Seahawks Sign Dynamic 6-Foot-3 QB Amid Post-Draft Roster Moves

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 did not rest after making 10 picks in the 2023 NFL draft as the team got to work in signing undrafted free agents. Seattle agreed to terms with former East Carolina quarterback Holton Ahlers, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Hours after the NFL draft ended, Ahlers took to Twitter to celebrate the news.

“God is good ❤️ I’m a Seahawk… Let’s work!!! @Seahawks,” Ahlers tweeted on April 29, 2023.

Ahlers spent the majority of his five years at ECU as the starting quarterback. The signal-caller threw for 3,708 yards, 28 touchdowns and five interceptions while completing 67.2% of his passes during 13 games in 2022. Ahlers is also a significant threat with his legs rushing for 1,446 yards and 25 touchdowns during his five seasons with the Pirates.

New Seahawks QB Holton Ahlers ‘Plays With the Aggressive Confidence to Push the Ball Downfield,’ Says The Athletic’s Dane Brugler

At 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds, Ahlers has the size of a prototypical NFL quarterback. Coming out of high school, Ahlers had offers from power-five programs like Georgia, Florida and NC State but opted to attend ECU where he went on to break several significant records. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler graded Ahlers as a priority free agent noting that the quarterback “plays with the aggressive confidence to push the ball downfield.”

“A three-star recruit, Ahlers had offers from Florida and Georgia but wanted to stay close to home and picked East Carolina over NC State,” Brugler wrote in his pre-draft profile. “He leaves ECU as the school’s all-time record holder in several categories, including passing yards (also an AAC record) and touchdowns responsible for. Ahlers is a competitive, sturdy passer willing to hang tough and make throws from a muddy pocket.

“A left-handed passer, his release is a tad mechanical and inconsistent delivery balance alters his accuracy. Overall, Ahlers efficiently works through his reads and plays with the aggressive confidence to push the ball downfield, but continued improvements with his footwork and ball placement are vital for him to stick in the NFL.”

Despite the QB Selfies, the Seahawks Did Not Draft a Quarterback in Any Round

Seattle spent plenty of the pre-draft process talking up the top quarterback prospects but ultimately passed on taking a signal-caller. Not only did the Seahawks not take a quarterback at No. 5, but the team did not address the position at any point in the draft.

Seattle also saw three of the top four quarterbacks go off the board before the Seahawks were on the clock at No. 5. Seahawks general manager John Schneider indicated that the team wanted to draft a quarterback and pointed to day three as having the potential to address the position but this did not come to fruition.

“Our goal every year is to draft a quarterback,” Schneider said during an April 29 press conference. “It really has been, honestly, and it hasn’t happened. You can’t just force it. Especially with that position, it’s the most unique position in the game. And so, we feel like [with] Geno [Smith] and Drew [Lock], we have two really good quarterbacks, right?

“There’s still several good quarterbacks. We got six picks tomorrow. There’s still several good quarterbacks available. If we’re able to line somebody up and it works, great. But we’re not gonna panic and push just to do it. That’s when you can make huge mistakes.”

According to Pelissero, some of Seattle’s additional undrafted free agent signings include Oregon State receiver Tyjon Lindsey, Louisiana running back Chris Smith, Arkansas wide receiver Matt Landers and North Dakota State tight end Noah Gindorff. Ahlers will be fighting for a roster spot throughout the offseason with hopes of joining Geno Smith and Drew Lock next season.

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