Pete Carroll Is Looking For His Next Russell Wilson NFL Draft Steal

Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks are coming off a surprising 9-8 season, which was good enough to land the NFC’s final wild card playoff berth.

Behind a career year by veteran QB Geno Smith, Seattle soared in a season that was projected to be a rebuild. Smith shocked the NFL world and passed for nearly 4,300 yards, 30 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. His completion percentage was just below 70 percent, good for tops in the league. For his efforts, the former West Virginia Mountaineers star was named to his first Pro Bowl and he won NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

Seattle Seahawks are looking for another draft steal like Russell Wilson. Could Anthony Richardson be that guy? (Photo Getty Images)

Smith’s unexpected success came in the final year of his contract. And with the Seahawks currently holding the No. 5 overall pick in April’s draft, by way of Russell Wilson’s trade to Denver Broncos, some think they could draft one of the young signal-callers to be their guy sooner than later. In an interview at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Carroll addressed the so-called elephant in the room.

“We are totally connected to the quarterbacks that are coming out,” Carroll told reporters. “This is a really huge opportunity for us. It’s a rare opportunity. We’ve been drafting in the low 20s for such a long time; you just don’t get the chance with these guys. So we’re deeply involved with all that.”

The Seahawks also have their own pick at No. 20 overall, so they have a chance to add two quality pieces in the first round of this year’s draft.

Seahawks Haven’t Been In Position To Draft A QB Often

Thanks to Wilson and a generational type defense, the Seahawks made the playoffs in eight of Wilson’s ten seasons under center. Meaning the team routinely picked in the late to mid-20s of the draft. So to be able to draft someone as high as fifth is new for GM Jon Schneider and Carroll, who haven’t done so since coming to Seattle in 2010. In all, ten playoff appearances in 13 seasons will keep you drafting low yearly.

When asked at the NFL combine how intensely his team was looking at a quarterback, “A lot,” Schneider replied. “Every year, honestly, we really look at it a lot. Like I said earlier, we haven’t picked fifth overall since we’ve been here. So, yeah, I got out to see a lot of the quarterbacks this year. It was pretty fun. But honestly, every year we’ve tried to do that, and we’ve tried to add quarterbacks.”

Will Geno Smith Re-Sign With Seattle?

Schneider and Carroll are both still hopeful to re-sign the aforementioned Smith, but they’re also doing their due diligence to make sure they don’t miss on a chance to add a game-changer at the position.

Anthony Richardson Is Best Fit For Seattle

While Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are the two best quarterbacks in the draft, the Seahawks’ need on the defensive line eliminates them going after either one of those studs. 

For an offense that wants to run the football with star running back Kenneth Walker III, the need for a mobile strong-armed passer capable of throwing it deep in the play-action game brings us to Florida’s Anthony Richardson.

Richardson won’t be ready to play for a couple of seasons, so that’s why signing Smith is key. That’s also why the Seahawks probably wouldn’t use the No. 5 pick on a project, but you never know, stranger things have happened in the weeks leading up to the draft.

Many don’t believe Richardson will last until the 20th pick if he shows well in Indy, but if he does he’d be a great get for the Seahawks. 

The big 6-foot-4 and 235-pound physical specimen is raw, but he’s also extensively talented and eerily reminiscent of Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen when he arrived to the league from Wyoming in 2018. 

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