With less than two months until the start of training camp and exactly three months until their season opener, the Seahawks’ biggest question remains centered around the ever-so-critical quarterback position. Who will ultimately earn the starting nod in Week 1 to face off against long-time starter Russell Wilson?
As expected, neither Geno Smith nor Drew Lock earned the gig coming out of organized team activities or mandatory minicamp and the two veterans are neck and neck in a competition that should be a back-and-forth affair. Until coach Pete Carroll and his staff can see them play in padded practices and actual games in August to see who best commands the offense and moves the chains most effectively, they won’t be rushing into naming a starter.
“Really, we just have to watch them play. We got to watch them play and we’ll create as many, like all the situations we’ve been doing with that thought in mind,” Carroll said at the conclusion of last week’s minicamp. “Let’s put these guys where they have to make decisions and they have to use the clock and they have to use the field and they’ve got to use the sticks and all of the stuff that’s happening and scores… We just need to accumulate all the information and see what happens, so we’ll try to create it in practice and the games will be important.”
Heading into their annual six-week moratorium between organized team activities and training camp, how does the Seahawks quarterback room look? Diving into the depth chart, here’s an updated look at the projected starter, a sleeper to watch, a potential wild card to keep an eye on, and a player squarely on the roster bubble.
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Projected Starter: Geno Smith
As Carroll has reiterated numerous times over the past three-plus months, including following Seattle’s minicamp last Thursday, Smith remains in front of this race for the time being due to his experience running offensive coordinator Shane Waldron’s scheme. Subbing for an injured Wilson last fall, he appeared in four games with three starts, completing nearly 70 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and only one interception. Earning the respect of his teammates for his efforts, he has a strong backing in the locker room and specifically developed a strong rapport with star receiver DK Metcalf. The two hooked up 17 times on 21 targets for 251 yards, four touchdowns, and a 151.6 passer rating and that connection could be all the difference as he aims to secure the starting role.
Sleeper: Drew Lock
Significantly younger than Smith at 25 years of age, Lock has a prime opportunity to hit the reset button and make the most of his NFL second chance in Seattle. While he remains behind in the competition at the moment coming out of minicamp, he showcased his arm talent on numerous occasions during the offseason program and already has shown a strong grasp of Waldron’s offense, which should help his efforts to close the gap in the early stages of training camp. The key, of course, will be for the former Missouri star to cut down on turnovers after interceptions played a role in losing his starting job to Teddy Bridgewater in Denver last August. If he can play the point guard role effectively and make smart decisions, he’s got a legitimate shot to overtake Smith.
Wild Card: Baker Mayfield
In the aftermath of the shocking Wilson trade, the Seahawks have persistently been linked to Mayfield, who lost his starting job with the Browns after the franchise traded three first-round picks to the Texans for Deshaun Watson. Carrying a fully-guaranteed salary north of $18 million in 2022, Seattle has not been inclined to entertain the possibility of trading away assets for the former Heisman Trophy winner and Cleveland hasn’t been interested in eating most of his salary to swing a deal either, leaving all parties in a holding pattern. With Watson facing a potential suspension, the Browns may try to sweet talk Mayfield back into good graces, but if that doesn’t happen and he winds up being released, the Seahawks may move swiftly to sign him and shake up their quarterback room in a big way.
On The Bubble: Jacob Eason
Acquired off waivers from the Colts during the middle of the 2021 season, Eason returned to his old stomping grounds in the Pacific Northwest offering long-term intrigue given his obvious physical talents. However, while Carroll name-dropped him as a candidate to compete to replace Wilson earlier in the offseason, he didn’t receive many reps during OTAs and minicamp and struggled with those limited opportunities, signaling he’s way behind Smith and Lock on the depth chart. If the former Washington standout puts his best foot forward in camp, he may be able to push his way into the discussion for a roster spot, but right now, the practice squad looks to be his ceiling.