The start of the off-season article (predictions & thoughts)

February 13th, 2023 | Written by Rob Staton

Now that the season is over, I wanted to make some draft/Seahawks predictions…

Three quarterbacks to go in the top-four

The Colts and Panthers are not going to stand still. Chris Ballard and Scott Fitterer have spoken publicly about trading up. The Colts appear set to hire Shane Steichen, while the Panthers have already appointed Frank Reich — two offensive minded Head Coaches. Both teams have spent years searching for quarterback solutions and now need a firm, long-term investment.

It seems inevitable that both teams will trade up. Jeff Howe recently reported in the Athletic that the league consensus is there’s a very clear ‘top-three’ at quarterback. Trade into the top three any time over the next month and you’re guaranteed at least one of C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young or Will Levis.

A bidding war is likely to take place for the top pick. The Bears will almost certainly prefer to stay in the top-four and do a deal with Indianapolis in the AFC. Will the Panthers be aggressive enough to tempt Chicago to fall to #9? It’s possible.

Arizona is interviewing Jonathan Gannon for their Head Coaching vacancy. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Cardinals are open to trading down to #9 if the Panthers can’t strike a deal with the Bears.

The wildcard team will be the Houston Texans. They have appointed DeMeco Ryans, who enjoyed success in San Francisco due to a great defensive line. He’s also appointed an offensive coordinator from the 49ers — passing game coordinator Bobby Slowik.

Do they feel like the scheme can elevate a quarterback much in the way it elevated Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy? Can their scheme get the most out of Davis Mills? Would they sign Garoppolo? Could they take Will Anderson or Jalen Carter at #2?

I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility but with an extra first (#12 overall) and third round pick this year, plus Cleveland’s first rounder next year, they have ample stock to build a defense without taking a defensive lineman at #2.

What does this mean for Seattle?

The good news is — if the Seahawks align with the league consensus that there are three top quarterbacks, as well as two excellent defensive prospects, at least one of those players is going to be available at #5.

I think John Schneider will be very open to the idea of taking a quarterback at #5. He has a history of being attracted to arm talent. He spent a lot to acquire Charlie Whitehurst. He loved Russell Wilson. Supposedly he had his eye on Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. It appears he’s willing to put flaws into perspective if the physical upside is legit.

The 2023 quarterback class has three big-armed, huge-upside players in C.J. Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson. Bryce Young doesn’t have a cannon but he’s very creative and talented.

As such, I do think Schneider will be attracted to this quartet. I also don’t think Geno Smith’s future will have any relevance on their decision at #5.

In 2017 the Bears signed Mike Glennon to a $45m, three-year contract. It was a big investment at the time. They declared him as the man to lead the team and appeared destined to go in a different direction in the draft, with the #3 pick. Then they traded up on draft day to #2 to guarantee they could select Mitch Trubisky (famously snubbing Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson).

Part deception, part-bridging to the future — Chicago executed a plan the Seahawks might try.

If/when the Seahawks re-sign Smith, the media (local and national) will immediately proclaim this as ‘job done’ at quarterback and will shut-off any conversation about drafting a quarterback. This will be a mistake. The Seahawks are building and if Schneider sees a quarterback he really likes — and if that player is available — he likely takes him.

Keeping Smith simply protects the Seahawks against missing out in the draft and taking a backwards step. You can’t go into the draft with no serious quarterback on the roster, hoping by chance someone you like lasts to #5. That would be a mistake and it’s one they’ll avoid.

Let’s assume they sign Smith to a contract that looks big when it’s announced but actually carries a lot of incentives and has a smaller cap-hit and an easy out for the team within a year. That wouldn’t, in any way, shape or form, prevent the Seahawks drafting a quarterback if Schneider sees the next top player he likes.

Don’t forget the Seahawks signed Matt Flynn to a reasonable contract and then let a rookie beat him out of a job in 2012 — essentially making the investment in Flynn redundant. That emphatically worked for Seattle so I don’t see any reason why signing Smith to a new deal would mean the Seahawks are definitely not drafting a quarterback at #5.

Signing Smith keeps all options open for the draft. They can select a QB and use Smith as a bridge. Or they can draft a top defensive lineman.

I would prefer to just go cheap with a bridge quarterback and avoid any future dead money or a big financial commitment. A year ago they said they had ‘two number ones’ at the position in Smith and Drew Lock. Maybe it’s time to prove that wasn’t a big fib? Sign Lock to a contract similar to Smith’s in 2022 and let him be the bridge. Use the cap saving to bolster other areas of the roster. Draft your future at the most important position.

However, I can also see an argument where three quarterbacks are gone by #5 and the Seahawks love a defensive lineman and decide to wait on a position where they have, to be fair, found solutions over the years.

Who could be a solution?

I’ve written about trying to emulate the Eagles and I think it’s a very fair point to make. They won four games in 2020 and nine games in 2021. They just contested a very close Super Bowl. They have shown the blueprint to go from making up the numbers in the playoffs to legit force.

It requires having talent across the roster — which they were able to achieve by avoiding paying a big quarterback contract.

The Seahawks are unlikely to be able to add enough talent in one off-season to be a Super Bowl team in 2023 but they can position themselves to be a more realistic threat in 2024.

Personally I think Stroud, Young, Levis and Richardson can at least do what Jalen Hurts has done for the Eagles. I suppose the question is whether the Seahawks think someone like Hendon Hooker can also do it?

Think of it like this. Let’s say the top three QB’s are off the board by #5. You can then draft one of Anderson or Carter at #5 or the fourth quarterback. I think either decision is justifiable — but if you think Hooker can essentially do what Hurts has done, could it push you towards drafting a top defensive lineman at #5 then waiting for Hooker later?

As I wrote last week, you can build a case around it. The Seahawks do appear likely to keep Geno Smith so drafting Hooker would give them a possible alternative from next year to be cheaper at QB. He’d have to red-shirt as he recovers from injury, meaning there’d be no camp drama. That won’t be the case if they sign Smith and then draft a QB at #5 — although as mentioned earlier — as we saw with Matt Flynn, the Seahawks are comfortable letting a rookie compete (and usurp) a more expensive veteran.

Hurts was the #53 overall pick in 2020. The Seahawks own the #53 pick this year. There’s some symmetry there, if they take Hooker in the late second.

It would give Smith the chance to prove he’s more than a one-season wonder, while also offering the Seahawks a younger, cheaper alternative for the future.

Hooker has a lot of appealing traits — including big hands (10 1/2 inches) and good athleticism. He executed the Josh Heupel scheme well and the Seahawks might think he can come in and do the basics well within their own system to produce results. He’s a high-character, competitive individual.

There are also some other things to consider. Hooker is already older than Hurts at 25 and he’s having to recover from a serious knee injury. I think the Tennessee offense made his life very easy and I’ve never seen so many wide-open throws.

Nevertheless — you get the point I’m making here. It comes down to the big picture of putting together an off-season.

It stands to reason the Seahawks might think it’s better to do this:

Re-sign Geno Smith
Draft a top defensive lineman at #5
Draft Hendon Hooker at #53

Rather than do this:

Not re-sign Geno Smith
Have more money for free agency
Draft a quarterback at #5
Hope to draft impact defenders later

I am not the biggest fan of Hooker’s and wouldn’t draft him as early as round two — although I embrace some of the positives in his game and respect what he achieved at Tennessee. Even so, I wouldn’t criticise the Seahawks for the plan above that has them going D-line first then Hooker. It might not be what I’d do — as a plan, though, it’s reasonable.

Hurts was not considered a big-time prospect when he came into the league and many questioned Philadelphia’s use of an important second round pick on him. He was very nearly a Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP.

Copying the Eagles could very well mean taking Hooker with the exact same pick Philly used on Hurts — believing if they can put the right supporting cast around Hooker, they can build in the way the Eagles have done.

John Schneider and quarterbacks

The other side to this, of course, is it’s a rare opportunity to pick this high and they didn’t trade Russell Wilson without a plan. I doubt that plan was to just see how it goes with Smith and Lock and see where they were in a year.

The feeling throughout last summer was the Seahawks aren’t going to acquire someone like Baker Mayfield or trade for another QB. They were going to roll with what they had, save their picks and look to draft a quarterback in 2023.

Schneider is from the Green Bay school of GM-ing. They love QB’s. Executives with the Packers’ DNA pride themselves on their quarterback picks.

If he thinks Anthony Richardson is the next Josh Allen, he’ll take him. If he sees Will Levis’ 2021 tape in Seattle’s offense and believes he can be a major player — he’ll take him. If he passes on either — we’ll know what he thinks about them.

Again — don’t ignore his history of really liking players with traits. One of the first big moves Carroll and Schneider made was to trade a third round pick to the Chargers for Charlie Whitehurst. As part of that deal, they also swapped second rounders — dropping a whole twenty spots to go from #40 to #60. It was a hugely significant trade fans and media often forget about.

Will it really be that surprising if Schneider is wowed by the arm of Levis or Richardson?

My hunch is they had a player or players in mind when they made that Wilson trade. My other hunch is they were prepared, if needed, to use their draft stock to go and get their chosen quarterback in this draft.

Perhaps they have adjusted their plan based on what happened during 2022? Namely the poor play of the defense and the surprising play of Smith? Or maybe they’re sticking to their guns and quite like the whole world thinking they’re desperate to re-sign Smith because they don’t like the quarterbacks in the draft?

We won’t have too long to find out — but it’s worth keeping an open mind because there’s a variety of possibilities.

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123 Responses to “The start of the off-season article (predictions & thoughts)”

  1. Zxvo3 says:

    This is really really good Rob. I think there are many possibilities and I’m starting to see the reasoning behind each one.

    Coincidentally just before you posted this, I was looking back at Hendon Hooker tape and thought to myself, isn’t this the type of QB “point guard” that Pete Carroll loves? He can throw the deep ball passes and move the chains with his athleticism. But then I just keep thinking about how he’s not going to start essentially until he’s 27 or 28, he’s had a serious injury, and he played in an easy system. Is that really what John Schneider thought he was getting out of the Russell Wilson trade?

    I feel like JS has something against Wilson and Mark Rodgers for the hard times they gave him. And if he has full control of what to do in the draft, he will do everything in his power to get the QB that he wants (if he really likes one of them).

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m going to spend a lot of time over the next two months reminding people about JS’s love for traits

      Nobody should forget that

      If the top-four QB’s in this 2023 class were Mac Jones types we’d be having a different discussion — but they aren’t — they are the types of QB John has loved in the past

      • Hawkdawg says:

        My gut tells me that JS is going to have to stay strong in the pocket, himself, for Pete to go along with a QB at #5.
        Pete was very clear at the end of the season that he’s come to believe that the game starts at the line, where the team needs to be more “dynamic.” And if it starts at “the line it starts at both lines, almost by definition, so at least one higher pick (in the first three rounds) has also got to be a guard or center.

        Put it this way: If the Hawks sign Geno to a bridge deal AND pick a QB at 5, to me that will be virtual proof that Schneider is really wearing the big boy pants in the front office.

        • Dave says:

          John Schneider loves Russell. He handpicked him. In the 2012 draft, he wanted to trade into round 2 to go up and get Russell. He was forced to trade Russell by Russell. John probably made a deal with Pete that one of the picks in the trade would go towards a QB. Anthony Richardson all the way!

          • Cysco says:

            Not sure that’s entirely true. This wasn’t the first time JS tried to trade Russ. There have been several documented cases of JS actively trying to move on from Wilson. (Chicago two years ago, Cleveland, 4-years ago (or was it 5?)

            Yes JS liked Wilson’s ability and was the person banging the drum to draft him, but I don’t think he was the JS prototype which is why he actively tried to move him over the years.

            Rob is 100% correct, there’s a “type” that JS has. If you look at the names that have been linked to him in the past:

            Smith
            Lock
            Mahomes
            Allen
            Whitehurst
            Rodgers

            They are all 6’2”+ with big arms and above average athletic ability. I truly think that Anthony Richardson is the stuff JS’s dreams are made of.

      • Bballin says:

        Great article rob, looking forward to the off-season and following your work.

  2. Shaun says:

    Fantastic article as usual Rob. My gut, as you also laid out here, is that JS has a QB(s?) in mind from this draft class when Russ was traded, looking to stock up on trade up ammo. So I feel it is much more likely John tries to move up from 5 than drop back. Gonna be a fun few months of trying to read the tea leaves leading up to the draft!

    • John says:

      If he had someone in mind when Russell was traded prior to this season, would it logically follow that that person is someone who looked good two seasons ago? That would steer me more towards Levis, who had a great year, and away from Richardson, who wasn’t the Florida starter (Do I have that right?). I didnt follow Young or Stroud two years ago.

  3. Old but Slow says:

    The Green Bay approach of taking QBs makes sense to me. It is the most important position, it is rare to find a top one, and, science aside, they can show up anywhere in the draft. I say take one every year even if it is in the 7th round.

    If we take a QB at #5 I will be happy. And if he turns out to be a dud, try again next year. And so on.

    • DC1234 says:

      John came from the Gb organisation. He even talked about the GB approach in drafting qbs every year on radio this year.

      What i dont get is why the seahawks only drafted Alex Mcgough in the 10 years with Russ. Is it a Russ/Mark Rodgers issue? Team 3 was upset with John going to Josh Allen’s pro day. That was the start of the friction. Cowherd state that on air and his source is Mark Rodgers.

      I was hoping the Seahawks took a flier last draft on a qb in the middle to last rounds.

      I really hope this year, John will start drafting qbs every year or other year.

      • Peter says:

        I’m fine with the green bay concept in concept.

        But there’s no evidence to support that John even acts that way. Unless you factor Whitehurst, Wilson, McHugh, and Lock in trade compensation. Then it approaches the more modern GB approach. Where they don’t actually go after QB as often is purported.

        I looked at GB from Ron Wolf to present. It’s a lot of bulls— at QB. You have exceptions like Brunell and Hasselbeck.

        I think it feels remarkable and is broadly smart to get say Rodgers when Favre is near winding down.

        However as draft nerds that bring up every miss by PC/JS how would we need to acknowledge that the green bay approach has actually produced some wasted picks. Like having Favre, drafting Rodgers, and then spending a second rounder shortly after on Brohm.

        Spending some fourths but mostly fifths through sevenths on back up qb’s is fine.

        Spending for Jordan Love when it looks like he can’t play…meh…what was the point?

        • DC1234 says:

          I think for the seahawks, they needed to draft qbs or at least sign a young qb as backup.

          They preach always compete, but the qb position seems to not apply. Tavarious Jackson, Boykins, Geno will never be a healthy competition for Russ.

          Look what drafting Jordan Love did for Rodgers. Back to back MVP.

          Also, the Patriots draft so many qbs in Tom Brady’s prime. It created a healthy competition for Brady to keep him on his toes and improve. He even felt threatened by Jimmy, and told Kraft to trade him.

          In hindsight Russ needed that competition.

          • DC1234 says:

            Also it will help to break the disconnect between Russ and the LOB. They didnt like how Russ was not held to the same standard.

            Some of the players wanted seahawks to sign Kaepernick around 2016. But Pete said he is a starter, not a backup. I think that was Pete trying to protect Russ.

            • Ben says:

              That felt like a copout by Pete. He had no problem carrying “two #1s” last season.

              • DC1234 says:

                True. Pete prob knew Russ was too sensitive.

                • SMarquis says:

                  I thought I read that we were about a million dollars apart on a Kaepernick contract? I know Pete said he was a starter, but I thought Pete was just explaining why he couldn’t spend more.

  4. Lord Snow says:

    Once again great article. Now I hope John doesn’t get cute with the back. whenever they get cute in the draft it rarely works out. Just pick one of those four quarterbacks if any are available at number five and be happy.

    Don’t get cute and beware of drafting for need.

  5. BobbyK says:

    You either have a QB or you don’t. If you have Jalen Hurts on a rookie deal, that’s great. If you have to pay for greatness, I doubt too many Chiefs fans hate the idea of paying Mahomes.

    You’re right, Rob. Carroll said last year they had two number one QBs. Then prove it. Pay the cheap one and save all the Smiff money for actually building a good team. Sometimes the answer is so clear and people still don’t see it.

  6. cha says:

    It stands to reason the Seahawks might think it’s better to do this:

    Re-sign Geno Smith
    Draft a top defensive lineman at #5
    Draft Hendon Hooker at #53

    Rather than do this:

    Not re-sign Geno Smith
    Have more money for free agency
    Draft a quarterback at #5
    Hope to draft impact defenders late

    I think those are good choices, but I do think it’s not necessarily this or that, it’s which provides the most value.

    If Geno Smith is dead set on a huge contract, that will steer their strategy more towards “option B” than anything else. Likewise, if he is amenable to a deal with a low 2023 and outs (with some acceptable dead money) you have something to work with.

    Hopefully, the Seahawks engaging in talks with Geno right now as has been reported is them trying to discern where Geno is coming from and seeing if that works. So if his demands place him outside their range, they can perhaps strike with purpose in the market instead of being left out in the cold once again because their top priority is trying to make his mind up.

    • cha says:

      Let’s mark that up properly.

      It stands to reason the Seahawks might think it’s better to do this:

      Re-sign Geno Smith
      Draft a top defensive lineman at #5
      Draft Hendon Hooker at #53

      Rather than do this:

      Not re-sign Geno Smith
      Have more money for free agency
      Draft a quarterback at #5
      Hope to draft impact defenders late

      I think those are good choices, but I do think it’s not necessarily this or that, it’s which provides the most value.

      If Geno Smith is dead set on a huge contract, that will steer their strategy more towards “option B” than anything else. Likewise, if he is amenable to a deal with a low 2023 and outs (with some acceptable dead money) you have something to work with.

      Hopefully, the Seahawks engaging in talks with Geno right now as has been reported is them trying to discern where Geno is coming from and seeing if that works. So if his demands place him outside their range, they can perhaps strike with purpose in the market instead of being left out in the cold once again because their top priority is trying to make his mind up.

  7. Ian says:

    Rob, I’m wondering if you think a credible scenario would involve:
    1. Houston trading up one spot because they really like one qb over the others, and also want to block their division rival, Indy, from moving ahead of them and snagging that qb; Chicago wants to move down only one spot because they strongly prefer one of the top two defensive players over the other.
    2. Indy trading up with Arizona in order to secure their favorite (or 2nd favorite qb) and to avoid having another team jump ahead of them. Arizona also only wants to move down one spot to assure they get the remaining top defenseman.
    This leaves two of the top 4 qbs available for Seattle.

    • Rob Staton says:

      With the Bears it will depend what other teams are offering. I sense they want a haul. I think they will get a good or great offer from Indy so moving down to #4 is likely IMO. And for what it’s worth, I think the Texans are happy to stand pat at #2.

      I think the Colts or Panthers will have the #1 pick this time next month. Then it’s whether the Cardinals prefer having lots of picks or Will Anderson, to determine if another team trades up.

      • DC1234 says:

        I was thinking since the Bears are set with Fields and have a ton of holes in the roster, wouldnt be a good idea to trade back twice? Especially if arizona takes Anderson, and the Bears dont see Carter as a BPA.

        Trade back to #4 with colts, and then trade from #4 to #7 or #9.

        I can see a team wanting to move up to #4 to grab the third qb.

        • Ralphy says:

          Bears could trade with Houston, then Indy, then Carolina. They wouldn’t get one of the two defenders but the haul would be incredible.

  8. Rob Staton says:

    From Bob Condotta on what might happen with Geno Smith and the draft:

    As noted, the Seahawks may not want too much of a long-term commitment and will want to assure they can structure the deal in a way to allow them to address their other issues.

    And a two- or three-year deal — especially if there is a void year at the end — doesn’t mean the Seahawks can’t draft a QB in the first round. Seattle drafted Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012 after signing Matt Flynn to a three-year, $20.5 million deal.

    In other words, the Seahawks can take care of the present while also looking to the future. And that may well be the way they go.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/seahawks/analysis-what-a-new-contract-with-geno-smith-could-look-like-for-seahawks/

    • cha says:

      Very interesting.

      Is BC acting like the Seahawks’ public arm for negotiation, like he did for the Jamal Adams deal?

      This is currently the only piece in the mainstream media that even comes within shouting distance of making sense.

    • Mick says:

      Very interesting article, Rob. I wonder if signing Geno to a contract that looks like there’s no way we’re going QB at 5 and then using pick #5 for a Q wouldn’t be a perfect trap.

      With the long list of QBs available, it could also be that Geno’s fantasies about 40-50 mil a year get us to sign another vet and start him.

    • Lord Snow says:

      My first instinct is no way Gino walks away at age 33 from his big payday that he perceives he deserves and knows is his only realistic chance to set himself up for life. All the more reason for Schneider to say go test the market, to make sure john doesn’t bid against himself.

  9. Taco Beet says:

    I’d love to get your opinion on what you’d do if you’re the Seahawks and not sold on either Carter or Richardson at #5. I totally get the “don’t get cute” view given PC/JS history with that in R1, but what if they don’t like either player that high? Thanks!

  10. Andrew says:

    If this draft is 9 Deep as true first rounders & I agree with Rob, why not trade #5 and 3 2nd rounders for our pick of the litter at the most important position in profesional sports. Nailed last yeras draft & a calculated move is what we need. Pete stated at years end what HE wants however he also said he was happy for Jon being in his position, ie capital for draft. John go get your Guy! I really appreciate your effort Rob & esp with certain factions of Seahawk fans thinking 2 defensive players and a QB who has played well for 3 the parts of 12 , not a entire one & was close to being the highest turn over QB THIS ys according to PFF stats…LETS GO GET STROUD! Cheers

    • Ben says:

      Honestly the idea of giving up so much capital for moving up in the draft to get a QB feels very similar to giving up so much money to sign a non-franchise QB.

      If this is the next Mahomes/Burrow, go for it, but otherwise there’s a lot of talent to be bought with three 2nd rounders and the #5.

  11. Andrew says:

    Sorry above comments needs to be redone…. Smith has played well for only parts of a 12 years career, he has never put a full yr together….Call his bluff, send him to FA & watch Jimmy the Dreamboat, Carr & Tannehill go before him on open market. Thanks Rob

    • Peter says:

      They have to let Geno test the market. They have to. If some team like the Bucs loses it and gives him that three year 110 nearly 40 million a year, great for him.

      That’s get Daron Payne level money.

      Or I know this is wonky wording and of course not likely but four Nwosu level players. Is this team better off with Geno at 35-40 million -or- three to four Nwosu level free agents + lock + richardson?

      • cha says:

        That’s the challenge that the people in the “that’s what you have to pay for a QB” crowd have right there.

        They assume the drop-off from Geno to “other QB” is huge. It may be, it may not be.

        But with “other QB” if you save $15-20m per year over Geno, you can materially improve your roster.

        And if Pete is willing to put his money where his mouth is (“we have two #1’s!” “Our system is QB friendly!”) the gap should not be as bad as the pro-Geno crowd assumes.

        • Phil says:

          Front Officing an NFL team has some similarities to Chess.

          What will you exchange your Queen Piece for? (Its point value is equal to 3 Knights/ Bishops, but less valuable than two Rooks…) But sometimes situation trumps point value in a vacuum.

          As in chess, it’s very difficult to succeed without a true queen – especially when your opponent has an actual Queen – with a capital “Q”.

          But Pete might think he can build a good enough cast to get it done with other well positioned material….and a young pawn who is advancing toward its Queen-ship.

          >I personally find it scary to sacrifice my Queen; but I recognize that sometimes there is wisdom in it.

        • geoff u says:

          And if this truly is a QB friendly offense (and I think it is) why not just roll with a rookie QB? Get some FA defensive help, beef up the o-line, draft another RB, and let the QB learn on the job the same way Russell did. I don’t see how this could be any less successful short term than Geno going 9-8 through a cakewalk of a schedule and us getting blown out in the playoffs. In the long term — big advantage though.

  12. Mark says:

    Good analysis Rob. Another option would be to trade back for another 1st round 2024 pick. With the Hawks’ own pick and another (hopefully from a team expected to do poorly next year) the Hawks would be positioned to make a play for one of the top promising QB’s in next year’s draft. Even trading back to #9 with Carolina, or an outright trade of a second round 2023 pick, should be enough to obtain the additional 1st rounder in ’24. This might allow Geno to be the guy for a year or two, and then elevate the younger QB.

    • Rob Staton says:

      With respect Mark, I don’t know why fans think this is such a great plan. Every year people fantasise about the next QB class. For me, as of today, this one is very good. So there’s no reason to try and set up an expensive trade up next year.

      Besides — what if the top two teams picking need a QB? You aren’t then able to trade up anyway.

      All this plan does is mean you pick later in R1 this year (getting a lesser player) and then you put huge pressure on yourself to trade up in 2024.

      • GF says:

        That’s because fans believe they can choose Caleb Williams or Drake Maye next year, there is no certainty that they can be in a good position to choose a franchise QB in the 2024 draft, however in this one there is “security” to be able to have a franchise QB, I really think if we re-sign Geno and don’t take a QB in pick 5 we will regret it

        • Peter says:

          Talk about risk. Hoping your future pick goes to a team you hope to suck when the inverse just happened and you get a free top five pick.

          First we don’t know who will declare in 2024. At least not 100%. We don’t know if any of those qbs will be better, the sane, or worse next year. Just look at the hammering Levis gets this year.

          And worst of all of this years teams that need a qb including dark horse candidates like the Jets and the WFT there’s a chance that even competent qb play turns their pick into a late teens selection.

        • geoff u says:

          The same fans who last year probably though we could get Levis or Stroud this year…lol.

          It’ll be the same song and dance next year. “but what about 2025 qb’s!”

      • Mark says:

        I hear what you’re saying, Rob. But trading back from #5 to #9 need not cause a drop-off in talent. Assuming Carter and Anderson are gone in the first 4 picks, the most likely Hawks pick is Wilson or Murphy. One of them would probably still be around at 9. If not, there would be talent at OL and CB. And obtaining another 1st rounder in 2024 would give the Hawks an unprecedented 3rd strong year of draft capital. In addition, postponing a top 5 QB pick for a year allows the Hawks to see if Geno can reproduce, or even improve over 2022. Not saying the Hawks will trade back at 5, but don ‘t be surprised if they do.

        • MountainHawker says:

          Wilson and Murphy are total reaches that high and I would argue would not be the default pick at 5. Much better players available even if they don’t fill “needs”. If Carter and Anderson are gone I see no way Hawks don’t take a QB.

    • geoff u says:

      How is packaging two (or more) firsts for a top QB next year any different than packing our two firsts for a top QB this year?

      Other than that we won’t have to pay Geno (and have money to spend elsewhere) and the rookie QB will get a year of experience in?

    • Chris says:

      You typically only do this if you aren’t crazy about the QBs available at pick 5. There probably should be at least 3 that they’ll like at pick #5. QB isn’t a kick-the-can-down-the-street sort of position. You could be kicking for a really, really long time.

      Now, I guess a darkhorse possibility is that there is a QB that could be available later in this draft that they are secretly in love with … a R.Wilson type love that they had previously, on a guy they know will be around a bit later. Unfortunately, that actually would be a secret, which means it’s not something we could really know ahead of time. In the RW draft it was more predictable since there weren’t obvious QB options earlier they had access to, so we were actually looking at later round QBs that could make sense. With the #5 this year, we aren’t doing that as much. If they pick a guy in the 3rd and then tell everyone they had them rated as highly as any of the high 1st rounders we’d rightly be skeptical about the statement, if on the freak chance it happened to be true.

  13. DJ 1/2 way says:

    I think the Seahawks like Richardson and all this dancing with Geno is to make the League think they are taking a defender. Why? So that some other team does not trade to get ahead of them.

    Getting your QB of the future without trading up is not as good as getting him with a 2nd or third round pick, but it is better than what the 49ers did and has the Seahawks in a better place than Arizona and the Rams. Winning the division will always be the best plan and that should be the focus first and winning the Superbowl second.

  14. Jabroni-DC says:

    Depending on who goes #1 & #2 I wouldn’t be shocked by Seattle making a play to trade up to #3 if their favorite QB remains on the board.

    • Ghost Mutt says:

      This makes sense to me too.

      I know in-division trades are rare but we saw some last year. If the colts love up to #1 and Indy and Houston both go QB, then we surely become the Cardinals’ preferred trading partner? That way they can get a nice deal (our first second rounder and some change?), and still guarantee one of the top two d linemen.

      It’d be a better move than going down to #9 and taking a swing on a lesser talent.

      • Dave Stacey says:

        I was thinking the same. Two possible routes to a top 3 QB would be:

        1) As you two suggest Hawks trade 5 for 3 with the Cards. Surely won’t be too expensive for us and the Cards likely still ensure a top 2 D Lineman alongside some additional stock. Everybody wins. If Schenider loves a QB I think he should probably do this, unless he thinks Richardson is his guy and will be there at 5.

        2) If Hawks do keep Geno it may be that out of the top 5 only the Colts and Texans are perceived as being likely to pick QB’s. Therefore assuming the Colts beat the Panthers into getting the no 1 overall pick the Panthers might not see the need to jump into the top 5 and look to make a cheaper deal with Detroit to get the no 6 pick and leap just above the Falcons & Raiders. I would imagine Lions and Panthers would be fairly good trade allies in this scenario.

        Just typing this out re-affirms to me that if JS likes a QB and is unsure whether they will still be there at 5 he should try to do a deal with the Cards

        • MountainHawker says:

          Why on earth would the Cards let a division rival move up for a franchise qb cheaply

          • Sea Mode says:

            Define “cheaply”, I guess. Cause moving down just two spots they would (presumably) still get one of the same defenders they would have gotten at #3, but add a high R2 pick + perhaps another day 3 pick for doing it. It’s only “cheap” for us because, in the grand scheme of things, we won’t remember giving up a R2 pick if we hit on a QB (or at least take a good stab at it).

          • Dave Stacey says:

            They need all the picks they can get.
            They could gain one from us drop down 2 spots and all but guarantee a top 2 D lineman.
            If they drop down any further they don’t guarantee the so called ‘big 2’ on defence.
            They might think QB3 is no good and not fear the Hawks taking him and/or they might be so high on one of the top 2 defenders they want to ensure they don’t miss out.

            Maybe they don’t do the deal but I think those reasons above mean there’s a good chance they would

    • Peter says:

      Glad you brought this up.

      I have to wonder if the plan was qb this year and using the two picks to make it happen.

      If they stay at five I still wonder if they take that free shot at Richardson. But part of me wonders if they don’t go up to take Levis or Stroud? Some segment of the fan base would lose their mind but the the big “but,” is there’s almost no better circumstance to do this than this year. Wait a year or two and if it works you’re hailed as a genius. If it doesn’t work? So what you still keep building tge team with the remaining picks.

      • Sea Mode says:

        Yup. If JS likes one guy above the others, I could see him being aggressive moving up.

        On the other hand, I could almost equally see him just waiting it out for whichever QB falls to 5 (probably Richardson, maybe Levis).

        So I guess it all depends on how they have the QBs graded.

  15. MountainHawker says:

    I’ve been playing around with different scenarios while doing mock drafts. Something I’ve noted when focusing on BPA…they tend to be offensive players. Now these are early mock drafts and things can (and will) totally change by draft time. Combine will see fallers and risers. Some smaller school/name prospects will get noticed more etc etc.

    It got me thinking. Rookie QB at #5. After that…BPA. Don’t be afraid to build up the offense in the draft. Even if the BPA is a tight end or RB. I’d rather get great players than reach on others because of positional need. As long as we don’t overpay Geno we can pursue talent in free agency to fill holes. Let the draft come to us

    • Peter says:

      I hear you. I’ve been tinkering around with free agency plus draft scenarios.

      And I often end up coming back to Rob’s idea of tackle at #20 to play guard or move Lucas inside and really just hammer teams.

      Or like Rob said in his podcast if Robinson is there at #20 you have to give it a good think.

      In the second round: I can see some movement form #37. Or not. I feel like two of the following will be available for defense in striking range:

      Ade Ade
      Keanu Benton
      Mazzi Smith
      Bryan Bressee

      Thinking about Mauch as a Center in the third round.

      • MountainHawker says:

        In nearly every mock I do Bijan, Mayer or the tackles are there at 20 and I have a really hard time passing on any of them for the defensive prospects left on the board.

        Bijan is tricky for me because there’s a ton of RB talent available later. I really like his backup(Roschon Johnson). But the thought of having Bijan and Walker out there(possibly with Richardson…holy running game) is tantalizing.

  16. Peanut says:

    “Go defense, get the next year´s QB, they are way better” I feel like this is the one thing we hear every year, except about the QBs in 2022. Sure, if you have a top 3 pick next year that could be a plan, but with how people are talking about Geno on twitter, we are picking at 30+ with our pick in 2024.

    If you would´ve told me in august that behind the #5 pick this year it would say “From Denver” I probably would´ve laughed straight in your face. Our picks this year I could´ve seen happen, but the other way around.

  17. Mr Magic says:

    Im betting that PC really wants to pay Geno and get on with it. He sees Geno as his best bet to remain relevant next season and still compete even if it is for a wild card spot. He has never been a keen buyer of a QB in the early draft and the ‘always compete’ mantra makes the most sense with Geno locked up.

    Im betting JS doest want to pay Geno beyond a very team friendly amount that Geno probably will be unhappy with. JS has always been keen on young QBs in the draft and has consistently had favorites he stalked even if there was no chance had a a look at.

    I really hope JS viewpoint wins out.

  18. Denver Hawker says:

    Seems like a good day to make QB matching predictions:

    Commanders – > Derek Carr – Ron’s tired of f*cking around
    Raiders – > Jimmy G
    Texans – > Stroud- as silly as it sounds, I think they trade up from #2
    Colts – > Levis- Colts trade up from #4 to #2- Bears stockpile picks and slide to #4
    Carolina – > Young – huge swing from #9 to #3
    Saints – > Heinicke
    Bucs – > Geno Smith!!! with Brady gone and tons of weapons- Geno slots well in this offense
    Seahawks – > Sam Darnold is the new insurance policy AND they take Richardson at #5

  19. Daniel says:

    Can someone smarter at the draft (Rob or another commenter here) explain the age-when-drafted factor to me? I understand the concept that if a player is older coming out of college, he’s more likely to be finished or nearly finished developing both physically and as a player. He was also much older than many of his peers, and so it was easier for him to shine against the competition. So an older player might be great, but we should take his great play with a grain of salt due to his age relative to his peers… do I have that right?

    But the age he’s at when he’s playing in the NFL is less important, right? Players very rarely stay with one team from draft day to retirement. You really only care how a player will perform in the first 4-5 years after you draft him, right? Sure, it’s a dream scenario to draft a young quarterback or left tackle and carry him as a star on your roster through 3 or 4 contracts till he retires, but that can hardly be a major deciding factor during the draft process, right? A player being 26 on his second contract vs 30 can’t matter that much on draft day.

    Could you even argue that at least at certain positions, you might *want* somewhat older rookies, if you really only intend to keep them for 4 years (barring the off-chance they turn into a mega-star). It sounds cold but the NFL is a cold business… you could, for example, rather take a Day 1-ready player at the more athletically-demanding positions like RB or CB, plan to play him a massive amount of snaps his first few years and then let him go when he’s due for a big contract and has a lot of miles on the tires. Seems that in that situation, an older player might even be preferable. “Who cares what happens when he’s 32? We only care how he’s playing when he’s 27.” Etc.

    Am I correct that the main concern when drafting older players is simply that they are less likely to show dramatic improvement than you might hope for from a younger player? “We’ve likely already close to his peak… he is what he is.” Combined with “He was 24 playing against 19-year-olds, of course he looked good. He likely won’t seem so great when he’s matched up against fully developed guys his own age and older.” ?

    • Matt says:

      I can explain it pretty simply, I think – it’s not that the age matters in terms of entering the NFL, it’s the evaluation of said player versus much younger, physically inferior players. For example, LJ Collier was a non-factor in college football until he was 23. What was his game predicated on? Strength. So, one *could* say, “was he really a good player or simply physically superior to his competition because he was simply older?”

      I think some positions, age does not matter. Others, I think it’s a hugely important factor (trenches).

      • Bballin says:

        Was lj collier even a good player in college? I think PC/JS planned on other players being their and forced need at that pick. Also the end of the first round for that draft was pretty shitty.

        • Alex H says:

          Collier was supposed to be like a Michael Bennett. Not necessary the fastest, but has extremely violent/heavy hands and can consistently rush the passer. If I recall, he also performed well at the Senior Bowl.

          The idea behind trading Frank Clark was that was supposed to be the draft with lots of pass rushers and Pete felt comfortable finding a solution to their pass rushing woes in the draft of the pass rushers. Unfortunately for the Hawks, there was an early rush on the pass rushers and their preferred targets were seemingly picked up which forced the reach (violating the principle of BPA).

          In hindsight, the Chiefs won that trade. I would rather pay Frank Clark $20M than pay a rookie salary to Collier sitting around doing nothing. The other thing is the hype around the pass rushers of that 2019 class turned out a bit excessive. Nick Bosa at #2 definitely has lived up to the hype, but there aren’t a lot of Pro-Bowlers after the #5 pick and depth at the pass rusher positions was supposed to be the theme of the draft.

    • Sea Mode says:

      I think it’s less about the college evaluation (though that does factor in) and more about the big difference between a player going into his second contract at 25-26 vs. at 29-30.

      First of all, supposing a 4-year deal, look what age they will be in the last couple years of the contract.

      If you draft a young guy, you have the added benefit of having a player you’ve trained in your own system playing for you through his prime years (usually mid 20’s).

  20. Mjdarby15 says:

    Something which seems to be overlooked when discussing the Eagles’ success this year: they had $50+m in dead cap, about 25% of the total salary (there’s also a $12m dead cap hit for Fletcher Cox but he played so his effective cap hit was $16m including his $4m salary) which I think somewhat undermines that they were successful BECAUSE Hurts is on a cheap contract. Of course it helps to get a near-MVP performance from a QB on a couple million a year, but it’s not like the Eagles were able to absolutely max out the roster because of it.

  21. samprassultanofswat says:

    Let’s talk about Geno Smith and Kyler Murray. In 2021 the Cardinals started off the season 8-1. That included two victories over the 49ers and one victory over the Rams. After that the Cardinals(including the playoffs went 3-6 including a playoff loss to the Rams. After that bad finish Murray DEMANDED this huge contract. The Cardinals proceded to give Murray his MONSTER deal. That deal has now blown up in their face.

    Fast Forward to the 2022 Seahawks. Geno Smith: The Hawks start the season going 6-3. After that they finished 3-6. Two of the wins came against the Rams. The Rams without Matt Stafford, Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp. Their only other win was against the Jets who had Mike White at QB. Mike White went 23-46. Their is a similar finish between the 2021 Cardinals and the 2022 Seahawks. BTW: Geno Smith’s number were slightly above average after the 6-3 start. He could have had easily more ints.

    Do the Seahawks want to go down the same road as the Cardinal in regards to paying Geno Smith?

  22. Rick says:

    Draft strategy is dependent upon a few factors.

    Do the Hawks believe the last QB available isn’t worth going forward with?
    Do the Hawks think that Carter has character issues that his talent won’t overcome?
    Do the Hawks see the defense front line options as Rob does while the league sees them the way the media and mock draft sites do?

    If the first two are yes then I think that the Hawks might change their strategy to pick up more second round picks.

    If the Hawks could drop down from 5 to 7 to 9 to 15 and pick up three more second round picks they have a chance to add some quality depth up front.

    If you pass on Carter but are able to pick up a group of Calijah Kancey, Mazi Smith, Keion White, Byron Young, Nolan Smith, Will McDonald, Keeanu Benton, or Adetomiwa Adebawore.

    Then at 15 and 20 you might have a chance at Michael Meyer and Bijan Robinson.

    Based on the main stream media it sounds like most teams are going to be looking for receivers and cornerbacks in the second round.

  23. cha says:

    I think the Derek Carr situation would greatly affect Geno’s market.

    They tentatively agreed on a third round pick with the Saints on a trade, and it didn’t work out. There wasn’t an agreement on the contract and Carr refused to waive his NTC.

    It’s notable since Geno’s year is in the range of Carr’s career average for stats, he’s about the same age and he is available.

    Also for those tracking such things, Carr does not count towards or against comp picks, having been cut from his contract. Geno does.

    • cha says:

      And if Carr has to make concessions to choose his team (lesser contract, lesser guaranteed money, more outs like the Raiders built into his current deal), that will dramatically effect Geno’s market.

      • Rob4q says:

        Agree 100%!

        It’s interesting that we haven’t heard more about Geno’s situation tied to what happens with Carr. I just read the MSD column on the Athletic and again the comp is Tannehill, which I do get. But I do think Carr might be the first domino to fall, especially since he is free to sign once he is released.

        And it will be very interesting to see where Carr goes now…

        • Peter says:

          Exactly. The comp isn’t Tannehill. It’s what the new market for Carr is.

        • cha says:

          And hopefully we finally have tangible proof of what we all knew – a tag and trade for Geno was never a really viable option. If a team could have Derek Carr for a third-round pick and a $33m salary, they weren’t going to give up anything of value to pay Geno $32.4m.

          ((I actually witnessed conversations in other places on the internet where fans were floating tagging and not-matching Geno and getting two first round picks…and some fans saying no, they need to match and keep Geno. Oy))

        • Burner says:

          If 2QBs and Anderson and Carter go in the top 4, what would it take for Seattle to move down to #9 if Carolina came calling?

          • Matt says:

            In this scenario, they *have* to get a 2024 1st. That #5 pick has to be leveraged to address the QB position without having to sacrifice extra draft capital to do so.

          • geoff u says:

            Depends on who those remaining 2 QBs are. If it’s Levis or Stroud they probably run to the podium.

        • Ben says:

          And whatever Carr goes for, there’s one less potential suitor for Geno, which means he should earn less than that amount (ignoring all the other factors Geno vs Carr presents for lowering his salary.

    • MountainHawker says:

      Carr has multiple years of production however. With different coaches even. It think this is a key factor. Definitely something to pay attention to

      • Rob4q says:

        Multiple years of good but not great production though. How many seasons has Carr been ranked in the top 10 of all QB’s? I think by most metrics Geno finished this past season as the #9 ranked QB.

        If Carr had played for Seattle last year instead of Geno, are they a better team? Same or worse?

        I think Geno showed he can be a top 15 QB in the league and run an offense. But can he get better and be a top 5 QB that can carry his team when it’s needed? I don’t think we’ve seen that, so hard to get behind paying him $30+ mil a year on a 3-4 year contract.

        • Ben says:

          FYI Geno had a 79.3 PFF rating this past season, Carr has bested that 3 times in the past.

          In QB rankings he’s been 5th, 10th twice, 11th, 13th and then 20+ the rest of his career. Last year he was 27th out of 39 with a 66.6 grade. Clearly the sign of the devil and all the more reason to avoid Carr and his future hellish seasons.

  24. Happy Hawk says:

    Rob do you think that the JS/PC plan when trading R Wilson included A Richardson since he had only played a few games until this season? I mean was Richardson on peoples radar last year?

    Can’t believe Hooker is the answer with a top 5 pick in your pocket. My personal hope is that Levis or Richardson is there at #5 and JS gets his guy.

    • IDhawk says:

      Not Rob, but I would have to imagine they saw what Bryce Young, CJ Stroud and Will Levis were doing in 2021 and felt good about their options. There were also a few of guys who didn’t declare like Bo Nix.

      What’s kind of crazy about Anthony Richardson is that he basically started as a wild cat quarterback for Florida. They barely let him throw the ball. 2021 he played very basic single read concepts and then last year showed pocket movement and the ability to get through multiple reads. So he’s obviously made huge strides as a QB.

      I think he might be a god send for the Seahawks, because he’s probably too raw for a lot of GM’s/Coaches to bank their careers on, but I think he has an incredible future ahead of him.

  25. Ralphy says:

    All along I have thought that the Hawks would select Richardson at 5, mainly because I think three QBs will have already been taken. I do think though that if the Hawks want one the the top 3, they are in a great spot for a trade up because at 5, AZ would know they could get one of the two defenders. I now that it would be a trade in the division, but it would get the Hawks one of the three QBs and the Cards would get on of the two defenders.

    • Aaron Bostrom says:

      Totally agree with your take on the trade up. The colts and hawks are uniquely positioned to do so. They can offer what teams behind them cannot.

    • Sea Mode says:

      Agree, but it will depend on which QB is there at 3. If it’s somehow Stroud, I say go all out.

  26. BoiseSeahawk says:

    The one thing you don’t do is draft Tyree Wilson at 5.
    Peasant-level stats for a top 10 pick even after he shines at the underwear olympics, just don’t.

    • Hoggs41 says:

      If we dont draft a QB at 5 I hope Carolina and the Raiders trade up to 1 and 3 and QB’s go 1-4 giving us Anderson if we want him.

  27. Hoggs41 says:

    Quandre Diggs 2023 salary becomes guaranteed on Friday. Im guessing he isnt going anywhere.

  28. Spectator says:

    I’m starting to think and get on board with trading up with Houston to number 2. Same thought as bears, Houston gets to stay in the top 5, which might be more appealing than reading back with Carolina if colts trade up to 1. Could next years first appeal to Demeco? Or could our early second this year get us up there? At 5 he could still come away with a Qb even (Young potentially even and that fan base would be ecstatic) and add another pick. Then we can guarantee one of Stroud or Levis.

  29. HOUSE says:

    Jonathan Gannon being hired as Cardinals’ new Head Coach… What could’ve been!

  30. Awm says:

    Yes please to AR. Don’t trade up. Stay put and take him at 5.

  31. Blitzy the Clown says:

    So the Colts aren’t interested in Young…

    Not surprised tbh

    https://twitter.com/PFF/status/1625578067283304455?s=20&t=ikBuN8j4Sm35NyZMmd-zOg

  32. cha says:

    Does PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator grade you against your perceived team needs?

    I just got F’s for drafting Darnell Wright at #37 and JL Skinner at #51.

    If drafting those two is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

    • JimQ says:

      02/14/23 MY MOCK, using NFLmockdraftdatabase.com sim. w/ a later rd. trade. I was astounded by a trade offer of a 2024 1-st & 3rd round picks for the Seahawks 2023 6-th rounder. Noone would ever do that ‘in real life”.
      This mock (although a few players dropped a bit on day 3) produced many blog favorites.
      5 Anthony Richardson, QB | Florida B+
      20 Calijah Kancey, DL | Pittsburgh B
      37 Keion White, EDGE | Georgia Tech, B
      52 Mazi Smith, DL | Michigan B+
      83 Tucker Kraft, TE | South Dakota State A
      123 Kenny McIntosh, RB | Georgia A
      153 Olusegun Oluwatimi, OC | Michigan A+
      156 A.T. Perry, WR | Wake Forest A+
      217 Dorian Williams, LB | Tulane A+
      251 Nick Saldiveri, OT/OG | Old Dominion, A+

      • DK says:

        If the Seahawks could land this draft it would be awesome. I don’t think Keion White will be there at 37, but that would bring some young and athleticism to the defensive line.

        But this would be a great follow-up to last years draft. Add a couple of LBs in free agency and it looks like a good foundation for the team moving forward.

  33. no frickin clue says:

    Here’s the best reason to re-sign Geno.
    To paraphrase the comedian Jim Jeffries “it’s not a great reason, but it’s the best reason you’ve got”.

    It makes Seattle appear to be looking elsewhere in the draft.

    If the plan is to grab Hendon Hooker or perhaps the UCLA kid later in the draft, maybe another team sees a Seattle without Geno Smith and tries to move ahead of them. Maybe the Lions at #6 overall want a new QB and are debating about trading up to #3 with the Cards. But with Geno on board? Who in their right mind would expect the Hawks to use a high pick on another QB? So the Lions sit on their hands at #6, figuring on AR falling into their laps, and see Seattle nab him one pick earlier.

    It’s kind of like a PSL for season ticket holders. 🙂 You pay this up front now for the right to buy something else later – with that something else being another QB.

    • cha says:

      The Seahawks aren’t going to spend tens of millions of dollars just to throw other teams of the scent of their draft plans.

  34. MJ says:

    Landing spots for a few QBs this off-season may have a significant impact on who might trade ahead of the Hawks. For example, a Rodgers trade to the Raiders, Carr to the Panthers and Jimmy G to the Falcons could potentially eliminate 3 teams picking in the top 10 from moving ahead of the Hawks at 5 for a QB. In all of these cases, I would still be looking for a young QB but it could allow for more patience. The next couple of months will be interesting.

  35. 509 Chris says:

    I got tired of all the hate I get online with the average seahawk fan so I joined a pitbull group on Facebook and told them I believe in euthanizing dogs. The Seahawk fans are still meaner.

  36. Pran says:

    Hurts is physical freak. Hooker reminds me of Teddy in terms of build and was also drafted in 2nd.