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The Russell Wilson era in Seattle is over. After 10 seasons, four division titles, two trips to the Super Bowl, and one Lombardi Trophy, the Seahawks traded Wilson (who waived his no-trade clause) and a fourth-round pick to the Denver Broncos for Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a fifth-round pick.
Until this past season, Wilson had started every single Seahawks game since he was drafted. The broken finger he suffered during their Week 5 loss to the Los Angeles Rams resulted in his first-ever trip to injured reserve, and when he returned from the injury he did not look like the same player. Nevertheless, the Seahawks were able to get a pretty nice package in exchange for their star QB, with whom they had seemingly been heading for a divorce since at least last offseason, when Wilson began agitating for a trade.
In his absence, the Seahawks have a few different options at the quarterback spot. In all honestly, none of them are all that attractive -- at least in the short term. Let's break them down.
A former second-round pick out of Missouri, Lock was beaten out for the Broncos' starting job last offseason by Teddy Bridgewater. In parts of three NFL seasons, he has not shown much that would make you think he's a long-term option as a starter. He's completed only 59.3 percent of his passes at an average of 6.7 yards per attempt, with 25 touchdowns against 20 interceptions. Among 39 qualified passers, Lock ranks 35th in passer rating and 33rd in expected points added (EPA) per dropback since he entered the league. He's shown himself to be hugely susceptible to pressure (league-worst 37.6 passer rating, -0.59 EPA per dropback), which makes him a poor fit behind a notoriously poor Seahawks offensive line. His big arm was his calling card coming out of college, but he doesn't throw downfield often enough to show it off, and his decision-making and accuracy on short and intermediate throws leaves much to be desired.
Drafted in the fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts last season, Eason was beaten out for the backup job by Sam Ehlinger and subsequently waived. The Seahawks claimed him off waivers but he did not make it into a game for them. He made one appearance for Indianapolis, completing 2 of 5 passes for 25 yards and an interception. You can read a full scouting report from CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Chris Trapasso here.
There are certainly a number of veteran stopgap options available this offseason. The issue is that none of them are very good. Bridgewater is out there, along with Mitchell Trubisky, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winston, Jacoby Brissett, Marcus Mariota, and Cam Newton. The best of those options is... Trubisky? Maybe? Fitz is 39 years old and coming off a serious hip injury. Dalton and Newton have been horrendous over the last two seasons. Winston is coming off a torn ACL. Taylor, Brissett, and Mariota have been beaten out for starting jobs in the past already, and have not had much success when in the lineup. The Seahawks might give one of these guys a call, but they're probably better off letting Lock sink or swim.
This is not considered a good quarterback draft class. There are as many as five that have a chance of going in the first round, but none of them are being discussed as top-five options, let alone the No. 1 pick. It's entirely possible that when the Seahawks come on the clock with the No. 9 pick (which they received as part of the deal), they have their choice of the quarterback crop. If John Schneider and Pete Carroll feel good enough about any of Kenny Pickett, Matt Corral, Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, or Sam Howell, they can pick one of them here and either insert them right into the starting lineup or let them sit behind Lock (or another veteran) while they get their bearings in the NFL.
Wilson himself, famously, was not a first-round pick. The Seahawks nabbed him in the third round back in 2012. Wilson beat out free-agent signing Matt Flynn, and the rest is history. Perhaps Seattle can try its luck in the middle rounds again, with someone like Carson Strong or Bailey Zappe. The hit rate on Day 2 and 3 picks at the quarterback position is almost vanishingly low, though, so this is nowhere close to a sure thing.
The answer is probably not on the roster right now. The free-agent pickings are slim. It's not a good quarterback draft. So, why not just stand pat and make a run at your long-term option in 2023 instead? This seems like the most attractive path, just because there almost have to be better options available next year.
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