Why Huard would trade 5 and 20 to get Will Anderson to Seahawks

Apr 18, 2023, 11:25 AM

Seattle Seahawks draft Will Anderson...

Will Anderson Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide sacks Max Johnson #of the LSU Tigers on Nov. 6, 2021. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks are arguably the most interesting team in the 2023 NFL Draft thanks to not one, but two first-round picks, including the No. 5 overall selection.

Will they take a quarterback like Florida’s Anthony Richardson? What about shoring up the interior of their defensive line with Georgia’s Jalen Carter?

The Seahawks have shown time and time again they’re more than willing to trade down in the first round, but what about doing something they’ve never done under coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider: trading up in the draft’s first round?

Former NFL quarterback and current FOX college football analyst Brock Huard not only thinks the Seahawks should consider doing so, but he thinks they should consider giving up both the fifth overall pick and the 20th overall pick in order to move up to No. 2 or 3 overall to secure Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson.

“Five and 37 (the first of two second-round picks the Seahawks possess) for Will Anderson? Not even a question mark,” Huard said during Tuesday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports. “Five and 20 for Will Anderson? To me, not a question mark.”

Huard said he understands that value charts say there’s a big difference between the 20th pick and the 37th pick, but “I’d contend” that there’s not much of a difference in the level of player the Seahawks could get at 20 and 37 overall.

“There’s value, and maybe it’s trading from 20 to 26 and getting another third-round pick and adding more volume, which this defense certainly needs, but there’s going to be linebackers at 37,” he said. “There’s going to be a D-tackle at 37, a road grader like (Michigan’s) Mazi Smith and (Baylor’s) Siaki Ika. Those guys are going to be there (at 37) and they may be there with the second one of those (second-round picks) at 52.

“So that’s where, to me, I get a generational pass rusher, man, and that’s what (Anderson) is.”

Anderson had a great college career for Alabama as he was a two-time first-team All-American, two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year and two-time Bednarik Award winner, given to the top defender in the country. He tallied 34.5 sacks in three years at Alabama, including 17.5 in 2021 when he finished fifth in Heisman voting.

Brock and Salk co-host Mike Salk asked if it was concerning that some draft analysts don’t view Anderson as highly as Huard does.

“No, there’s a lot that still are very excited about him, and most put him right behind Jalen Carter (as the best player in the draft),” Huard said. “But maybe it’s a little bit of his size because he probably didn’t play at 252 (pounds) at Bama, which he weighed at the combine. He probably played a little closer to 240, so maybe it’s just some of that wear and tear that’s going to come and the beating he’s going to take.”

All that being said, Huard thinks Anderson checks every box for what a top-end edge rusher should be.

“It’s 6 foot 3, it’s 250 , it’s running 4.6 (seconds in the 40-yard dash), it’s being unblockable, it’s having move after move, it’s having feel, it’s having bend,” he said. “… I don’t know (what more you could want). And you came right in as a freshman on a national title team and carved out a difference-making role. I don’t know what more you have to do or what more you have to prove. So yeah, I think I would (trade five and 20 to get Anderson). I think I would do that.”

Listen to the fourth hour of Tuesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player below.

More Seattle Seahawks draft coverage

• Rost: The Seahawks’ best picks by round under Schneider and Carroll
• Bump: One position Seahawks still need to improve going into draft
• Bump & Stacy: Draft mistakes the Seahawks need to avoid making
• Seahawks Draft Profiles: Standout Big Ten OL Jones and Tippmann
• Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider talks draft board, what’s left to do

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