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The Seattle Seahawks could end up walking away with a quarterback very similar to Russell Wilson.
According to Michelle Bruton of Bleacher Report, a draft-day trade that makes sense for the Seahawks would see Seattle trade into the first round to select North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell. This trade scenario sees the Seahawks use their pair of early second-rounders (No. 40 and No. 41) to acquire a late-round draft pick — the Detroit Lions at No. 32 are a prime candidate — to select Howell.
“The Seattle Seahawks have a ton of draft capital and could look to stay put at No. 9 before using their pair of early second-rounders to move into Round 1,” says Bruton. “Why? Because Sam Howell could still be on the board.
“Any number of teams in that range might be interested in moving down to pick up extra capital,” Bruton continues. “The Lions, who have the Nos. 2, 32 and 34 picks, are a good candidate.”
Howell is considered one of the top five quarterback prospects — along with Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder and Matt Corral — in this year’s draft. However, he’s been commonly projected as the last quarterback to be drafted among the five.
Why Howell is Similar to Wilson
The 21-year-old quarterback is the definition of a dual-threat player. Howell ran for 828 yards and 11 touchdowns on a team-high 183 attempts during his final season with the Tar Heels. That was in addition to his over 3,000 yards passing and 24 touchdowns.
As NFL.com’s Chad Reuter noted, Howell reminds him of former Seahawks quarterback, Wilson. Reuter also predicts the Seahawks to trade into the No. 32 selection to select Howell in his mock draft.
“The Seahawks haven’t been a ‘trade-up team’ in the past, but the Giants weren’t a ‘trade-down team’ until the right situation arose last year,” says Reuter. “So even the strongest tendencies can change. Seattle needs more competition at quarterback beyond Drew Lock and Geno Smith. And if the ‘Hawks bypass a passer at No. 9 (as they do in this mock), then they give up the 40th overall pick and a fourth-rounder (No. 109) to jump back into Round 1 for the former Tar Heel. Howell’s delivery and competitive nature remind me of Russell Wilson.”
If the Seahawks do miss out — or decide to pass — on a quarterback at the No. 9 overall pick, trading into the first round to pick Howell becomes important because it gives Seattle a fifth-year option on his, or any other rookie player’s first contract.
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Seahawks Could Also Move Down in 2022 NFL Draft
Not only could the Seahawks move up during the 2022 NFL draft, they could also move down.
As reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Wednesday, April 27, Seattle could opt to move down from its No. 9 pick in the first round to acquire more draft capital to address their many positions of need.
“Several teams want to trade out of the top 10, but many evaluators believe that will be tough, given the lack of can’t-miss, elite talents atop the draft,” said Fowler.
“We’re hearing Seattle (No. 9) has received calls from teams, though, so perhaps that’s a pivot point to watch closely,” Fowler concludes.
Outside of quarterback, the Seahawks are searching for a pass-rushing specialist, a possible shutdown cornerback and an offensive tackle as 2021 starting left tackle Duane Brown remains a free agent.
If one of the Seahawks’ possible quarterback targets is selected prior to their pick at No. 9, they could very well move down to acquire more draft capital.
In that scenario, it becomes more likely the Seahawks draft a quarterback late in the first round — rather than early in the draft.