Change your heart or die: Evaluating Seahawks 2023 draft class

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
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Seahawks 4th round, pick 123: DT Cameron Young, Mississippi State

I have to admit, this one puzzles me a bit. Initially, I had figured that the Seahawks were moving back towards their tried-and-true 4-3 LEO, as Richard Sherman has hinted at a number of times in interviews with current Seahawks players. They even brought back Jarran Reed, presumably to play the Brandon Mebane stand-in role he played during his first run as a Seahawk.

As it turns, out, it seems that Pete Carroll sees Cameron Young as a nose tackle, rather than the hybrid 1-tech that I would expect.

Pairing that idea with there now being four designated edge defenders on the team in Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, Boye Mafe, and Derick Hall, there's a question rising here — what defense does Seattle plan to run this coming season?

As for Young, he's built more like a 4-3 tackle than a 3-4 nose, at 6'3" and about 305 pounds. Like Bradford before him, his game is still on the raw side, but the tools are definitely there. He anchors well, pursues the ball with vigor, and can handle double-teams when needed. There do seem to be some similarities to Jarran Reed's draft profile a number of years ago.

It does seem as though Young could feasibly grow into either defense if asked, but I wonder if this pick is emblematic of Seattle's confusion as to what defense they're meant to be running. They were truly horrific against the run last season, and while they've taken steps to improve on defense this offseason, I'm not sure I see what the finished product is supposed to look like. They're acting as though they're building a 3-4 or wide 3-3-5 in the defensive backfield, but there are a lot of 4-3 archetypes up front, revolving around undersized nose tackles.

Don't get me wrong, I like Cam Young as a prospect, and I think he's a fair selection for where Seattle got him. I think he'll eventually be a productive player with the proper time and effort, whether they're playing 3-4 or 4-3. I just have more questions about Seattle's defensive identity if this is the kind of player they're after.

Grade: B