By: Joe Harris/Oregon Sports News
You can lock it in.
Sorry that was punny. Drew Lock appears to be the starting quarterback of the Seahawks as we enter the 2022 season. Of course, there could be a trade for a guy like Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo.
However, the Hawks opting not to take a quarterback in this draft class pretty much spells out that they have confidence in Lock and want to move forward with him as the starter. In fact, Pete Carroll praised his new quarterback, saying that a ton of other teams would likely have wanted him had he been entering the draft this season.
“I think he’d have been the first guy picked, of quarterbacks anyway,” Carroll said via ProFootballTalk. “He’d have been the first guy in this draft. I don’t have any hesitation saying that.”
I guess that would be an accurate statement to say, but at the same time, why weren’t more teams interested in Lock when he didn’t get the starter job last season when Teddy Bridgewater beat him out in Denver?
You could also say that Carroll is saying Lock was the best choice out of the QBs when comparing them to the guys in the draft. What I really think should be most telling here isn’t that the Hawks didn’t draft a guy, but that they didn’t trade for Baker Mayfield.
The question now becomes, “Will the Seahawks regret their choice?”
My short answer is no.
The expectations are low in 2022
The Hawks are rebuilding, whether they would like to admit that or not publicly. Very few teams can part ways with a quarterback who won them a Super Bowl and was the face of the franchise for years and just immediately win. Look at what happened to the Patriots in year one without Tom Brady…it was bad, and they are the Patriots, for crying out loud, with the greatest coach in NFL history.
So fans should have low expectations, and if Lock doesn’t meet even that bar, they’ll move on. I don’t mind them giving him a shot at succeeding. If he doesn’t, no harm, no foul. The NFC West is a really good division. You have the reigning Super Bowl champs, a team that was one game away from the big game, and another who was the best team in the NFL for the first ten weeks of play.
Seattle will likely be a sub-.500 and maybe under .500 team for the second year in a row, and QB play isn’t going to get this team to a Super Bowl, regardless of who is under center.
Look ahead at the 2023 Draft Class
This won’t be a very popular notion, but maybe the Hawks are okay with being bad. The 2023 Draft Class is filled with great QB prospects. This past class was not, as evidenced by one quarterback going in round one and none others going until the third round.
If the Hawks don’t win with Lock and he crashes and burns, it’s not the end of the world. Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Kedon Slovis, Spencer Rattler, and Tanner McKee could all be first or second round picks. It may not look like the 2021 class, which was absolutely stacked, but the Hawks could have a fair share of great arms to choose from.
Bryce Young is coming off a Heisman season; he has proven that he can be a National Championship caliber guy, and it’s very likely that he will be the number one overall pick next year. I am not saying the Hawks will be so bad that they will be in the position to pick him, but I am saying that he gives a team like the Hawks motivation to be in the mix next year.
Give Lock some Love
I get that Drew Lock isn’t the sexiest name in the QB market, but I also think he has something to prove and has played at a high level previously. This quote from him at the end of last season is something to be excited about.
“I learned a lot about myself and a lot about how resilient I could be,” Lock said. “I thought I had faced adversity before. But nothing like this year. When you get the playing (time) taken away from you, for the first time ever in your career, it’s different. … It lives in me and it breathes in me. It’s who I am. I’m a quarterback. I want to lead guys.”
I think Lock should have been starting for Denver last season. Hell, he had to compete with a guy that was being paid a lot of money, and when the front office makes a trade for a guy like him, they have to see through their investment or face being fired.
Lock showed flashes of success when he threw seven touchdowns to three interceptions in his rookie season. Year two wasn’t as great, but he battled injury and didn’t have much of a team to work with. The Hawks have two legit wide receivers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, plus added Noah Fant.
The run game is still driven by Chris Carson, and now Kenneth Walker III is going to add a new element. This offense has some questions on the front line, where the Hawks beefed up in the draft, but Lock has a lot to work with.
Overall, I think it’s okay that he is the starter in 2022. If it blows up, 2023 has a deep class. But maybe we will all be pleasantly surprised, and this begins the next chapter of a long and successful career for Lock in Seattle.