknesses?
No! No, we do not!
Aaron Donald is terrifying enough without the football gods giving him an undersized, but uber-athletic protégé.
Those two together on NFL Sundays . . . (shudder)
What’s your nightmare scenario for the Seahawks? Join the discussion by scrolling to the comments below!