Seahawks 2023 mock draft final take: Trade down edition

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Each time I do one of these mocks I want to examine what the front office might be thinking about in that scenario. This time through I had the mentality "The Seahawks think their window starts this year and extends into next year". I can see that mentality. I don’t think it’s true personally, but I can see why they might. That means that I’m trying to make this draft as good as possible this year, and I want it to really hit next year. That’ll be the make-or-break year.

This draft also makes the assumption that Seattle isn’t sold on any of the options available at pick #5, and want to trade down. In this case I wanted to stay within this draft, and I wanted to stay close to the top ten picks because of who I’m targeting when I trade down, and I want to be sure to get them.

Again, this draft was based on the idea that the Seahawks think this is their best opportunity to win the Super Bowl, with Geno Smith and friends. Just like last time I used the ESPN mock draft simulator, though this time I did make a few trades. I actually think they were pretty fair by the Jimmy Johnson value chart, and way, way ahead by most others.

Relative Athletic Score (RAS) pictures are via Kent Lee Platte at

Pick 5: TRADE! The Seahawks trade picks 5 and 52 to Philadelphia for picks 10, 30, and 62

So…Frank did this one first…and I really liked it so I’m stealing it wholesale. I think it makes a bit of sense for Philly. They need to replace Javon Hargreaves, Jalen Carter was still on the board. Jordan Davis is apparently one of the only people who can keep Carter in line. Philly also doesn’t want to miss out on Carter to Seattle, or to Detroit, or Chicago, so instead they trade up with Seattle. Also, Philly needs high end talent to make their already great roster even better. Get those high picks.

For Seattle, again, this is operating under the assumption that they’re aiming at winning this season. Carter isn’t going to do that just because he needs to acclimate to full-time NFL work. Philly is a perfect place to do that. Seattle needs bodies now.

Pick 10: Nolan Smith, OLB, Georgia

Nolan Smith is my favorite defender in this draft. As a pass rusher, he’s not there yet. He’s got all the athleticism that you need to do it, but he’s not great at it yet. He is two other things, one more important than the other.

First, he is a great run defender. I have no idea how he does it at his size, but he can set an edge like a mother****er and just will not be moved. That takes effort and determination in amounts that I didn’t know that people could have. It also makes me believe that with the right coaching he can rush the passer as well as anyone out there.

That leads to the next thing that he is: one of the best leaders in this draft. The simple fact that he came back this year was enough to assuage some fears that Georgia fans had about the fact that their team lost so much talent last year. I can’t get the image of the whole Georgia team cheering him on at the combine out of my head. He wasn’t even on the team anymore, but they were cheering their freaking heads off when they saw "4.39" on the screen at his 40.

I think that Smith could quite easily become Micah Parsons, given the right development. He’s a bit smaller than Parsons, but he’s actually got arms that are a bit longer. He had the same 40 time as Parson’s pro day, jumped 7 inches higher in the vert and 2 inches longer in the broad. He’s in that same tier of athlete, and he’s got the attitude that Seattle craves. If they trade down, I’m almost sure they’re aiming at Nolan Smith.

Pick 20: TRADE! Seattle sends pick 20 to Cincinnati for picks 28 and 92

Cincy wants an offensive lineman, and I don’t (yet) I give them access to some of the better talent on the offensive front so that I can pick up a pass catcher and some defensive linemen. In terms of value I think I come out a bit behind on Jimmy’s chart, but not by too much.

Pick 28: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Dalton Kincaid and Michael Mayer were both on the board when I made the trade with Cincy, and I got lucky that the one I didn’t want got taken. Kincaid is a better receiver than Mayer, but Mayer is a better player than Kincaid. Mayer is honestly as close to a perfect TE for the Seahawks as there could possibly be. He’s a dang good blocker and has some of the softest hands that I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t have the best speed, but he’s so quick in short areas that he doesn’t need the speed. I’m running to the podium.

Pick 30: Mazi Smith, DT, Michigan

Gimme a freak with size that can stop the run. Smith has inconsistent tape, but there aren’t many guys with his combination of size and movement skills. He’s one of the best run defenders in this draft and could play at any spot on the interior of the defensive line. Great body to have in rotation. Hard to make a choice between him and Keeanu Benton, but you do what you have to do.

Pick 37: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin

Psych! I got both of them! Again, this draft is with the idea that Seattle thinks they’re in contention right now. What’s the main weakness of the team? Defense. More specifically? Run defense. Keeanu Benton and Mazi Smith form the defensive nightmare tandem that will keep teams from running up the middle for the next half-decade, with pass rush upside at both spots too. Eat well boys, eat well.