The Seattle Seahawks could be looking at a new quarterback.
While the Seahawks are expected to bring back Geno Smith as the starting quarterback for the 2023 season — he’ll be a free agent in the offseason — Seattle could double-dip at the position with one of their first-round draft picks.
According to a mock draft from CBS Sports’ Kyle Stackpole, the Seahawks are predicted to land University of Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson with the 20th overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Stackpole explains that while Richardson is a “raw” prospect, his dual-threat ability could make him a viable quarterback.
“Geno Smith deserves to be re-signed as the Seahawks starting quarterback for 2023,” says Stackpole. “But after that? Who knows. So, the Seahawks use the second of their first-round picks to select Anthony Richardson, the super athletic yet very raw product out of Florida. He’ll need to sit for at least a year, but if he can develop some consistency as a passer, his physical ability will make him a difficult dual-threat to defend.”
Seahawks Could Sit Anthony Richardson For First Couple Years
As Stackpole explains, Richardson will have to sit out for at least a year before being given the reins as a starting quarterback. The 21-year-old started just one season at the University of Florida, impressing in his lone year as starter. However, he’s still extremely inexperienced, given that he started just 13 games during his collegiate career.
During the 2022 season, Richardson threw for 17 touchdowns in addition to his 654 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 232-pound quarterback is widely considered to be the best quarterback prospect after the tier 1 prospect list at the position featuring Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Will Levis.
This actually works perfectly well with the Seahawks’ timeline. Smith is 32 years old and will likely be given either the franchise tag or a short-term contract. While Smith certainly established himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the league during the 2022 season, it’s his only productive season as a starting quarterback to date. In fact, Smith hadn’t served as a full-time starter since the 2014 season with the New York Jets.
Seahawks Expected to Re-Sign Geno Smith
As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Saturday, January 14, Seattle is trying to work on a new deal for Smith’s return.
“Rapoport added that the Seahawks are trying to work on a new deal for Smith’s return, but if necessary the team also has the option of placing the franchise tag on the veteran,” said Baca. “Smith would earn $30 million-plus if given the franchise tag in 2023, which would double what he’s made over the course of his nine-year NFL career, according to Rapoport.”
Given that Smith’s shelf life as the franchise quarterback for Seattle could be a short one, developing a true quarterback prospect behind Smith is imperative for the franchise moving forward.
Seattle possesses two first-round picks. One pick will land at No. 5 via the Russell Wilson trade with the Denver Broncos while the later pick will come at No. 20.
Considering Smith will likely be back under center, selecting a quarterback prospect such as Stroud or Young at No. 5 is probably too high. Both of those quarterbacks will be ready to step in during their rookie years and serve as starters.
However, if the Seahawks go with Richardson, they have a couple of years to sit the “raw” prospect behind Smith.
Don’t be surprised if Seattle double-dips at quarterback and selects Richardson with a first-round pick in the draft.