We are less than a month away from the NFL Draft, which means that rumors are flying and the smoke screens are picking up. Who will trade up in the draft? Who is going to reach for a guy they really want? Does this team like that player, or are they baiting another team into a bad move? It’s a chess game, and you don’t want to be the front office holding checkers pieces.
The Seahawks have a lot of decisions to make in this draft, and they are well situated to either make a splashy move, move back in the draft and gain capital, or stay put and draft someone who isn’t necessarily a “sexy” pick but can help the franchise. The Hawks have the 5th, 20th, 37th, 52nd, and 83rd picks on the first two days of the draft. They have another five selections on the final day. This is quite different from the typical Hawks draft of recent years.
One player that everyone around the league is talking about and that the Hawks are in a great position for is Florida QB Anthony Richardson. He has insane speed and is a total dual-threat QB, but there have been questions about his arm and accuracy. Richardson is getting a ton of hype after his combine performance, which isn’t unusual.
Quarterbacks are the most coveted position in the National Football League, there is no question about it. Right before the draft, it seems like some quarterbacks’ stocks either skyrocket or fall. Think back to last year when Malik Willis was thought of as the number one overall pick, yet he wasn’t selected until the third round.
In most mock drafts, Richardson is locked in as a Top 10 player and either the third or fourth quarterback off the shelf. The Hawks have Geno Smith after they locked him this offseason for a few years, but there certainly is chatter that they could bring in Richardson to learn from Smith and let him develop for a year or two before allowing him to compete for the starting job.
According to his official NFL.com Draft Profile, he is given a 6.40 rating which means he “Will Become A Good Starter Within Two Years.”
So should the Hawks draft him? I say yes. This guy has a ton of raw talent, and Lance Zierlien compares him to Cam Newton. Here is his breakdown of Richardson:
“Dual-threat quarterback with an elite physical profile and a lot of work that needs to be done to reach a potentially high ceiling. Richardson’s frame, arm talent, and mobility will demand respect as a potential first-round option. He has the ability to make plays on the move that very few of his NFL peers will be able to make. However, his accuracy on short and simple throws left much to be desired due, in part, to shoddy footwork and inconsistent rhythm. The footwork issues can be corrected, but the challenge will be determining whether he can be at least a functionally accurate passer at the next level. Richardson’s potential to strike with the deep ball, attack the secondary from sideline to sideline, and gash teams with his legs creates greater leeway in his projection as a developmental prospect. Ultimately, he will succeed or fail based on his ability to play with better post-snap recognition and deliver the football with consistency.”
There are already reports coming out that the Hawks are interested in him. According to reporter Corbin Smith, the Hawks are certainly doing their due diligence.
“According to two sources, John Schneider spent extensive time with Anthony Richardson’s agent yesterday at Florida pro day. The #Seahawks continue to show a legitimate interest in the quarterback prospect.”
The question becomes: where should Richardson be drafted? That is still a bit of a debate amongst NFL scouts. Some say that Richardson is not a first-round talent, while others are hyping him up to the threat level of the Hawks being the last team that may be able to draft him.
Here’s a report from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that says the Hawks are likely in the perfect position,
“When I ask some high-level scouts who were at the Pro Day how Anthony Richardson looked, they said that it’s looking like he might not fall past Seattle at No. 5. It feels like that’s his floor right now. Or at least that’s the conversation among NFL teams, ‘Will he be a top 3-to-5 pick.’”
If we have learned anything from the past few years of the NFL, it’s that you must have a legitimate quarterback if you want to win a Super Bowl. Geno Smith proved last year that he deserves to be a starter in this league, and I am fully supportive of him having that role entering next year.
However, the Hawks may not be in a draft position like they currently are in the near future, and grabbing a player that could become the face of your franchise at the most important position might be too important to pass up.