Seattle Seahawks 2023 NFL Draft: Team Needs and Top Targets

    What are the most pressing Seattle Seahawks draft needs? With the 2023 NFL Draft here, let's dive into the positional gaps they might fill.

    With the first round of the NFL Draft in the books, the Seattle Seahawks are gearing up for another run at the postseason. One of the most surprising teams from 2022, Seattle might be a few key pieces away from being truly “dangerous” on a league scale. So what are the Seahawks’ biggest team needs these final two days, and which targets might be most appealing for a franchise with impressive personnel and draft capital?

    Seattle Seahawks Team Needs Following Round 1 of the NFL Draft

    • G
    • C
    • DT

    The Seahawks have 10 selections in the 2023 NFL Draft, though that doesn’t paint a complete picture. For example, while the San Francisco 49ers have 11 selections, none come before pick No. 99.

    By contrast, Seattle entered Thursday night wonderfully top-heavy with four of the first 52 selections — two in the first round and another two in the second. After securing arguably the best CB and best WR in the draft on Day 1, how might they continue to capitalize on this golden opportunity to improve?

    MORE: 100% FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades!

    For starters, the interior of Seattle’s offensive line needs an upgrade. Evan Brown, Phil Haynes, Joey Hunt, Greg Eiland, and Jake Curhan form a subpar unit screaming for an impact free agent signing or, in this case, an instant-impact rookie.

    While they took care of adding a third wide receiver (more on that in a moment), with multiple outs in Geno Smith’s contract, there’s a chance that Seattle could also look to the future by snagging a long-term franchise QB. They have the sixth pick in Round 2, right behind the potentially QB-curious Rams. If the Seahawks want surprising draft tumbler Will Levis, he could be there for the taking at No. 37 overall.

    Defensively, Seattle took care of business by landing a cornerback to play opposite Tariq Woolen, who broke out as a rookie fifth-round pick a season ago. Adding Julian Love allows for more versatility defensively. But up front, Seahawks could use another defensive tackle. Four were taken in the first round. We’ll see if they feel some urgency to land the next best one.

    Results for Seahawks 2023 Draft Picks

    We used PFN’s free Mock Draft Simulator to project some realistic targets for Seattle at each of the team’s draft positions. Here’s a breakdown of the Round 1 results, as well as the Simulator’s remaining projections.

    Round 1, Pick 5: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

    Seemingly an astounding pick. Possibly the best player remaining on the board, and also filling one of this team’s biggest holes. Devon Witherspoon should have an immediate impact on a franchise that — if things break right — could challenge San Francisco atop the NFC West.

    Round 1, Pick 20: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

    I wonder what the Seattle brass was thinking when Jaxon Smith-Njigba fell to them at No. 20 overall. Were they trying to move up before then? Were they concerned that the Patriots (No. 17) might poach the best college wideout in the draft?

    Regardless, the Seahawks exited the first round with two positionally elite rookies, with Smith-Njigba giving them perhaps the best three-headed receiver corps in franchise history.

    Predictions for Remaining 2023 Draft Picks

    Round 2, Pick 37: Brian Branch, S, Alabama

    I’d be shocked if Brian Branch moves past Seattle in the second round — and frankly, I’d be shocked if he makes it past the first three picks of the night. But if he does fall into the Seahawks’ lap, and if he’s the first safety taken, it would mark the first time in 12 years that a safety wasn’t selected in the first 36 picks.

    Round 2, Pick 52: BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU

    BJ Ojulari fits the mold as an NFL-ready defender. He had 16.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for losses in three collegiate campaigns in arguably the toughest college football conference.

    Round 3, Pick 83: Zach Evans, RB, Mississippi

    Consider how much turmoil Seattle’s backfield has faced in recent years. From Rashaad Penny’s continual injuries to Chris Carson’s unexpectedly early retirement, this team has had to make continual adjustments, seemingly culminating with the savvy drafting of Kenneth Walker III last year.

    MORE: Seattle Seahawks Schedule 2023

    With DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer offering strong backup play last season, neither demonstrated they’re ready to be true RB handcuffs. Perhaps Zach Evans could fill that role.

    Round 4, Pick 123: Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

    See directly above. Another pick, another running back. Dallas will be a free agent after this season, and Homer has already moved on to Chicago. While two running backs in this draft might be excessive, selecting Chase Brown would help ensure that the Seahawks’ backfield is more injury-proof than most.

    Round 5, Pick 151: Rakim Jarrett, WR, Maryland

    If this franchise isn’t satisfied with anyone behind Lockett and Metcalf, then we might expect them to use two of their 10 picks on wideouts. Rakim Jarrett, at this point of the draft, is nice value.

    Round 5, Pick 154: Rashad Torrence II, S, Florida

    Some secondary help with Florida’s Rashad Torrence II, as the team gears up for six fierce divisional battles against above-average-or-better passing attacks.

    Because, to be blunt, they can trace their recent playoff appearance partly to beating the Rams twice late in the season — both times when L.A. was without Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp. Seattle cannot necessarily count on sweeping the Rams in 2023.

    Round 6, Pick 198: DeMarcco Hellams, S, Alabama

    DeMarcco Hellams provides more safety help. Cut-and-dry.

    Round 7, Pick 237: Kemari Averett, TE, Bethune Cookman

    An interesting mock pick, as the Seahawks have a trio of TE contributors, any of whom can step up in any week. As a small-school athlete, Kemari Avarett merits a closer look by an NFL team that doesn’t have a need now but might in one or two years. Seattle fits the bill.

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