How the Panthers-Bears trade affects the Seahawks draft

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports /

The Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears pulled off a major trade on Friday that reshapes the top end of the NFL draft. How does affect the Seahawks? Maybe in an extremely positive way.

Unlike the Panthers, Seattle is definitely not a team needing a quarterback any time soon. Seattle recently re-signed Geno Smith for up to three seasons and the team should be set at QB for the next two years at least. If Smith plays really well over the next two, there is no reason for Seattle to get a new quarterback for three or four years from now.

But I am jumping ahead a bit and being a little hopeful. Smith could be a bust in 2023 and turn the ball over a lot more than he did in 2022 and the Seahawks could need a quarterback quickly. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Seahawks draft takes better shape after Bears and Panthers trade

Carolina, however, does need a quarterback. This is why they traded pick numbers 9 and 61 overall in the 2023 NFL draft, their first-round choice in 2024, a second-round choice in 2025, and receiver DJ Moore to the Bears in exchange for this year’s number 1 overall pick. That is a lot to give up for just one choice and a team doesn’t do that unless they are going to take a quarterback.

The Bears weren’t expected to take a quarterback with the first pick as they already have Justin Fields. But since Carolina will most certainly take a QB, this means three of the top four choices in the draft (the picks for Carolina, the Houston Texans, and the Indianapolis Colts) will probably be quarterbacks. That should equate to the Seahawks being able to draft one of their top defenders available.

Seattle has needs at defensive tackle and edge rusher. Uchenna Nwosu was good in 2022, while Darrell Taylor got better at the end of the season (though he hasn’t proven he can be consistently good), but those are the Seahawks’ only real edge rushers. Plus, Seattle could find a player even better than Nwosu and Taylor.

This is why the Panthers and bears trading should mean Seattle has an excellent chance to either take Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson or Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter (assuming Carter’s legal issues aren’t even worse than we know). Both of those players should be immediately impactful and expected to be Pro Bowlers within a few seasons of the start of their careers. The Seahawks could also trade back, of course, but one of the teams they might have done that with would have been the Panthers so that possibility is gone.

Next. Our latest Seahawks 2023 mock draft, post-Geno signing. dark

After the Bears and Panthers trade, this should be a draft where Seattle doesn’t trade back. There would be good players available, of course, if they did trade back to 7 or 11, but none of those players are likely as good now or in the future as Anderson or Carter should be. The Seahawks draft looks more concrete than it did before the Panthers and Bears trade because Seattle has a good feeling that they can take Carter or Anderson and if either of those players is available, Seattle should keep their number 5 choice and take them.