Perhaps the Seattle Seahawks will still make some moves in the 2023 offseason. Remember that there are still some gaps to fill on their roster. Of course, they can do so through the draft, especially with some players who may not necessarily be top-of-mind. Here we’ll look at the three sleeper rookie prospects for the Seattle Seahawks to target in the 2023 NFL Draft.
In the 2022 NFL season, the Seahawks defied expectations and made the playoffs despite trading away their former franchise quarterback, Russell Wilson. With a record of 9-8, they secured a Wild Card spot and proved that they could succeed without their previous star QB. Geno Smith, a veteran quarterback who had only thrown 34 career passing touchdowns before the season, stepped up and had a breakout year. He even led the NFL in completion percentage and ranked fourth in passing touchdowns. The Seahawks recently rewarded him with a three-year contract worth $105 million. However, they still plan to draft a quarterback with the fifth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to prepare for the future.
On the defensive end, the Seahawks lack a superstar player. Sure, they played well last season, with Tariq Woolen standing out as a fifth-round pick who made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Recall that he led the NFL in interceptions. Coby Bryant, a fourth-round pick, also had a productive rookie season. However, the defensive line could use some help.
It’s crystal clear that despite their success last season, the Seahawks still have areas to improve upon. As we already mentioned, they can succeed without their former franchise quarterback and have a promising defense that can still improve with the right draft picks. With Smith leading the offense and the potential injection of youthful talent to their depth chart, the Seahawks could have another strong showing in 2023.
Let’s look at three sleeper draft prospects for the Seahawks in 2023.
1. Chamarri Conner
The Seahawks could potentially mold Virginia Tech safety Chamarri Conner into the next Kam Chancellor. Recall that Chancellot was awesome for the Seahawks before. Conner is expected to be selected in the fifth round or later of the NFL Draft, much like Chancellor was. Yes, Conner has struggled in the passing game, with only two pass defenses and no interceptions in 2022. Still, he is skilled at defending against the run. In fact, he recorded a total of 67 tackles, including 38 solo tackles last year.
Not surprisingly, Conner’s potential has caught the eye of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Keep in mind that Carroll has a history of developing players just like Conner. Carroll could work on Conner’s skills in the passing game and transform him into a reliable safety for the team. In addition, Conner’s proficiency in defending against the run could make him a valuable backup for Jamal Adams. That would come in useful if Adams experiences any injuries in the 2023 season.
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) January 31, 2023
Take note as well that the Seahawks require depth at the safety position. This is especially with Quandre Diggs aging. Conner could provide an intriguing option for the team in the later rounds of the draft. Ultimately, the team needs players who can tackle well, and Conner has demonstrated his ability to do so. If the Seahawks acquire Conner, he could learn from Diggs and other experienced players on the team to improve his overall game. We feel he has the potential to become a strong safety in the NFL.
2. Julius Brents
In the Big 12 Championship game against TCU, Julius Brents demonstrated his ball skills by making important plays. These included an interception and a forced fumble. Remember that Brents had a total of four interceptions in 2022 and six throughout his career. However, in his first two seasons at Iowa, he did not get much playing time.
Brents became a full-time starter at cornerback after transferring to Kansas State in 2021. He performed exceptionally well. In fact, he recorded 94 total tackles, 69 of which were solo tackles, and 6.5 tackles for loss. Brents is an imposing figure on the field with a wingspan of just under 83 inches and a height of 6’4.
Brents’ size and athletic ability make him a truly intriguing prospect. Although he is projected to be a fifth-round pick or later, some scouts believe he could go sooner. Given their need for defensive backs and defenders who can play in the running game, the Seahawks could consider Brents as a possible selection in the later rounds of the draft.
1. Michael Wilson
Stanford wideout Michael Wilson may not be on everyone’s radar due to his inconsistent availability on the field. In the 2019 season, he played more passing snaps than in the combined seasons of 2020-2022. While his average of 2.3 yards per route in six games this past season was productive, it is difficult to rely on his performance with such a small sample size. However, his performance at the Senior Bowl showcased his potential for success. Despite being a bigger receiver at 6’2, he showed excellent crispness in getting out of his breaks.
Wilson suffered injuries throughout his career, which limited his playing time. These included a foot injury in 2020 and an undisclosed injury in the 2022 season. Nevertheless, he offers versatility as an inside/outside receiver and has experience as a punt returner. As a rotational player with developmental upside, he could contribute to the Seahawks’ special teams and provide additional receiver depth.
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