Geno Smith enters Russell Wilson territory and slays

Wilson had a certain reputation when he was with Seattle, but Smith seems to have one-upped Wilson.
Geno Smith and Russell Wilson
Geno Smith and Russell Wilson / Jane Gershovich/GettyImages

For much of Russell Wilson's Seattle Seahawks career, until the last couple of seasons, he was with the team, 12s got used to a number of things from the quarterback. One was that Wilson had an uncanny ability to make a ridiculously great play out of nothing. Another was that Wilson would be efficient. The last might be that Wilson threw one of the best deep passes many fans have ever seen.

Wilson was undersized compared to most quarterbacks, but there was little doubt as to his arm strength. He could place the ball wherever he wanted on the field, but he was at his best when throwing deep. He had a gift for knowing just how high to throw the ball, and just how far to lead the receiver.

What 12s did not know was if Geno Smith could come close to doing the same thing after he took over from Wilson as Seattle's full-time starter in 2022. Seahawks fans did not even know if Smith was worthy of being a starting quarterback. In his first year as the starter, he led the NFC in touchdown passes and the entire league in completion percentage.

Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith looks a lot like former Seattle QB Russell Wilson

12s also learned that Smith threw a deep pass as good as Wilson. Smith's throws were more on a line than Wilson's, but just as productive. In 2022, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Smith was the highest-graded passer in the league on throws over 20 yards. He completed 47.6 percent of his attempts, had 14 touchdowns, and just two interceptions.

In 2023, Smith's numbers dipped on deep passes, but only slightly. He still graded at number 8 in the league (two spots better than Wilson) and had five touchdown passes versus two picks. His numbers would have been even better, but one of his 60 passes of 20-plus yards was dropped. In fact, the deeper Smith throws the ball, the higher his grade.

dark. Next. Andy Reid says one former Seahawks head coach is the GOAT. Andy Reid says one former Seahawks head coach is the GOAT

Smith's talent for throwing long passes productively should work extremely well with the design of new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb's offense, too. Grubb knows how to scheme his receivers to get separation down the field, and the Seahawks have the receivers who can exploit that. Thankfully, Smith has the talent to augment what DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba can do.

Because of the combination of Ryan Grubb and Geno Smith's skills, Metcalf, in particular, could have the best season of his career. JSN is going to be used differently - not just the shorter routes than former OC Shane Waldron preferred Smith-Njigba to run - and could have an explosive year two. Seattle's offense could score enough points to rank in the top five of the NFL, and a big reason for that is because Geno Smith can throw a perfect deep ball.

More Seattle Seahawks coverage: