After the franchise-altering trade of Russell Wilson last month, the Seahawks hold a Top 10 draft pick for the first time since 2010. Who might the Seahawks target with that No. 9 pick? In the countdown to the April 28 draft, we’ll profile the prospects who seem to make the most sense for the Seahawks in the first round.

Today’s pick: Trent McDuffie

Height: 5-11
Weight: 193
Position: Cornerback
College: Washington
40 time: 4.44

Career highlights: All-Pac-12 first-team selection allowed just 16 catches (on 36 targets) for 111 yards with no touchdowns and five pass breakups in 2021.

Background: Was a four-star recruit coming out of Southern California powerhouse St. John Bosco.

Why he might be a good fit for the Seahawks: Cornerback is a position of need for Seattle, and McDuffie is regarded as one of the best in this class. Pro Football Focus ranks McDuffie as the No. 8 overall prospect in the draft and the No. 2 cornerback — ahead of Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner. The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah called McDuffie “one of the safest players in the draft,” and analyst Lance Zierlein compared McDuffie to Packers All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander.

Pete Carroll’s evaluations of cornerbacks have evolved in recent years. While he might still prefer a cornerback of Richard Sherman’s size and length, Carroll is open to other “measurables” in a cornerback, as evidenced by the emergence of D.J. Reed the past two seasons and the selection of Tre Brown in the fourth round last year. Indeed, 32-inch arms are not a hard requirement to play the position in Seattle anymore. (For the record, McDuffie’s arms measured at 29-3/4 inches and his hands at 8-3/4 inches.)

“That attribute is one that does help a (cornerback’s) play,” Carroll said during a pre-draft news conference Thursday. “But not everybody has it. So you’ve got to take a look at the guys and see what they’ve got. And I think I’ve become more flexible with the thought and recognizing the talents that come in a different package sometimes. I thought Tre was a great example of that and we’re really excited about his future.


“But when we see it like we liked it, we still love it.”

Why he might not be a good fit for the Seahawks: Most project McDuffie as a mid-first-round pick, which could make him a viable target for the Seahawks if they are able to trade down from No. 9. But, again, the Seahawks have never invested a first-round pick in a cornerback during the Carroll-John Schneider era, and offensive tackle and edge rusher are generally regarded as positions of greater need on this roster.

Prospect quote: “The little things are important, like understanding what the offensive coordinator likes to call and what the quarterback likes to read. And at the end of the day, it comes down to fundamental football. You vs. the receiver. If I’m in man-to-man, I’m getting the ball, I’m getting the interception.” — McDuffie, via The Athletic

Scout’s take: “(His) average size is overshadowed by skillful ruggedness, allowing him to contest throws from a variety of coverages. He’s an elite competitor with a route-hugging mentality fueled by body control, foot agility, aggression and burst. … He can play outside or from the slot and carries a very high floor with the potential to become one of the league’s top corners at some point during his first contract.” — Zierlein