The early indications are the Seattle Seahawks plan to pass on Georgia star defender Jalen Carter if he is available at No. 5 in the 2023 NFL draft. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah reported that the team’s experience selecting Malik McDowell in the second round of the 2017 draft will likely prompt Seattle to pass on Carter.
During his brief stint with the Seahawks, McDowell dealt with off-field issues and an ATV accident prompted the defender to sustain serious injuries that contributed to the defensive tackle never playing a snap for Seattle. The buzz around the league has the Seahawks passing on Carter at No. 5 after this experience. Jeremiah mentioned Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud as a potential target with Seattle’s first selection if the star is still available.
“He’s a great player, there’s no question about that and I’ve had a tough time pegging him [to a team],” Jeremiah explained on “The Season with Peter Schrager” during an April 20, 2023 podcast episode. “There seems to be sentiment that teams I’ve talking to do not expect Seattle [to draft Carter].
“I thought Seattle would be in play with Jalen Carter. The stuff I’ve got back was the Malik McDowell experience in Seattle could have soured them on taking a chance here [at No. 5]. So, we’ll see.”
NFL Insider Peter King: ‘Many Team Officials Think the Seahawks Will Take [Jalen] Carter’
This is not a consensus opinion as there is still plenty of buzz that Seattle is a potential landing spot for Carter. NBC Sports’ Peter King reported that it is “almost a cliche'” how many teams expect the Seahawks to select Carter.
“An increasing number of people around the league think Jalen Carter has done enough in his visits to not sink like a stone on draft night,” King wrote on April 17. “… It’s become almost a cliché, how many team officials think the Seahawks will take Carter with the fifth overall pick.”
Seahawks Are Not ‘Afraid of Blowback’ for NFL Draft Picks, Says GM John Schneider
Seattle has been keeping the quarterback rumors going by posting photos with the consensus top-four quarterback prospects: Stroud, Alabama’s Bryce Young, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis. The Seahawks have been quiet about the Carter rumors, but general manager John Schneider spoke in general terms about selecting players they have confidence in, even if it leads to criticism.
“Some teams won’t necessarily take a player because they’re afraid of blowback from the fan base,” Schneider explained during his April 13 weekly appearance with Seattle Sports’ “Wyman and Bob.” “And I’m like, man, I’m not sure we could do that. We don’t do that because we just believe in what we’re doing and we just keep moving forward.”
One interesting scenario to watch is if Carter drops outside the top 10, Seattle could look to move up from No. 20 to snag the former Bulldogs defender. Heading into the draft, Carter’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has tried to downplay the possibility that the star will slide on draft night. Carter has not been taking pre-draft visits with teams outside the top-10 picks.