2020 NFL Draft Preview: Will The Seahawks Find Russell Wilson's Backup In The Draft?

A look at where the Seahawks stand at quarterback heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, and at some of the top prospects at that position. 

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Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws the ball for a touchdown during an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020 in Philadelphia. (Aaron Doster/NFL)

The NFL Draft is set to take place, digitally, beginning on April 23, and as things stand now, the Seahawks are scheduled to pick 27th in the first round, and hold seven picks overall. Starting this week, Seahawks.com is taking a position-by-position look at where things currently stand on the Seahawks' roster, as well as the top prospects at each position. We'll also look at Seattle's draft history at each position under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll.

Today we get started with at look at quarterback, and tomorrow we'll turn our attention to the other side of the ball with cornerback.

Seattle's 2020 Draft Picks: Round 1, No. 27 overall; Round 2, No. 59 overall; Round 2, No. 64 overall; Round 3, No. 101 overall; Round 4, No. 133 overall; Round 4, No. 144 overall; Round 6, No. 214 overall.

Draft History Under Carroll & Schneider: Russell Wilson (No. 75 overall, 2012), Alex McGough (No. 220, 2018).

Where The Seahawks Stand

The Seahawks obviously don't have a need when it comes to the starting job. In Russell Wilson, who is coming off of an All-Pro season, the Seahawks have one of the NFL's very best quarterbacks in the midst of his prime, and he just signed a contract extension last year, so he's not going anywhere anytime soon.

But while the Seahawks are set at quarterback for the foreseeable future, that doesn't mean they don't have need at that position. Geno Smith, last year's backup, is currently a free agent, and even if he were to re-sign, the Seahawks will almost certainly want another quarterback or two in camp in order to compete for the backup job and also just to provide depth for camp and for preseason games.

So far, the Seahawks' history of drafting quarterbacks under Schneider and Carroll has been limited, with Wilson and 2018 seventh-rounder Alex McGough being the only two signal callers selected by Seattle in the last decade. But Schneider comes from a Green Bay front office where it was commonplace to draft and develop quarterbacks despite the presences of a future Hall of Famer in Brett Favre, oftentimes leading to eventual trades—Seahawks fans will recall that working out pretty well for them in the case of Matt Hasselbeck. Schneider has mentioned in the past that he likes that approach, but that drafts just haven't fallen in the right way for the Seahawks to end up selecting quarterbacks where they see the proper value.

Both the presence of Russell Wilson and the Seahawks' history under Carroll and Schneider suggests that the Seahawks don't feel like they have to come out of this draft with a quarterback, but if the right value is there in the mid to late rounds, it could make sense for Seattle to look for Wilson's backup when the draft is underway later this month.

NFL.com's rankings of the top quarterback prospects in the 2020 draft.

NFL.com's Top 5 Quarterbacks

1. Joe Burrow, LSU

Overview (via NFL.com): People's champ with rags-to-riches story arc culminating in one of the greatest one-year turnarounds in sports history. He's self-assured and plays with competitive toughness that teammates will gravitate toward instantly. He's a rhythm passer who benefited from tempo and scheme, but his vision, touch and read recognition made the offense special. He buys time for himself inside the pocket, but creates explosive, off-schedule plays outside of it with his arm or legs. He throws with staggering precision and timing, but he recognizes his own arm-strength constraints and is forced to shrink the field accordingly. His 2018 tape and unremarkable physical traits could clutter his evaluation for some, but he appears to be an outlier who simply developed and blossomed beyond those evaluation concerns. He's a smart quarterback with special intangibles and could become a Pro Bowler if a team tailors its offense to his specific strengths and comfort level.

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Overview (via NFL.com): Talented dual-threat quarterback with winning background, explosive production and loads of experience in high-leverage games. He may be pigeon-holed into a spread or RPO-heavy attack, but he's actually a clean fit in a pro-style attack filled with play-action and roll-outs. He has the release, accuracy and touch needed to work all three levels successfully and can become a more disciplined, full-field reader to piece the puzzle together against NFL coverages. He needs better poise when pressured, but his escapability not only moves the chains, it creates chunk plays in the air and on the ground. Teams assessing his draft value will need to sift through mounting durability concerns and decide whether he is a "face of the franchise" talent without the abundance of talent surrounding him.

3. Justin Herbert, Oregon

Overview (via NFL.com): Big, talented full-field scanner able to find the right read and sling it around the yard from the pocket or on the move. Herbert rushed throws in 2018, but he showed marked improvement in that area, excluding the Auburn opener. He trusts his protection while working through coverages and route development and has big-boy arm talent and drive velocity to stress and impress defenses. He's confident attacking downfield, but touch throws evade him and may have created tentativeness with certain short and intermediate throws. Ball placement requires additional emphasis, but upgrading to NFL skill talent could help him bloom. Herbert has a high ceiling and is the most physically gifted quarterback in the draft, but he doesn't have as many "wow" plays as expected for someone with his traits, experience and potential.

4. Jordan Love, Utah State

Overview (via NFL.com): Challenging evaluation for quarterback-needy teams balancing traits and potential against disappointing 2019 tape. Staff turnover and new starters across the offense are partly to blame for his regression, but self-made flaws in process were also concerns. Love's accuracy took a step back, and his delayed reaction from "see it" to "throw it" when making reads is troubling. He has the arm to stick throws into tight windows but needs better eye discipline and anticipation to keep windows open. His size, mobility and arm talent combined with his 2018 flashes could be a winning hand that leads a team into the future or a siren's song of erratic play and unfulfilled potential.

5. Jacob Eason, Washington

Overview (via NFL.com): His elite size and arm talent are reminiscent of Carson Palmer, but issues with pocket poise and getting through progressions cleanly are more reminiscent of Brock Osweiler. Eason is fun to watch when he's ripping throws around the field and taking deep play-action shots, but a lack of mobility inside and outside the pocket is troubling, considering his ineffectiveness when pressured. He's relatively inexperienced and should continue to develop from the pocket, but poise is hard to fix, and handling exotic blitz packages is not a given. He's a pro-style, play-action-based quarterback with average starter potential and an average backup floor.

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