One of the more fascinating questions of the offseason is what the Seattle Seahawks will do with the No. 5 selection they acquired in the Russell Wilson trade last year.
While appearing on The Brock and Salk Show on January 16, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll appeared to drop a hint of what position group the organization may be considering with their top selection.
“The problem is, to be really effective [on defense], it needs to be up front,” Carroll said. “You need to have those guys that can really do stuff that cause the problem — run and pass, every snap.”
If the Seahawks draft a defensive lineman at No. 5, it will be the first time the organization does that in the first round since 2019.
Carroll Compares Seahawks Defense to 49ers
During the radio appearance, the Seahawks head coach was asked to compare the talent on his defense to one of the Super Bowl favorites in the San Francisco 49ers. Carroll provided a pretty honest answer to the question.
“There’s a distance here,” he said. “It’s really because of what they have up front. Their front seven is really, really well equipped.”
Although Carroll didn’t talk about the 49ers again, he echoed that sentiment in his end-of-season press conference on January 16.
“We have to become more dynamic up front.”
Carroll added during his radio appearance that linebacker Jordyn Brooks and safety Quandre Diggs are players who present problems to offenses every snap like Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead do for the 49ers. Carroll also said that cornerback Tariq Woolen is getting to that point too.
But the difference is Bosa and Armstead play along the 49ers defensive line while Seattle’s defensive playmakers don’t.
Seahawks Potential Trade Down Candidate in 2023 NFL Draft
While there was no mention of the draft, Carroll sounded pretty steadfast in his desire to address the team’s defensive front. It’s no secret that the No. 5 pick would be a great place to start.
But it’s also not at all out of the realm of possibility for the Seahawks to trade back from No. 5 and add more draft picks to shore up the defensive front with multiple selections.
Trading back could also help Seattle address depth in a lot of different areas.
“Yes, their pick from Denver is potentially high enough to land them one of the top pass-rushers, but they have to build on both sides of the ball,” Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz wrote in an article where he predicted the Seahawks to trade back. “And of course, they’ll take another running back later in the draft because they always do.”
Heavy’s Jonathan Adams wrote that in a perfect world, one of the draft’s top quarterbacks, Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, will fall to where the Seahawks pick at No. 5. If that happens, the Seahawks can maximize the value of their No. 5 selection in a trade to a quarterback-needy team.
Of course, in that scenario, Seattle would need to re-sign Geno Smith. That seems likely at this point regardless of whether or not Seattle trades the No. 5 pick.
Unless the Seahawks exercise a major trade down the draft board, though, they will have two selections in the Top 20 of the 2023 NFL Draft. That’s the exact draft capital the team needs to fix the problems Carroll has identified on defense.