BROCK AND SALK

Seahawks Notebook: Carroll on ‘interesting’ draft QBs, coaching updates

Mar 7, 2023, 1:53 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm

Seahawks Draft Anthony Richardson C.J. Stroud...

QB prospects Anthony Richardson and C.J. Stroud at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine on March 4, 2023. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Seahawks may have inked quarterback Geno Smith to a new contract, but that doesn’t take them out of the running for a quarterback in this year’s draft.

Huard: What the Seahawks’ draft QB options are after extending Geno

“That opportunity is absolutely there. We can do whatever we need to do, which is a whole other discussion of what’s really exciting,” head coach Pete Carroll told Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Tuesday. “The coaches are working at it and the scouts are working at it to try to position this thing. When you’re at (pick) 5, this is different than we’re used to seeing now. This is really fun because you can pretty much predict what’s going to happen with four different choices (before you), so which one is it? We’re alive and all guns are blazing here.”

Thanks to last offseason’s blockbuster trade with the Broncos, the Seahawks own Denver’s No. 5 pick in this year’s draft as well as their own pick No. 20 and two second-rounders. As such, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Seattle to draft a potential successor to learn under Smith.

If that were to happen, what would Smith think of that?

“Whatever we do, he’s gonna take it in stride. He’s not gonna worry about anybody,” Carroll said. “This is as a reward to what he’s done, even solidifies his confidence in understanding how much trust we have in him. If that is to happen, that is a choice for the long haul of the future and all that. We’ll see what happens.”

In this draft, there are four quarterbacks seen as first-round picks, and all four may go in the first five to 10 selections: Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis. After those four, there’s other intriguing QBs such as Tennesee’s Hendon Hooker and UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who both are likely Day 2 or 3 selections.

Carroll didn’t dive into any specific draft prospect or mention any of the quarterbacks by name, but he did give his overall view of the draft class, including at quarterback.

“It’s an interesting class. There’s a lot of good players. It’s not as obvious on the top of just the great guys that you’ve got to have (in the first) eight, nine or 10 picks off the top. That’s not as obvious,” he said. “There’s a bunch of good players, and so that’s kind of how you want to go. And we’re gonna see what the quarterback interest is early to see if teams are going to go get it and go get the QB that they want.”

Carroll called the top quarterbacks “really talented” who also impressed off the field.

“They looked great at the combine, they were great in the interviews, they really did well by themselves,” he said. “It didn’t make it any easier for us. There’s no easy decisions here, but that’s OK. This is fun stuff.”

“These guys, they’re singling themselves out in their individual ways that they have that it’s giving you some choices of style and background,” Carroll later added. “These guys are smart. They’re so grooved and they’ve just learned so much football. To hear them in their meetings, they just rip off protections and concepts and routes and adjustments and the line of scrimmage and changing the plays and all of the things that they know how to do. They’re not calling the huddle as much, but they’re doing everything right. It’s just at the tip of their tongue to control whatever they need to control. And they’re so fluid. It’s really impressive. These are just college kids. They’re just getting there.

“To know as much as they know, it just knocked us out.”

More Seahawks notes from Carroll

• Seattle’s defense was a weak point last year, with the Seahawks finishing 26th in yards allowed, 25th in points allowed and 30th in rushing yards allowed. It was the first year under defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt and the first season after shifting to a 3-4 defense.

“We’ve got some big decisions to make. We’ve got to get better, we’ve got to play better,” Carroll said. “We transitioned from our scheme not as tightly as I wanted to. Since the day it was over, we’ve been on it … I’m really excited about our guys and our coaches and for our players to really tighten the thing so it’s really, really to the point where it can be great and we can play great football.”

“We’ve got to get some guys to come to us to help us out, we’ve got some guys banged up that are coming back. We’ll see how that goes,” Carroll added. “But my intention and focus is on that as much as anything we’re doing.”

• Sticking with the defense, the Seahawks’ coaching staff will look different.

Sean Desai, who was Seattle’s associate head coach of defense in 2022, is now the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive coordinator. When asked about filling Desai’s role, Carroll brought up two coaches, not one.

First, Carroll said the Seahawks agreed to a deal with a new coach on Monday, but he couldn’t comment on it since it’s not official. Carroll said this new coach is someone “our coaches have worked with” who has been “in the scheme” and “various schemes” and he will “really help us.”

Second, Karl Scott, who was defensive passing game coordinator last year, will take “a bigger role” with the defense in 2023, Carroll said.

“He’ll do a great job with the passing game and fill that that kind of immediate spot that way,” Carroll said. “He’ll be the senior assistant and passing game coordinator.”

• Also on the defensive coaching side of things, the Seahawks hired Brandon Jordan as a pass-rush specialist. He spent the 2022 season with Michigan State at the college level, and he’s worked privately with a number of NFL defensive linemen.

“That’s another thing I’m excited about. Wait until you guys see BT Jordan get after it. He can coach them up now,” Carroll said. “You can pull him up, he’s on YouTube and all over the place with all the guys he’s worked out.”

Jordan’s connections and skills will pay early dividends for the Seahawks, Carroll said.

“Through the interviews that we were going through and the phone calls that we’ve got since that word has gotten out, he’s got his lines out in the water now. He’s worked with a lot of people and a lot of people love what he does and what he brings, which I think is a really special element,” Carroll said. “With our young guys, too, with Darrell (Taylor) coming on and (Boye) Mafe showing his stuff and of course Uchenna (Nwosu) had a good year, Bruce (Irvin) had a good year on the edge. We had nice stuff going on there. And there’s some options in the draft coming up. He’s going to be a big part of it. I’m excited.

• After signing Smith, the Seahawks, obviously, have less cap space to work with. But Carroll said the team still has “some flexibility.”

“We don’t have a lot, but we have some flexibility. We have to be really smart, really judicious about every step of the way here,” he said. “We’re excited about it because we’re just about ready to kick this thing off.”

Listen to the full interview with Carroll at this link or in the player below.

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