Change was inevitable for the Seattle Seahawks as they tried to keep nine-time Pro-Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson happy. The Seahawks traded Wilson to the Denver Broncos in a blockbuster deal for multiple NFL Draft picks and a couple of potentially key role players. The Seahawks are preparing for life without their all-time great quarterback and have some decisions to make at the quarterback position. Seattle gets the ninth overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft for the Wilson trade. The Seahawks could use it to select a top quarterback in this 2022 Draft class. There are still a couple of veteran quarterbacks they can pick via free agency or through trades. Seattle has multiple options they could at quarterback, but it is something they need to decide on before it is too late.
Quarterback Options for the Seattle Seahawks in 2022
The Seahawks received Lock in the trade package from the Broncos to trade Wilson. Lock comes into Seattle with swagger and charisma, but he also comes with many question marks. He was selected by the Broncos in the 2019 NFL Draft to potentially become a legitimate franchise quarterback. While he has had some ups with Denver, he has had more downs. In his rookie 2019 season, Lock started five games, winning four of them while accounting for 1,020 yards, a completion percentage of 64.1%, seven touchdowns, three interceptions, and a QBR of 50.2.
Since then, Lock has regressed, throwing more interceptions (15 in 2020) and accounting for a QBR of 23.4 in 2021 in his six games (three starts). With a new environment, Lock has a chance to show he is a reliable starting quarterback for the Seahawks in 2022. He has a much tougher battle this time as he has to convince the Seahawks and the city of Seattle.
Life moved faster for many teams and players moved fast this off-season, none more so than Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield. After a disappointing season this past year, the Browns are moving on from their first overall pick in Mayfield for Deshaun Watson. Mayfield wants to leave the organization before the Browns made the trade, but they request a first-round pick. All other 31 teams have shown he is not worth it. Seattle could come in and potentially make a deal involving a third-rounder, at least. The Browns could counter that offer by demanding wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. If Seattle could make a small package without a first-round pick or Metcalf, it could be a successful trade.
As for Mayfield, he will get a chance to thrive in a new team. While he isn’t elite as some of his Draft counterparts in Buffalo’s Josh Allen or Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Mayfield has shown he can be a playoff contender. In the 2020 NFL season, Mayfield led the Browns to the Divisional Round of the Playoffs. That season, he threw for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a completion percentage of 62.8%. If Mayfield can return to the playing potential he had before he suffered a torn labrum in the second week of the 2021 NFL season, he has the chance to be a franchise quarterback for the Seahawks.
Colin Kaepernick is a wild-card among all NFL free-agent quarterbacks. Kaepernick hasn’t played in the NFL since the 2016 NFL season as teams are afraid fans and media will slander him for picking him up. His last couple of seasons in the league hasn’t been great either, as he, at one point, lost the starting job at the San Francisco 49ers to Blaine Gabbert. That being said, Kaepernick has been determined to get back in the league by consistently working out in the weight room and through drills. At 34-years old, Kaepernick shows he has plenty left in the tank and shows consistent arm strength. The Seahawks recently evaluated Kaepernick in his workout at the University of Washington earlier this week. If the mutual interest grows between the Seahawks and Kaepernick, the 2021 season could be interesting.
Another quarterback the Seahawks could bring to compete for starting quarterback in 2022 is former Washington State Cougar Gardner Minshew II. In his two years in the league, Minshew was a fan-favorite for the Jacksonville Jaguars. With Jacksonville, Minshew threw for 5,530 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions in the 2019 and 2020 seasons. This past off-season, the Philadelphia Eagles traded for Minshew to back up Jalen Hurts. He started two this past season for the Eagles while Hurts was out. Seattle could make an easy trade of a late-round pick for Minshew so he could have a legitimate of leading the Seahawks. Having Minshew would also create competitive pressure on Seattle’s future new franchise quarterback. He might not be the permanent solution to their problems in the 2022 season, but he will be a fun temporary solution.
A 2021 NFL rookie
The Seahawks could start building for the future immediately through the 2022 NFL Draft. They traded away first-round pick to the New York Jets in the Jamal Adams trade before the 2020 NFL season. Luckily, the ninth overall pick they received from the Broncos could go into picking their new franchise quarterback. Seattle could be in play for Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, or Ole Miss’ Matt Corral. Willis is the most athletic of all the quarterback prospects, possesses the strongest arm, and arguably, is the smartest. Seattle could go after Corral, who reminds the team a lot of Russell Wilson in terms of arm strength, dual-threat capabilities, and being able to throw the deep ball. Finally, Pickett has the great accuracy and the durability to make the deep throws to Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.
Tank for C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young
The quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class are less talented than last year’s class. While Willis, Pickett, and Corral are great players, they would be ranked last among the first-round quarterbacks last year. If the Seahawks were to bite the bullet for a high draft pick next season, the 2023 NFL Draft would be the time for them to potentially clinch the first overall pick. Next year’s class’s top quarterbacks could include Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young. Stroud threw for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, and only six interceptions last season for the Buckeyes. Young, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, threw for 4,872 yards, 47 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions for the Crimson Tide. Just one of these quarterbacks alone is potentially franchise leaders that Seattle could skip over Willis, Pickett, or Corral.
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