Seahawks Draft: Latest buzz on trading up for QB, DT Jalen Carter

Apr 5, 2023, 10:07 AM | Updated: Apr 6, 2023, 2:19 pm

Seahawks Jalen Carter...

Jalen Carter of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates with a newspaper reading "Perfect!" after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs in the College Football Playoff National Championship game on January 09, 2023. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It’s the month of the NFL Draft, which means it’s also rumor mill season for the Seahawks and the other 31 teams across the league.

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Someone wired in to the happenings across the NFL is Vic Tafur, who predominantly covers the Las Vegas Raiders for The Athletic. And in a recent article for The Athletic, Tafur reported that he’s heard buzz that the Seahawks are looking to trade up from No. 5 overall to No. 3 overall to get a quarterback, presumably Florida’s Anthony Richardson or Kentucky’s Will Levis. The third pick is currently held by the Arizona Cardinals, who don’t need a quarterback.

On Tuesday, Tafur joined Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob to discuss that report as well as some thoughts on one of the top prospects who is a big question mark in this year’s draft.

First, the buzz about a trade up.

The Seahawks have a Pro Bowl quarterback in Geno Smith as well as a veteran backup who knows the system in Drew Lock. This regime led by general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll has also never traded up in the first round since taking over in 2010.

So what is Tafur hearing?

“Just from hot gossip from the combine in Indianapolis, which I’ve seen is like a week of GMs, coaches and owners and agents are all going out drinking every night at the same bar,” Tafur said. “… You hear things, and when you hear it more than a couple times, you kind of write it down as a note. So that’s what I did, and I just kept hearing that Seattle will be in play for a quarterback going up to No. 3 to go get one.”

That’s not the only buzz Tafur has heard that’s interesting, as he also reported that the Raiders have taken star Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter off their draft board.

Carter, an All-American and two-time national champion, is a bit of a wild card in this year’s draft as he’s an elite performer but has character issues and off-field concerns stemming in large part to a drag racing incident that resulted in the deaths of a teammate and team staffer. Carter pleaded no contest to reckless driving and drag racing charges.

Carter also didn’t work out at the NFL Scouting Combine and showed up to his pro day nearly 10 pounds heavier than he’d weighed at the combine. He didn’t finish position drills and reportedly was breathing heavy and cramping.

The Seahawks need help on the defensive line, especially to stop the run, so there was some thought earlier this offseason that Carter could be a slam dunk pick at No. 5. But with question marks piling up, whether Seattle would interested is now more up in the air.

“It’s a tough one because you watch his college film, the guy was incredible,” Tafur said of Carter. “The guy is everything you want at D-tackle out of college, just a dominant guy. You even put two guys on him, he’ll still get through and can get to the quarterback and stop the run, he follows up space. I just think he’s exactly what you want in a D-tackle prospect. But now you’ve got all the off-field stuff … You come to the pro day really out of shape and not doing well. So I think these are question marks where if you are picking in the top five, top six picks, is that a guy you really want to go for in terms of all the question marks and the red flags?”

Also worth noting about Carter is that his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Carter will not be working out or interviewing with teams picking outside of the top 10 in the first round. Tafur shared his thoughts on Rosenhaus’ strategy.

“What it tells me is that some team told him (if he’s available at) eight, nine, 10, that if he gets to us, we’re not gonna pass him up because he’s just too good, so I think that’s where it comes from,” Tafur said. “I think it makes sense to kind of draw a line in the sand and say, ‘Look, this is the lowest he can possibly drop in our minds (based on) what we’re hearing, so this is where we’re gonna stop doing the interviews and stop doing visits.’ I think it’s probably true, I think probably some team did tell him, ‘Hey, if you fall that far, that’s as far as you’re gonna fall.'”

Listen to the full Wyman and Bob conversation with Tafur in the podcast below.

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