Seattle made headlines in early March when they agreed to trade Russell Wilson to the Broncos in exchange for multiple draft picks, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, and tight end Noah Fant. After losing their starter of the last ten years, the Seahawks are going through the motions now of determining who will be taking snaps from under center when the season starts this fall.
Through Phase II of their offseason program, returning Seahawk Geno Smith has been taking the first snaps in drills, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. Breer still expects Lock to emerge as the starter, in time, once he’s had the opportunity to make up ground as a newcomer to Seattle’s system.
The 31-year-old Smith returned to starting duties this past season for the first time since 2017 and for the first time in multiple games in a season since his sophomore year with the Jets all the way back in 2014. Smith signed with Seattle in 2019, spending two years as Wilson’s backup while only making an appearance in one game. Last season, though, saw Smith relieve Wilson when the latter suffered a finger injury in a Week 5 loss to the Rams.
Smith finished the game for Wilson and, when Wilson was put on injured reserve, Smith started the next three games for the Seahawks. Smith performed admirably in Wilson’s stead, completing 68.4% of his passes for 702 yards while tossing 5 touchdowns to 1 interception. He also added 42 yards and a touchdown on the ground in 9 carries. Even though the team went 1-2 with Smith as a starter, he kept the Seahawks competitive, not only proving that he still has some gas in the tank but showing some of the best football of his career to date.
Lock was a second-round pick for the Broncos back in 2019, a backup option to then-newly acquired starting quarterback Joe Flacco. Lock suffered a preseason thumb injury that landed him on injured reserve, returning to practice in mid-November. Flacco suffered a neck injury that would require surgery and after three games of Brandon Allen, Denver turned to their rookie coming off injured reserve.
Lock took the NFL-world by storm, winning four of the Broncos last five games of the season. In that stretch Lock completed 64.1% of his passes for 1,020 yards, throwing 7 touchdowns to 3 interceptions. Lock took on full-time starting duties in his sophomore season. His completion percentage dropped to 57.34% on the year and his interceptions caught up to his touchdowns as his touchdown-interception ratio read 16-15. In his 13 starts, the Bronco went just 4-9. Last season saw Lock lose the quarterback competition to Teddy Bridgewater. Lock appeared in injury relief in two games before a concussion to Bridgewater in Week 14 handed Lock the keys to the offense for the rest of the season. The Broncos would lose all three of Lock’s starts, in which he would show more of the same from his full season as a starter.
Breer sees Lock emerging as the starting quarterback because of reports from 2019 that general manager John Schneider “really liked Lock coming out” of college, adding that the inclusion of Lock in the trade deal was similar to Jared Goff‘s inclusion in the Matthew Stafford-trade Detroit made last year. Breer also points out that Lock’s offensive coordinator during the best stretch of his young career during that rookie season was Rich Scangarello, who ran a very similar offense to Seahawks offensive coordinator Shane Waldron.
Behind Smith and Lock is the young Jacob Eason who failed to impress in very limited action with the Colts last year. The job will fall on the shoulders of either Smith or Lock, with Seahawks-fans likely hoping that Lock, the younger of the two, will establish himself as their future at the position.