What Carroll and Schneider said about Seahawks’ QB situation, Metcalf, 9th pick
We’re just a week away from the start of the 2022 NFL Draft, and the Seahawks are in a spot they haven’t been in in a long time.
The Seahawks hold the No. 9 selection, which is their first top 10 pick since the 2010 draft, the first under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll. To get that pick, Seattle traded star quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, leaving the franchise without a clear starting quarterback.
Schneider and Carroll held a pre-draft press conference Thursday afternoon. So what did they have to say about drafting so early and the outlook at quarterback? Let’s take a look.
Picking at 9
As noted, the Seahawks haven’t picked this early in over a decade, when they selected left tackle Russell Okung with the sixth pick in 2010 (they also had the 14th pick that year, where they selected safety Earl Thomas).
So what’s it like being this high on the draft board?
“It’s going to be different,” Schneider said. “We haven’t experienced this since the first year we were here (when) we had the two first-round (picks in the) draft, so there’s a lot of planning, thoughts that go through your head (with) different scenarios. We may pick at nine, we might not. We don’t know yet. We’re going to do whatever we can to help this football team as much as we possibly can. It’s obviously exciting but it’s not a place you want to be drafting.”
Carroll said there’s “definitely an excitement to this” because there are only so many scenarios that can happen before Seattle is on the clock at pick No. 9.
“When you’re picking (in the mid- to late-20s) there’s a million scenarios, so this is not like that. It’s a little different,” he said. “So there’s a level of excitement about the opportunity … We’ll be interested to see how other people see it and are they willing to come chase that spot, too.”
Both Carroll and Schneider referenced the possibility of trading the pick, but Schneider said he’s not receiving any more calls than he usually does this time of year despite holding such a high draft selection.
“People know we’re very open to moving around. We’re pliable,” he said.
The Seahawks added Drew Lock in the Wilson trade, re-signed Geno Smith, Wilson’s backup since 2019, and 2021 third-string quarterback Jacob Eason. Both Carroll and Schneider addressed the state of the position.
Carroll said his first impression of Lock joining the team and participating in offseason workouts is that the 2019 second-round pick is “really excited about the energy” of the Seahawks.
“He’s upbeat and very comfortable with how everything has gone so far,” Carroll said. “… It’s a new lease on life for him and he’s looking forward to taking full advantage of that. He’s coming in with his competitive hat on ready to roll. It’s going to be really exciting to see how he fits in.”
In regards to Smith, who re-signed on a one-year deal within the last week, Carroll said re-signing him was “really important” because of stability.
“He’s been here a number of years and he’s got a great background with us, so he brings that real sense of what we’re all about,” Carroll said. “He’s helping the younger quarterbacks as they’re transitioning to learning our stuff. He’s a great illustration to them of what it takes. It feels good and he’s really excited about the opportunity and it’s going to be a competition.”
Does bringing Geno back change the Seahawks’ thoughts on potentially adding a quarterback in the draft?
“No,” Schneider said.
So what are Schneider’s thoughts on this year’s quarterback class, which is not seen in as bright of a light as classes in recent years?
“There’s a quietness about it that can make people either feel anxious or extremely calm,” he said. “There doesn’t seem to be a lot of buzz right now.”
Schneider said that’s happened in the past, such as the 2011 draft where UW’s Jake Locker, Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert and Florida State’s Christian Ponder all were selected in the first 12 picks. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton went No. 1 overall that year to the Carolina Panthers.
After the Seahawks traded Wilson and released All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner, a lot of the offseason focus then went to star receiver DK Metcalf, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract.
Unlike other receivers nearing the end of rookie deals who are doing things like removing all traces of their current employer from their social media accounts, Metcalf showed up to the voluntary workouts this week despite recovering from an offseason foot injury.
“I know he’s really excited to be back,” Carroll said. “He’s still rehabbing from surgery but he’s involved with everything we’re doing. Really tuned in and I’m really happy to see the way he’s returned to us with a lot of stuff coming up in the future and all that. He seems to be very focused on what’s going on right now and being in position to help other guys as we get started. He’s shown a really good mentality about his return.”
Any updates on contract negotiations?
“As far as conversations and all that about the future of it, we haven’t really been directly on the topic at this point,” Carroll said.
With the Seahawks changing the trajectory and direction of the franchise this offseason, Carroll said Metcalf is embracing the opportunity to be a leader.
“In a situation where he returns – and it’s not ideal because he isn’t able to do all of the workouts and stuff right now – he’s engaged in everything he can be and is really giving himself to the process because he knows his teammates are looking to him and he can sense the role that he’s in and that’s upcoming,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be a really big process to watch himself emerge and become a bigger factor, particularly for the younger guys that come in … He’s ready to assume that role more so and he’s going to a really good job with it. We really need him.”
Another big question mark for the Seahawks entering the 2022 NFL Draft is at offensive tackle.
2021 starters Duane Brown and Brandon Shell are still free agents and the Seahawks have just three tackles on the roster, including 2021 sixth-round pick Stone Forsythe and 2021 rookie undrafted free agent Jake Curhan.
“Jake was able to have more play time last year so we have a better evaluation of him,” Schneider said. “Stone started at left tackle in the SEC against (top competition) … Stone has played big boy football and he knows what it’s all about.”
With the draft so close, have the Seahawks closed the door on reuniting with Brown?
“We have not moved on from that. We’re still talking,” Carroll said.