Coming into the 2022 season, the Seattle Seahawks were expected to quickly go after the quarterback of the future. However, with the emergence of veteran Geno Smith, the team might consider finding a young QB with upside to stash behind him while the team rides his incredible hot streak.
Smith has been on a tear through seven games, leading the Seahawks to a 4-3 record while completing 73.5 percent of his passes for 1,712 yards, 11 touchdowns, and three interceptions for a 107.7 passer rating. While he’s playing at a high level, he’s also 32 years old and playing on a one-year deal, making him a free agent in 2023.
The veteran QB has almost certainly earned himself as contract extension, but if the Seahawks want long-term insurance at the position, they could benefit by drafting a raw quarterback with high upside in the 2023 NFL Draft. Alex Ballentine with Bleacher Report has just the QB in mind when discussing their best fits for the top QBs in the 2023 class.
“Will Levis might draw some comparisons to Josh Allen, but [Anthony] Richardson might be a more accurate facsimile,” Ballentine said. “He’s massive at 6’4″, 232 pounds and adds another dimension to the game as a runner, but he needs to learn to take care of the ball. The Seahawks would make sense as a team to target Richardson. The [Florida] product might require some time to work on his accuracy and refine his game, and Geno Smith’s play this season gives them a gap year to ease him into the NFL game.”
Who is Anthony Richardson?
He may not be totally ready for the pro level, but if Anthony Richardson declares for the NFL draft, then one team will be getting a prospect with some ridiculous tools.
Richardson lived around the Florida Gators campus growing up, going to Eastside High School in Gainesville. As a 4-star recruit and a top-10 dual-threat QB in the 2020 class, Richardson received offers from plenty of top FBS programs, but decided to stay at home to play for the Gators.
Although he saw some action as a redshirt freshman in 2021, Richardson took over as the full-time starter this season. He’s only completing 56.7 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and seven interceptions, but he’s been lethal with his legs. On 56 rushing attempts, Richardson is averaging 7.1 yards per carry for 395 yards and six touchdowns.
At 6’4″ and 232 pounds, Richardson has excellent size, great athleticism, and tremendous arm strength. He’s still raw as a pure passer, and he will need to work on his mechanics in order to improve his accuracy, but all of the tools are there for Richardson to develop into a superstar quarterback with the right mentality and coaching.
The Josh Allen Comparison Makes Sense
Even though he’s now an NFL superstar, Josh Allen wasn’t always expected to be one coming out of college, making his comparison to Richardson a logical one.
Coming out of Wyoming, Allen has another massive QB prospect with athleticism and top-tier arm strength. He was considered the ultimate boom-or-bust draft pick, with the talent showing on film along with some really poor play against stronger competition.
Fortunately for the Buffalo Bills, their coaching staff was able to help Allen develop into the MVP-caliber playmaker that he is today. If the Seahawks want to take a chance and take a player with similar skills, they could benefit by drafting Richardson and letting him sit behind Geno Smith while he gets comfortable in the offense.
It’s a risk, but if it pays off, the Seahawks could have a franchise QB in 2023 and beyond.