The Seahawks definitely see this rebuild/reset as a two-year thing, and they seem unlikely to take a quarterback with their first pick this year.
Those were our two main takeaways from Pete Carroll’s radio appearances Tuesday.
He also said they want to extend DK Metcalf, they want more pass rushers, they know they are in a quandary at the tackle spots and Chris Carson is no sure thing to play again.
Carroll told KJR that the Russell Wilson trade that brought two 1s and two 2s and removed Wilson’s large contract from their books was “a really good decision for the future of this franchise.”
Carroll told both KJR and 710 Seattle that the extra picks allow Seattle to be patient in building the roster back up.
“We have ways to look at things that we can really expand our options and see if we can come up with some cool stuff,” he told 710.
He added to KJR: “It puts John (Schneider) back in the wheelhouse. He’s got some ammunition. He’s got some stuff he can work with. We’re looking at every position. It’s not just the quarterback spot. … We will be wide open. Those phones will be ringing and we’ll be cooking on (draft) day.”
The Seahawks have the No. 9 pick and plenty of mock drafts have them making the mistake of taking mercurial Malik Willis, the two-year Liberty starter who coincidentally happened to put together a big Pro Day on Tuesday. Seattle QB coach Dave Canales was among those present.
Carroll made it clear they were not desperate to draft a QB high this year.
“We’ve got picks in next year’s draft that could influence what we do in this year’s draft,” he said, referencing the two first-rounders and two 2s they have in 2023.
He also implied that Drew Lock, a 2019 second-round pick by Denver, would be among the best QBs in this draft (which is considered weak at the top for passers).
“Imagine if he was in the draft this year where he would go,” Carroll said, talking up Lock’s arm strength, athleticism and intelligence. “We need to see where he fits in. … We’re hoping that we can recover all of the potential. … We think we see something that could be really special.”
He reiterated he wants Geno Smith to return as well.
“He’s out in front of the other guys that are involved in the competition,” Carroll said. “By the time he got a couple games under his belt (in 2021) after sitting for three or four years, he functioned in the Jacksonville game as well as you could function. … That looked like the culmination of his return there. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to capitalize to see what the next step would be because Russ returned.”
Carroll once again referenced 2012, when Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson. In this scenario, Lock would be Flynn (the new guy), Smith would be Jackson (the incumbent) and the Hawks are still looking to add Wilson.
That could be a second-round rookie such as Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral or North Carolina’s Sam Howell. Or it could be Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo.
“We’re fielding all of the choices that are out there,” Carroll said. “We’ll keep lookin’ and listenin’ and watchin’. John’s always going to be on it.”
Options at No. 9
The Seahawks definitely seem more likely to look for a pass rusher or tackle at No. 9 – or trade down for one of those positions.
“It’s important for us to continue to work on the pass rush and the coverage part of it,” Carroll said, noting that new outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and Darrell Taylor are the only real outside rushers. The 4-3 ends – Carlos Dunlap, Kerry Hyder and Benson Mayowa — were all let go.
Carroll also mentioned that Quinton Jefferson, newly returned to Seattle for a third stint, and former Bronco Shelby Harris will compete for inside rush duties.
They need more on the outside. Oregon pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is the pipe dream many have for Seattle. But Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson seems the more likely option at 9.
They also need starting offensive tackles. Carroll admitted, “That is a spot that’s really of concern. We’ve got to figure out how to get that done. We’re working on it constantly.”
It’s clear that Jake Curhan and Stone Forsythe are not ideal candidates. The coach said Forsythe is “a good prospect for us, but we’ll keep competing to figure that one out.”
Duane Brown does not seem like he will return for the price Seattle prefers to pay. Carroll said, “We would love to have him back.” But it was a very short answer that made it seem like they are not offering him a lot and don’t really expect him to return.
If they go left tackle in the draft, Charles Cross of Mississippi State seems the top option at No. 9. If they move down, Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning or Central Michigan’s Bernhard Raimann could be options.
Whither Metcalf & Carson?
The futures of Metcalf and Carson also are in question, though for entirely different reasons.
Carroll continues to leave open the possibility that Carson is finished playing. Even though Rashaad Penny talked about Carson as if he will return healthy from neck surgery, Carroll said it this way: “If Chris makes it back to us …”
Whether he is healthy or not, Carson might be let go. That would return $3.1 million on the salary cap.
Carroll was much more positive about extending Metcalf for the long term.
“It’s really important to us,” the coach said. “We’re going to do everything we can to get it done.”
Of course, Carroll is always optimistic about keeping players he loves. Schneider brings reality home, as he did with Wilson and Bobby Wagner this month. And it is entirely possible they decide to get even more draft capital over the next two years – adding a first and a Day 2 pick for the rising receiving star rather than pay him over $20 million a year.