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Seahawks 2023 draft rumors: Jalen Carter ‘isn’t expected to be the pick’ for Seattle at No. 5

Why yes, draft rumors don’t stop until the draft ends.

NFL Combine Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

We are two days away from the NFL Draft, which means you’re almost freed from the endless cycle of mock drafts and rumors for another year. In the meantime, let’s see what the rumor mill has for the Seattle Seahawks!

Former Georgia star Jalen Carter has been linked to the Seahawks pretty much since Carter was still in college, and it’s only logical given Seattle’s need to improve a defensive line that has not generated any consistent pass rush over the past four seasons. But concerns about Carter’s character, conditioning, and his recent legal troubles have called into question where Jalen will be drafted.

ESPN’s Todd McShay, who pretty much kickstarted the “character concerns” storyline for Carter last year, has a draft buzz article behind the ESPN+ paywall, and his piece on the Seahawks has a couple of lines on Carter and also whether they will take a quarterback by the end of Round 1.

I have a strong sense Seattle won’t leave Round 1 without a quarterback. The more I talk to execs, scouts, coaches and agents, the more I think the Seahawks could be targeting Stroud or even Florida’s Anthony Richardson at this spot, depending on who is there. Stroud is 21 years old and Richardson is 20, and the idea is either could sit behind Geno Smith in the short term and develop into the answer for the long term.

If both are gone, that means either Anderson or Wilson will be there, and I expect that’d be the direction Seattle goes. Multiple sources have told me Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter isn’t expected be the pick. I don’t see Carter falling out of the top 10, but it’s reasonable he could slide to the back end of it.

One final note on Seattle: If it doesn’t take a quarterback at No. 5, keep an eye on Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker at No. 20, the team’s other first-round slot. He’s older (25), but it’s another option for a team thinking about the future under center.

It should be noted that Peter King’s Football Morning in America newsletter from last week said “It’s become almost a cliché, how many team officials think the Seahawks will take Carter with the fifth overall pick.” At this point, I trust no one outside of VMAC to have a firm grip on what the Seahawks plan to do at No. 5.

I’ve discussed the Hendon Hooker situation already and while I don’t deny his talent, I question his learning curve given the spread offense he operated at Tennessee, not to mention the ACL injury and already being 25 years old. That does not typically sound like first-round material no matter his productivity in college, and that speaks more to how this class isn’t really all that stacked.

Hang tight, because there will be more rumors surrounding this place than at Timex Social Club.