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NFL West Preview: Seahawks Ready to Embrace the Future

Seattle is set up for the long term with the last two drafts and appears ready for the here and now

Posted on August 26, 2023


  By Stephen Vilardo, SuperWest Sports

Last season was supposed to be a rough one for the Seahawks.

Geno Smith was a placeholder for whoever would ultimately replace Russell Wilson.

The 2023 draft would be the building block to the future and Pete Carrol would probably end things quietly during his 70th trip around the sun.

Instead, Smith had a career-resurrecting year, and Seattle plugged in some 2022 draft picks to bolster not just the future, but the now.


2022 in Review
The Seahawks made the playoffs in 2022, still had that 2023 draft to build on, and Pete Carroll, now 71, doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Carroll

Seattle is set up for the long term with the last two drafts and appears to be ready for the here and now also.

Geno Smith’s reward for taking full advantage of his time to shine was a new contract worth $75 million over the next three seasons. Was it a flash in the pan or legit?

After the hot Week One start against Wilson and the Broncos, we all waited for the bottom to fall out. It never did. He ended the season with 4,282 yards, 30 TDs, and a passer rating of 100.9.

Those numbers over the course of a season certainly are legitimate and there seems to be no reason to think the QB won’t be able to put it together again.


Offense
Now, let’s remember that prior to the 2022 season, Smith threw for 34 TDs and 37 interceptions during his six-year career. We could see a slide and the bottom finally fall out, but I don’t think we will.

And even if there is a small drop off things are still looking pretty good behind center.

Kenneth Walker stepped into the RB spot as a rookie and delivered for the team. They added to the stable in the backfield with one of their four selections in the first 52 picks of the draft last April.

Zach Charbonnet should step in and play. Walker will still be featured and is a home run hitter, but he also had a fair share of negative runs in 2022 while racking up 1,050 yards in his rookie season.

Seahawks rookie Zach Charbonnet | Seattle Seahawks

Charbonnet should offer more consistency while not breaking off the big run as often. DeeJay Dallas gives the Seahawks three options to turn to on the ground.

DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are a heck of a duo on the outside and their position group also got a lot better via the draft. Jaxon Smith-Njigba was selected at number 20.

When he was healthy at Ohio State, he was electric. Metcalf will still be the number one, but all three receivers could pull in 1,000 yards for most teams. But will any reach that plateau this season?

This is a team that likes to run the ball, and they will only play with one ball. The prospect of not having enough touches for three good receivers is a good problem to have, but ultimately at some point they will want to shine.

For this season, at least, Smith will have plenty of weapons to distribute to.


Defense
On the defensive side of things, the Seahawks also look like they got better. Up front, they brought back Jarran Reed and drafted Derrick Hall on the edge.

Hall will provide the rush along with another new signing Mario Edwards and Uchenna Nwosu.

The linebackers get a boost this season with the return of Bobby Wagner in the middle. Jordyn Brooks, Devin Bush, and Boye Mafe add depth to a strong position for Seattle.

Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs | Jane Gershovich/Getty Images

In the back end of the defense, Quandre Diggs is still there at safety but will have a new running mate opposite of him in Julian Love.

The first of the draft choices the Seahawks had in April was used on Devon Witherspoon as the fifth pick out of Illinois. Seattle looks for him to be a shutdown corner on the outside.

A Pete Carroll-coached team is always going to be ready to go on defense and this unit has the potential to be very productive.


2023 Outlook
Overall, this is a team that appears to have improved quite a lot in the offseason.

Are they going to be good enough to catch the 49ers for the division crown? Perhaps not this season.

This should be an offense that produces a lot of points and is fun to watch.

The defense will be much improved over the 2022 version. Seattle should see a return trip to the playoffs to end the year.




—More from Stephen Vilardo—