Tier 2- Immediate Seahawks backups with long-term potential
Number 8: Dillon Gabriel
NFL Comp: Tua Tagovailoa
Another week back and healthy, Dillon Gabriel looked pedestrian in a 27-13 win on the road at Iowa State. Gabriel went 15/26 for 148 yards and a touchdown. While unspectacular, ISU is a well-coached defense and Gabriel did his job by taking care of the football.
Oklahoma as a team appears to have regrouped from their three-week meltdown, and getting their offense humming along again will be key to finishing strong. Like I said last week, Oklahoma has a real chance to finish the season with a six-game winning streak and get to a decent bowl game. None of those hopes are possible without Dillon getting back to what he does best, accurately and efficiently running the high-powered Oklahoma offense to its potential.
Number 7: KJ Jefferson
NFL Comp: Jacoby Brissett
KJ Jefferson continues to look healthy and dominant as the Razorbacks crushed the lifeless Auburn Tigers on the road 41-27, in a game that was not as close as the score indicates. Jefferson completed 66 percent of his passes for 234 yards while bringing back his physically imposing running game, hurdling for 45 yards and 2 touchdowns.
I continue to view Jefferson as a perfect backup option for the “Keep Geno” crowd. A young and potentially dynamic QB that can be unstoppable in short-yardage packages. Imagine a goal-line package with Jefferson and Ken Walker III.
Number 6: Michael Penix Jr.
NFL Comp: Geno Smith
Penix Jr. and the Washington Huskies had their bye week this week, and are about to begin their most brutal stretch of the season. On Friday night, they will host #24 Oregon State in what is the first of two Pac-12 championship elimination games for UW. The Beavers are one of the most underrated teams in the country and will be a great defensive test for Penix.
If they survive, the Huskies will then have their most difficult game of the year, a road test against #8 Oregon. If Penix can continue to carry this team through the Oregon gauntlet, the Huskies may be just an Apple Cup away from the Pac-12 championship, and Penix being a day two draft pick.