Did Seahawks get enough for Russell Wilson? Examining Drew Lock and rest of Seattle's return

SEATTLE -- Here's how one NFL talent evaluator from another team assessed the package of draft picks and players the Seattle Seahawks are acquiring from the Denver Broncos as part of the Russell Wilson trade:

"Sounds about right."

And here's a prediction that same evaluator made on one of the pieces the Seahawks are acquiring:

"I can't see them going into the season with Drew Lock as their quarterback."

Therein lies the difficulty in making an immediate evaluation of how Seattle made out in one of the biggest trades in NFL history.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Seahawks are getting Denver's first- and second-round picks in each of the next two drafts -- which includes Nos. 9 and 40 overall this year -- as well as the Broncos' 2022 fifth-rounder. They'll also get Lock, tight end Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris while sending a 2022 fourth-rounder to Denver along with Wilson.

In itself, that's a strong haul. And it's a better one than the Detroit Lions got in last year's Matthew Stafford trade: Jared Goff, the Los Angeles Rams' 2021 third-rounder and first-rounders in 2022 and 2023. Detroit also had to take on the hefty remainder of Goff's contract.

But you can't assess the Wilson return in a vacuum because the real measure is going to be how well it positions the Seahawks to find a replacement capable of leading them to a Super Bowl.

No one would look at Lock's first three NFL seasons and conclude he's that guy. Indications are that the Seahawks don't believe that guy is in this year's draft, which is considered weak at quarterback.

It all suggests that they might have another big quarterback move up their sleeve. Perhaps they explore a trade with the Houston Texans for Deshaun Watson. Or perhaps they use a stopgap in 2022, with a plan to target someone like Bryce Young early in next year's draft.

The path to Wilson's replacement isn't clear, thus neither is the answer to whether they got enough in return for him.

Here's a look at everything Seattle is getting back:

The picks

The Stafford trade marked the only other time since 2009 that a veteran quarterback was dealt for multiple first-round picks.

Among the reasons why Seattle's return for Wilson is better than Detroit's for Stafford is the timing of those first-rounders. The Seahawks are getting theirs (as well as the second-rounders) in each of the next two drafts, whereas the Lions had to wait a year after they made the trade for the first one. Draft picks are generally considered one round less valuable for every year they're pushed out.

The only other team known to have made an offer for Wilson was the Washington Commanders. A source told ESPN's John Keim that it included their first-round picks in each of the next three drafts. Washington has the 11th overall pick this year, two spots behind where Seattle now sits.

Owning the ninth overall pick makes this a much different draft for the Seahawks, who were a perennial playoff team before this year and thus usually picked in the 20s. They've only made two top-10 picks in 12 drafts under general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll. Both came in 2010, when they took left tackle Russell Okung at No. 6 and safety Earl Thomas at No. 14. Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, at No. 15 overall in 2012, is the only other player their current regime has drafted in the top 20.

For all the well-earned criticism the Seahawks have gotten over their early-round misses, their track record has been much better when picking higher in the draft. Thomas might end up in the Hall of Fame. Okung and Irvin have been good players.

The Seahawks gave up their original first-rounder in the Jamal Adams trade -- it ended up being No. 10 overall ... ouch --- but still have four picks within the top 72 and eight total. The breakdown: one first (9), two seconds (40, 41), one third (72), one fourth, two fifths and one seventh.

The pressure is on Schneider and Carroll to capitalize on their new-found draft wealth because they no longer have the luxury of elite quarterback play to cover up personnel mistakes.

The players

After generating first-round buzz before the 2019 draft, Lock fell to No. 42 overall. Among quarterbacks who have attempted at least 400 passes since, he ranks 38th in Total QBR, right between the Commanders' Taylor Heinicke and the Carolina Panthers' Sam Darnold. Lock is also 38th in touchdown-to-interception ratio -- indicative of some spotty decision making -- and 32nd in yards per attempt.

Granted, it's not a big sample size. Lock has played in only 24 games (21 starts), missing 11 as a rookie because of a thumb injury. But he also lost his starting job after a turnover-plagued 2020 and spent most of the 2021 season backing up Teddy Bridgewater.

The aforementioned evaluator who doesn't think Lock will be Seattle's starter in 2022 likes his competitiveness and swagger. He called him a good athlete "who can really spin it."

New Broncos offensive coordinator Justin Outten said of Lock last month: "He's got a powerful arm, he's done a really good job as far as using his legs, as far as being an athlete."

At the very least, Lock looks like a solid backup with some starting experience and enough talent to possibly develop into more.

In Fant and Harris, the Seahawks are getting two sure-fire starters.

The Seahawks were strongly considering taking Fant at No. 21 overall in 2019 until Denver took him at No. 20. He's averaged 57 catches and 635 receiving yards in three seasons with 10 touchdown receptions in 47 games. He had a career-high 68 receptions for 670 yards and four touchdowns last season.

"Really athletic, really soft hands," the evaluator said of Fant, noting his 4.49 speed at 6-foot-4, 249 pounds as well as his strong run-after-the-catch ability.

Fant is a pass-catching tight end who can be moved around as opposed to a more traditional, end-line tight end, meaning he's more Gerald Everett than Will Dissly. Both are free agents. If the Seahawks are going to re-sign one, Dissly's blocking skills might make him a better complement.

The 30-year-old Harris is coming off a six-sack season, tied for his best since entering the NFL as a seventh-round pick in 2014. He has 22.5 sacks in 83 career games.

At 6-2 and 290 pounds, Harris looks like an interior player in Seattle's new defensive front, which Carroll has said will use outside linebackers on the edge. His addition could put Kerry Hyder Jr. in jeopardy, if he wasn't already.

Harris has two years and $17 million left on his contract. That includes a $7.5 million salary and $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses this season for an $8 million cap number. Lock has one year left on his rookie deal at a cost of $1.5 million. Fant also has one year left at $2.2 million, though Seattle could keep him under contract for 2023 by exercising his fifth-year option by the May 2 deadline.

The 2022 cap numbers for Lock, Fant and Harris total $11.7 million. The Seahawks save a net of $11 million against this year's cap by trading Wilson, so that's a near wash. But the Seahawks are no longer on the hook for the $51 million Wilson was set to make in cash in the final two years of his deal.