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A Class Defined By Toughness, Going Big On Day 3 & Other Things We Learned From John Schneider & Pete Carroll Following The 2023 Draft

News and notes from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider’s press conference following the final day of the 2023 NFL Draft.


The Seahawks wrapped up the 2023 Draft on Saturday by selecting six more players in Rounds 4-7, giving them a total of 10 players in this year's class.

  • Round 1, No. 5: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois
  • Round 1, No. 20: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
  • Round 2, No. 37: Derick Hall, OLB, Auburn
  • Round 2, No. 52: Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
  • Round 4, No. 108: Anthony Bradford, G, LSU
  • Round 4, No. 123: Cameron Young, DT, Mississippi State
  • Round 5, No. 151: Mike Morris, DE, Michigan
  • Round 5, No. 154: Olu Oluwatimi, C, Michigan
  • Round 6, No. 198: Jerrick Reed II, S, New Mexico
  • Round 7, No. 237: Kenny McIntosh, RB, Georgia

After the seventh round came to a close, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider met with the media to give their thoughts on this year's class. Here are seven things we learned from Day 3 of the draft.

1. The common theme was toughness.

Over the course of the past three days, Carroll and Schneider used the word tough to describe most of the players they selected, so it was hardly a surprise that both came up with that same answer when asked what trait described this class.

"I would say tough," Schneider said.

"I think it's toughness and physicality," said Carroll. "Really, from top to bottom, it's a group that's going to really demonstrate that. We're fired up about that."

As Schneider explained, each player on Seattle's draft board has different symbols on their draft card to describe certain traits, both positive and negative, and for players who scouts view as tough—even by football standards—their card features a hammer.

This year's class was full of hammers.

"On our tags, we have different insignia on there to represent different things, and I would say just about every one of these guys has a hammer on there, which means a scout has to say, 'This guy's a legitimate tough guy,'" Schneider said. "So when you look at their tags, all these guys have a hammer on it."

2. This feels like a continuation of a very successful 2022 draft.

Much like this year, the Seahawks went into last year's draft with extra capital thanks to the trade that sent Russell Wilson to Denver, and Seattle nailed that draft, landing seven players who made significant contributions, including both starting tackles, Abe Lucas and Charles Cross, a Pro Bowl cornerback in Tariq Woolen, and a 1,000-yard rusher in Kenneth Walker III.

Only time will tell if this year's class will match last year's in terms of production and playing time, but Carroll feels a similar vibe coming out of this year's draft.

"It feels like we've continued from where we left off last year in the draft effort," Carroll said. "Just the kinds of people, the opportunities that the guys are going to be faced with when they come here and they see their chances, it's going to feel like last year in some regard. So It's our job to do a good job to knit that together and make sure that that happens so we maintain the momentum the movement. We love last year's class, and we were fired up about this year's class, and it just feels like we've added on to it. I'm really, really proud of the work that all the guys did and where we are right now. You have met a lot of these players and you can tell that they're the kind of guys that we love, and it feels like an extension of some really good stuff. We've got to prove that, but it's there for us to do. So It's really exciting."

3. The Seahawks went big on Day 3 of the draft.

The Seahawks drafted a lot of players they really liked in the first two rounds of the draft, but what they did not do was address any of their needs when it came to the interior line on either side of the ball. That wasn't by design, but rather just the product of following the draft board and taking the best player available rather than reaching for need, but on Saturday the way the board fell allowed the Seahawks to get some of those big players in the trenches.

Seattle's first pick Saturday was LSU guard Anthony Bradford, and later in the same round they added Mississippi State nose tackle Cameron Young. In the fifth round, the Seahawks added Michigan defensive end Mike Morris, then three picks later they picked his college teammate, center Olu Oluwatimi.

"The four guys we hit -- I can see it now, you're looking at the guys coming back-to-back-to-back, the big guys," Carroll said. "They all have a similar makeup about them in the mentality. This is a very strong, very physical, aggressive bunch of guys, and it fits on both sides of the football, and it complements what happened on the top end of the draft too. So there's a commonality. It should be obvious and it's really what we're looking for."

On the two defensive linemen, Carroll said, "Cam's a nose tackle. He's a real nose tackle. He plays under center. He plays inside. He's an inside guy all the way.

"Mike is going to be a defensive end for us. He'll play on the guard and play on the tackle, but he's going to have his hand on the ground for the most part. And a little bit of transition for that. He played there quite a bit, but we're going to play him there a lot. So that's a -- that's a little bit of an adjustment for him."

Schneider referred to Young as a grown man, joking, "His back's almost as wide as Coach (Clint) Hurtt's, and he's super strong at the point of attack. He just plays with just natural God-given strength, and he competes and was really excited we got him."

Morris dropped weight for the combine, but ended up putting weight back on, which is what the Seahawks are looking for to have him play as a big defensive end.

"He had an interesting spring because he tried losing weight to test better and he had a high ankle sprain and he's just kind of figuring out, like, 'You know what? I'm a big person,'" Schneider said. "I'm a defensive end. So as of today, he was 295 and, yeah. So we got a cool video this morning and he's sitting on the scale because we're like, come on. He's a big guy. He's long and he plays hard."

4. Adding to the defensive line was "really important for us."

While the Seahawks didn't want to force anything in the early rounds, they also knew they needed to come out of the draft adding help to the line. They started that process in free agency by signing Dre'Mont Jones and Jarran Reed, but continuing to add to that group via the draft was significant.

"Today was really important for us and of course the free agency moves that we made to get J-Reed back and to get Dre in, those were hugely pointed and directed at trying to adjust our room and make it a little more competitive and hopefully more productive," Carroll said. "We're just always adding.

"Today to hit the nose tackle with Cam is a really big deal. We really needed a spot right there. We're not done. We got work to do and we'll continue to work at it. We never stop. We got our eyes on some guys. We're talking to some people to continue to make it as competitive as possible.

5. Carroll and Schneider's thoughts on the two offensive linemen.

While the defensive line was the bigger immediate need, the Seahawks also wanted to add to the offensive line, and the interior line depth in particular, and they did that by drafting Bradford and Oluwatimi.

On Bradford, who the Seahawks see as a guard, but who can also play tackle, Schneider said, "Square, power, again, heavy hands. You can see him finishing people. He's from Michigan, Baton Rouge. He had a rough go where he grew up in Michigan and has overcome a lot, would go back and see his mom. His mom was struggling for a little while back home. So he's overcome a lot of things in his life. We had him in on a visit. He had a great visit here with our coaching staff and our player development people.

"The game I saw him play live he had to go to tackle. He found out that morning a player was suspended, so he moves out there and goes and plays tackle and he played well. So he's a big man, he can compete to start, and he can get you out of a game at tackle."

Oluwatimi spent most of his college career at Virginia, but also made a big impact in his short time at Michigan.

"He comes in there, he's named captain the first year," Schneider said. "Again, another grown man, incredibly smart, knows the game, natural-born leader, awesome week at the Senior Bowl. You can't move him. He's just super stout, really good person, and top-level competitor."

6. Safety Jerrick Reed II was "one of our favorites."

After taking players from big schools and power conferences through the first five rounds, the Seahawks changed it up in the sixth round by taking Jerrick Reed II, a versatile safety out of New Mexico.

"He's one of our favorites," Schneider said.

Said Carroll, "He's fun to watch. He's all over the place. He's got a real knack about going for it and playing fast and aggressive and willing to make the plays. So there's a common theme again. This is a guy that we thought was really, really active and a lot of versatility and will be a special teams guy as well. It's going to be a very competitive position for us now."

"But he's going to bring the kind of juice that we're talking about, the energy that we love. So it should be a really good add. There's a little style to him, the way he plays. We'll fit his style into our stuff so that he can be at his best."

7. Kenny McIntosh went later than expected, leading to an emotional draft moment.

Despite a productive career for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs, running back Kenny McIntosh didn't hear his name called until Seattle selected him in the seventh round, and the Seahawks weren't expecting him to still be around to make that pick.

"Yeah, very much," Schneider said when asked if he was surprised McIntosh was available. "SEC running back, yeah. Catches the ball out of the back field. Obviously a very talented guy who's been highly productive in the SEC."

After finally getting picked, McIntosh was very emotional on his draft call with the Seahawks, then again 20 minutes later a conference call with the media.

All 10 of Seattle's 2023 draftees, from first-round cornerback Devon Witherspoon to seventh-round running back Kenny McIntosh.

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