Entering the 2023 NFL Draft, not many were sure what to expect from the Seattle Seahawks. Holding two picks in the first round, one of them being number five overall, Seattle did a good job of using its poker face. Experts around the league expected them to either address their defensive line or the quarterback position.
Neither happened. That’s the beauty of the draft. Leading up it, everyone is persuasive enough to make you believe they know something. But, the reality is, no one knows anything. For Seattle, like the other 31 teams, they were hoping to use this draft as a propeller to build off a successful 2022 season.
In fact, the success of the 2022 NFL Draft helped the Seahawks in finishing the 2022 season with a 9-8 record, earning a wild card spot in the NFC. Entering the season, Seattle knew it would need a quick turnaround from Russell Wilson to compete in the daunting NFC West.
Grading the NFC West: Winners and losers of the draft
About a year ago, many expected the Seahawks to be a rebuilding team. With a gaping hole at quarterback in a division with the loaded San Francisco 49ers, the defending Super Bowl Champion (at that time) Rams, and the Kyler Murray led Arizona Cardinals, most thought Seattle would finish with one of, if not, the worst record in the league. To quote the legendary Michael Scott, “well well well how the turntables…”.
The expectations for the NFC West entering the draft were drastically different from those last year.
Los Angeles Rams: After trading away Jalen Ramsey and losing Bobby Wagner in the off-season, it became more and more apparent that the Rams were heading towards a rebuild.
San Francisco 49ers: Coming off their 2nd straight NFC Championship appearance, the Niners entered the draft with little work to do as they have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL.
Arizona Cardinals: An awful 2022 season filled with dysfunction and turmoil resulting in their head coach being fired, led the Cardinals to enter the draft with more questions than answers surrounding the future of this organization.
Seattle Seahawks: Similar to 2012-2013, with ample draft capital, Seattle looked to re-do what they once did a decade ago in building a championship nucleus through the draft.
Who did enough in the 2023 NFL Draft to help their cause and put their franchise on the right track towards success? While success is going to be defined differently by each of these teams, let’s look at who walked away as winners and losers from the draft.