The Seattle Seahawks surprised the NFL world in 2022, and they are set up to build on that success in 2023. Thanks to the Russell Wilson trade, the Seahawks have some extra ammo to use in the 2023 NFL Draft, and they should be excited considering how they fared in last year's draft.
John Schneider worked some magic, finding an immediate Pro Bowler in cornerback Tariq Woolen, two starting tackles in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas and a talented running back in Kenneth Walker III. The whole draft class from top to bottom was probably the best in the NFL last year. With another strong class like that, who knows how far Seattle could go?
Thanks to Pro Football Network's seven-round mock draft machine, we were able to run through a full 2023 NFL Draft acting as Seattle's front office. Let's see how we fared.
- Round 1, Pick 5 (from DEN)
- Round 1, Pick 20
- Round 2, Pick 37 (from DEN)
- Round 2, Pick 52
- Round 3, Pick 83
- Round 4, Pick 123
- Round 5, Pick 151 (from PIT)
- Round 5, Pick 154
- Round 6, Pick 198
- Round 7, Pick 237
Team needs: DL, OL, EDGE, WR, LB, TE
Round 1 (No. 5 overall): EDGE Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech
- Prospect ranking (overall): 6
- Position rank: 2
Wilson is an absolute monster off the edge, and Seattle could definitely use a potentially elite pass rusher. The Texas Tech product recorded the most pressures in the Big 12 last year with 50 despite missing three games. He had the highest pressure rate in the conference as well (20.7%). The defensive line is something that the Seahawks will focus on later this month, and we aren't done yet either.
Round 1 (No. 20 overall): OL Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
- Prospect ranking (overall): 11
- Position rank: 1
I was shocked to see Skoronski still available at No. 20 overall. That probably won't happen later this month, but I wasn't going to pass on him in this simulation either. Skoronski played left tackle at Northwestern, but many believe he will move inside to guard at the next level. He allowed just one sack and six pressures in 457 pass-blocking snaps last season. His 1.3-percent pressure rate was tied for best in the Big Ten.
Round 2 (No. 37 overall): DT Mazi Smith, Michigan
- Prospect ranking (overall): 51
- Position rank: 6
Don't let the prospect rankings fool you, a couple of our CBS Sports NFL Draft experts believe Mazi Smith could be a first-round pick. He's a 6-foot-3, 323-pound athletic nose tackle that can stop the run, but also rush the passer from the inside. Smith was a consensus First Team All-Big Ten player in 2022, and was named Michigan's Defensive Player of the Year. The 34 bench press reps he put up at the combine were tied for the second-most of any player, and No. 1 among defensive tackles.
Round 2 (No. 52 overall): WR Josh Downs, North Carolina
- Prospect ranking (overall): 46
- Position rank: 5
Some will not like Downs just because of his slim frame, but CBS Sports' pro comparison for him is a guy by the name of Tyler Lockett. Downs is fast, equally quick and capable of creating after the catch. The Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist ranks second in the nation in receptions (195) and third in receiving yards (2,364) over the past 2 FBS seasons. He leaves UNC as one of the best receivers in program history.
Round 3 (No. 83 overall): LB Daiyan Henley, Washington State
- Prospect ranking (overall): 47
- Position rank: 2
CBS Sports' pro comparison for Henley is Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, which should excite some people. Like JOK, Henley is a long, athletic linebacker that can make a difference in coverage, and plays with a high level of effort. He may be a steal in the third round. I would guess Henley can play outside linebacker or inside.
Round 4 (No. 123 overall): CB Jakorian Bennett, Maryland
- Prospect ranking (overall): 44
- Position rank: 8
Bennett and Maryland teammate Deonte Banks lit up the combine earlier this offseason, and likely became the. Bennett ran a 4.30 40-yard dash, which was the second-fastest among cornerbacks. He was also in the top five among corners in the 10-yard split (1.48 secs), vertical (40.5") and broad jump (11'1"). His 29 passes defensed over the last two seasons rank most in the FBS.
Round 5 (No. 151 overall): RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane
- Prospect ranking (overall): 94
- Position rank: 4
Ah, one of the most popular draft crushes this year, and I bet Spears goes before No. 151 overall. The Tulane back recorded 1,837 scrimmage yards and 21 total touchdowns in 2022. While he's just 5-foot-9, Spears is a hard runner. I mean, 1,052 of his rushing yards came after contact. Against USC in the Cotton Bowl, he exploded for 205 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 17 carries! Spears and Walker could provide quite the dynamic one-two punch.
Round 5 (No. 154 overall): OG/C Jon Gaines II, UCLA
- Prospect ranking (overall): 239
- Position rank: 1
Maybe Gaines could eventually be the Seahawks' long-term center. He possesses the kind of center/guard versatility teams value. At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds, Gaines played right guard, center and even some right tackle at UCLA. The offensive line is important for Seattle. Paving lanes for Walker and keeping Geno on his feet is key to success.
Round 6 (No. 198 overall): DL Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma
- Prospect ranking (overall): 56
- Position rank: 10
Redmond would be a defensive end in Seattle's scheme. He closed out 2022 with three sacks and five tackles for loss in his final four games, and then ran a 4.81 40-yard dash at the combine. That was the fifth-fastest time by a player 290-plus pounds since 2018.
Round 7 (No. 237 overall): TE Davis Allen, Clemson
- Prospect ranking (overall): 276
- Position rank: 17
Tight end was a position I forgot about in the heat of the moment, but the draft is about acquiring talent with value in mind, and I feel like I did a good job of that with all of these picks. That includes Mr. Davis Allen. He's a former basketball player who lined up in several different positions for the Clemson Tigers, and knows how to high-point a ball in tight coverage.