Seahawks Could Bring in ‘Nightmare’ Edge Rusher: Analyst

Pete Carroll

Getty The Seahawks could select Jared Verse with one of their draft picks.

The Seattle Seahawks could be in the perfect position to land a dominant edge rusher.

As the Seahawks enter the 2023 NFL draft, they’ll do so armed with two draft picks in the first round. The added draft capital is as a result of their blockbuster trade with the Denver Broncos involving quarterback Russell Wilson.

According to the latest version of CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson’s mock draft, the analyst expects Seattle to select Florida State Seminoles defensive end Jared Verse with the 20th overall pick.

“Verse, an Albany transfer, has been electric in ’22, even when overcoming a knee injury,” says Wilson. “At full health, he’s a real problem, and the Seahawks, for as good as they have been on offense, have struggled to pressure the quarterback.”

Why the Seahawks Drafting Verse Makes Sense

According to CBS Sports’ prospect rankings, Verse is the top-ranked player at his position and the 12th-ranked prospect overall.

The 22-year-old Verse is a defensive playmaker who could provide the Seahawks with a much-needed dose of pass-rushing talent. The redshirt sophomore has 41 tackles and 7.5 sacks this season in his first season with the Seminoles.

The 6-foot-4, 251-pound edge rusher could give Seattle a boost when it comes to rushing the quarterback. The Seahawks rank just 15th in sacks and are lacking a dominant pass-rushing specialist. Their best pass rusher is Uchenna Nwosu, a free agent addition who has racked up a solid total of seven sacks in 11 games. However, Nwosu had never racked up more than five sacks in a single season prior to the 2022 season.

Adding Verse — who is regarded as the second-best pass-rushing prospect in the 2023 NFL draft, behind Will Anderson — could go a long way towards upgrading Seattle’s 28th-ranked defensive unit.

Pro Football Network’s James Fragoza explains why Verse has the potential to be a great pro.

“Outside of Alabama’s Will Anderson, there may not be an edge rusher with a quicker first step than Verse,” says Fragoza. “He has an education in acceleration, exploding into and past offensive tackles. And he does an excellent job turning that speed into power.”

Verse Can Be a ‘Nightmare’ for Opposing Offenses

As explained by Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner when naming Verse as a perfect fit for the Dallas Cowboys, the athletic defensive end can be a “nightmare” for offenses.

“Verse lining up opposite Micah Parsons in pass-rushing situations would be a nightmare for opposing offenses,” says Renner. “The Florida State edge rusher’s juice is as good as it gets in this draft class, and he can easily track down ball carriers in space. It would give that Cowboys defensive line so much speed to play with in pass-rushing situations that offensive coordinators’ heads would spin.”

It’s worth noting that Wilson actually projects the Seahawks to select University of Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter with the fifth overall pick — the one acquired from the Broncos — which would mean Seattle would address their flaws along the defensive line with both of their first-round draft picks.

As Seattle attempts to take the next step into molding its current roster into a yearly playoff contender, beefing up the defensive line with top prospects — as they did during the 2022 NFL draft with their offensive tackle selections — is absolutely key.

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