The Seahawks were considered among the most quarterback-needy teams in the NFL entering the 2022 NFL Draft. As such, it was a surprise when the team opted not to select one with their nine draft picks.
Seattle added plenty of talent on offense. The team drafted two tackles, two receivers and a running back for their offense. However, it’s worth noting that they passed on Malik Willis — one of the consensus top quarterback prospects in the class — four times before he was selected by the Titans with the 86th overall pick.
Why didn’t the Seahawks take Willis? ESPN’s Brady Henderson reports that the Seahawks felt Willis “was nowhere near NFL-ready,” so they repeatedly passed on him.
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And why didn’t Seattle take any quarterbacks? General manager John Schneider explained that it was due to the difficulties rookies face in becoming quality starters early during their NFL careers.
“It’s hard for rookies,” Schneider said, per ESPN. “It’s very hard on rookies to come in here and [compete right away]. You have to have unique, unique qualities … Continuously throughout the draft, it just didn’t fall the right way for one reason or another.”
The 2022 NFL Draft was considered to be weak at the quarterback position. As such, it’s easy to understand why Schneider didn’t see those “unique qualities” in any prospect this year.
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Now, Seattle will rely on Drew Lock and Geno Smtih to battle for the starting quarterback job. Neither former second-round pick has proven to be an effective starter yet, but the Seahawks seem confident that they can keep the team afloat as the post-Russell Wilson era begins.
If not, it’s worth questioning what the team might do at quarterback. Seattle could turn to Jacob Eason or undrafted rookie Levi Lewis at the position, but they could also look into acquiring Baker Mayfield via trade from the Browns. Coach Pete Carroll wouldn’t rule out that possibility during the draft.
“We’re really happy with the guys we’ve got, to see them battle, and we’ll see what happens,” Carroll told NFL Network. “You never know what’s going on down the road. We’re always looking.”
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More recently, however, Carroll has said that the Seahawks aren’t likely to trade for a quarterback. As such, it seems likely that either Lock or Smith will be entrusted as the Seahawks’ Week 1 starter. And if that plan flops, Seattle should have a chance at one of the top passers in what’s looking like a loaded 2023 NFL Draft quarterback class.