Seahawks 2023 NFL Draft Preview: Going all in on CJ Stroud

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Why Stroud should be the Seahawks QB of the future

Many draft experts and talking heads will talk about this one game that changed the entire discussion about Stroud. I get it. I understand that in certain moments a player’s outlook can completely change. I don’t blame people for thinking this way, but I have been an adamant believer in Stroud since the season began.

In my weekly college QB rankings this year, I never once bumped him off the perch as my top-ranked QB for the Seattle Seahawks to look at. From size, intangibles, throwing mechanics, and skill, he clearly stands above his peers in the 2023 draft class. It’s cool to see vindication in my scouting based on the Peach Bowl, but the tape has always shown a franchise quarterback. In discussions with people in the know, I have seen pro comps to Dak Prescott and Jared Goff as a floor, with a ceiling of Joe Burrow.

Geno Smith has been fantastic this season for the Seahawks. I really like him and think that he could be an excellent transition QB that still keeps Seattle as a contender in 2023. I also believe that paying Geno between $30-$35 million dollars will keep this franchise from ever acquiring the necessary depth to build around a QB, allowing them realistic chances at a Super Bowl.

If Seattle selects CJ Stroud in the top 5, his salary will likely be around $7-10 million for the first few years of his 5-year rookie contract. This is not a knock on Geno, but would you rather have Geno Smith and four picks in the first two rounds to improve the trenches, or would you rather have CJ Stroud on the cheap for 5 seasons, three picks in the first two rounds to improve the trenches, and between $25 and $30 million dollars in extra cap space to improve your roster. That money could get the Seahawks in the room for a star DT like Daron Payne or a Pro Bowl-caliber DE like Yannick Ngakoue.

Next. 4 Seahawks who need to earn their next contract in Week 18. dark

I personally view Stroud as a more talented quarterback than Geno, and the opportunity to have financial flexibility going forward is too much to pass up. If the Seahawks are on the clock this April and have the opportunity to select potentially the next Joe Burrow in CJ Stroud, the need to go for it.