The Seattle Seahawks are among the teams with the most capital in the 2023 NFL Draft, putting the franchise in a position to significantly shake up draft night and change their future dramatically for years to come.
Seattle, holding two first-round picks, has a variety of options on the night of the draft. After signing quarterback Geno Smith to a contract extension, it could spend the fifth and 20th picks on the defensive side of the ball to create a more well-rounded team.
However, general manager John Schneider is thinking about the future. The Russell Wilson trade provided Seattle with a top-five pick, originally belonging to the Denver Broncos. With the pieces already in place to be a playoff contender, the front office is in a unique position to acquire a blue-chip talent even if it doesn’t immediately make the team better for the 2023 season.
The Seahawks have already done significant homework on the 2023 quarterback class. Seattle’s coaching staff and front office met with Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson and Will Levis. With that said, there is a chance all four quarterbacks could be gone by the team Seattle is put on the clock.
The Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans are expected to take Young and Stroud with the top picks. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals are shopping the third overall selection to quarterback-needy teams and the Indianapolis Colts plan to draft a quarterback with the fourth pick. As a result, Seattle might take advantage of its draft capital to land the future face of its franchise.
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According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, there was a buzz at Florida’s Pro Day that Seattle could be a team to jump ahead of the Indianapolis Colts in the 2023 NFL Draft order to land a quarterback.
“Speculation from league insiders during Florida’s pro day is the Seattle Seahawks could be the team that leapfrogs the Indianapolis Colts and trades up with the Arizona Cardinals to secure Richardson. Several reasons were given. The cost to move up won’t be much for the Seahawks, who have another first-round pick — the 20th selection.”Tony Pauline on Seattle Seahawks’ plans in the 2023 NFL Draft
Arizona is an ideal trade partner for Seattle. The Cardinals won’t be contenders in 2023, especially with quarterback Kyler Murray sidelined for the start of the 2023 season. After making sweeping changes within the organization, Arizona wants to trade down and collect assets to address a growing list of needs on its roster.
Seattle could offer the fifth pick along with the 52nd and a 2024 fourth-round selection to the Cardinals for the third and 96th overall picks. It would push the Seahawks ahead of the Colts, while the Cardinals are still in a position to draft one of the best defensive players available.
Anthony Richardson stands out as the ideal target for Seattle. While he isn’t as polished as Young or Stroud, the former Florida Gators star offers the highest upside of any player in the 2023 NFL Draft. Richardson could sit behind Smith in 2023, learning from the veteran quarterback and having a year to learn Shane Waldron’s offense.
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When the 2024 season rolls out, Seattle can cut Smith for $13.8 million in cap savings or trade him to a team that needs a veteran starter. At that point, Richardson walks into an offense with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Kenneth Walker III, an ideal supporting cast for a young quarterback.