A QB at 5 is fine, but Hawks should not burn good picks to move up

The Seahawks are not hiding their interest in Anthony Richardson, but are they really willing to trade up to No. 3 to get him? Knowing it would cost them valuable resources they could use on their defense?

Two reports this week mentioned league buzz about Seattle possibly trading up with Arizona to draft the Florida quarterback. Corbin Smith of SI.com also reported that the Seahawks showed a lot of interest during Richardson’s Pro Day — John Schneider meeting with Richardson’s agent and Pete Carroll talking privately with Florida coach Billy Napier.

The Seahawks clearly enjoyed QB Pro Day Tour ’23 – posting selfies with Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Richardson after they met with them.

Their interest is genuine, but would they really expend extra draft capital to make sure they get Richardson?

All of these reports are probably just the Seahawks doing diligent research, as they typically do.

Before the Pro Day circuit in March, Schneider discussed trading in the top 10, telling Seattle Sports 710: “When you’re trading up to these different tiers of players, (you have too ask): Is that guy really worth that? Is this player worth that? And how do you maneuver in there?”

Because the Hawks typically have picked in the 20s, Schneider said, “We’re not used to that. We’re learning on the way. We’re studying it and trying to figure it out and be on top of everything.”

As we have said before, the No. 5 pick is a lottery ticket for Seattle – a free shot at a jackpot. Ideally it would be used on a standout defensive lineman, but a bet on the boom-or-bust Richardson would be OK; they still would have picks 20, 37, 52 and 83 to address major needs on the lines and at linebacker.

If they really are looking to trade up to No. 3 to make sure they get Richardson, that’s where it would start to cut into the meat of their draft. They would be giving up at least two expected immediate contributors for a total roll of the dice on a project QB.

The closest recent example of this kind of trade was the Jets moving up from 6 to 3 with the Colts in 2018 to draft Sam Darnold. That three-spot move cost the Jets three second-round picks.

If Arizona is willing to pass on Will Anderson Jr., the consensus best player in the draft, to move off 3, the Cardinals should be able to get two 2s — possibly more if teams create a bidding war in an effort to get ahead of the QB-needy Colts at 4.

If the Hawks really are enamored with Richardson, it would make sense that they would want to take any luck out of the equation. But would they do it at the expense of other parts of their roster? Schneider and Carroll both have expressed continued concern about their front seven, saying they have more work to do.

If the Hawks really did try to move up to 3, they probably would have to give up both second-rounders or maybe a 2 and 3 or perhaps even the 20th pick. Or maybe Darrell Taylor could be included in lieu of a pick.

At any rate, they would be giving up two or three quality draft choices they could use to help their defense or offensive line.  

If the Hawks stay at 5, three things seem most possible:

  • Arizona (or another team that trades up) drafts Anderson and the Colts take Richardson, leaving the Hawks to pick a D-lineman or trade down with a team that might want Levis (assuming Seattle does not).
  • Arizona trades with Vegas or Tennessee, setting up four straight QBs and giving Seattle a stellar player (Anderson) at a great value.
  • Anderson goes at 3 and the Colts prefer Levis, letting Seattle get Richardson without wasting any other good picks.

None of those are bad options. The Seahawks should just sit at 5 and see what comes to them — Anderson, Richardson, a trade opportunity or, worst case, Tyree Wilson or Jalen Carter (if the Hawks think he is worth it). There’s no reason to waste picks on a move up.

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7 thoughts on “A QB at 5 is fine, but Hawks should not burn good picks to move up”

  1. Richardson may well be available at #20 or even #37.

    If you get a chance, listen to Mike Sando’s interview with Randy Mueller about the top QBs on The Athletic Pro Football podcast. In brief, he:

    * rates Stroud head-and-shoulders above the others

    * claims that many teams have a height trigger that will relegate Young to Day 2

    * says that Levis’ issues with decision-making and deep ball accuracy make him a late first-rounder

    * says that despite the off-the-charts athleticism, Richardson is so raw that he could need five years to develop if he ever does

    While Mueller stressed that his opinions are his own, he believes that many GMs will reach similar conclusions.

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  2. Thanks for the synopsis! Taking a listen now …

    QBs always get bumped up higher than they would rank if they were other positions, which explains why Richardson and Levis likely go from late first to top 10.

    I just hope the Hawks do not gamble anything more than the No. 5 pick on a QB, if they take one …

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    1. I’m with you re trading up for a QB—I think that’s what you’re getting at.

      For whatever reason, I don’t think that PCJS will overdraft a QB.# Plus, Pete trusts Smith. It’s hard to see him using the #5 to draft a development prospect when the Hawks are in a weak conference and he probably believes that his team isn’t that far from being a legit SB contender. I don’t necessarily agree, except that the AFC *is* top heavy with the best teams.

      I hope they go for a player who can start right away even if that means taking one of the CBs. Drafting a CB in the first round is clearly not Pete’s MO, but then he’s never had a #5 before. Pairing—say—Gonzalez with Woolen gives him a chance at having an elite position group on a defense that right now doesn’t have one.

      # Admittedly, this may be naive.

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  3. I am always of the mindset that the lines should be the strength of your team, along with QB. That’s where games are won. You can play cheap/discover guys at every other position and still win if you have strong line play and a solid QB. This should be a big-boy draft …

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    1. All things being equal, of course this is the way to go. But if they are at #5 and Anderson and Carter are gone (or they pass on Carter), what to do? I don’t want to spend the pick on a project like Tyree Wilson.

      Suppose the first four picks are Stroud, Young, Anderson, and Richardson, what do you do if trading down isn’t an option?

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      1. Yes, that is a very possible conundrum — no Anderson, no Richardson, no trade. In that case, it’s Carter if you’re comfortable (and you know they are doing a TON of background on him) or Wilson (who has great physical traits). You gotta hope someone wants to come up for Levis or a defender though …

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  4. on board with D line and O line for first 3 picks. Just not o line for the first 1, hoping d line for first 2.
    Would love Anderson at 5 or a trade back if he is no t there. Afraid of over valuing the QBs, good chance 2 will be busts. QB not a weakness for Hawks now, defence and interior oline are
    Big Boy draft all the way, and sprinkle in some skillz

    it will be an interesting draft, and can`t wait for all the “experts” to give grades 5 months before anyone of them play….

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