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Seahawks take Anthony Richardson, Drew Sanders in Round 1 in The Athletic’s latest mock draft

Seattle uses three of their first four picks on defense.

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Florida State v Florida Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar published a mock draft on Wednesday in which the Seahawks make two trades and end up with the same number of picks that they started with.

This is the first mock draft that Dugar has done since the last one - which is a funny thing to say, but since the last one was on March 10th . . .

A lot has changed since then.


On March 10th, Dugar’s top five picks were:

  • R1.05: DT Jalen Carter (Georgia)
  • R1.20: EDGE Nolan Smith (Georgia)
  • R2.37: OC John Michael Schmitz (Minnesota)
  • R2.52: LB Daiyan Henley (Washington State)
  • R3.83: TE Sam LaPorta (Iowa)

This time, the top five are . . .


As if I would really just drop the first five picks into a bulleted list at the beginning of an article. Nope! You gotta jump to the end for that, just like you would if this were a mystery novel and you wanted to know whodunit without reading the whole thing.

It isn’t just the picks that have changed though.

Dugar’s last mock draft was before free agency started, before John and Pete gave out the biggest contract they’ve ever given to an outside free agent (Dre’Mont Jones, 3/$51M), before they brought Bobby Wagner home, before they released Al Woods . . .

Seattle is set to add ten new players between April 27th and April 29th.

Who might those ten players be?

Let’s find out!

R1.05: Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

The first three picks in this mock draft are CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, and Will Anderson Jr.

No surprises there.

Then, the Indianapolis Colts select Will Levis at #4.

This is a HUGE win for the 12s as it gives the Seahawks a bulletproof reason to not take Jalen Carter: QB trumps DT !!!

From The Athletic:

Richardson is an elite athlete with a strong arm, field vision and other tools that will put him in position to succeed at the next level if drafted in the right situation. It might be hard for Carroll and Schneider to use the highest draft pick of their tenure on a player who (likely) can’t help them win a championship in 2023, but there’s logic behind drafting and grooming a quarterback with a high ceiling to eventually succeed 32-year-old Geno Smith.

Dugar also points out that Richardson needs to go to the right situation:

The team should have either an experienced play caller or head coach, preferably one with a track record of getting the best out of quarterbacks. The team should also have competent offensive tackles, a veteran center and reliable pass catchers.

Sounds like a match made in football heaven, doesn’t it?

R1.20: TRADE!

It seems sort of intuitive that if the Seahawks stay put at #5, they will absolutely, positively move off of #20. Right?

That’s exactly what happens here, with the Seahawks and Jaguars getting together to make a little Draft Day magic.

  • Jacksonville gets #20 (R1) and #237 (R7)
  • Seattle gets #24 (R1), #121 (R4), #127 (R4), and #185 (R6)

The Seahawks move back four spots and go from ten picks to TWELVE picks (which really seems like the ‘perfect’ number of picks).

R1.24: Drew Sanders, LB, Arkansas

Based on some of the comments I’ve seen about this player, there would be people dancing in the streets of Seattle when this pick was announced.

From The Athletic:

Seattle’s defensive scheme features light boxes, requiring the inside linebacker be fast and physical enough to play in space against the pass and take on offensive linemen against the run. Sanders (6 feet 4, 235 pounds) is light, but he has the play strength to do both and compete with (Devin) Bush and Jon Rhattigan for early-down snaps next to Wagner.

R2.37: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, EDGE, Kansas State

Great minds think alike, right?

On the same day that Dugar’s mock draft was published by The Athletic, my third 2023 NFL mock draft was published by Field Gulls.

What do they have in common?


The difference is that Anudike-Uzomah went 15 picks earlier in this one.

From The Athletic:

If selecting an edge defender in the first round, the Seahawks should target a potential three-down player. In the second round, Seattle can go after a rotational player, one who either excels at stopping the run or getting after the quarterback. Anudike-Uzomah (6-3, 255 pounds) is the latter.


The Seahawks were slated to be on the clock again at #52, but John Schneider and Pete Carroll didn’t want to wait that long, so the Schneid-ster picks up the phone and calls his old friends in Green Bay . . .

  • Seattle gets #45 (R2)
  • Green Bay gets #52 (R2), #121 (R4), and #151 (R5)

Seattle moves up seven spots but it costs them two picks and now they’re right back where they started with TEN picks in this year’s draft.

R2.45: Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin

I’m a huge fan of this pick, even when factoring in the cost of the trade.

From The Athletic:

The Seahawks are in dire need of someone with Benton’s skills, which is why I’m mocking a trade-up in this scenario. Reed (6-3, 306) is the heaviest defensive player on the roster and the only one over 300 pounds. Benton has a similar body type, but he’s perhaps more equipped to have an early impact as a pass rusher; Reed came into the league as a talented run stuffer, and that remains his strength entering Year 8. Benton is a nice complement to what Jones and Reed bring to the table.

R3.83: Luke Wypler, OC, Ohio State

It’s a little surprising that Wypler is still on the board, but I have to imagine the Seahawks would run to the podium if that’s the case at #83 on April 28th.

From The Athletic:

Wypler was a two-year starter at Ohio State and allowed just one quarterback hit in that span, according to Pro Football Focus. He’s an excellent athlete with solid functional strength. One of the biggest concerns with Wypler is size. He’s 6-2 and only 303 pounds with 31 5/8-inch arms. He’ll need to get stronger to be a starting-caliber player at the next level, but he should have that sort of ceiling based on the way he played in college.

R4.123: Emil Ekiyor Jr., OG, Alabama

Apparently Eki’ is #96 on The Athletic’s Big Board (who knew?)

From The Athletic:

Ekiyor was a multiyear starter at guard, which is a long-term position of need for Seattle. Left guard Damien Lewis is in the final year of his rookie deal. Right guard Phil Haynes is on a one-year, $4 million deal. Lewis just turned 26 years old, and Haynes turns 28 in October, so those two could, in theory, be the guards of the future. But the Seahawks still need depth, which is where Ekiyor comes in.

R4.127: Zach Evans, RB, Mississippi

Folks keep telling me that this is a deep draft for running backs; Dugar tries to prove it.

From The Athletic:

Evans rushed for 930 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 6.5 yards per attempt last season. He’s listed at 5-11 and 202 pounds and is a good-not-great athlete, according to his testing numbers. But he has good burst to deliver home-run plays and averaged 3.56 yards after contact per attempt, according to Pro Football Focus.

Dugar pegs Evans as a backup for Kenneth Walker III and notes that DeeJay Dallas would still be the primary 3rd-down back.

R5.154: Jerrod Clark, DT, Coastal Carolina

You know how we like to joke about all the times the Seahawks have tried to convert a player from a position on one side of the ball to a position on the other side of the ball?

Well, Jerrod Clark used to be a Tight End and now he’s a Nose Tackle.

Welcome to Seattle; you’ll fit right in!

From The Athletic:

Clark is a big, powerful young man at 6-3 and 334 pounds. ... Last season was Clark’s third on defense, and he registered 10 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. His athletic testing didn’t go very well, which is one reason he should be available in the fifth round. ... Clark displays decent movement for a man of his size and has the makings of a space-eater on early downs in Seattle’s three-down fronts.

R6.185: Tre Tucker, WR, Cincinnati

A lot of 12s will be upset if the Seahawks wait this long to select a wideout.

We can’t blame Tre Tucker for management’s mistakes though, so let’s see what Dugar had to say about this diminutive (5-8, 182) speed demon (4.4 at the NFL Combine, 4.3x at Cincinnati’s Pro Day).

Tucker was tough for defensive backs to stick with at the Senior Bowl, showcasing the type of shiftiness that has been missing from Seattle’s receivers since Doug Baldwin retired ahead of the 2019 season. He’d have to cut his teeth on special teams to make the squad, but the WR3 competition is so wide open that a sixth-round pick has a legit shot. Especially if he’s a yards-after-catch threat, which Tucker is.

It’s probably worth noting that Jim Nagy really likes him . . .

R6.198: Mohamoud Diabate, LB, Utah

If your first reaction was, “Who?” then welcome to the club. If you recognized the name, well . . . WoW! Good job!

Diabate didn’t get invited to the NFL Combine, but apparently put up solid numbers at Utah’s Pro Day (4.52 forty, 11-0 broad, 34 vertical, 6.96 three-cone).

From The Athletic:

Diabate is still fairly new to playing off-ball linebacker and would probably be best deployed as a blitzer from multiple alignments, someone whose role is merely to come downhill and smack people. Or a coverage player against running backs in obvious throwing situations. He’d be perfect on special teams early on, with the hope that he develops into a serviceable early-down player.

Recap and Final Thoughts

Here is the Seahawks’ 2023 draft class (according to this mock draft):

  • R1.05: QB Anthony Richardson
  • R1.24: LB Drew Sanders
  • R2.37: EDGE Felix Anudike-Uzomah
  • R2.45: DT Keeanu Benton
  • R3.83: OC Luke Wypler
  • R4.123: OG Emil Ekiyor Jr.
  • R4.127: RB Zach Evans
  • R5.154: DT Jerrod Clark
  • R6.185: WR Tre Tucker
  • R6.198: LB Mohamoud Diabate


FTR’s take: I like the first five players we take in this mock draft, and definitely approve of taking the uber-athletic Anthony Richardson #5. Yet my overwhelming sense when looking at the draft as a whole is that it’s very underwhelming.

Sanders, Benton, and Wypler should have an opportunity to earn a starting role this season, but only Benton (due to the current lack of competition) seems likely to emerge from a training camp battle victorious.

Not addressing our needs at running back or wide receiver until Day Three seems like a colossal mistake.

On the bright side, we’ve restocked our Special Teams unit.

Go Hawks!