The Seattle Seahawks clearly did not believe in the most recent quarterback class, opting to pass on the top signal callers on multiple occasions during the 2022 NFL draft. Seattle even passed on the once projected top-10 pick Malik Willis in the third round, showing the team had little belief in the Liberty quarterback as their long-term solution.
The Seahawks could take a different stance in the 2023 NFL draft with what most analysts project to be a stronger quarterback group. ESPN’s Todd McShay’s initial 2023 mock draft has the Seahawks selecting Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke with the No. 9 pick, noting the Hurricanes signal-caller has “the talent of a future franchise passer.”
“Van Dyke didn’t consistently play like a first-rounder in nine starts last season, but the 6-foot-4, 224-pounder has the talent of a future franchise passer,” McShay wrote on May 5. “The third-year sophomore just needs to take the next step this year. Seattle GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll seem to still legitimately like Drew Lock’s potential as an NFL starter, but if the Seahawks have another disappointing season and another top-10 pick, they could be in the market for an upgrade.”
Here is a look at the highlights from Van Dyke’s 2021 season.
ALL the latest Seahawks news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Seahawks newsletter here!
McShay Has 5 Quarterbacks Going in First 9 Picks for the 2023 Draft
Van Dyke threw for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 62.3% of his passes during his 10 appearances in 2021. Seattle could have plenty of quarterback options in next year’s draft as McShay has five quarterbacks being selected inside the first nine slections. Compare that to the most recent draft where the first quarterback was not selected until pick No. 20 with Kenny Pickett as the lone signal-caller to go in the first two rounds.
The challenge for the Seahawks is if the team is able to remain competitive in 2022, it could impact their ability to land a top quarterback in next year’s draft. Four quarterbacks were already off the board when the Seahawks selected in McShay’s mock draft (the order was based on the 2022 Super Bowl odds) with Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Alabama’s Bryce Young as the first two players selected.
Stroud & Young Are the Early Favorites to Be the Top QBs in 2023 NFL Draft
As we saw with the most recent draft, a lot can change over the span of a year. This time last year, Pickett was far from a consensus first-round pick, but his play last season allowed him to become the top quarterback selected. McShay has Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis as the next quarterbacks selected in the 2023 draft just ahead of the Seahawks snagging Van Dyke.
Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson is arguably the most talented prospect heading into 2023. While there is still time for things to change, Young and Stroud are expected to compete to be the first quarterback selected. Young is listed at 6’0″ by Alabama, but the quarterback could end up measuring even shorter at the NFL combine.
“Bryce is really, really good, but C.J.’s got the pro-ready body,” an NFC exec told Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “C.J. has a lot of great traits—the ball comes out fast, he sees the field really well. As much as you can in that offense, you see him go through progressions; he looks like a proficient quarterback. He’s got really good touch. He just throws it really well, and he was awesome at their pro day. The ball really popped off his hand. And Bryce is really good now. He’s just so tiny.”
Barring a late change of heart, the Seahawks are going to turn the offense over to either Drew Lock or Geno Smith in 2022. Unless one of these players widely exceeds expectations, the Seahawks are likely to once again be in the quarterback market next offseason.