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2023 NFL mock draft: What will Seahawks do with two picks in first round?

Georgia's defensive lineman Jalen Carter runs in front of coaches and scouts.  (Tribune News Service)
By Bob Condotta, Larry Stone, Adam Jude and Matt Calkins Seattle Times

What may be the most-anticipated NFL draft in years for the Seattle Seahawks is now just days away, making it the perfect time for the Seattle Times’ annual mock draft. Four staff reporters took turns making picks , including Seattle’s at five and 20.

Here is their forecast for the top of the draft:

1. Carolina Panthers: QB Bryce Young, Alabama: This seems the one easy and obvious pick in this draft as the Panthers continue their long search for a worthy successor to Cam Newton, and this time may finally get it. – Condotta.

2. Houston Texans: QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State: There is much uncertainty about what Houston will do here. They need a QB … but will they actually take one? Would they prefer to trade down? Or would they take arguably the most talented player in the draft, Will Anderson, and build around their defense? All options are in play, but we’ll go with a safe pick in Stroud here. – Jude.

3. Arizona Cardinals: Edge Will Anderson Jr., Alabama: Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals trade out of this pick to a quarterback-desperate team, but if not, Anderson is the safest pick at a position of great need. – Stone.

4. Indianapolis Colts: QB Anthony Richardson, Florida: A risk? Maybe. Endless upside? Definitely. The young signal-caller blew minds with his showing at the combine and would be promising as the Colts’ quarterback of the future. – Calkins.

5. Seattle Seahawks: DL Jalen Carter, Georgia: As the draft has neared, this has seemed to be the consensus opinion that Seattle will indeed take something of a leap of faith and grab Carter, who could be the kind of elite play-maker the Seahawks need to complete the makeover of their defensive line. – Condotta.

6. Detroit Lions: Edge Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech: If the Seahawks let Wilson slip by, the Lions will have an easy choice here. Wilson has the size, length and speed to be an immediate factor with All-Pro upside. – Jude.

7. Las Vegas Raiders: CB Devon Witherspoon, Illinois: The Raiders need a lot of help on defense, and Witherspoon is regarded as a can’t-miss corner. – Stone.

8. Atlanta Falcons: QB Will Levis, Kentucky: Yes, the Falcons have a young (and relatively unproven) quarterback in Desmond Ridder, but Levis’ talent would be too great to pass up at this stage of the draft. – Calkins.

9. Chicago Bears: OT Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State: Bears got Justin Fields some help with the trade for receiver D.J. Moore, so now they’ll get him some help up front with Johnson, generally considered the best offensive tackle available. – Condotta.

10. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Bijan Robinson, Texas: Robinson might have the highest floor of any prospect in this class – just about everyone agrees he’s going to be a productive NFL back, with a chance to be something special. – Jude.

11. Tennessee Titans: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State: The Titans need to think about finding Ryan Tannehill’s replacement, but with Levis gone, they’ll go instead for a dynamic target for Tannehill to throw to. – Stone.

12. Houston Texans: CB Christian Gonzalez, Oregon: He’s athletic. He’s a ballhawk. He’d instantly improve a Texans team that finished 30th in the league in yards allowed last season. – Calkins.

13. New York Jets: OT Broderick Jones, Georgia: It’s assumed the Jets will pull off a trade for Aaron Rodgers soon. (There were reports Monday a trade had been agreed to.) So expect the Jets to draft offense to build around Rodgers. – Condotta.

14. New England Patriots: Edge Lukas Van Ness, Iowa: Offensive tackle is probably a more pressing need for the Patriots, but Van Ness feels like the perfect fit for a New England defense that could use an influx of young talent. – Jude.

15. Green Bay Packers: OL Peter Skoronski, Northwestern: Granted, it would be amusing if the Packers went for an offensive playmaker as Aaron Rodgers is leaving, but instead they take someone to protect Rodgers’ replacement, Jordan Love. Skoronski happens to be the grandson of Bob Skoronski, who played tackle for Vince Lombardi with the Packers. – Stone.

16. Washington Commanders: CB Joey Porter Jr., Penn State: The Commanders played well against the pass last season, but still need an upgrade at cornerback, which Porter provides with both his coverage and ability to defend the run. – Calkins.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: G O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida: The Steelers have made it clear they want to re-make their offensive line. They might be more tempted to go for a tackle if one of the top ones is available. Torrence is viewed solely as a guard at this point. But the Steelers can use help there, too. – Condotta.

18. Detroit Lions: TE Dalton Kincaid, Utah: The Lions, after addressing their defense with their first pick, are able to land the best tight end in the draft and add another weapon to an up-and-coming offense. – Jude.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee: The Bucs desperately need to upgrade their offensive line, and with Paris Johnson, Broderick Jones and Skoronski off our board, they go for Wright, considered by some the best right tackle in the draft. – Stone.

20. Seattle Seahawks: Edge Myles Murphy, Clemson: The D-line is the area in which the Seahawks need to beef up most, even if they draft Carter at No. 5. Murphy provides a solid, if not overly explosive presence to Seattle’s defensive front. – Calkins.

21. Los Angeles Chargers: TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame: Chargers need to give Justin Herbert as much help as they can, and Mayer – who was given the nickname “Baby Gronk’’ by teammates at Notre Dame – may have the most upside of any tight end in this class. – Condotta.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Edge Nolan Smith, Georgia: The steal of the draft so far. Some are projecting Smith could go in the top 10, and he brings versatility and a championship pedigree to Baltimore’s defense. – Jude

23. Minnesota Vikings: QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee: With Kirk Cousins in the final year of his contract, it makes a lot of sense for the Vikings to bring in a QB to learn under Cousins for a year and then take over. – Stone.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars DL Bryan Bresee, Clemson: Bresee gives the Jaguars another piece on what – on paper – looks like one of the more potent defensive lines in the league. That area will be key in Jacksonville improving on their surprise playoff appearance last year. – Calkins.

25. New York Giants: WR Zay Flowers, Boston College: After re-signing QB Daniel Jones for $40 million a year last month, the Giants get him some help with the speedy Flowers, who despite standing just 5-9 can play inside and outside. – Condotta.

26. Dallas Cowboys: WR Jordan Addison, USC: Addison might be the most polished of all the receivers in this class, and he also might be the perfect complement to what the Cowboys already have in CeeDee Lamb. – Jude.

27. Buffalo Bills: DT Calijah Kancey, Pitt: You can never have too much depth in the interior of the defensive line, and the Bills, with few glaring needs, will look to bolster theirs. – Stone.

28. Cincinnati Bengals: S Brian Branch, Alabama: Probably the best safety in this class, the Crimson Tide product brings speed and smarts to America’s Team, which was more middling than mighty on defense last season. – Calkins.

29. New Orleans Saints: DT Mazi Smith, Michigan: The Saints were strong defending the pass in 2022 but struggled some against the run. The 6-3, 323-pound Smith projects as a prototypical run-stuffing nose tackle who should develop his pass rush over time. – Condotta.

30. Philadelphia Eagles: OL Cody Mauch, North Dakota State: With their second pick in the first round, the Eagles are able to bolster one of the NFL’s best offensive line’s with a rugged mauler like Mauch who could quickly become a fan favorite in Philly. – Jude.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Edge Keion White, Georgia Tech: The Chiefs need to groom a replacement for the departed Frank Clark, and White, one of the best athletes in the draft, is a logical choice. – Stone.