The Seattle Seahawks have remained consistent in their public decree that they plan to bring back quarterback Geno Smith for the 2023 season.
But ESPN’s Mel Kiper isn’t quite buying it.
In his first NFL mock draft of the offseason, Kiper projected the Seahawks to select Kentucky quarterback Will Levis at No. 5.
To be clear, Kiper didn’t rule out Smith returning to Seattle. But the ESPN draft analyst argued the Seahawks could add Levis through the draft even if they plan to have Smith on the 2023 roster.
“For the Seahawks, do they really think Geno Smith is their long-term answer? If so, they’re going to have to pay him before he hits free agency in March,” Kiper wrote. “If they franchise tag him, though, they could play him in 2023 as the bridge to Levis, who can take over after some seasoning as the backup.”
Levis was the third quarterback off Kiper’s draft board. He predicted the Houston Texans to pick Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud at No. 2, and the Indianapolis Colts to grab Alabama’s Bryce Young at No. 4.
How Levis Fits With the Seahawks
Thanks to the Russell Wilson trade, the Seahawks own the No. 5 pick despite making the postseason. It’s the highest draft pick Seattle has held since before the Pete Carroll era in 2009.
With such a high pick, one that Seattle isn’t likely to hold again anytime soon (unless something goes terribly wrong), the Seahawks should consider a quarterback.
At least that appears to be Kiper’s opinion. He projected the Seahawks to draft a signal caller in his first mock even though the top two wer