Playing in their first game setting of the 2022 season, the navy squad edged the green squad 17-13 in the Seahawks' annual mock game at Lumen Field on Saturday.
Enjoying a strong performance while splitting first-team reps with Geno Smith, Drew Lock completed 19 out of 27 passes for 185 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Cody Thompson, capping off one of three consecutive scoring drives in the first half. Cooling off after a red-hot start, Smith finished 10 of 19 for 94 yards and led two scoring drives on five total possessions.
Here are five quick observations from Seattle's first glorified scrimmage:
1. For the first time since camp opened, momentum swings heavily towards Lock in the ongoing quarterback battle.
Since Seattle first reported on July 26, Lock has barely seen any reps with the first-team offense against the first-team defense. But that may change in a major way when the team returns to practice on Sunday, as the newcomer put on a show in his first game action under center. Playing with poise and consistently making quick, smart decisions with the football from the pocket, Lock completed each of his first 10 passes, including throwing a touchdown to Cody Thompson on his second drive while facing the starting defense. In comparison, Smith finished with a completion rate right at 50 percent and after a strong opening touchdown drive, he completed only four out of his final 12 passes while going three-and-out three times and taking two sacks.
Showing off his arm talent, Lock's signature play came on his first drive of the game. Throwing into a tight window between the slot defender and an oncoming safety, Lock threaded the needle with a perfectly thrown seam ball to DK Metcalf, who initially bobbled the pass before securing it for a 25-yard gain down to the four-yard line. On the ensuing drive working off play action, he dumped off a pass down the seam to tight end Colby Parkinson for another big gain, setting up an eventual field goal to close out the first half. On top of his passing production, he ran for a pair of first downs, tightening the gap between him and Smith.
2. Playing on offense and special teams, Ken Walker III continues to stake his claim to a major role as a rookie.
Throughout camp, Walker has been electric on the ground and as a receiver, looking every bit the part of a modern three-down back. He continued to showcase his immense talents on Saturday, weaving through Seattle's defense as a runner and catching a couple of quick dump offs out of the backfield for first downs. One play after Lock's rocket to Metcalf down the seam, he took a handoff out of shotgun, stuck his cleat in the turf, and bounced the run outside. Turning on the afterburners, he exploded off tackle before jogging into the end zone for an easy touchdown.
In addition, despite the fact he hasn't returned a kick since his freshman year at Wake Forest, the Seahawks have Walker competing for kick return duties. Before the game, he took several reps returning kickoffs in warmups and on his lone return in the mock game, he rocketed down the left sideline for a big gain close to the 40-yard line. Other players such as DeeJay Dallas and Freddie Swain remain the favorites to win the job, but don't count out the reigning Doak Walker Award winner.
3. It may not matter who lines up across from Darrell Taylor, who looks and plays like a different animal this season.
For a second straight day, rookie Abraham Lucas took all of the first-team snaps at right tackle, while Jake Curhan handled second-team duties. While neither player necessarily performed poorly and held up well in pass protection for the most part to provide time for Lock and Smith in the pocket, however, Taylor's burst created constant problems regardless of who attempted to block him, as has been the case on the practice field since camp started.
Flying out of his two-point stance and pinning his ears back hunting down quarterbacks, Taylor's quickness and speed led to numerous pressures, including a play that would have likely been a sack on Smith's second scoring drive in a real game. With Curhan's hands locked on him, the third-year defender put on the brakes as he closed in on the red jersey, allowing Smith to step up and fire a strike to receiver Dareke Young for a 21-yard gain. Later on the same drive, he used a quick swim move to penetrate the backfield and help force a rushed incompletion. Playing in a scheme that accentuates his traits and football skills, he continues to look poised for a breakout third campaign.
4. Tariq Woolen aces his first game action, even if good fortune wasn't bestowed on him on one particular play.
Entering the league as a fifth-round pick with only two years of experience at cornerback, few expected the athletic, yet raw Woolen to be competing for first-team reps within the first two weeks of his first training camp. But so far, the former UTSA star has vastly surpassed initial expectations and continued to open eyes with a standout scrimmage. Playing across from Artie Burns at right cornerback with the first unit, he stayed stride for stride with Marquise Goodwin on a vertical route on Smith's second drive, nearly intercepting the pass with perfect technique and positioning. On an earlier play, tight coverage against the speedy veteran on a comeback route led to another incompletion.
But Woolen's best play somehow ended up being a touchdown for the offense. On the fourth drive of the scrimmage, he was playing press coverage against Cody Thompson on the outside and the receiver ran a fade route down the sidelines. Seeing the receiver playing press, Lock planned to make the throw pre-snap and quickly launched the ball downfield after a three-step drop. Recovering in rapid fashion, Woolen shielded Thompson and got both of his 33-plus inch arms into the passing lane, popping the football up in the air. Unfortunately, the pass came straight down to a diving Thompson for six points. Nonetheless, Woolen did everything right on the play with textbook coverage and put together one hell of an outing to put himself into the discussion to start much earlier than anticipated.
5. Continuing a stellar camp thus far, Jason Myers was money capping off three drives with field goals.
By and large, Myers' 2021 season was a significant disappointment after making all 24 of his field goals one year earlier. His percentage plunged to 73.9 percent with him converting on only 17 of 23 field goal attempts and missing a pair of extra points. Now in the final year of his contract, the former Pro Bowler seems to have rediscovered his 2020 form and has been consistently splitting the uprights on the practice field. His steady performance continued into Saturday's mock game, as Myers connected on all three of his field goal attempts, including a pair of 45-yard boots.
With Seattle set to break in a new quarterback and potentially two rookie tackles along the offensive line, points will be at a premium this season. Keeping that in mind, getting Myers back on track could wind up netting the team a few extra victories and put him back in the mix for another contract as the team's long-term kicking solution.
-Building chemistry with both quarterbacks, Metcalf paced all receivers with 63 yards on four receptions, including catching three passes on the opening drive to lead to a Rashaad Penny touchdown.
-None of Seattle's running backs finished with more than 20 rushing yards or better than 4.0 yards per carry, with Dallas pacing the group with 19 yards on five carries.
-Two of Smith's three possessions ended with a sack, as defensive tackle Poona Ford drew a quick whistle on third down on Seattle's fifth drive and Aaron Donkor and rookie Joshua Onujiogu combined for a sack on the next-to-last drive.
-L.J. Collier (elbow) left in the second half of the scrimmage and had ice on the injury on the sideline. Coach Pete Carroll didn't provide specifics on the severity of the injury, but didn't mention any other players getting banged up in the mock game.