Seahawks Predicted to Land New Star Quarterback

Pete Carroll John Schneider

Getty Seahawks general manager John Schneider (left) and head coach Pete Carroll appear to have won the Russell Wilson trade.

The Seattle Seahawks have multiple paths the team can take this offseason to firm up the quarterback position for the future with the potential of drafting a quarterback. Heading into the final week of the season, Seattle is slated to have the No. 3 pick from Denver as part of the blockbuster Russell Wilson deal.

Few players helped themselves more during the bowl season than Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. The dynamic quarterback’s performance against Georgia in the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup put the prospect in contention to be the first quarterback selected in the 2023 NFL draft. CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin predicts that the Seahawks will re-sign Smith and also use the No. 3 selection on Stroud.

“Some would argue he’s just as, if not more, likely to go No. 1 overall because he pairs more standard size (6-3, 218) with maybe the best precision pocket passing in the 2023 class,” Benjamin wrote on January 5, 2023. “Regardless, he feels like a virtual lock to go in the top five. Seattle picks at No. 3, and while the Seahawks could easily double-dip on defense in the first round, the luxury of owning two Day One picks could also convince them to find a longer-term alternative to Geno Smith, even if Smith returns as the rookie-year mentor.”

Stroud Is Drawing Comparisons to Prescott

The question looming over Stroud’s transition to the NFL has been whether the Ohio State quarterback will be able to become more of a rushing threat. Stroud’s 34 rushing yards against the Bulldogs do not do the signal-caller’s performance justice as he also used legs to extend time for explosive passing plays.

The Buckeyes quarterback threw for 348 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions while completing 67.6% of his passes. ESPN’s Matt Miller sees similarities between Stroud and Cowboys QB1 Dak Prescott.

“Stroud puts up big numbers in the wide-open Ohio State passing game (3,340 passing yards, 37 TD throws and six interceptions),” Miller detailed on December 6. “At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Stroud has really good touch accuracy to all levels of the field. He’s also an above-average runner and mover in the pocket when given room to operate.

“The hardest thing about evaluating Stroud is extrapolating his talent from the Buckeyes’ scheme and figuring out what he can do without that system around him.”

Smith Is Projected to Land a 2-Year, $58 Million Extension

The question the Seahawks have to answer is whether Stroud, Bryce Young or one of the other available quarterbacks is worth passing on a top defensive prospect like Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter or Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson. Benjamin’s approach is a comprise between bringing back Smith and drafting a quarterback.

Financially, this is a plausible path as Seattle is projected to have more than $57 million in cap space this offseason, per Spotrac. Benjamin projects that Smith will sign a reasonable two-year, $58 million extension.

Theoretically, it would allow Smith to remain the starter for 2023 while bringing along a rookie quarterback slowly. Part of the argument for taking a quarterback with a top-five pick is the Seahawks have rarely had the luxury of being on the clock this early on draft day.

“Pressured to deliver down the stretch for a team with a porous defense, his forced throws have increased, rendering him more good than great,” Benjamin noted. “He’s also 32 with only one full season of passable production under his belt. Still, for Seattle, which may well prioritize defensive reinforcements and has now witnessed him grow in the system for four years, he’s a logical short-term investment.”