The Seattle Seahawks may have their starting quarterback for Week 1, but with the uncertainty at the position moving forward, general manager John Schneider needs to find the team’s next franchise QB.
After trading Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks are now dealing with a QB competition that will continue throughout this season between Drew Lock and Geno Smith. Neither option is a future Hall of Fame quarterback, but the team was unable to land another veteran starter this offseason via a trade, with Baker Mayfield going to the Carolina Panthers and Jimmy Garoppolo staying put in San Francisco.
The Seahawks will likely have to wait until 2023 to find their quarterback of the future, and Vinnie Iyer with Sporting News has just the player in mind. In his 2023 NFL mock draft, Iyer had the Seahawks holding the second overall pick after a disastrous season, but it allowed them to take Ohio State star quarterback C.J. Stroud.
“The Seahawks have messed around with no real answers at quarterback, rookie, veteran bridge or otherwise after trading Russell Wilson,” Iyer said. “They need to target a franchise pocket passer who can make all the throws and lead their rebuild and Stroud would be the easy choice early.”
Who is C.J. Stroud?
For Seahawks fans wanting a long-term option at quarterback who are already looking ahead to the 2023 NFL Draft, they’re going to want to take a long look at C.J. Stroud this college football season.
Stroud was a 5-star recruit coming out of Rancho Cucamonga in California, ranked as the second-best pro-style quarterback in the entire 2020 high school recruiting class. Dozens of top FBS schools offered Stroud a scholarship including Georgia, Michigan, and USC, but Stroud decided to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes and be the next great QB for the prestigious program.
ALL the latest Seahawks news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Seahawks newsletter here!
After spending his true freshman season behind Justin Fields, Stroud burst onto the scene in his first year as a starter in 2021. Over 12 games, he completed 71.9 percent of his passes for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. He broke multiple Rose Bowl records in his final game of the season, throwing for 573 yards and six touchdowns in the win over Utah.
At 6’3″ and 215 pounds, Stroud has the size, arm talent, and mental processing to be a top-tier quarterback prospect in 2023. He won’t be turning 21 years old until October either, meaning that he still has plenty of time to develop once he decides to play at the NFL level.
For a team like the Seahawks, getting a quarterback like Stroud could completely change the trajectory of the franchise.
Will Geno Smith Hold Onto the QB1 Job in 2022?
Getting a quarterback like Stroud would be a huge boost to the Seahawks in 2023, but for the time being, the team needs to figure out if Geno Smith can hold onto the starting quarterback job.
Smith was announced as the Week 1 starter shortly after the team’s preseason finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Lock had been competing for the starting job, but missed his opportunity to start in the preseason against the Chicago Bears after testing positive for COVID-19.
The pressure will be on Smith to produce early and often. It’s certainly possible that he can produce in Seattle’s offense after posting a 103.0 passer rating with five touchdowns and one interception in four games last season.
However, Smith will have a short leash, because Lock showed some flashes in his two preseason games. If the 31-year-old veteran starts to struggle, it won’t be long before Seahawks fans are pressuring head coach Pete Carroll to pull the plug and bring in the younger Lock to see what he can do.
If neither QB pans out and the team struggles, then the Seahawks will need to find a star quarterback next offseason to try and turn things around.