Seattle Seahawks Need Defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft

Seattle 2023 Draft

The Seattle Seahawks have been the biggest surprise teams of the 2022 NFL season. Not many people expected the Seahawks to be a serious playoff contender and still in the hunt for the NFC West division. Two of the biggest reasons for that were the quarterback situation and the defense. Geno Smith is playing at a high-caliber level this season as he could be going to a pro bowl. The defense has had some serious progress, especially with the rookie class. At the beginning of the season, and especially with the last two losses, there is a clear indication that there is still some work to be done on the defensive side of the ball.

Before the 27-23 win over the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle came off a tough overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, 40-34. They allowed running back Josh Jacobs to have a monster game, including the 86-yard walk-off touchdown run in overtime. It is clear that the defense needs more elite defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft. Seattle is fortunate that they currently have the third-overall pick with the Denver Broncos being one of the worst teams in the NFL. Seattle trading away quarterback Russell Wilson continues to be a huge plus for the Seahawks as they now have a great opportunity for an elite defender. They will need that defender in either Georgia defensive tackle Jaylen Carter or Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. to help get the team to a more consistent standard.

Seattle Seahawks Need Defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft

The case of Will Anderson Jr.

Since his freshman year, Anderson has been a monster against opposing offenses in college football. His ability to get into the backfield consistently makes him one of the most dangerous defenders to guard. Anderson can win with speed, aggressiveness, physicality, and superior athleticism. In his three years at Alabama, Anderson has accounted for 204 total tackles, 114 solo tackles, 58.5 tackles for loss, 34.5 sacks, and four pass breakups.

Having a dynamic player like Anderson can also create a lot of different packages for the Seahawks defense. Anderson will most likely play at a key pass rusher position as the week side end, opposite side of Uchenna Nwosu. This opens up opportunities for Shelby Harris to move into a 3-technique defensive tackle and AL Woods as the one-technique defensive tackle in 4-3 packages. In a pass-happy NFL, Anderson can be a reliable player as he can create consistency in creating chaos in the opposing offense’s backfield. This also leaves an opportunity for Boye Mafe to develop at linebacker or the strong-side edge rusher.

The case of Jalen Carter

The idea of drafting defensive tackles does not excite many fans. Jalen Carter, however, is no ordinary defensive tackle. At 6’3″, 300 pounds, Carter is a big-bodied and strong defender in the interior defensive line. What makes him unique is his incredible athleticism and quick get-offs to get into the backfield. In the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Carter has accumulated 62 total tackles, 28 solo tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and two forced fumbles.

The pass defense of the Seahawks has improved significantly thanks to a young, but talented secondary. They could still use some help, however, as the defense needs more support in the pass rush from the interior to help shorten the time for the young defensive backs to stay in coverage. The Seahawks are currently ranked 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed per game with 234.9 yards allowed. They are also 25th in the league in hurry percentage (5.7%), 24th in quarterback pressures (83), and our 20th and quarterback hits with 59. Carter can play the nose tackle position, but he is more suited to play in a 4-3 defense, a defense should consider switching back to after this season.

The biggest reason for Carter to be taken with the fourth overall pick is to solidify the rush defense. The Seahawks enter Week 13 with the 28th-ranked rush defense in the league as they have allowed an average of 153.8 rushing yards per game. It was the rush that caused Seattle to lose to the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Germany, and, recently, the Raiders. This is the biggest area of concern and can be an instant fix with Carter.