Drew Lock vs. Geno Smith: Who is winning Seahawks’ QB1 battle to replace Russell Wilson?

Both Drew Lock and Geno Smith are looking for a second chance at becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL. Barring a trade for another NFC West quarterback, one of them will get that shot.

Russell Wilson was traded to the Broncos during the offseason, meaning the Seahawks are looking for their first new quarterback since 2012, Russell’s first year in Seattle. There are reasons to consider one of the two players as the leader in order to start under the middle.

Smith is more familiar with the crime. He started in three games for the Seahawks in 2021 when Wilson was out with a finger injury and has been the Seattle backup since 2020.

Then there is Lock, which was acquired in the Wilson trade. He’s six years younger than Smith and just three years away from being picked 42nd overall by the Broncos. It has to be argued that Lock is still on the rise and that maybe a fresh start might be all he needs.

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Neither QB’s numbers are overly impressive. Smith has three more career interceptions than passing touchdowns (37 picks, 34 TDs), while Lock has 25 career passing touchdowns to 20 interceptions. Neither has a career completion percentage above 60.

“They do stuff and make games every day,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Aug. 5. “They both play games every day. I watch how it swings when it gets hard one way, ‘heavy the other way. The guys are doing a good job. We’re working hard to get the replays together with the guys playing up front and the receivers, we working to get that done and it’s going to happen and you’ll see it happen again tomorrow, how the replays are spaced out just so we can make it a really even competition.”

Who will win the quarterback fight in Seattle? Here’s what Carroll said about Lock and Smith.

What did Pete Carroll say about Drew Lock?

Lock appears to be second on the depth chart based on Carroll’s comments. He recently said Smith “remains at the top,” but noted that neither QB had perfect days.

Carroll said Lock can close the gap by continuing to make progress on the field.

“He just needs to stay out there and show us how he’s going to make his decisions when the big opportunities come,” Carroll said Aug. 5. “He’s already made a lot of plays.

“He’s made a lot of good throws, he runs really well, he’s elusive, he’s got a really quick deduction, his ability to let go of the football is showing, he’s got a lot of talent now. So we only need repetitions. We need twists, “we just need to see more situations to really find a reason to see a difference between the guys. There just isn’t enough material yet.”

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Carroll has previously expressed confidence in having Lock in the middle. In May, he told Seattle radio station KJR that he didn’t think Seattle needed to complete a swap for a quarterback and said that he thought Lock would have been the best quarterback in the 2022 NFL Draft.

“He would have been the first guy in that draft. I have no hesitation in saying that,” Carroll said. “He’s got a strong arm, he can throw the ball a mile down the field.”

What did Pete Carroll say about Geno Smith?

As might be expected, the Smiths’ quarterback job is currently up for grabs.

“Geno continues to be at the front, he’s up front, he was in the lead for all the obvious reasons, and he’s holding onto that and doing a really good job in the fight,” Carroll said.

While Carroll acknowledged that both Smith and Lock had negative play days and not full days, Smith was the more complete player up to this point.

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“He just does everything right,” Carroll said. “He looks after the system, he does the controls on the scrimmage line, he can control the protections and work with them [center Austin Blythe], these guys do it really well and he’s just really talented. He made great shots every day.”

Early in the offseason, Carroll said Smith practiced with the first group at minicamp. He said at the time that Smith was ahead in the quarterback fight but Lock could close the gap.

“Geno is still ahead — you can tell — but it won’t be too much for Drew to get caught,” Carroll said in June, according to ESPN.

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