Proposed Blockbuster Trade With NFC Foe Lands Seahawks a ‘Big, Powerful Athlete’

Pete Carroll John Schneider

Getty Seahawks general manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll appear to have won the Russell Wilson trade.

The Seattle Seahawks have plenty of options heading into the 2023 NFL draft, including trading down from the No. 5 spot. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler offers an intriguing trade proposal in his January 17 mock draft that has the Panthers moving up from No. 9 to select Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Seattle lands the Panthers’ 2024 first-round selection and the No. 93 pick in return for moving down four slots. Brugler then has the Seahawks selecting Texas Tech pass rusher Tyree Wilson at No. 9, a player who is expected to also be in consideration when Seattle is slated to pick at No. 5.

“If you watched the Seahawks wilt in the second half of their wild-card matchup against the 49ers, you know that their defense needs help,” Brugler wrote. “At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds with almost 36-inch arms, Tyree Wilson is a big, powerful athlete who can be disruptive from various alignments along the defensive line.”

Tyree Wilson Is Drawing Comparisons to Former Seahawks Pass Rusher Frank Clark

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll made it clear during his end-of-season press conference that Seattle will look to bolster the team’s defensive line, and this includes finding players that can better disrupt the quarterback. Wilson had 14 sacks with the Red Raiders over the last two seasons.

The athletic pass rusher notched 61 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, seven sacks and one fumble recovery during his 10 appearances in 2022. ESPN’s Matt Miller sees some similarities between Wilson and former Seahawks edge rusher Frank Clark, who Seattle traded to Kansas City in 2019.

“One of the hottest draft risers of the 2022 season, Wilson brings a great combination of length, quickness off the ball and relentless pursuit mentality,” Miller detailed on December 6. Over the past two years, the 6-foot-6, 275-pounder has 14 sacks, 34.5 tackles for loss and 78 pressures while dominating at the point of attack. He’s one of the safer defensive prospects in the class, as his positional tools are already so well developed. Wilson should enter the NFL as a solid starter with the upside to become a truly special player.”

Seahawks Looking for Defensive Difference Makers This Offseason

Carroll praised the 49ers defensive core and hinted that the Seahawks will be looking for defensive difference makers this offseason. Much of the offseason discussion will be on the No. 5 selection, but Seattle holds three additional picks in the first two rounds, including No. 20. It would not be a surprise if the Seahawks used the majority of these picks to bolster the defense.

“I think (linebacker) Jordyn Brooks is one of those guys,” Carroll remarked during a January 16 interview with Seattle Sports’ “Brock and Salk.” “I think Diggsy (safety Quandre Diggs) is one of those guys on the back end. (Cornerback) Tariq (Woolen) is becoming that – he could be a factor. The problem is, to really be effective it needs to be up front. You need to have those guys that can really do stuff, they cause the problem – run and pass – every snap. You gotta run the other way, you gotta look out, you gotta cut them off.

“Those are the factors. It’s like the factor that (Rams defensive tackle) Aaron Donald brings. That factor overwhelms the game plan and becomes a distraction to the rest of it if you can’t handle those guys. That’s where you see the teams that really have the big time potential defensively. They’ve got a couple guys, or at least one guy, that you really have to contend with.”