The Seahawks absolutely have to solve their defensive woes this season, and Will Anderson is the absolute best solution. The Hawks can guarantee themselves this top pick; here's how.
It's no secret that the Seahawks needed to bolster their defense this off-season. They've already taken several big steps in the right direction with their acquisitions in the free agent market. Landing defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones was a huge win for the Hawks. I'm not minimizing the additions of Jarran Reed, Devin Bush, and Julian Love, but bringing back Bobby Wagner is a gigantic win for Seattle, both the team and the 12s.
But it's not enough. Happily, the Seahawks have a bevy of top draft picks this year. If things go as well as we expect at Lumen Field, they won't have a draft with this potential again for at least a decade. With two picks in the first and second rounds, the Hawks are in a position to repeat - or even better - the wild success they had in the 2022 draft. There's no better way to kick off that success than by drafting Will Anderson, the phenomenal defensive end from Alabama. The only problem with that plan is that Seattle has the fifth pick, and at least two of the teams ahead of them also need defensive help. So, what can poor little Pete and John do? I have a few ideas, gang.
Plan one: Seahawks fake out the league
I'll admit right now this is the stupidest idea and the least likely to work. Then again, the Seahawks don't have to hoodwink smart people like the 12s. They just have to fool a couple of... oh, let's be charitable and say less-than-genius-level GMs. Let's get real, here. No one would expect Texans GM Nick Caserio or Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort to survive into the second round of Jeopardy - not even a football edition.
So, the least likely scenario is to pull a bait and switch. The Hawks will need to hype a player they have less interest in and downplay their desire to bring Will Anderson into the fold. Whether or not this was their intention, they've already laid the groundwork for this nefarious scheme. The Hawks completed a quartet of high-profile selfies with each of the top four quarterback draftees. As Bob Condotta wrote in his article for the Seattle Times, it doesn't hurt to keep everyone guessing. Despite the Hawks obvious need for defensive help, they certainly could take a QB with the fifth pick. As John Schneider said when asked about these visits, franchise quarterbacks don't grow on trees.
It doesn't hurt the Hawks case for subterfuge that they also had a visit with the other top defensive player in the 2023 draft, Jalen Carter. The fact that they met with Carter a week ago and waited until the last possible day to meet Will Anderson could play into the marrative that Carter is their primary target. Less astute GMs may read their meeting with Anderson as the Hawks simply doing their due diligence. While I'm certainly glad that Seattle met with Carter, I'd definitely rather see Anderson in navy, gray, and action green.