Geno Smith Has High Hopes for QB Who Could Replace Him

Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. who would be a perfect Geno Smith successor for the Seahawks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Getty Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr.

Geno Smith is a big fan of Washington Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr., and the younger signal-caller seems to be a fan of Smith, as he quoted the Seattle Seahawks quarterback after the Huskies won the Pac-12 Championship to make the College Football Playoffs. On Thursday, Dec. 7, ahead of the Seahawks’ crucial Week 14 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, Smith talked about Penix, the quote, and Washington’s national title hopes. What Smith didn’t mention is that Penix would be a perfect candidate to replace him in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Geno Smith Loves That the Washington Huskies QB Quoted Him

“Yo, they wrote me off. I didn’t write back, though!” Geno Smith exclaimed after a 2022 Week 1 victory over the Denver Broncos and the former Seahawks quarterback he used to back up.

That quote defines exactly who Smith — a former second-round pick, turned journeyman, turned redeemed starter – is in his NFL career. He is a quarterback whose team always seemed to have a better option but who refused to accept that and stuck around until he finally got his chance, and the big contract that followed.

Likewise, Washington is a program that everyone thinks plays second fiddle to Oregon, but they just keep beating the Ducks and are now in the College Football Playoffs because of that. And Penix, who suffered two ACL tears at Indiana before transferring to Washington, is the perfect QB for that team.

After the Huskies’ Pac-12 championship, Penix channeled his best Geno Smith impression and told ESPN’s Holly Rowe, “They tried to write us off, but we ain’t write back!”

Ahead of the Seahawks Week 14 showdown with the 49ers, reporters asked Smith about Penix quoting him, and the veteran NFL star said he was flattered and wished Penix and the Huskies well.

“That was awesome, man. You know, I got a chance to throw with Mike in the offseason and had a chance to talk to him, and he’s a really special player. Special guy,” Smith said of Penix. “To be able to kind of share Seattle with him is awesome, and I love what they’re doing a U-Dub, and I hope they win it all, man. So, rooting for Mike. Appreciate him doing that. It was pretty cool.”

Smith may love “Mike” now, but come next August, he could be competing with him, as it makes a ton of sense for the Seahawks to call the name “Michael Penix Jr., quarterback, University of Washington” in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Why the Seahawks Should Take Michael Penix Jr. In the 2024 NFL Draft

Geno Smith is a Seattle hero who will never have to pay for a meal again in the Pacific Northwest. He came and replaced Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson when the drama became too much to bear, and without making a huge deal of it, Smith shut up all the critics who thought that trade would torpedo the franchise for the better part of the next decade.

But let’s be honest. Smith is a great stopgap. Maybe one of the best of all time. But at 33 and with his limitations as a quarterback, he’s not the long-term answer. And as much fun as making the playoffs is, Smith’s biggest flaw might be that he is too good to let the Seahawks bottom out and get a top signal-caller in the draft.

Currently, the Seahawks hold the No. 15 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. That could shift a little bit one way or the other depending on how the team finishes the season, but that’s about where they are likely to pick next April.

At 15(ish), USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are off the board, barring some sort of major change in their draft stock. LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Oregon’s Bo Nix, and Michigan’s JJ McCarthy could all be gone, too.

At that point, the Seahawks could have the Huskies’ signal caller staring them right in the face.

And if Seattle wants to draft a QB to someday replace Smith next year, they should do it in the first round, as they don’t have another pick until the third thanks to the Leonard Williams trade.

Yes, the franchise did find Wilson in the third, but players like him, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, and Brock Purdy are the exceptions that prove the rule — that first-round QBs work out more than any other round — not the rule.  

In Penix, the Seahawks get a smart, mature signal-caller who makes good decisions and has the athleticism of youth that Smith no longer has. He is Geno Smith 2.0, already resides in the Greater Seattle area, and has a good relationship with the incumbent starter. Taking the Washington QB makes a ton of sense.

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