NFL Execs Predict Seahawks to Make Run at Rising 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.

Few players did more to help themselves at the NFL Combine than former Florida star quarterback Anthony Richardson, a name that continues to be linked to the Seattle Seahawks. If Seattle has a real interest in landing Richardson, the Seahawks will likely need to take the quarterback at No. 5 with the playmaker’s recent combine performance putting him firmly in the top-10 picture.

The Athletic’s Mike Sando polled NFL executives to predict how the top-10 draft picks will play out and the league’s brass believe the Seahawks are a team to watch in the Richardson sweepstakes. One NFL general manager views Richardson as an ideal fit for what Seattle GM John Schneider looks for in a quarterback.

“‘Seattle might take a quarterback,’ an exec who has competed against Seattle in the NFC West said,” Sando wrote on March 6, 2023. “If that were the case, who might the Seahawks like?

“‘Probably Anthony Richardson — big, athletic guy who can run,’ this exec reasoned. Levis would also be available under this scenario.

“’I like Anthony Richardson better than Levis, and I don’t think I’m the only GM who feels this way,’ a GM said.

“’I could see (Seahawks GM) John (Schneider) liking Richardson a lot,’ another GM said. ‘He hasn’t started much and didn’t really carry his team but is a freak talent.’”

Anthony Richardson Is Drawing Comparisons to Cam Newton

Richardson tested as the most athletic quarterback in the draft and put up more impressive numbers than most skill position players. The former Gators standout ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, posted a 40.5″ vertical and a 10’9″ broad jump. These athletic traits combined with the 6’4″, 244-pound frame has’s Lance Zierlein comparing the quarterback to Cam Newton.

“Dual-threat quarterback with an elite physical profile and a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling,” Zierlein detailed. “Richardson’s frame, arm talent and mobility will demand respect as a potential first-round option. He has the ability to make plays on the move that very few of his NFL peers will be able to make. However, but his accuracy on short and simple throws left much to be desired due, in part, to shoddy footwork and inconsistent rhythm.”

Richardson’s measurables are undeniable but the quarterback is still developing as a passer. The signal-caller completed just 53.8% of his passes last season and his nine interceptions compared to 17 touchdowns is also worth a second look. Whatever concerns exist about Richardson’s pocket presence, the quarterback is already a massive threat with his legs as evidenced with 654 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground during 12 appearances at Florida in 2022.

What Would Drafting Anthony Richardson Mean for Geno Smith’s Future With the Seahawks?

The quarterback rumors continue to swirl largely because Seattle did little to squash the notion that the team will consider taking a signal-caller at No. 5. With Geno Smith’s negotiations in the backdrop, it remains to be seen whether the quarterback talk is legitimate or simply posturing by Schneider to potentially provoke another team to trade up to No. 5.

If Seattle were to take Richardson or another quarterback with the fifth pick, what would this decision mean for Smith’s future with the franchise? There is a plausible scenario where the Seahawks could take a developmental quarterback like Richardson while re-signing Smith to a shorter deal. ESPN’s Brady Henderson believes a three-year, $90 million new contract could be in the cards for Smith.

“ESPN polled three NFL agents and two agency contract analysts before the combine for their thoughts on how much Smith will command,” Henderson wrote on March 4. “Four of their predictions fell between $30 million and $35 million APY on multiyear deals, while the last was for a franchise tag.

“…In an NFL Nation piece simulating this offseason’s quarterback movement, ESPN has Smith hitting free agency and returning to the Seahawks on a three-year, $90 million deal.”

The Seahawks have been open about the rare opportunity the team has to potentially take a quarterback with a top-five pick. The question is whether Seattle has the luxury of taking a single-caller so early given the team’s glaring need on the defensive line.