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Seattle Seahawks March Scouting Report
Apparently QB Russell Wilson bought into his own nonsense more than I thought. The only way he was able to leave Seattle was by what he thought was best regardless of what really might have been. That is probably the legacy that Wilson leaves most clearly. Despite all his ability and character in the end he thinks he knows best. And so Seattle enters a new era without Wilson at the center of everything and has in front of them the most important draft for them in a decade. Seattle does not think they are rebuilding, they think they are retooling and targeting the NFC West crown as always.
Seattle will have a crazy amount of high picks. They are well known for trading down to acquire more picks in the rounds where they make better choices. But it is very hard not to take one the guys available at #9. Here are the 8 picks they will enter into the draft with at the end of April:
Round 1: 9
Round 2: 40, 41
Round 3: 72
Round 4: 109
Round 5: 152, 153
Round 7: 229
Who is likely to be at the top of the board at #9? I am hoping that Detroit and Atlanta take a quarterback. Seattle will just have better options with QB Malik Willis and QB Kenny Pickett are already off the board. Both of those guys are stretches for that pick anyway and would struggle to compete with the 2023 draft class.
Edge: DE Kayvon Thibodeaux or DE David Ojabo should be available and either would be a solic pick.
Secondary: CB Ahmad Gardner fits Coach Carroll's mold and looks to be a shutdown corner. CB Trent McDuffie has similar skills in a smaller frame.
Linebacker: Seattle could nab LB Kyle Hamilton to inherit the middle of their defense for the next decade or more.
Offensive Line: It is just not likely that any of the top guys are still on the board, but maybe OT Charles Cross gets past the Panthers? They reportedly do not want one of the top 3 quarterbacks in this draft, so they will likely want a strong tackle to protect whoever they do get later in the draft. OT Andrew Thomas and OT Evan Nealshould go in the top 5, and any other offensive line pick at #9 is a reach.
Trade: If either of the two top quarterbacks are still on the board then Seattle has a great chance to trade down for more picks. Pittsburgh or Las Vegas may want to trade for one of these guys which would let Seattle still have a pick in the early 20s and gain extras in later rounds. The low 20s is the perfect place to nab OT Trevor Penning, OT Kenyon Green, OT Nick Petit-Frere or OG Zion Johnson. This is the smart move because any of these 4 guys can start for Seattle without reaching and Seattle gets more picks to address more areas of need rather than just building around Thibodeaux.
Where is Seattle starting out from? Here is a quick look at their current talent.
QB Geno Smith had his best game as in the NFL last year and arguably would have been a better starter for many of the later games than Wilson. Smith is not really a starting caliber guy, but neither was QB Trent Dilfer and he has a ring. Smith is a free agent, but he would likely sign for Seattle again if they offer. Seattle could do just fine with Smith until they can deal for someone better. QB Drew Lock may also not be the answer or he may have been a victim of being in a system that did not fit him. Either way Seattle is his best shot at becoming who he once looked like he could have become. I like the idea of Seattle pairing WR Dee Eskridge back up with QB Kaleb Eleby with a late round selection. Eleby may not be a long term starter, but he may be far better than most are predicting and could be a 3rd day steal. More likely, Seattle should grab the best available quarterback at #72 who could be QB Carson Strong
I could see Seattle using both 40 and 41 on the trenches. One of the four that I mentioned earlier could fall to these picks. Pairing a new right tackle with OT Stone Forsythe on the left could set the edges for years to come. LT Duane Brown is not yet lost to free agency and Seattle should keep him if he will stay for a reasonable number. C Austin Flythe has joined the Seahawks and LG Phil Haynes has re-signed. LG Ethan Pocic has not yet signed and would be good to keep in Seattle. RT Brandon Shell is also not signed, but is not in the same category as Brown. Seattle is probably better off developing new talent than keeping Shell. There is a lot of potential here as Seattle continues to field a stronger line each year.
RB Chris Carson will be itching to give Seattle what they paid for with his new contract last season. He is not an injury prone guy, but the past two years have not gone his way. RB Rashaad Penny looks like he will come back to Seattle on a discount, though his last few games should have warranted him a chance somewhere else. Seattle would only take a running back in the draft if someone on their board just fell to the right place at the right time.
Here is another position that is rock solid for Seattle. WR Tyler Lockett, WR DK Metcalf, and WR Dee Eskridge are all prime targets for any new starter.
Seattle got TE Noah Fant in the trade for Wilson and has re-signed TE Will Dissly. That will do nicely to lead their depth of talent. No needs here.
Oh please draft a kicker. PK Jason Myers is not clutch in Seattle and has been nothing but a bore in fantasy writer terms.
It had to happen sometime. LB Bobby Wagner is the best. He tops the board in available free agent linebackers out there and should cash in nicely. But he will always be a 'Hawk. No one will replace him, but Seattle also does not need to use their #1 to try. LB Jordyn Brooks and LB Cody Barton are in pretty good shape, and maybe they could get LB KJ Wright back in free agency to lessen the sting? Or maybe not since they are bringing in LB Uchenna Nwosu from the Chargers? Or will he just be an edge guy? Either way they should draft a couple of prospects early in day 3 to find another player for their future.
On the line Seattle received DE Shelby Harris who has made some noise over the last few years. More importantly they have re-signed DT Al Woods. DT Quinton Jefferson is also back. DE Darrell Taylor showed good progress last year and so did DE LJ Collier for that matter.
The secondary gets to keep FS Quandre Diggs paired with SS Jamal Adams. They have lost CB DJ Reed to free agency but kept CB Ryan Neal, CB Sidney Jones and acquired CB Artie Burns. They could definitely use a bump in cornerback talent through the draft. Either 40 or 41 could go here.
With the loss of Wagner and Wilson Seattle has officially moved on from the group of talent that should have gotten them to more than two super bowls and should have been able not to pass the ball at the goal line to lose one of those two. Wilson leaves a legacy in Seattle, but he played his part in why that group did not win. Bobby did not. Bobby is always and was always 1 and 0 no matter what that scoreboard said at the end of the day.
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