Why Seahawks watching pro day for Bryce Young wasn’t a waste of time
By Lee Vowell
The Seahawks sent a bunch of people to Alabama’s pro day on Thursday with likely much interest in quarterback Bryce Young. This wasn’t a waste of time. Sure, I could joke that part of the value of general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll flying to Tuscaloosa, Alabama is that it allowed them to rack up even more fly miles, but that would be too easy.
Schneider and Carroll might be thinking of taking a quarterback in the 2023 NFL draft even after re-signing Geno Smith this offseason. Smith could be out after 2023 and Seattle would need a quarterback. Young would be potentially a magnificent replacement.
Sure, the Carolina Panthers might take Young at number 1 overall in the draft, and if they don’t take him then the Houston Texans might. If neither of those teams does, then the Indianapolis Colts almost surely will. It’s incredibly unlikely that those teams mentioned above would prefer Anthony Richardson, Will Levis, and C.J. Stroud over Young. But there’s a chance. If Young does fall to the Seahawks, Seattle has to take him, right?
Seahawks going to Alabama’s pro day was extremely important
But here’s why watching being at Alabama’s pro day was so important to Seattle. (And if you think it wasn’t important then keep in mind that while there were 12 general managers there and 10 head coaches, only six teams sent both their head coach and general manager to Tuscaloosa and the Seahawks were one of those six.) The reason Seattle needed to be at the pro day had little to do with Young at all really.
There were 15 Alabama players who participated in workouts. The one who could be most important to Seattle wasn’t Young but edge rusher Will Anderson. In fact, if by some odd chance, Young is available at pick 5, the Seahawks should probably still choose Anderson.
Seattle’s offense is fine, but the defense, even with some high-end free agents signed on the defensive side this offseason, isn’t that good. At least, we don’t know yet if the defense can be good. Anderson can be a long-term difference maker both against the run and pressuring opposing quarterbacks.
Beyond Anderson, Seattle could also target linebacker Henry To’oto’o and running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Gibbs has decent size but he is also an excellent receiver and caught 44 passes in 2022. He could be a good backup to Ken Walker III. To’oto’o is a smart player who can supply instant depth for the Seahawks in 2023 and could start by 2024.
Sure, Bryce Young was the star of the show at Alabama’s pro day, and he even met with Schneider and Carroll afterward. But Seattle isn’t likely to choose him. Still, being at Alabama’s pro day was ultra-important simply because of the players the Seahawks could choose.