Proposed Trade With NFC Foe Sends Seahawks a New Dual-Threat Quarterback

Geno Smith

Getty The Seahawks have been open about adding another QB despite re-signing Geno Smith.

Much has been made about the Seattle Seahawks potentially taking a quarterback at No. 5, but the franchise could also opt to address the position later in the draft. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Seahawks trading back into the first round in order to select former Tennessee standout quarterback Hendon Hooker.

Kiper’s proposal has Seattle landing the No. 30 pick from Philadelphia in exchange for the team’s two second-round selections: No. 37 and No. 52. In other words, the Seahawks are giving up an additional second-round pick to move up seven spots to select Hooker and shows the potential premium teams pay to go up for a quarterback.

“There’s a ton of value in trading back into Round 1 to take a player to get his fifth-year option,” Kiper wrote on April 11, 2023. “We’ve seen it twice with quarterbacks in the past decade, with the Ravens trading up for Lamar Jackson (2018) and the Vikings doing it for Teddy Bridgewater (2014). Teams want to have that controllable fifth season. That’s exactly what this deal is for the Seahawks, who might have competition to move up.

“To make this deal happen, I’ll project Seattle to give up both of its second-round picks — Nos. 37 and 52. That seems pretty fair.”

Could the Seahawks Be Interested in Hendon Hooker?

The Seahawks have had a very public courtship of the four players widely considered to be the consensus top quarterback prospects. Seattle’s official Twitter account posted selfies from the team’s meetings with Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Kentucky’s Will Levis and Florida’s Anthony Richardson. When the Seahawks have been interested in a prospect ahead of previous drafts, the team typically operates in stealth mode.

Hooker is generating buzz as some teams have the quarterback ranked above Levis and Richardson, per NFL Network’s James Palmer. Head coach Pete Carroll did not attend the Tennessee pro day, and the team has not discussed the quarterback publicly as they have the other four signal-callers. Kiper makes the argument for Hooker as a potential quarterback-in-waiting candidate for Seattle behind Geno Smith.

“There’s some buzz about Hooker rising into the first round and this could be the perfect landing spot,” Kiper added. “I have a second-round grade on him, but I can see why he might be appealing. He led the FBS in Total QBR (89.5) and yards per attempt (9.5) last season, and he threw just five picks over two seasons at Tennessee. His accuracy on deep throws is really good.

“The downside? He played in a quarterback-friendly offense, didn’t have to go through progressions and is coming off a torn left ACL suffered in November. There’s going to be a learning curve in the NFL. Plus, he’s already 25 years old, so there are questions about his ceiling.”

Hendon Hooker Is a Threat With His Legs Posting 430 Rushing Yards and 5 TDs in 2022

Seattle could also take their chances and hope that Hooker falls to either No. 37 or No. 52 where the Seahawks are currently slated to pick in the second round. Hooker threw for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions during 11 appearances for the Vols in 2022 prior to sustaining a season-ending ACL injury.

The playmaker added 430 rushing yards and five TDs on the ground proving to also be a legitimate threat with his legs. Hooker is The Athletic’s Dane Brugler’s fifth-ranked quarterback heading into the draft.

“With basic half-field and high-to-low reads, his college production and efficiency were aided by the Vols’ quarterback-friendly offense, so there is a learning curve awaiting him in the NFL,” Brugler detailed in his pre-draft profile on Hooker. “Overall, Hooker must refine his internal clock and progression reads, but his instinctive athleticism, football character and poised decision-making amid chaos are appealing traits. He projects as a developmental passer with down-the-road starting potential, as long as his knee is healthy.”