STACY ROST

Seahawks Mock Game Takeaways: Lock, rookie CB Woolen stand out

Aug 6, 2022, 6:23 PM | Updated: Aug 8, 2022, 12:28 pm
Seahawks Drew Lock...
Seahawks QB Drew Lock reaches for the football during a drill on May 31 in Renton. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A young quarterback made a statement, a rookie corner had a day, and a veteran receiver proved he hasn’t missed a step — that, and more, from Saturday’s Seahawks mock game.

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If nothing else, Saturday’s scrimmage proved the quarterback competition is closer than the split of starting reps so far would indicate.

Veteran Geno Smith has been taking the vast majority of first-team reps in camp, with Drew Lock leading the twos. Head coach Pete Carroll indicated in June’s minicamp that Smith’s superior grasp of the playbook gave him an upper hand, whereas Lock was still learning. Perhaps Lock has picked up a studying habit, since the former Bronco outperformed Smith when each had time with the first-team offense Saturday.

Lock was 18-for-27 for 185 yards and a touchdown. Smith converted 10 of 19 for 94 yards and also led a touchdown drive with a rushing score from Rashaad Penny. It wasn’t a bad day for the veteran, but Lock had just a bit more zip on the ball — including a few side arm throws — and led one touchdown drive without an incompletion. Neither day was flawless: both passers had some misses, particularly in the second half, and both will continue to fairly face questions about accuracy.

“I thought we started pretty good,” Smith said, “and then I think we had a few mistakes here and there. Some of that’s to be expected. By the sixth day of camp, things are kind of piling up with installs. So we have a few things we have to clean up. But overall, I love the effort, I love the way guys competed, I feel like it was clean.”

Something to watch next week in camp: do fans see Lock take more first-team snaps from Smith, or will Smith continue to be the de facto starter?

Tariq Woolen comes close

What hold-in? DK Metcalf returned to practice after signing his new extension last week and hasn’t missed a step. He led all pass catchers Saturday with 63 yards on four receptions.

But were it not for a touchdown from Lock to receiver Cody Thompson stealing the show, rookie corner Tariq Woolen may have had two of the day’s biggest plays.

At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, Woolen is already the team’s largest corner. Add to that his 4.26-second 40-yard dash time, and you’ve got a pick whose athleticism alone made him tempting to any team in this year’s draft. Seattle, who snagged him in the fifth round, will try to see whether he can follow it up with savvy corner play, despite a lack of experience compared to fellow rookie Coby Bryant (a four-year starter at Cincinnati).

Woolen nearly picked off an errant throw by Smith on the second drive of the game (the pass was instead ruled incomplete). Later, on Lock’s touchdown to Thompson, Woolen was once again sticky in coverage, but the ball was batted into the air and came to land into the waiting hands of a sprawled-out Thompson in the end zone. Freak play, crowd goes wild, Woolen comes up empty.

“This was really good work for him, he was out there with Quandre (Diggs) and Jamal (Adams) hollering at him and getting him lined up,” Carroll said postgame. “It was a really profitable day for him.”

Bryant remains the favorite over Woolen for a starting role. But despite not walking away with an interception, the UTSA product made up ground in showing that, outside of his athleticism, he can also be in the right place at the right time.

Injury Notes

Defensive lineman L.J. Collier left the game with an elbow injury. Carroll said Collier “tweaked” it. No other injuries occurred.

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