With the first part of free agency over and most of the high-end players signed, the NFL will mostly turn its focus to the 2023 NFL draft. The Seattle Seahawks have already filled some position needs in free agency, at least in the short term, but have great draft capital that with the right picks could make the team a contender in the NFC for many years. But the question that looms largest for Seattle in the draft is what to do with pick number 5 overall.
Seattle has several options, of course. They could trade down, maybe with the Las Vegas Raiders at number 7, and pick up more draft picks. Seattle could stay at pick number 5 and choose one of several potentially high-end defensive players likely still available, such as Jalen Carter, Tyree Wilson, or Will Anderson.
Or Seattle could do the very Seahawks-y thing of taking a player they don’t truly need but could be the most athletic imposing player at the position that is most important. That might be Florida’s quarterback Anthony Richardson. While there is some good about Richardson, there are many concerns as well. Here are some pros and cons.
Pro No. 1: Anthony Richardson is a physical freak the Seahawks have time to groom
Seattle re-signed Geno Smith for a reason this offseason: Smith was really good in 2022 and should be again in 2023. On a roster that is getting younger all the time having a voice in the locker room like Smith’s while he is also the leader on the field offensively is invaluable. One way to upset the chemistry of a talented roster is to have too much inexperience at important positions.
Still, building toward long-term success in the future also means getting a young quarterback who will grow along with the rest of the team. Smith isn’t old (he’s 32 years old), but there is a question about whether he can replicate what he did in 2022 in 2023, and 2024, and so on. Adding Richardson, who is still raw and shouldn’t be expected to step in right away and lead a team, now while Smith is still under contract might be wise if Seattle wants a quarterback in this draft. Smith could help teach Richardson.
Smith’s contract is structured in such a way that Seattle has a bit of an out after 2023. Smith would account for $17.4 million in dead cap but Seattle could spread that out over a couple of years. By 2024, Richardson could be ready to step in and play. Whether he is actually good enough to be a starter in the NFL we wouldn’t know right away.