NFC West Writer
At No. 5 overall in this year’s draft, the Seattle Seahawks have the highest pick since Pete Carroll was hired as the team’s head coach in January 2010.
For that reason, Carroll told reporters at the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix this week that he did not want to waste the unique opportunity. So Carroll and general manager John Schneider attended pro days for several top quarterback prospects this month, including those for C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson.
However, the Seahawks recently signed Pro Bowl quarterback Geno Smith to a three-year, $75 million extension and still have backup Drew Lock (one year, $4 million) on the roster. Seattle has drafted just two quarterbacks since Carroll took over more than a decade ago: Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft and Alex McGough, selected in the seventh round in 2018.
So, are the Seahawks really interested in taking a quarterback high in the first round, or is Carroll and Schneider’s QB tour a smokescreen designed to make other teams believe they are interested in taking a quarterback?
Well, Carroll said he has told Smith that it’s possible the Seahawks will take a quarterback at No. 5.
“Geno’s on it,” Carroll said. “I thought that was an obvious demonstration of respect, understanding how he would look at it, and how other guys have looked at it in the past. I told him what we were doing and what the idea was, what could happen. And just like Geno has done with everything, he was totally on board. If we get a guy, he’s going to take care of him.”
That said, let’s dive into our first seven-round mock draft for the Seahawks.
Round 1, Pick 5 (from Denver): Georgia DT Jalen Carter
The Seahawks have obviously done extensive work on the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, but Seattle already has its QB of the present with Smith locked up for the next few years. And if the Seahawks want to catch the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West, they need more talented big guys up front.
Enter Jalen Carter. Yes, his off-the-field issues have been well-documented. However, the 6-foot-3, 314-pound Georgia product is the most talented interior defensive lineman in the draft, which is an important area of need for Seattle after watching the defense’s inability to consistently stop the run last season.
Carter was a consensus first-team All-SEC selection in 2022. He filled up the stat sheet, finishing with 32 tackles (31 pressures), seven tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
Carroll is an expert at creating a culture that helps players like Carter reach their full potential.
Round 1, Pick 20: Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba
Smith-Njigba would be a plug-and-play guy from the moment he touches the field for Seattle. Built like a running back, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound receiver plays physically and can consistently make contested catches over the middle of the field.
Smith-Njigba can play outside or in the slot and gives Seattle another talented playmaker on the perimeter to go with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. And Smith-Njigba doesn’t mind throwing his body around to block, which is critical for a team like Seattle that wants to run the football.
Round 2, Pick 37 (from Denver): Wisconsin C Joe Tippmann
Seattle signed former Detroit Lions offensive lineman Evan Brown to a one-year, $2.5 million deal to compete for the starting center job left vacant when Austin Blythe announced his retirement.
But the Seahawks still need a young player to groom as the long-term answer at the position. At 6-foot-6 and 313 pounds, Tippmann would give the Seahawks a bigger body inside to match up with some of the bigger nose tackles in the league.
Further, Tippmann played in a pro-style offense at Wisconsin and has familiarity with the zone-blocking scheme from his time with the Badgers.
Round 2, Pick 52: UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet
With the Seahawks losing Rashaad Penny and Travis Homer in free agency, Seattle could use some depth at running back behind Ken Walker III. So for a second straight year, the Seahawks grab a running back in the second round.
Charbonnet, who ran a 4.53 40 at his pro day, is a big back (6-foot, 214) and had good production for the Bruins in 2022, finishing with 1,359 rushing yards and 14 scores, along with another 321 receiving yards.
Round 3, Pick 83: USC DL Tuli Tuipulotu
The 6-foot-3, 266-pound junior led the nation in sacks in 2022 with 13.5. Tuipulotu would bring versatility to Seattle’s defensive line, with an ability to play inside or outside along with dropping in coverage.
Round 4, Pick 123: UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
At 6-foot and 203 pounds, Thompson-Robinson has a smaller frame, which could be concerning considering the pounding he will take in the NFL.
However, the UCLA product has good athleticism and movement skills. And Thompson-Robinson was highly productive in his final season for the Bruins, completing 70% of his passes for 3,169 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Round 5, Pick 151 (from Pittsburgh): Stanford WR Michael Wilson
The Southern California product has played in only 14 games over the past three seasons due to injuries, but when healthy, Wilson has flashed playmaking ability. At 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, Wilson is a physical receiver who can high-point the football and get in and out of breaks quickly due to his basketball background in high school.
Round 5, Pick 154: Texas LB DeMarvion Overshown
A former safety turned linebacker, Overshown has length at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, along with athletic ability (4.58 40 at the combine). The Seahawks are looking to get more athletic and versatile at the second level of the defense, and Overshown could fit that mold.
Round 6, Pick 198: Florida A&M LB Isaiah Land
The 2021 Buck Buchanan Award winner as the nation’s top defensive player in FCS football, Land led the nation in sacks with 19 two years ago. At 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, Land ran a 4.62 40 at the combine.
Round 7, Pick 237: Jackson State CB Isaiah Bolden
Coached by Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders at Jackson State, Bolden totaled 30 tackles and seven pass breakups in his final year in college. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound corner ran a 4.31 40 at his pro day.
Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.
Top stories from FOX Sports:
Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more