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What if the 5th pick isn’t high enough to get the quarterback the Seahawks want?

There are four quarterbacks projected to go in Round 1. The Seahawks pick 5th.

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Georgia v Florida Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Fresh on the heels of Geno Smith signing a 3-year, $105 million contract with the Seattle Seahawks, it’s time to consider whether John Schneider and Pete Carroll should still be considering the possibility of using their first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on a quarterback.

For me, the answer is a resounding, “YES!!!”

. . . IF they “fall in love” with one of them - like they reportedly did with Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and Josh Allen in 2018.

If not, then they should probably “ride or die” with Geno Smith through 2025.

On a side note, I doubt it’s a coincidence that Geno’s contract and Pete’s contract expire at the same time since Pete’s replacement - should Pete decide to retire at the end of his current contract - will probably want to pick his own QB in 2025.

The above speculation about coincidences and Pete’s potential future retirement notwithstanding, let’s consider whether John and Pete should consider drafting one of this year’s top QBs.

The candidates

There are four quarterbacks in this year’s draft that are widely considered potential franchise players. The order will vary depending on where you look, but the list will be the same: Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, and Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.

The key word in the above paragraph is potential.

None of the four are perfect players.

High-level knocks:

  • Bryce Young: Small frame; unlikely to hold up to the physical rigors of the NFL; played with an incredibly talented supporting cast which he won’t have in the pros. (scouting report)
  • C.J. Stroud: One-read QB who isn’t mobile and, like Young, played with a supporting cast whose talent level won’t be matched by his NFL team. (scouting report)
  • Will Levis: Polarizing player; puts mayonnaise in his coffee; lacks pocket presence; sub-par 2022 season (2021 was better); won’t be ready to start Day One. (scouting report)
  • Anthony Richardson: Poor mechanics; limited experience; sub-60% completion rate in college; will need to spend Year 1 on the bench. (scouting report)

Knocks aside, those are four of the top six players on PFF’s Big Board, and after the performance that Anthony Richardson put on at the NFL Combine, it’s a near certainty that all four will be selected within the Top 10 in April’s draft.

Also, given the “instant rapport” that Richardson felt with Pete Carroll (and Richardson’s otherworldly athleticism), there would appear to be a frontrunner on the Seahawks’ dance card.

Thank you, Denver

The Seahawks currently hold the 5th overall pick in April’s draft, courtesy of the Denver Broncos, and are in a position to take one of the top four quarterbacks (should they decide to do so).

Unless, of course, the first four picks are all quarterbacks.

All quarterbacks are not created equal though, and it’s a near certainty that John Schneider and Pete Carroll will value one of them higher than the others.

Note: My money is on the QB with the 10.00 RAS score.

Assuming that QB is the play when the Seahawks go on the clock, JSPC won’t want to settle for their 4th choice. Or their 3rd choice. And probably not their 2nd choice either.

Here are the teams that have the 4 picks ahead of the Seahawks right now.

  1. Chicago Bears
  2. Houston Texans
  3. Arizona Cardinals
  4. Indianapolis Colts

Both the Texans and the Colts are expected to draft a quarterback.

Unsurprisingly, reports out of the Combine indicate that both the Bears and Cardinals are interested in trading their picks.

Let’s look at what it might cost to acquire one of those picks, starting with . . .

The Arizona Cardinals

There’s no word yet on what the Cardinals are looking for in a trade for #3 (at least not that I’ve seen), but we can look at the San Francisco 49ers trade for the #3 pick two years ago for guidance.

In that trade, the Miami Dolphins received the 12th overall pick in the 2021 draft, plus two future R1s (2022 + 2023), and a future R3 (2022).

Adjusting for the difference between moving up from #5 instead of #12, a package that included #5, #83 (R3), a future R1 (2024), and a future R3 (2025) would be reasonably comparable.

Personally, I see no reason to include both of this year’s first round picks to move up two spots, so I’m not going to entertain that calculation.

As is, I think the price to move up to #3 is overly steep and doesn’t move us forward enough. Thus, I can’t see JSPC pursuing that move - especially with a division rival.

The Chicago Bears

The Bears reportedly want, at a minimum, a team’s R1, their R2, and 2 future R1s to trade out of the top 5.

According to Robert Mays of The Athletic, that price is based on the aforementioned Niners/Dolphins trade in 2021. (Warning: There is an F-bomb at the end of THIS CLIP.)

Presumably, a trade that moved the Bears out of #1 but kept them in the top 5 would cost a bit less than that.

If the Seahawks were willing to include both of this year’s R1s, then it might be possible to move up to #1 by sacrificing our first 3 picks (#5, #20, and #37) or, best case, three of our first four picks (#5, #20, and #51) and a future R3.

Using the Jimmy Johnson Trade Value chart, Seattle’s first three picks are worth 3,080 points. Three of our first four picks + a future R3 lands in the same neighborhood (depending on how you value future picks).

The #1 pick is worth 3,000 points on Jimmy’s chart.

Honestly though, I think Chicago would turn down both of those offers.

But . . .

Sending them pick #5, pick #20, and our 2024 R1 seems like it would seal this particular deal.

The only team that could arguably “beat” that offer are the Detroit Lions (#6 + #18) since us, them, and the Philadelphia Eagles (#10 + #30) are the only teams with 2 R1s this year.

Yes, two R1s is an expensive price to pay to move up four spots, but (a) it guarantees that the Seahawks get their pick of the QBs in the draft, and (b) it’s not like John and Pete have never sacrificed 2 R1s for a player.

FTR’s take

Geno Smith’s new contract is a godsend from a draft perspective as it removes the need to move up from #5 to grab a quarterback.

I do think it makes a lot of sense to select a potential successor for Geno Smith this year and, unless we sign someone in free agency, we do need a backup QB.

I think Anthony Richardson is the obvious choice for the Seahawks -IF- (and only IF) he’s still on the board at #5.

If not, I’d trade down 100x before even thinking about trading up.

And then I’d target someone like Hendon Hooker (in Round 3) or Jake Haener (on Day 3).

Go Hawks!