Seahawks Draft: Can Carter or Anderson fall to Seattle at No. 5?

Feb 14, 2023, 3:22 PM
Seahawks draft Will Anderson...
Will Anderson Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Max Johnson of the LSU Tigers on November 06, 2021. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

As the Denver Broncos were floundering during the 2022 NFL season, it looked like the Seahawks would be picking second or third in the 2023 NFL Draft. But due to Denver’s Week 18 win over the LA Chargers, that pick fell to fifth overall.

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While the No. 5 pick is still premium real estate and set to be the highest pick of Seattle’s Pete Carroll-John Schneider era, it does mean it’s less likely the Seahawks are able to select Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter or Alabama outside linebacker/edge rusher Will Anderson, the consensus top-two defenders in this year’s draft.

That being said, it’s still possible that one of Carter or Anderson falls to the Seahawks at No. 5, as NFL.com lead draft writer Eric Edholm explained to Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy on Tuesday.

“There is, but you guys will have to start rooting for these quarterbacks. Even if you don’t love them personally, at least just pretend like you do,” Edholm said with a laugh.

Currently, the four teams above the Seahawks in the draft are the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts, in that order. Of those four, the Bears and Cardinals are unlikely to draft a quarterback while Houston and Indianapolis are expected to select their future signal caller.

If that order holds true, it’s likely that Chicago and Arizona will take Carter and Anderson.

But given that other teams across the league will likely look to draft a quarterback and could trade up, such as Las Vegas, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Carolina, there is a chance of three quarterbacks going in the first four selections, assuring one of Anderson or Carter is on the board when the Seahawks are on the clock at No. 5.

“Really, that’s the best-case scenario. I think there will be some trade activity. So if, let’s say, the Colts are at four and you want to jump ahead of them, you know they’re going to draft a quarterback … all of a sudden the No. 3 pick’s in play and maybe Arizona trades down with the same hopes (as the Seahawks) of, ‘We’ll get one of these defensive guys a little bit lower,'” Edholm said. “Carolina at nine may want to move up.”

Even with some of the top quarterbacks having some question marks, Edholm expects a lot of trade activity because of that position.

“Once the dust of free agency has settled, once the combine is in the rearview mirror, once the pro days have happened and all the GMs have laid first-person eyes on these (QBs), that position tends to elevate and GMs get nervous. If you haven’t gotten your quarterback and you’re kind of relying on the draft, then guess what? You probably need to prepare to move up,” he said. “So that’s the hope is that the four teams picking ahead of you currently – and we don’t know if Seattle wants to move down or what – if three of them take quarterbacks, there you go. One of the two will be available, and maybe both. It’s possible. But there’s a good chance that at least one of them’s going off the board somewhere in that 1-2-3 range and then you kind of have to hope and pray a little bit.”

When it comes to Carter and Anderson, they’re the two players Edholm is most excited to see at the NFL Scouting Combine next month.

“I mean, Will Anderson, I don’t know if he’s gonna be Von Miller but that’s the kind of player I see when I watch him. I mean, that type of versatility, that type of explosive pass-rush ability,” he said. “And then just for a good laugh, like if you’re bored at work or something like that … turn on the high school basketball tape of Jalen Carter dunking. I mean, tell me it doesn’t look like Zion Williamson… He is a special athlete.”

One knock on Carter is that his effort at times is questionable, Edholm said.

“He doesn’t always turn it on, and that’s the only thing I would say about him. But when he cranks it up, he’s special,” he said.

Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson mocked to Seahawks

In Edholm’s first mock draft of the offseason for NFL.com, he, like many others, has the Seahawks selecting Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson.

In this mock draft, Carter goes No. 1 to the Bears and the Cardinals take Anderson. It should be worth noting that Edholm doesn’t propose any trades in this mock draft.

So what did Edholm have to say about Wilson as a prospect?

“Another player who’s definitely been on NFL scout radars for quite a while,” Edholm said. ” … He can be a little stiff at times, but you just don’t draw them up too much better than 6 foot 6, 275 pounds with a massive wingspan, some pass-rush ability, some edge-setting ability, he can take on those blocks and shed them and dispatch guys pretty easily, I would say … He got lost a little bit in the shuffle playing in the Big 12 with all those (high-scoring) games and stuff, but the people who have watched him see a player who they think is worthy of being taken in the top 10 or 15 picks. Now, how he works out at the combine could ultimately decide does he go fifth, or does he go 15th? And obviously the medical stuff and everything. But yeah, I see a player with with some chops. I think he’s gonna do fine in the NFL.”

You can listen to the full conversation with Edholm in the podcast below.

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