How the Panthers’ trade to first place in the NFL Draft affects the Seahawks


UPDATE: MARCH 11, 2023 AT 2:14 PM

A massive trade took place on Friday that dramatically changes the upcoming NFL Draft, and it’s a deal that could have a big impact on the Seahawks’ draft.

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The Carolina Panthers traded to the Chicago Bears for the top pick in this year’s draft. To do so, the Panthers sent Chicago the No. 9 pick in this year’s draft, a second-round pick this year, a first-round pick in 2024, a second-round pick in 2025 and wide receiver DJ Moore. .

The Panthers have been in quarterback purgatory for a few years, and this deal ensures they can take the QB prospect they love the most, while the Bears didn’t need a quarterback this year because they have 2021 first round Justin Champs back. There are four quarterback prospects considered first-round picks, and all four are likely to be among the top seven to 10 picks this year.

With this trade, there are now three teams in the top four likely to sign a quarterback: Carolina, Houston (No. 2 overall) and Indianapolis (No. 4).

So what impact does this have on the Seahawks, who hold the fifth overall pick in next month’s draft?

The bad potential: the QB market

When it comes to the quarterback market, that makes things complicated and more difficult for Seattle.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have both publicly stated that they are open to the idea of ​​drafting a QB at No. 5 despite having just re-signed Geno Smith, Carroll telling reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team is “connected” to quarterback prospects in this class.

As noted earlier, four quarterbacks are considered first-round picks. Those four are Bryce Young (Alabama), CJ Stroud (Ohio State), Anthony Richardson (Florida), and Will Levis (Kentucky).

With Carolina, Houston and Indianapolis all ahead of the Seahawks and in need of a quarterback, there are at least three QBs off the board by the time Seattle clocks in at No. 5 overall. There’s a chance that one of the top four QBs will still be available as the No. 5 pick, but that might not be the one Seattle wants, if they really want to take a quarterback.

Additionally, this trade emphasizes Arizona at No. 3 overall.

Do the Cardinals stick to three and take the best defenseman on their roster? Or do they trade with a QB-needy team like Las Vegas (No. 7 pick) or Atlanta (No. 8)?

If Arizona does trade, it’s probably with a team that needs a quarterback. That would mean the Seahawks might not have the chance to sign one of those top quarterbacks unless they were willing to make a big-money trade with a division rival.

So for those (like me) who would like to see Richardson land in Seattle to learn under Smith for a year or two, Friday’s trade made that possibility less likely and harder to realize.

The Potential Good: Defenders

More quarterbacks on the board means more top defenders available at the No. 5 pick.

The Seahawks no need to draft a quarterback fifth overall, especially after re-signing Smith. But they need to fix a defense that ranks near the bottom of the NFL in yards, rushing yards and points allowed in 2022.

Throughout the draft process, there were two defensemen who stood out among the rest: Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. and Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, both All-American selections. . Additionally, Texas Tech rusher Tyree Wilson has also been riding draft boards over the past few months and has been commonly linked with the Seahawks in various mock drafts this offseason.

With Carolina up first and Houston and Indianapolis in the top four, Seattle at No. 5 is almost certain to have at least two of those three defenders on the board.

And if the Seahawks do indeed want a defender, Arizona at No. 3 is still a team to watch.

If the Cardinals stick with their high draft pick, they’ll have the top non-quarterback pick in this year’s draft class, which many analysts believe is Anderson. If Anderson is Seattle’s primary target, that would be less than ideal, but Carter (off-field issues are certainly a concern) and Wilson are great defensive prospects in their own right.

But as previously stated, there are other teams in the draft that could sign a quarterback who is not in the top five, such as Vegas, Atlanta and potentially even Tennessee (11), Washington (15) or Tampa. Bay (19).

And depending on what happens with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, it could definitely shake up the QB draft market as well. Jackson is on the non-exclusive franchise tag, which means he can negotiate with the teams and if he agrees to a deal and Baltimore doesn’t match the contract request, Jackson can leave the team and the Ravens would receive two first-round picks from Jackson. new team.

With other teams potentially needing/wanting a quarterback, Arizona is would be open for business in terms of trading who choose. If the cards make a deal for this No. 3 pick, it could help the Seahawks in a major way if they want their pick of defenders, as it would presumably mean picks one through four are all signal callers.

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