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    How Seahawks re-signing Geno Smith could impact Drew Lock, ninth overall pick in 2022 NFL Draft

    The Seattle Seahawks re-signed QB Geno Smith on Wednesday. That move could impact Drew Lock and the 2022 NFL Draft.

    The Seattle Seahawks have moved on from former franchise QB Russell Wilson, but they’ll still have a familiar face in the position room this season. The Seahawks are re-signing longtime backup QB Geno Smith on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.

    Seahawks re-sign Geno Smith

    According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Smith’s contract is worth $7 million. Smith made just $1.08 million last season, so his return comes with a substantial raise.

    The Seahawks acquired former Denver Broncos starting QB Drew Lock in the deal for Wilson last month. While Lock was expected to be the leader in the clubhouse for Seattle’s starting QB job, he’s set to make only $1.35 million in the final year of his rookie deal.

    The Seahawks have brought back Smith on a much bigger contract, and he’s already familiar with Seattle’s offensive system.

    What Smith’s return means for Drew Lock

    With Smith back in the mix, a competition between him and Lock seems likely, if not certain. Smith, a well-traveled veteran, could push Lock in a competition or ultimately take the starting job during training camp.

    Lock’s fall from grace in Denver wasn’t expected to factor into his arrival in Seattle. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was quick to praise Lock’s upside at the NFL’s annual meetings last month.

    “When Drew came out of college — we made our assessments and evaluated him [for] the draft — we saw him as a big, strong-armed, mobile, aggressive, athletic quarterback,” Carroll said. “He had thrown a ton of footballs. He had a very aggressive program where you got to see him do everything … and we really liked what we saw. We can still see that. We see that right now when we watch the film.”

    Bringing back Smith implies that the Seahawks want to hedge their bets at QB in case Lock fails to live up to his upside. While Carroll thinks highly of Lock, he is aware of his tendency to give the ball away with interceptions and fumbles.

    “Unfortunately for him, his play has come about where there’s a lot of turnovers in his game,” Carroll said. “That just doesn’t fit with us. We just have to fix that. We have to change the mentality and do the things that we can do to help him be his best.”

    Last season, Smith started three games for the Seahawks. He posted a 1-2 record as a starter after completing 69% of his passes for 735 yards, 5 touchdowns, and an interception. He also ran for 42 yards and a score.

    Lock, on the other hand, was 0-3 as a starter in 2021. He completed 60.4% of his passes while throwing for 787 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Of the two players, Smith has had more recent success. His familiarity with the system could also be a determining factor in a training camp competition.

    What Smith’s return means for the NFL Draft

    The Seahawks acquired the ninth overall pick from the Broncos in their blockbuster Wilson trade. While Seattle could still use that pick to select a QB like Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett or Liberty’s Malik Willis, the Smith re-signing seems to indicate that the franchise will prioritize other positions early in the draft.

    The Seahawks badly need left tackle help, and the class has three potential top-10 prospects at the position. Instead of forcing a QB at No. 9, the Seahawks could target NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu, Alabama’s Evan Neal, or Mississippi State’s Charles Cross with their first selection.

    Building around the QB spot would be a wise move for Seattle. Next year’s QB class is expected to be much better, and the team isn’t built for immediate contention this offseason. Giving their current crop of QBs a good look this summer while making the rest of the team better is a worthwhile approach. With Smith returning, that appears to be the avenue the Seahawks plan to take this offseason.

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