In a blockbuster trade, the Seattle Seahawks dealt future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos for Drew Lock, Shelby Harris, a plethora of draft picks, and a bag of beans and a soda can to be named later. Wilson was the man who ran the team for a decade, took them to two Super Bowls, but now, at his stage of his career and with this current state of the Seattle team, a breakup was needed. Their timelines and goals do not align. He had done so much for the franchise, but they failed to continue to build a Super Bowl-contending roster around him at this stage. They had no resources to get better while also being an aged team in need of a reset, and as long as you have Russell Wilson, he is always going to at the bare minimum be competitive enough to keep you in the middle as opposed to tearing everything down altogether.
So, with Wilson now attempting to win another ring in Denver, Seattle now lacks an identity entirely. They are in the rainy Pacific Northwest on a horse with a name: uncertainty. The options are already up in the air about how they can go about putting the team back together. Let’s look at some moves that they most certainly can’t do in good faith, followed by some options thrown out that aren’t out of the question.
Draft Kenny Pickett
Kenny Pickett had a fantastic season at Pitt last year. As a Heisman Trophy finalist, they went 11-3 and won the ACC as he finished with 4,319 yards, 42 TDs and only 7 interceptions. He broke out in his 5th season unexpectedly in a similar vein to Joe Burrow having a shocking final Heisman-winning season at LSU. 6 ‘3, 220 pounds, can run, and has the “swagger” that the Pitt team appeared to rally around as a leader.
It’s too much of a risk to bank on one successful season in Seattle.
There are far too many red flags that we’ve heard that make you lose confidence in taking him. For one, virtually every single scout and team has referred to this crop as a “weak QB class” where there is not a sure-fire #1 pick. Quarterbacks are valuable enough to save a coach or GM’s job enough that they will overspend on a rookie QB if there’s even a semblance of them being one of the next greats, and there hasn’t been any chatter that sounds like that at all from this class. That’s why the Packers broke the bank for Russell Wilson, that’s why the Broncos traded the farm for Russell Wilson, and that’s why you’re hearing more teams inquire about the Jimmy Garoppolo’s and the Mitch Trubisky’s of the world as opposed to considering Pickett in the top 5.
Also, while Pickett played in a cold weather college with gloves on, the biggest storyline of the NFL combine was Kenny Pickett’s small hands. That probably wouldn’t go over well in a city literally known for its rain to get a grip on the ball.
Draft an Offensive Lineman
Russell Wilson’s biggest complaint in Seattle was not having enough protection to have time in the pocket, which was a backhanded insult to his offensive line. While this is seen as a draft with high-level offensive line prospects, WHAT exactly would they be protecting? What is the purpose of buying the most armor if you don’t have a knight to wear it? NOW you want to invest in the protection of the most important position? It would be the boring pick that would most-likely outrage the fan base.
Sign a 1-year veteran
Do not try to sell the fan base to get excited about milquetoast Teddy Bridgewater who will throw 3-yard passes every play.
Trade for Deshaun Watson
If you’re Seattle, you just had Russell Wilson as the face of your franchise for a decade. No one has been more of a boy scout, “do-gooder”, always say the right thing (even if it’s tiring and cliche), and an optimistic individual who would relentlessly devote time and effort into investing into the community and multiple charities. He won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. While no one is a perfect, moral human being 100% of the time, you can not as a franchise look at your fan base in good faith and go straight from Russell Wilson to Deshaun Watson with all of the controversy surrounding his name amidst the trade rumors. The grand jury declined to indict Watson of criminal charges of 10 criminal complaints and 22 civil lawsuits. While he wasn’t found guilty of criminal charges, the controversy swirling still remains. The quarterback is the face of your franchise that touches the ball every single play. While Watson is an incredible talent that could bring winning to Seattle, sometimes you have to draw the line somewhere. Undoubtedly, wherever Watson goes from Houston, there will be fans okay with rooting for him as he will likely lead a successful team, and there will be fans that will be rooting against him. To move on from the Rusell Wilson era and start something new, there needs to be a clean slate free of controversy, divisiveness, and question marks. Some things are bigger than sports.
Option 1: Draft Malik Willis
Willis is the other top-tier quarterback prospect in the draft along with Pickett, but he’s harder to evaluate. He played at Liberty, who virtually played nobody, so you haven’t seen him against the highest-level of competition. He’s 6’1, 225 pounds, has a rocket arm, but his main strength is his ability to elude tacklers on the ground as a dual-threat QB. Draft expert Danny Kelly said that when he’s drafted, he will already be the second-best running quarterback
next to Lamar Jackson, which is saying something. He’s been viewed as a leader throughout the news cycle of the combine by going viral, which could mean nothing, but it’s great to see people in positions where they could easily be egotistical and show humility, right?
The draft is seen as weak at quarterback. It’s hard to evaluate what we saw from Willis since he played in such a small school to see if it will translate, but you take Willis as a home run swing. You take him for the upside. The dual threat capability he possesses could be so game-changing at such a young age that it is worth the risk.
Option 2: Draft a Defensive Stud and use a Later Pick on Desmond Ridder
This has the potential to be one of the best defensive drafts in a long time, which makes up for it being so thin at quarterback. The Seahawks need to rebuild a defense after investing so much into one contract, Jamal Adams, just as much as they need offensive help, so any defensive position would be a game-changer.
Kyle Hamilton, the safety out of Notre Dame, is regarded as potentially the most-skilled single player in the draft, but plays at a position that isn’t drafted very high. If he falls, it would be worth the pick! Another option would be if Kayvon Thibodeaux, the defensive lineman out of Oregon, somehow slips. He was seen as the top prospect throughout the year, but suddenly scouts think he’s too confident and hasn’t put in as much effort as some of the other prospects trying to prove themselves or has interests outside of football. Now, mock drafts have him anywhere between first and outside of the top ten. If the #1 guy falls to NINTH, it’s impossible to not take a game-changing pass-rusher. Other defensive routes could be shutdown corners Derrick Stingley Jr. out of LSU who has elite potential but a few injury concerns, and Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, the cornerback out of Cincinnati who allowed NO touchdowns and is nicknamed “Sauce.” Incredible.
At QB, Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati could be seen as a huge value pick. Ridder doesn’t necessarily do anything FANTASTIC, but he does everything well, he’s an older, mature prospect seen as a leader, and he took Cincinnati to the College Football Playoff for a team not in the Power Five conference. Using another pick on him later if he’s available could be a low-cost investment on a player that has received comparisons to Dak Prescott, who was taken in the 4th round and was a winner at Mississippi State. He’s worth the gamble as an unknown commodity.
Option 4: Use Drew Lock to Tank the Season and Wait a Year
We know what Drew Lock is: not a starter. This is the route you take to start looking at potential #1 overall picks in 2023! The road to 0-17 begins by LOCK-ing it up!