Jalen Carter favored to be fifth overall pick
The Seattle Seahawks have plenty of needs, but quarterback isn’t one of them. Geno Smith signed a three-year, $75 million deal with incentives and escalators that can take him up to $105 million. Credit to the 32-year-old longtime backup for taking the reins and running with them after Russell Wilson was shipped off to Denver. The fifth overall pick would have belonged to the Broncos, but now it belongs to the Seahawks because of that deal.
With Smith locked up, the Seahawks can go any number of directions with this selection. They could trade down and add more assets. They could take their favorite available player on the board. They also have the resources to move up if they feel like there’s a player worth chasing down. Of the top-five draft picks, this one seems subject to the most potential outcomes.
Odds to be the No. 5 Pick (DraftKings)
(odds as of April 27, 11:00 a.m. PT)
- Jalen Carter -300
- Will Anderson +400
- Anthony Richardson +400
- CJ Stroud +500
- Tyree Wilson +600
- Devon Witherspoon +2000
- Will Levis +2500
- Peter Skoronski +4000
- Paris Johnson Jr. +4000
The odds for this pick feature a hodgepodge of offensive and defensive players spread across multiple positions. Carter is the favorite here.
Will Anderson scouting report
With Jalen Carter’s legal trouble and other questions about his draft profile, Anderson has emerged as the favorite to be the first defensive player drafted. He may very well be gone if the Cardinals keep the No. 3 pick, but the most likely way he gets taken at No. 4 is if the Colts trade up or trade down. It would be shocking if Indy kept the pick and passed on one of the two quarterbacks, which means he could very well be there at No. 5. The 6-foot-4 edge rusher had 34.5 sacks, 58.5 tackles for loss and 204 overall tackles at Alabama in three seasons. He was fifth in Heisman voting in 2021 and is the most impactful pass rusher in an otherwise lackluster class.
Tyree Wilson scouting report
Wilson was sidelined with a foot injury suffered in November, but he is well on his way to a return and teams seem to be pleased enough with his medicals that he has been climbing draft boards. He’s a mountain of a linebacker at 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds. He had 32 tackles for loss and 17 sacks over four collegiate seasons, with one at Texas A&M and three at Texas Tech. He had 99 of his 121 tackles over his final two seasons as a Red Raider and will be an edge lineman that can disrupt plays by getting in the backfield.
Jalen Carter scouting report
Carter was charged with reckless driving and racing stemming from the night that Georgia player Devin Willock and recruiting analyst Chandler LeCroy were killed in a car accident. Carter plead no contest and is under probation, but there are some on-field questions that have taken him from being a heavy favorite to be the first defensive player drafted to maybe being a fringe top-five pick. Carter’s love of football has allegedly been questioned and his Pro Day was very underwhelming, as he didn’t look the part in drills and had put on weight. He’s still believed to be a huge body in the middle that can stop the run and collapse the pocket, which are two things that the Seahawks could really use.
Will Levis scouting report
Levis has the measurables at 6-foot-4 and 239 pounds. He’s not a runner and more of an upright pocket passer, but he’s got a big arm and good size to see over the line and above rushing defenders. Levis has more experience under his belt as a two-year starter that played in all four of his collegiate seasons, including the first two at Penn State. With Kentucky, Levis posted a 43/23 TD/INT ratio with good completion rates in an NFL offense, first led by Liam Coen (Rams OC 2022 and now Kentucky OC again) and then Rich Scangarello (49ers QB coach, longtime NFL assistant). The numbers weren’t great, but neither were the receivers and the Wildcats ran the ball a lot.
Anthony Richardson scouting report
Richardson is a physical specimen with elite measurables for his position, but teams are going to have to decide whether or not to buy the raw tools and hope that he develops into the player that they want him to be. Richardson was a very inefficient one-year starter at Florida, as he completed just 53.8% of his passes with a 17/9 TD/INT ratio during the 2022 season. He had a 6/5 TD/INT ratio in 2021 over 64 attempts. However, he also ran for 6.9 yards per carry on 161 attempts with 12 touchdowns. The monster arm and the tremendous size will cause a team to use an early pick on him, but how he translates to the NFL with one season as a starting QB is a mystery.
Devon Witherspoon scouting report
Witherspoon is a little bit of a polarizing corner because his speed and burst are lacking, but his aggressiveness and ball skills will make defensive coordinators salivate. The instincts are there, but whether or not his body moves fast enough at the NFL level to be a top-10 pick will be something that scouting staffs and coaches spend a lot of time evaluating. Witherspoon is said to be a better fit for a zone coverage scheme rather than man coverage, The Seahawks, if they hold the pick, will mix up coverages, relying mostly on Cover-3, which could be good for Witherspoon.
Christian Gonzalez scouting report
Gonzalez seems to be the best athlete of the cornerbacks expected to go high. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at 6-foot-1 and he’s a big, physical kid at almost 200 pounds. Witherspoon’s instincts and aggressiveness may be preferred by some evaluators, but Gonzalez leveled up with his combine performance and the testing numbers may push him into the top five, and certainly the top 10. Scouts may see a player that they can mold and shape with technique and scheme while letting the physical traits shine.
However, as VSiN’s Femi Abefefe told me, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are good at finding defensive backs in the later rounds as diamonds in the rough and, in Femi’s words, it would “be a surprise” if the Seahawks went CB in the first round, let alone at No. 5. For a CB to be the pick, you may need a trade.
Hendon Hooker scouting report
The curious case of Hooker is a big storyline heading into the draft. The 25-year-old QB from Virginia Tech and Tennessee is rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in November, but there are mocks putting him well into the first round, though not many going nearly as high as top five. With good size at 6-foot-3 and 217 pounds, Hooker is said to be a solid pocket passer who can also move inside or outside the tackle box. However, there are also questions about his knee, along with his ability to progress through multiple reads after playing in a fast-paced, first-read offense employed by the Tennessee Volunteers. Hooker finished his college career with 80 TD and 12 INT, similar to the top two QBs, but over four years of ample playing time. He also rushed for over 2,000 yards.
Paris Johnson Jr. scouting report
The Ohio State product is the favorite to be the first offensive lineman drafted, but it is a weak crop of hogmollies this draft cycle. He started every time his sophomore and junior season in one of the best offenses in the country and his versatility to play guard or tackle should excite coaching staffs, along with the athleticism in his 6-foot-6, 313-pound frame.
Peter Skoronski scouting report
Skoronski went through all the combine testing and had one more bench press rep than Johnson. He also ran a quality 40-yard dash in 5.16 seconds with a 10-yard split of 1.75 seconds, so he showed the ability to be a guy to pull along the line and get out and be a lead blocker. The fact that he’s viewed more as a guard and less as a tackle at the next level could push him down the board a bit, but he has good technique and fits well into a running scheme, which could make him interesting for a team like the Seahawks, who love to run the ball. They could very well trade down and still get him.
Mock drafts favor Will Anderson to go No. 5
The No. 5 pick could go a variety of ways and could go to a variety of teams. The Seahawks already have the No. 20 pick, so a trade down to accumulate even more assets and get more bona fide prospects to help a run defense that allowed 4.9 yards per carry or bolster the offense around Smith seems plausible. Anderson is the slight favorite, but as the odds imply, there are some long shots that could be really intriguing, especially if Seattle does swap out of this spot.
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