One of my favorite features of Mike Sando is his anonymous interviews with NFL executives. It’s been a staple of his work through his time with ESPN and presently with The Athletic.
We’re a week removed from the 2022 NFL Draft, and while the Seattle Seahawks garnered widespread praise for their sound process, one of the main storylines has been the team’s decision not to draft a quarterback following the Russell Wilson trade. At the moment, Drew Lock, Geno Smith, and Jacob Eason are the QB trio and rumors of a Baker Mayfield trade have clearly died down.
Anonymous execs had their thoughts on the decision to trade Wilson, as well as seemingly committing to lock in this season.
“Maybe they are tired of being held hostage,” said an exec. “Do I think Drew Lock is the answer? No. Did Seattle do what they needed to do to cover themselves for the loss of Russell Wilson? Does any team ever do enough to cover itself for the loss of a Tier 1 quarterback? When you get a quarterback like that, you are expecting 10 wins when he walks in the building. “
“Their fascination with Drew Lock feels like a contrarian, ‘Hey, we’re going to win the ball and our evaluation of Drew Lock was right,'” said an exec. “Only a Super Bowl-winning coach who has tenure and can feel safe doing that. This will either be the greatest ‘I told you so’ or it could be, ‘Hey, you know what, I gave it a great run and no one is going to remember this part when it is said and done anyway.’ “
That second executive quote is interesting because they refer to Pete Carroll’s job security, and I agree with the way the Seahawks have set themselves up all but assumes that Carroll and Schneider aren’t going anywhere even if 2022 goes horribly wrong. For better or worse, I don’t think Pete and John are in trouble unless something completely off the rails happens because it looks like a two-year retooling based off the draft capital they received from Denver.
Now for something less speculative and more positive, this executive likes both the Charles Cross selection and the much-discussed Kenneth Walker III pick in Round 2.
“I loved the tackle Seattle got (Charles Cross at 9) and have no problem with the running back (Kenneth Walker) in the second round,” said an exec. “I’m not big on paying a running back a big second contract because they peak early. I don’t mind taking one in the second round at all. Yes, you can and will find better players in later rounds, but in general, second-round players are better than fourth-round players. “
I eagerly await the umpteenth chapter of the running back discourse.