There may be more to the quarterback selfies than the Seattle Seahawks attempting to generate headlines for trade talks ahead of the 2023 NFL draft. Not only may Seattle be willing to take a signal-caller at No. 5, there is chatter that the team is exploring ways to move up in the draft to snag one of the top QBs, a rare move during general manager John Schneider’s tenure.
The Athletic’s Vic Tafur reported that there is a growing “buzz” that the Seahawks are looking to orchestrate a trade with the Cardinals to land the No. 3 pick in order to select the top available quarterback. Anthony Richardson and Will Levis would likely be the top options on the board in this scenario, unless either the Panthers or Texans pull a surprise at the top.
“… The buzz at Monday night’s NFL party, with owners, general managers, coaches, agents and reporters hitting the open bar, was that all four quarterbacks will be long gone by the time the Raiders pick at No. 7,” Tafur wrote on March 30, 2023.
“…The buzz is that the Seahawks will jump up from No. 5 to No. 3 to grab either Richardson or Levis, as Stroud and Young are expected to go 1-2. The Cardinals can move down to No, 5 and still get the top defensive player, as the Colts are expected to also draft a QB at No. 4. Quarterbacks have never gone with the first four picks in the history of the NFL.”
Anthony Richardson & Will Levis Are Both Potentially Risky Top-5 Picks
It is worth noting that selecting either Richardson or Levis with a top-five pick comes with serious risk. These risks are amplified by Seattle potentially giving up additional draft capital to have a chance to snag one of the players.
Richardson’s accuracy and consistency are the biggest question marks heading into the NFL. The former Gators standout only completed 53.8% of his passes in 2022. For Levis, the one glaring red flag is turnovers as the quarterback threw 23 interceptions over his last two seasons at Kentucky.
Yet, both quarterbacks possess the physical characteristics and athleticism that will ultimately have two NFL teams believe the reward outweighs the risk. There are examples of successful quarterbacks (i.e Josh Allen) who were able to find the right landing spot that allowed the player to overcome their deficiencies.
The Seahawks have the luxury of Geno Smith being the current QB1 allowing either player to have at least one full NFL season without having the pressure to play. Seattle signed Smith to a three-year contract, but the structure gives the franchise enough flexibility to move on from the veteran after just one more season. The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar believes the QB talk is more than just a smokescreen noting there is a “very real” chance the Seahawks take a quarterback at No. 5.
“Seattle won’t telegraph which quarterback it may take depending on how the board shakes out April 27,” Dugar detailed on March 28. “Regardless, the possibility of using a top-5 pick on a quarterback is very real despite the talent already on the roster and the other holes the team still needs to fill.”
The Seahawks Have Already Talked With Geno Smith About Drafting a QB
Not only did Schneider and Pete Carroll attend the pro days featuring the consensus top-four quarterback prospects, but the team has already discussed this possibility with Smith. If Seattle selects a quarterback, Carroll emphasized that the competition is on heading into 2023.
“It’s a hard reality when you have an incumbent guy, to say that you’re competing. But that’s what we do,” Carroll told Dugar. “Things don’t always stay the same. Each season brings new surprises and challenges and all that. We’re open to that.
“It’s good for the player that’s the incumbent as well, to know that. They don’t want to look at it that way, always, and I don’t mind them doing that, but we’re going to try to make them feel the competition. So, if a new guy shows up, we’re going to go about it the same way and see where they could come and help the team.”