Landry Jones falling, Seahawks would pick 14th

December 13th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Landry Jones has consistently struggled to deal with pressure

Landry Jones falling down the draft boards

Since the summer, we’ve made a case on this blog that Landry Jones isn’t worth a first round grade. Very few others voiced such an opinion, but it appears the tide is changing for Oklahoma’s quarterback. Russ Lande at the Sporting News says NFL scouts are lukewarm to Jones after a disappointing season where he regressed, particularly down the stretch:

“After a season in which he went through some ups and downs, a number of scouts believe he is not worth drafting in the first round.

“There is little doubt Jones has the ability to get rid of the ball quickly and has the touch to make accurate deep passes, but there are some concerns about his a ability to move in the pocket and his accuracy on short and intermediate passes.

“After Andrew Luck, the top prospect in the draft, we are hearing that USC’s Matt Barkley and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III will be the next two quarterbacks taken (it’s impossible to predict which one will go first right now). Then, things get interesting. We have heard that a number of teams would take Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill before Jones.”

I’m not surprised that teams could prefer Tannehill to Jones. There’s only ever been two sure-fire pro-prospects in this class (Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley), but that group has been boosted by the emergence of Robert Griffin III. Demand won’t match supply next April, with at least six teams likely to consider drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds. For all of Tannehill’s faults – and there are many – he has the kind of physical qualities and potential that Jones simply doesn’t have.

There are several issues I have with Tannehill. He’s quite a robotic passer, he looks stiff throwing the ball and there’s not a real nature flow to his release. For a player of ideal size and height, he has far too many passes tipped at the LOS mainly due to his slingy 3/4 throwing motion. Tannehill locks onto receivers and he’s made too many bad decisions this year. He doesn’t have a great feel for the pocket and too often throws under pressure, when a bit more awareness would buy extra time to make an easier completion. I’ve never been sold on the hype which at one point saw Tannehill touted as a possible ‘second best’ quarterback after Andrew Luck. He’s not even close.

Even so, he’s still a much more appealing option than Jones.

The NFL is currently going through a phase where mobile quarterbacks are king. All four of the quarterbacks taken in the top twelve picks last April had plus-mobility. They weren’t flawless – Cam Newton had some off-field red flags, Jake Locker wasn’t considered a good enough pocket passer, Blaine Gabbert was a bit of a one-year wonder coming out of a pure spread system and Christian Ponder had injuries and limited arm strength on short/intermediate throws, meaning he struggles to fit passes into tight windows (evidenced perfectly against Detroit on Sunday). All four were at least above average in terms of mobility and athleticism, and they were drafted as top-end picks. Ryan Mallett had character issues that were the main catalyst for a draft board plummet. However, teams were also significantly put off by his lack of pocket mobility. Jones might not run a forty-yard dash quite as slow as Mallett, but he’s much worse at coping with pressure and extending plays.

If for no other reason, Tannehill will be favored due to his ability to get out of the pocket and make something happen. Maybe he’ll break off a run? Maybe he’ll run a naked bootleg and find a receiver downfield because he just managed to buy that extra split second on the developing route? These are things Jones just cannot do. A coach like Mike Shanahan will look at Tannehill and see a player he can work with. He’s not spent four years learning a strict offensive playbook, so maybe he can coaxed out of bad habits? Maybe you can utilise his physical potential? You’re not going to spend a high pick on the guy because there’s a real level of unknown there, but you’ll take a flier when the commitment is less severe. Seattle and Cleveland are likely to hold the same view if they don’t take a quarterback early in round one.

Put four other quarterbacks in front and suddenly Jones is on the outside looking in. Then you have to consider the possibility of teams preferring an Austin Davis or a Nick Foles. Jones could be faced with a situation where he leaves the board in a similar area to Jimmy Clausen or even Ryan Mallett. It’s hard to find a team that’s going to be the one that says, “Yes – this is the future of our franchise.” We haven’t included Landry Jones in any of our first round mock drafts so far and that’s not about to change.

Seahawks would pick 14th

One of our regular visitors, Ryan, has been calculating the draft order each week to see where the Seahawks would be picking. I’ve listed the updated order below:

1. Colts (0-13, 114 wins)
2. Vikings (2-11, 118)
3. Rams (2-11, 121)
4. Redskins (4-9, 95)
5t. Jaguars (4-9, 105)
5t. Panthers (4-9, 105)
7. Dolphins (4-9, 109)
8. Browns (4-9, 110)
9. Buccaneers (4-9, 112)
10. Eagles (5-8, 102)
11. Bills (5-8, 107)
12. Chiefs (5-8, 109)
13. Cardinals (6-7, 96)
14. Seahawks (6-7, 104)
15. Chargers (6-7, 111)
16. Cowboys (7-6, 95)
17. Titans (7-6, 98)
18t. Bengals (7-6, 106)
18t. Giants (7-6, 106)
20t. Bears (7-6, 109)
20t. Raiders (7-6, 109)
22. Falcons (8-5, 98)
23. Jets (8-5, 101)
24. Broncos (8-5, 107)
25. Lions (8-5, 113)
26. Texans (10-3, 90)
27. Saints (10-3, 92)
28. Patriots (10-3, 93)
29. 49ers (10-3, 94)
30. Ravens (10-3, 101)
31. Steelers (10-3, 102)
32. Packers (13-0, 95)

The Seahawks own the 14th pick after Monday’s comprehensive victory over St. Louis. If they’re going to select a quarterback in round one of the draft next year, it’s looking increasingly likely that they’ll need to trade up. If Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin III all declare, they won’t get past the first ten picks. There could well be one player in particular that sticks out within that trio, a player the Seahawks wish to trade up for. I don’t include trades in my mock drafts, so tomorrow’s update will again feature a non-QB paired with the Seahawks. However, I will look at the possible trade up options Seattle could have if the final order ends up being similar to the current list.

14 Responses to “Landry Jones falling, Seahawks would pick 14th”

  1. Peter says:

    I think it’s increasingly likely that the seahawks win out. With perhaps AZ being the one tough game. Chicago has no means to win right now unless the defense scores two touchdowns. Turns out San fran’s a superior version to the 2009 Seahawks…they can march it down but have to settle for an amazing amount of field goals and they have the nasty defense that Mora wanted. At 9-7 even without the playoffs the Hawks would pick something like 19th. Sucks for the QB derby unless Pete Carrol can truly turn a project into a pure system player, like I’m starting to believe he did at USC with his QB’s. Take Leinart, Sanchez, neither have shown that they are as great as the system that USC built around them.

  2. Rob says:

    Hey Erik,

    I actually had an email about Barkley being in Seattle yesterday, and I can confirm that was the case. But he has many reasons to be visiting Seattle, and therefore many reasons to also hope he ends up playing his pro-football in the PNW.

  3. erik says:

    Barkley being at the game begs the question whether he “visited” with his old college coach before or after the game. I wonder if thats even legal given the byzantine ncaa rules. The beat reporters hopefully will inquire about it.

  4. Jarhead says:

    Haha I was wondering the same thing about the legality of Carroll and Barkley meeting up. Regardless of whether they were coach/player before. Wouldn’t THAT be a twist of irony. Now here is another piece of NFL Conspiracy Theory- we’ve all heard of the number one pick demanding to be traded to another team after a team drafts him- what if the number 2,3, or 4 pick were to make such a demand? Barkley has obvious ties to Seattle and he would instantly become King of this county (pun intended), so maybe he forces a trade. I think that is a real long shot and quite frankly a little ridiculous even though I thought of it, but wouldn’t that just beat all? Either way, I think Seattle has a legit shot at .500. I saw the way the Bears played Denver and we haven’t faced a defense of that caliber in a long time. It will take a load of adjustment to get used to it. And ask yourself this- who is going to block Peppers? He is a monster right now. I think that ARI and SF are a total toss-up. So 8-8 is a safe bet. So I think it could be very likely that we stay in this spot or maybe even move up a spot at the end of the season. And with the emergence of different wideouts and lineman I think that a lot of high drafting teams won’t necessarily feel the pressure to stay in their spot. As Rob as mentioned before, a lot of teams may take the Cincinnati model and get a really potent weapon with a high pick and a serviceable guy in round 2. IE Washington or Cleveland. I mean Blackmon, Jeffery, Dwight Jones, Trent Richardson are all very appetizing. So anything can happen. Oh and as a side note- I think at this point we HAVE to lock up Lynch regardless, as he has become the lightning rid in Seattle. He is the Man there right now, and has become the face of the franchise

  5. Jarhead says:

    Oy- Lightning ROD that is

  6. Peter says:

    yeah the bears D has looked great, but where’s the offense? How do they plan to get points on the board? Devin hester I suppose.

  7. Doug says:

    Hawks – 3
    Bears – 0

  8. Chris says:

    If the Seahawks don’t trade up to grab Barkley (the only prospect I think would provide a somewhat reasonable trade price and has more years of proven success than RGIII), I like the idea of grabbing someone like Austin Davis in the later rounds and letting him develop under Jackson and our offense and see if he can eventually win over the starting job.

  9. Chris says:

    Meaning, use the first 3-4 rounds to grab key players like a DE/OLB, DT, RB, maybe a burner WR (although with Butler back and Lockette moving onto the team, maybe they don’t see that as a need). I think there is enough “hidden” talent that PC and JS talked about later in the draft to not find it an urgent first round pick need.

  10. Frank says:

    I don’t mind just picking up that Manning Guy and we win the Superbowl. Lynch is running for money and its awesome. Franchise Lynch and make him play for fun tickets again next year. Trade up for Barkley to redshirt, or pick up a CB or Leo in the first round, then Tannahill or Davis later on to learn behind the master. Would Manning want to play here? We don’t have the best climate or a dome, sweet home field advantage though.

  11. meatwad says:

    At fourteen or later there is no way Hawks can get one of the top 3 QB’s. I have a feeling with T-Jack being healthy and decent play perhaps they are comfortable with what they have and pick a 2/3/4 round QB? We will have 2 QB’s on the roster after Charlie is gone so they will have to make a run for a QB in the draft or FA.

    I want to feel convinced that Barkley is their guy and they will trade whatever it takes to snag him. Is that the best thing for the Hawks?

  12. Chris says:

    I think that the Seahawks don’t have as many holes as people think and the most valuable thing for this team is time and consistency. So because of that, I don’t think it would hurt the Hawks one bit to trade several picks away for Barkley. John Schneider has stated he’s going to be aggressive in free agency, so perhaps they get our pass rushing guy there instead of the draft? (Mario Williams or Cliff Avril? They have the money). He also stated that he would really only trade a lot away if Aaron Rodgers was in the draft again. Not saying Barkley is Rodgers but he’s good and smart, and Pete has scouted him since high school. He knows him and knows he’s capable of great things.

  13. SteadyHawk says:

    Chris,

    “He also stated that he would really only trade a lot away if Aaron Rodgers was in the draft again. Not saying Barkley is Rodgers but he’s good and smart, and Pete has scouted him since high school. He knows him and knows he’s capable of great things.”

    Where did Schnied say this? I would love to show this to a couple people who believe that John would never trade up in a draft. :)