MIKE SALK

Salk: The Seahawks had good reason to pass on QBs in NFL Draft

May 4, 2022, 12:45 AM
Seahawks Pete Carroll, Geno Smith...
Head coach Pete Carroll and Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks look on during the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seahawks had what appears to be a very good draft weekend.

Seahawks Draft: What high-round selections of two tackles means

They stuck to positions of great impact (plus a running back that has particular importance to them). They drafted players that were widely believed to be taken in the correct round. They found big fellas first and added smaller guys late. They added outside linebackers that fit into their new 3-4 defensive scheme and athletic tackles perfect for Shane Waldron’s offense. They got the draft “right.”

And yet, there were some who criticized.

“On Day 2, I thought there was a prime opportunity for the Seahawks to take quarterback Malik Willis and develop him into a future star,” wrote ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. “They ended up passing three times on Willis, which I suppose means they’re OK with Drew Lock and Geno Smith being just average in 2022. Carroll and Schneider must think the roster is farther along than I do.”

Later, he added: “There are several good prospects in this class, but it’s not quite an A because the quarterback issue could linger into 2023.”

This was not an isolated point of view. In fact, I would think most observers would wonder about the quarterback position and how the Seahawks plan to improve it.

But let’s address both of Mel’s points.

First, he suggests that the Seahawks passed on the available quarterbacks (including Willis) because of their confidence in the passers currently on the roster. While that isn’t impossible, the two thoughts don’t have to be linked. In fact, I would assume they passed on the prospects because they weren’t impressed with their NFL projections. That they didn’t want to tie themselves to quarterbacks in whom they did not believe.

Who can blame them?

This isn’t an “either/or” situation where the only options are Drew Lock, Geno Smith or a 2022 draft pick. The Seahawks may (and likely do) see other options. And yes, that could include Baker Mayfield, especially if he is released by the Browns and could be available for a very affordable price.

Second, Mel wonders if the quarterback issue could “linger” into 2023. Not only do I think it could, I think it will.

Look, it’s certainly possible that one of the current options takes the job and runs with it. It’s possible one of them turns into the franchise player the Jets and Broncos hoped they might be. It’s possible that by running the ball, playing good defense and putting the quarterback in the best position to succeed, the Seahawks can manage the game and improve on their historical performance.

But it’s more likely the Seahawks plan to kick this can down the road a year. The 2023 draft class is likely to have better options (one way-too-early mock projects five passers taken in the first round) and with two picks in the first round (plus two in the second), the Seahawks are poised to land one of them. In the meantime, they get to build up their roster, stockpile talent, and compete with a solid (if unspectacular) option under center.

It’s happened before.

After the 2010 season, the Seahawks made the decision to cut ties with franchise legend Matt Hasselbeck. It was time. And while they replaced him with a former starter and second-round pick in Tarvaris Jackson, it had a similar feeling of a being a bridge. Essentially, they declined to start the clock on replacing their legendary quarterback until they had identified real options and were ready to do so.

When Sheil Kapadia joined the show last week, he mentioned that he views the draft not as an isolated event, but as part of a process of building a team over time. You take multiple draft classes together to build a roster, all the while sprinkling in free agents and trades. You develop and coach up the players you have.

With that view in mind, the Seahawks decision to pass on the rookie passers makes perfect sense. And I think Seahawks should (and will) be patient this year.

But I can’t imagine any scenario in which Mel Kiper nor anyone else will be wondering why they passed on the quarterbacks again next year.

Seahawks draft, especially RB Walker, is Brock Huard’s favorite since 2010

Mike Salk

Mike Salk

Seahawks draft Bo Melton...
Brandon Gustafson

Bumpus and Turbin break down how Seahawks’ Day 3 picks fit in

Former Seahawks players Michael Bumpus and Robert Turbin discussed Seattle's five Day 3 draft picks and what they expect from them.
1 day ago
Seahawks Drew Lock...
Brandon Gustafson

Huard: How Drew Lock impacts Seahawks’ timeline to add Baker Mayfield

The Seahawks need to get a closer look at Drew Lock before making any move for Baker Mayfield, Brock Huard said Thursday morning.
1 day ago
Mariners Jerry Dipoto...
Brent Stecker

Dipoto: Mariners’ path to climbing out, when to expect Justin Upton

On the latest Jerry Dipoto Show, the Mariners GM and president of baseball operations shared his thoughts on the team's struggles.
2 days ago
Mariners Kyle Lewis, Julio Rodriguez...
Brandon Gustafson

ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Mariners: Too much can go right to dwell on what’s gone wrong

Despite some pretty major early-season struggles in 2022, ESPN MLB insider Jeff Passan isn't ready to give up on the Seattle Mariners.
2 days ago
Seahawks Boye Mafe...
Brandon Gustafson

Big Seahawks Questions: Who will lead in sacks, secondary concerns

Former NFL WR Michael Bumpus joined Mike Salk to answer some quick Seahawks questions, including important ones about the defense.
2 days ago
Mariners Julio Rodríguez...
Mike Salk

Salk: Julio Rodríguez is ‘the truth’ Mariners haven’t had in a long time

The Mariners will make the playoffs in the next few years, writes Mike Salk, and he makes that claim for one reason: Julio Rodríguez is the truth.
3 days ago
Salk: The Seahawks had good reason to pass on QBs in NFL Draft