The Seattle Seahawks could be looking at their future franchise quarterback.
As predicted by Josh Edwards of CBS Sports in his 2023 NFL mock draft, the Seahawks could look towards another player as their quarterback of the future. While Geno Smith is currently lighting it up as the team’s starting quarterback, Edwards warns that it’s unrealistic to expect Smith to continue his current level of play over the next five years.
Edwards states that while it’s fair to expect Smith back under center for the 2023 season, the more realistic scenario sees Seattle invest in a quarterback — such as Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud — with their first pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.
“Geno Smith is playing at a high level, but opting out of taking a top quarterback talent in favor of a signal-caller having his best season at 32 years old is not a strategy I can get behind,” says Edwards. “Smith may do enough to be the team’s starter for another year, but it is unreasonable to think he can play at this level for five more years. Plan for the future.”
Stroud Could Be No. 1 QB Prospect in 2023 Draft
Although Edwards has Stroud pegged as the third quarterback picked in the 2023 draft — behind Bryce Young and Will Levis — he’s been regarded as the best quarterback prospect in the upcoming draft by many. Not only does Stroud have the Buckeyes positioned as one of the top contenders for the national championship, he’s one of the top passers in the nation.
As Edwards described in his scouting report of Stroud back in August, he has good arm strength and is able to “improvise” based upon the defensive approach.
“Stroud has good arm strength, in addition to throwing with touch and good ball placement down the field,” says Edwards. “His throwing motion and footwork progressed throughout the season, which is a testament to the time and energy he puts into preparation. The California native has a natural feel for the game and is able to improvise based on the defensive approach. It is important that he continues to show growth this season. According to TruMedia, he had the second-highest passer efficiency, fourth-highest completion percentage (71.9%) and fifth-best quarterback sack rate (2.6%).”
Seahawks Might Not Pass up Opportunity on Stroud
There’s little doubt that Stroud is a blue-chip prospect. He has all of the accolades and statistics to his name — he was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and an All-American last year in addition to ranking within the top five of most major passing categories — but the question is, will Seattle actually draft a top quarterback prospect when they may already have one of the top quarterbacks in the league?
The topic of re-signing Smith will be Seattle’s biggest storyline entering the offseason. Do they re-sign Smith to a big-money, long-term deal or slap him with a franchise tag while preparing for the future?
Prior to this season, Smith had never established himself as a viable starter. In fact, he hadn’t served as a full-time starter since the 2014 season with the New York Jets. However, his efficiency during the 2022 season is hard to ignore.
The veteran quarterback leads the NFL in completion percentage, ranks second in passer rating and ranks within the top five in interception percentage.
However, Edwards does have a point. If Smith proves to be a one-hit wonder, Seattle will be without insurance at the quarterback position. Considering the Seahawks hold two first-round draft picks, if they end up with an opportunity to select a quarterback prospect such as Stroud, how does Seattle pass up that opportunity?
Smith will likely be back as the starting quarterback entering the 2023 season. But considering his age and lack of proven experience as a top-flight quarterback, the Seahawks could very likely select Stroud with their top draft pick.