The offseason is here for the Seattle Seahawks as is the process for position needs to be addressed. These position needs can be addressed through free agency or the 2023 NFL Draft. Seattle has the fifth-overall pick in the 2023 Draft thanks to the trade of Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Seahawks will use this pick to draft Kentucky Wildcats quarterback Will Levis.
In Kiper’s mock, Levis is the third quarterback off the board, after C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young. Young and Stroud have proven to be winners at a high level in college football. With Will Levis, he has underperformed in big moments in the 2022 college football season.
Kiper’s reasoning for Levis to Seattle is he will be under Geno Smith and that Levis’ pro-style experience at Kentucky, pro-level size, and mechanics will translate to the next level. Kiper acknowledges Levis has poor accuracy and decision-making, but he still believes Levis to the Seahawks would be a good pairing. However, despite the positive traits, Will Levis with the Seattle Seahawks would be a disaster.
Why Will Levis Is A Bad Decision for the Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks Want Geno Smith Back
Geno Smith was given an opportunity to lead the Seahawks offense and prove he could be a solution and not a problem at quarterback. This 2022 NFL season has more than shown he can be the future leader of the Seahawks offense. Seattle’s offense ranked 11th in the league in passing yards per game (231.4). Smith finished the regular season with the best completion percentage (69.8%), fourth in touchdowns (30), and sixth in QBR (60.8).
The Seahawks organization has said they want Smith back under center for the foreseeable future. Smith has also stated he wants to return to the Seahawks organization. He is 32 years old and looks to get a beneficial deal. The team has a chance to add depth and support at other key positions.
Seattle Has Other Needs
The Seahawks had one of the worst rush defenses in the NFL this past season. The defense ranked 30th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (150.2). Part of the reason for the losses late in the season was the lack of support in the run defense. A reliable, dynamic defensive tackle is needed for consistent support. Seattle might also value more reliable edge rushers opposite of Uchenna Nwosu. Other positions where Seattle needs youth and high-level talent are wide receiver, interior offensive lineman, and safety.
Going back to the quarterback position, Smith has thrown for under 200 yards in four games. The Seahawks were 3-1 in those games with the one loss at the San Francisco 49ers 27-7 in Week 2. Smith led an efficient performance as he turned the ball over in the loss to the 49ers. Seattle rushed for under 100 yards in the Week 1 win over Denver and the loss to San Francisco. Smith is an efficient game manager and has been careful with the ball, despite the run game being limited. That responsibility is for the interior offensive lineman to help create a solid run-offense.
The Seahawks could also use the second first-round pick on a safety for a player like Alabama’s Brian Branch or Texas A&M’s Antonio Johnson. They could use more support in the deep passing or act as the last line of defense in the short-passing or run game. Jamal Adams has not played a full season since the 2018 NFL season. Getting a quarterback early would force more vital position needs like defensive tackle or edge rusher back deep in the first round.
The Seahawks Are Win-Now, and Will Levis Isn’t Winning Now
The pros for Levis is that he looks the part of a pro-style quarterback. He has the NFL caliber size at 6′-3″ and 222 pounds. Levis is a talented and tough runner for extra yards in RPO plays such as Josh Allen has been. He also has a strong arm that plays in a pro-system. Levis is the perfect NFL Draft prospect off the field which makes analysts like Mel Kiper Jr. jump for joy. What Levis possesses in workouts and drills, he lacks on the field.
In his junior season with Liam Coen as his offensive coordinator, Levis threw for 2,826 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. This past season, under new offensive coordinator Richard Scangarello, the offense was more on the pro-style quarterback. Levis did not thrive under pressure as he made mistakes often. Levis is not a good decision-maker while playing in pro-style offenses. He was on target 76.3% of his throws without play-action in 2021, but this past season he completed only 64.9% without play-action. In the 2021 and 2022 seasons, Levis had an 11-to-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio without play-action. He threw for under 230 yards in nine games of the 12 games he played this past season, including all eight SEC games. Levis has been known to make bad decisions and stare down at his receivers, thus making it easy for the defensive backs to make the stops.
Levis has a huge upside and room to grow as a player as he could eventually get it once in the league. He is a project quarterback and Seattle doesn’t have time for a project to polish for years to come.
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