Markus Wheaton is a first round talent & Seattle’s plan at QB

December 4th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton deserves a high grade

There are players out there that get a lot of hype. There are better players who fly under the radar. Markus Wheaton falls into the second category.

It’s not hard to work out why he doesn’t get much attention. ESPN lists him at 6-1 and 182lbs – but Scouts Inc has him down at just 5-11. He plays for a solid Oregon State programme that doesn’t generate many national headlines. He’s a senior receiver in an era where top wide outs are leaving for the NFL as redshirt sophomore’s. None of that blows you away. Put on the tape, and you instantly see why this guy deserves more hype.

I’m sure you’re all aware of De’Anthony Thomas at Oregon. Want to know who runs faster than De’Anthony Thomas? Markus Wheaton.

Back in May both players competed in the 100 metres race at the Oregon Twilight track and field meet. Washington’s Ryan Hamilton finished first with a time of 10.51 seconds. Wheaton was second in 10.58, with Thomas third at 10.65. Granted it was ‘Black Mamba’s’ debut race and Wheaton is a senior, but a wins a win.

The speed flashes up on tape – see the video above for Wheaton’s performance against Arizona State this year. Yet it’s not the pure speed that intrigues me the most. It’s the maturity, the understanding he shows running routes and his willingness to try and make blocks downfield. Receivers get a reputation for being the diva’s of football – and for the most part that reputation is justified. Wheaton is the anti-diva. He’s humble. He’s a team player. And he makes plays.

This year he registered 1323 total yards and 13 touchdowns. Against UCLA, Stanford and Oregon – his three toughest match-ups this year – he managed 24 catches, 348 yards and two touchdowns. The only team to shut him down this season? Washington. The Huskies gave up just two catches for 25 yards (NOTE – Wheaton left the game early after a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit). Wheaton is three yards away from being listed among the top-ten receivers for yardage in college football. Another underrated receiver – DeAndre Hopkins at Clemson – is ranked at #9.

Want a comparison for Wheaton? How about Mike Wallace at Pittsburgh. They share similar physical attributes, they’re both capable of getting downfield and making plays. If you don’t want to pay a ton of money on the open market (if Wallace makes free agency next March), then consider drafting Wheaton instead. They’re very similar players. Wallace was a third round pick in 2009 – but undoubtedly would be a top-32 selection in a re-draft. Wheaton deserves to have a late fist or early second round grade too.

So what does he do well?

The first thing that stands out is the speed. He can get downfield and make plays, but given he’s not the biggest receiver he’s better working across the middle and making YAC. See the play in the video above at 0:43 where he runs a crisp route inside, makes the grab in traffic and just sprints away from the defense for a touchdown. He’s going to score cheap points at the next level simply due to his ability working in space.

You can use Wheaton in trick plays – as noted by the end around at 0:12. He finds the cut back lane and exploits it – exploding through the space and breaking off a big gain. There’s no reason why you couldn’t use him on a jet sweep, wide receiver screen or crossing pattern to get the ball in his hands and exploit that X-factor ability.

Check out the big running play at 1:25. Who’s sprinting downfield to make sure the runner finds the end zone? Markus Wheaton. The touchdown at 2:36 flashes his understanding of the offense and the route he needs to run. He’s on the same page as the quarterback, selling the route to the cornerback and then checking to grab the back-shoulder throw. Textbook completion for a score. At 3:34 he would’ve had another touchdown with a better throw. Wheaton beats his guy for speed and gets downfield with three yards of separation. The quarterback leads him to the sideline and he catches it – but a throw in front of the receiver and it’s a simple score.

Someone is going to draft this guy in the late first round or early second round. I think he deserves to be a top-32 grade and he’s probably the best 2013 eligible receiver if Brandon Coleman chooses to stay at Rutgers. Like I said, Mike Wallace type ability here. While people still wonder if Keenan Allen or Justin Hunter will crack the first round, keep an eye on this guy. A smart team will draft him early.

Seattle’s plans at quarterback ‘blown up’ by Russell Wilson?

The Seahawks have their quarterback of the future and his name is Russell Wilson. Any doubt was permanently removed as he engineered two long touchdown drives in Soldier Field on Sunday.

It’s not easy being a rookie quarterback. You have to act like a veteran and attempt to lead the team. Yet the more experienced and wealthier players in the locker room look back at you and think, “Who is this guy?” The way you win round the team and show you belong? Games like Sunday.

It’s not even a year since John Schneider was pleading for patience. He insisted the team wouldn’t panic in their search for a capable starting quarterback. They would bide their time. I’m not convinced he believed Seattle would’ve solved this issue by the end of 2012. Here’s my theory. Make of it what you will.

I suspect the Seahawks intended to go big on the quarterback position in 2013. They decided early in the process that the first round of the 2012 draft would be used to get a pass rusher – another key need. With three quarterbacks expected to go in the top ten last April, this would be a difficult problem for the Seahawks to solve. They weren’t going to chase the situation. Not yet, anyway.

Still, they had to do something. Tarvaris Jackson struggled as the starter and at the very least needed some healthy competition. When free agency opened, Seattle’s initial enquiry went to Chad Henne and a visit was schedule. He went to Jacksonville first and decided that was the right move to make. He stayed in Florida after starting his NFL career in Miami. Seattle – without many alternative options – arranged a visit with Matt Flynn.

At the time Flynn’s market was ice-cold. Touted as a prize asset following his big performance in relief of Aaron Rodgers, nobody picked up the phone until the Seahawks made their move several days into free agency. The interest didn’t really create a market. Miami arranged a visit but appeared lukewarm in their pursuit. And that was it. Flynn signed for the Seahawks on a deal worth $10m guaranteed.

I believe Schneider convinced Pete Carroll that Flynn could upgrade the position and handle things for at least a year. He could manage the situation. He could help the team continue it’s upward trend until they were ready to find that one player who could truly ’tilt the field’.

While they were unlikely to grab that guy in the first round of the 2012 draft, it didn’t stop them adding to the competition later on. Schneider targeted Russell Wilson specifically and Carroll bought into the concept and saw past the conventional wisdom that screamed a 5-10 quarterback couldn’t work. Wilson became the third part of this equation. Had another team come in for the Wisconsin quarterback before Seattle’s third round pick, I think they would’ve still targeted the position in rounds three or four. Kirk Cousins seems like a probable alternative.

The Seahawks went into the summer with three possible starting quarterbacks on their roster plus Josh Portis. Yet at the back of their planning, I still think they expected to have to wait to solve this issue in 2013. It would take Flynn, Jackson or Wilson to really blow the doors off to change that. And against the odds, Wilson has done it.

It’s not hard to think about who the Seahawks may have targeted in the 2013 draft. Pete Carroll speaks about Matt Barkley in the same way he talks about Wilson. In his Monday press conference this week, he was asked whether he’d worked with any other quarterbacks who had shown similar qualities to his current rookie starter. His answer?

“Matt Barkley was a guy… I talk about him a lot… but he was a guy that impressed me that was very, very comfortable with the position. Let me leave that for now.”

Carroll went on to talk about Wilson’s influence so far, checking his work ethic, relationship with his team mates and performance. He made a final reference saying he wasn’t totally surprised with Wilson’s success because he’d seen it happen with Barkley at USC. And I sensed, somewhere in the, “Let me leave that for now” was a tinge of disappointment. The realisation that any chance of working with Barkley has gone. Not that he’s likely to complain about that any time soon. As he often states, Wilson is the real deal.

Hey – maybe I’m reading too much into it. That was my reaction, though. And it fed my hunch that Carroll was probably zoned in on getting ‘his guy’ because he’d probably need ‘his guy’ by year four.

The relatively unexpected success in finding a starting quarterback in round three has probably put this regime ahead of schedule. Any expectations they had of drafting Barkley (or any other quarterback in round one next April) has been swept aside. Instead of looking for what many would consider the final piece of the puzzle – he’s already on the roster. He’s twelve games into his pro-career. By next year, he won’t have the rookie learning curve. The front office can target another area of the team for improvement in the early rounds of the draft.

If this theory has even a semblance of legitimacy, it could be the best failed plan in the history of the Seattle Seahawks. The third round guy who was too short for the NFL has solved the teams greatest need.

70 Responses to “Markus Wheaton is a first round talent & Seattle’s plan at QB”

  1. jbcoopy says:

    In fairness, Wheaton was hit helmet-to-helmet in the Husky game in the second quarter.

  2. Darnell says:

    Right on with the “ahead of schedule” remark.

    Getting a franchise QB in the 3rd and a true shutdown CB in the 5th puts you the equivalant of about two drafts of picking in the top 10 ahead of schedule.

  3. kevin mullen says:

    Love that last paragraph. Icing on the cake.

    Regarding Wheaton, you say Mike Wallace, I say a taller Desean Jackson. This kid is as explosive with the football as he is. Holy cow, those end-arounds, his 2nd and 3rd gears are legit!! I’d be happy with this kid!

  4. Sea Hawk Run! says:

    I think you misquoted PC and have read more into the Barkley thing than was intended. I believe that he said, “I CAN’T talk about him a lot.” This is because of anti-tampering rules (as well as competitive secrecy.) Coaches and staff have to keep their mouths shut about prospects.

    At the end, he said, “Let me leave IT AT that for now.”, meaning that if he said more, he could get into trouble.

    All that said, I think the Seahawks stocked up draft picks for 2013 and filled all of their big holes in 2012 so they could make a bold move at QB this coming spring. For better or worse, we no longer need to give up those picks for a splashy QB move. Sure, we’ll get a new development (Teal/Portis) guy, but we won’t be getting Barkley. But we can be aggressive at DT/WLB/WR if we would like and still have enough picks to continue to build depth.

    One thing for sure, Schneider hit it out of the park by picking Russell Wilson. Amazing.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I quoted as I heard it and even if he did say ‘I can’t talk about him a lot’ – he compares Wilson’s meteoric rise to that of Barkley at USC. The praise and admiration is still there. He didn’t have to answer that question, or even mention Barkley’s name. And I believe I quoted the final part accurately.

    • dave crockett says:

      Pete clearly love Barkley, but the NFL has a gentlemen’s agreement with the NCAA not to talk about draft eligible players (particularly underclassmen). So, Pete was answering the question but knew that he needed to tread lightly lest that get blown out of proportion.

  5. Michael says:

    Nice job Rob, I can’t believe I never saw the Wallace comparison until you said it. Body wise they even look alike.

  6. Mark says:

    It’s not inconceivable that Wheaton, Woods and Patterson could all be available when the Seahawks pick. Who would be your personal choice, and who do you think would be the most likely choice? Thanks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Tough question to answer. I think they’d like the home run hitting capabilities of Peterson. Woods is familiar with Carroll. And Wheaton for me is the better player out of the three. But it’s close with Woods.

      • Darnell says:

        I’m personally not sold on Patterson. I see a lot of production of his comes from reversing field against college athletes – didn’t translate to the NFL for Reggie Bush and it won’t for Patterson. He does have a lot of raw ability too, but his go-to reverse field wont cut the mustard in the L.

  7. Clayton says:

    Rob, this just might be the draft of the wide receivers. So many good prospects in 2013. Keenan Allen, Cordarelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, DaRick Rogers, Deandre Hopkins, Terrence Williams, Robert Woods, Tavon Austin, Cobi Hamilton, maybe Brandon Coleman… Where does Wheaton rank among this great wide receiver class?

    • Snoop Dogg says:

      I don’t know if I can say this class is a great wide receiver class. Their are no elite talents who will shake up the nil like A.J. Green or Julio Jones. I think it is a great class for the Seahawks because many of the talents are good enough to be a top 25 pick.

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        Last year was supposed to be a really good crop of WRs. It turned out to be an incredibly underwhelming group of players. Half of the first round WRs statistically playing below the average production of all of the combined third round receivers.

        WRs are just such a mercurial position to forecast. Because it’s so highly predicated on football skill. It’s why I am a huge Wheaton fan. This is a guy who has speed and highly developed receiver skill.

        It’s also why a team kind of has to cast a wide net in order to come up with prospects that stick. The prospects can look kind of lean but one just has to look at the last few years’ drafts (even the mocks on this site) to see just how difficult it is to accurately predict a WR’s ability to be a productive pro. I’d say confidently that it’s the riskiest and most bust prone position in the NFL.

        Any one of the 2nd round grade WRs this year can produce at the level of a Justin Blackmon. Certainly most — will be better than AJ Jenkins or Michael Floyd (convenient that two of our division rivals busted in round one).

        Just because there isn’t an AJ Green or Julio Jones, doesn’t mean there aren’t prospects that will be good to even great. Those types of prospects are really quite rare. Most drafts you don’t see even one prospect close to that quality.

        • Sea MEat says:

          Agreed. WR is a position that appears to have a rather high bust rate. I wouldn’t write off Floyd or Jenkins yet as it seems without looking to deep into it that it takes most WR’s a 2-3 years to really develop into NFL caliber players, learning the playbook and running correct routes, etc.
          I have watched enough of Wheaton to be pleased if the Hawks happen to snag him with any pic of theirs.

          Pass rush, WR, LB are the positions I am watching out for to upgrade the Hawks. I am curious now that there are only two QB’s on the team who they may target in the draft, UDFA, FA, etc. If Barkley, doubtful, happened to drop like Aaron Rodgers did on day one of the draft does Seattle pick him?! Then deal Matt Flynn?

  8. CFR says:

    Rob, are there any notable DTs or LBs available in free agency this year that you think would fit the team well? (I know that you already mentioned Starks, but curious as to if there are any other players who strike you as a good fit)

    Nailing one of those positions in free agency would allow for the Seahawks to target the other in round 1 and then still grab a great receiver in round 2. In fact, I really like the idea that New England used when targeting the RB position 2 years ago and that St Louis used when targeting the WR position last year: Invest in two guys relatively early in the draft in the hope that at the very least you’ll end up with one solid receiver (and could very easily have both players develop adequately).

    I would be very happy if the Seahawks managed to get a solid starting DT/LB in free agency, grabbed the other in the first round, and then dedicated their 2nd and 3rd round picks to doube up on receivers.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I’m not sure what the Bears will do but Henry Melton is also a free agent. Sedrick Ellis played for Pete at USC and he’s out of contract in New Orleans. Unless you want to pay Osi Umenyiora, they are the only two other names that stand out to me on the D-line. There’s precious little at linebacker but again – another Pete guy is a free agent in Rey Maualuga.

      • Snoop Dogg says:

        Rob, you mentioned that Starks might be a free agent possibility. After checking him out, I saw that he got into an incident where he rammed a cop car with a freightliner, and then tried to flee. Sounds like he belongs in Grand Theft Auto. Does this make any impact into the signing? Or is this common?

      • CFR says:

        Thanks! On the reverse side, what do you think about the WR free agents? I feel like we’d be better off drafting receivers than signing them though, especially after how many free agent WR busts there have been this season (and the few before it as well)

        • Rob Staton says:

          Draft all the way looking at the FA group of receivers. The best of the bunch is Mike Wallace… but Markus Wheaton does everything Wallace does. DeAndre Hopkins also vastly underrated.

  9. Hawksince77 says:

    Rob,

    About the QB plan, I think they played the hand(s) they were dealt. As has been argued before (perhaps even by you) every decision (CW/TJack) and non-decision (Dalton/Hass) prior to last year has been spot-on. JS was right to be patient and commit to the wrong guy.

    I also think they signed Flynn as being the top FA QB they could get, given the circumstances. They also targeted the best QB they could hope to attain in the draft (Luck/RGIII/Tannehill would all be gone before their first pick).

    The problem I have with the ‘plan’ of targeting Barkley next year is that would entail having started 4 different QBs in 4 years (Hass/TJack/Flynn/Barkley). That’s a tough way to build a team for long-term success.

    If Flynn and RW flamed this year, than sure, they do the best they can with the draft next year. But I think they would have worked hard to make one of them work for the longer term.

    But as I write this it occurs to me that if they truly thought RW was the guy, they wouldn’t have waited until the 3rd round. They’d of pulled the trigger in the second. So maybe you are right. Maybe Barkley was the plan all along.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It doesn’t even have to be Barkley really. I think they were more or less putting themselves in a position where 2013 could be the year they could go QB. I suspect they would’ve liked Barkley enough to feel he could be their guy. But then he could be the #1 pick and you can’t plan for that. I guess what I was trying to make out with that part of the article was that the team might be ahead of schedule going into the next off-season in terms of how they viewed this rebuild.

      • Phil says:

        Rob – you’ve done a great job of pointing out how effective PC and JS are at thinking strategically about how to get this team to where they want it to be. It’s amazing what a great team they are in evaluating talent. I used to think that PC’s success at USC was simply the result of him being able to offer a scholarship to anyone he wanted to with the assurance that they would say yes. Now I realize that I was probably ignoring all the time he was spending evaluating high school players, deciding where his next QB or RB was going to come from. He’s now brought those skills to his current position and it seems like every year he is able to find just the guy he’s looking for, even if he’s not one of the obvious guys on the “front shelf”. When you step back and look at it, maybe that’s one of the benefits of picking a head coach from the college ranks because they have to go through this talent evaluation process every year. In contrast, a coach that was previously an offensive or defensive coordinator in the NFL may not have as much experience with the evaluation process.

  10. MJ says:

    Rob, what kind of ceiling do you see for RW? Just curious as I don’t think I’ve read what you think he cane be down the road. Great stuff per usual. Personally I want to see another weapon just because I believe this offense can be great next year. Never thought I’d say that.

  11. Kenny Sloth says:

    I know he isn’t eligible. but what do you think of De’Anthony Thomas? He looks like a seahawk to me. Really that home run hitter that Pete is looking for. Probably won’t last long, though.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Mixed. Great speed but worried about his frame. Is he a product of Oregon’s way of doing things? Does it translate? What position does he play in the NFL? Lot’s of question marks.

  12. Stuart says:

    This morning I was listening to Mike & Mike-ESPN Radio. They were taking about three things; 1) Andrew Luck 2) RG III and 3) What is wrong with the”Chicago’s Bears Defense?”

    It is annoying how little love we get out here in South-East Alaska geezzz…..

    • Sea MEat says:

      Yes, Great article I think on ESPN that compared Luck and Wilson’s stats playing 7 of the same opponents. Wilson’s stats exceeded in most if not all but a couple categories. Not a discussion NFL network would take on though… What should be in the headlines every day instead of Luck is how Wilson is a 3rd pick that Seattle got mocked and laughed at for choosing. Mel Kiper blasted Seattle in every way possible. Still waiting for his apology to Seattle, hehe. But a 3rd round pick improving each week looking every bit of a first round talent.

  13. J says:

    Speaking of Wilson I’m reading this thread about him on a football forum, and I can’t help but just laugh at most of these posters. I can’t believe they don’t think Wilson is at least a candidate for Rookie of the Year. One of them even thinks an offensive guard (Zeitler) should be considered over him. Just another case of Seattle’s and Wilson’s success being ignored by casual fans who don’t know anything.

    http://forum.walterfootball.com/showthread.php?27896-It-s-time-for-Russell-Wilson-to-be-in-the-OROY-debate

    • Sea MEat says:

      I would have checked it out, but I refuse to go to WalterFootball and give him any additional hits. Especially after his kilbasa-sausage fest dogging of Seattle’s draft. I think the only pick he did not mock was Turbin. Plus, most of the comments are downright idiotic at times.

  14. seattl says:

    Thanks for posting all these draft profiles Rob, really I don’t know how I’d get my Seahawk fix without seahawkdraftblog.

    It seems like there are a number of 2nd round playmakers to look at, but pass rush is definitely the greater need and Richardson or Ogletree would be the ideal upgrade. Any chance we could bundle some picks and possibly Flynn with next years first rounder to get a second 2013 R1, and upgrade DT and LB? Don’t want to rosterbate but they seem like perfect fits on our defense, seems like a reasonable thing an aggressive FO could consider.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s difficult to project such a trade at this stage. Peter King tweeted on Monday he thought they’d try and get a R3 pick for Flynn in the off season. But Richardson and Ogeltree do both look like great fits for this defense.

      • Elijah says:

        Rob, is it even likely that Ogletree declares for the draft. I know the CBS Sports draft database doesn’t have him listed for the 2013 draft prospects, and I read somewhere (can’t remember) that him and Jarvis Jones are staying for their senior years.

      • SeaMeat says:

        Interesting. I have been wondering if they planned on trading Flynn away…. Buffalo? They have dealt with the Bills several times. I would look for a trade, but they need another QB other than Wilson…who would the backup be?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Buffalo is an unlikely option. They’ve just wasted a ton of cash on another non-flashy QB in Fitzpatrick, plus Flynn isn’t really an obvious Chan Gailey type quarterback for that Bills scheme. I’m really not sure who would be interested in Flynn because his market was dead in March. In fact, I think the Seahawks will struggle to do a deal for any kind of value.

          • SeaMeat says:

            You are right. I don’t think Flynn is Gailey’s type of QB, but I would think he might feel he is an upgrade and Fitz is not going to get that team anywhere. I struggled thinking who else they could trade with, if Arizona was not in the division….

            If he stays on the roster he will get his contract renegotiated? No point in paying him that much the next two years.

            • Rob Staton says:

              I think they’ll do all they can to trade him. I think both parties will try to get it done. But then they need a willing partner out there. If it doesn’t happen, I think they’d struggle to re-negotiate. I think Flynn would rather be cut and free to do what he wants. It’ll be an interesting storyline during the off-season anyway. I actually think Buffalo will go after Tyler Wilson or Geno Smith. As you say, Arizona would probably be an ideal trade partner if they weren’t a division rival. I doubt either team would be carry much interest in doing a deal.

  15. John says:

    From what I’ve read and heard since the draft, I really thing JS pounded the table for Wilson. I’ve heard Carroll talk about Schneider bringing him the tape and so on. I think Carroll wanted Barkley and Schneider fought hard for Wilson. I’m not going to siphon through a bunch of interviews but that’s what I’ve come to believe.

    I also think Carroll bought in because of his excitement on draft day. I still remember him hugging Schneider.

  16. Steven in Spain says:

    No QB under 5’11″ had been drafted in the top three rounds of the NFL draft in the last twenty years prior to the last draft. PC/JS were so wide-eyed about RW as a prospect that they were willing to make NFL draft history by taking a sub-6’0″ QB on the second day.

    PC is pretty transparent and he’s told us that Irvin and Wilson were the two guys in the draft that he absolutely had to get no matter what. And we know that’s true because by all objective measures he over-drafted each of them by approx. half a round. (But hey, there’s nothing wrong with over-drafting when you get great players!)

    I’m convinced RW emerged as the FO’s Plan A for the QB position sometime last winter. Sure, they weren’t going to go forward without numerous Plan Bs, like Matt Flynn, Portis, TJax, a boatload of 2013 picks just in case. But RW has been THEIR GUY for quite some time.

    • Rob Staton says:

      If he was that strongly there guy though, they don’t wait until round three to get him. If he’s Plan A – he doesn’t get past that second rounder. You don’t wait until round three of a draft to get ‘your guy’ at QB. I think they really liked him after working the draft during the off-season, but I’m not convinced there was a belief he would be Plan A. They liked other QB’s too in that R3-4 range.

      • Cysco says:

        Totally agree Rob. If the FO was confident Wilson was the QB of the future, they grab him in round 2. Heck, if they knew he was this good, they probably would have traded up into the top 10 and grabbed him. Taking him in the 3rd basically tells me they thought he had promise and could be a solid back-up QB for the team.

        I’m sure the FO considers themselves extremely lucky.

        I’m really excited for the off season. The FO has put themselves in a position to become an elite team and seriously compete for the Superbowl next year. I suspect they’ll do whatever they can to grab a legit pass rushing DE in free agency and use the drat to select more elite skill position players. Wheaton definitely seems to fit that description.

        cysco

        • Steven in Spain says:

          They took him in the third because they knew that was the very top end of his market value. Why pay more?

      • Attyla the Hawk says:

        From what I gathered, it was a calculated gamble. It’s something we’ve seen from them before. Although not manifest in allowing players to free fall to them. They have shown to have a pretty good grasp of how risky certain prospects are and who is likely to be the teams competing for a player. They’ve shown the ability to target guys and to take guys half a round early because they suspect the player won’t be available later.

        The fact was, the draft had some physically elite prospects at QB that were expected to fall (Weeden, Tannehill and Osweiler). And some warty prospects like Foles, Cousins and Wilson. I do believe they liked Wilson far beyond the other tier 3 prospects. Possibly even above all of the tier 2 prospects.

        I completely agree with the speculation that neither John or Pete really knew what they were getting when they drafted him. If they had, then they would be certifiable to let that quality of player linger on the board for an extra 30 picks.

        One only has to go back to the rookie minicamp to see the genuine surprise and excitement after putting him through the paces for his first extended weekend. I believed then and predicted to my friends at that time, that Wilson would be the day one starter based on that read.

        I do think that they REALLY liked him in the pre draft process and felt like he was the first prospect they had a shot at that really tickled their spidey sense. I do believe that they had a really great sense of where Wilson was likely to go going into the draft and what teams to be watchful for in case they moved up. I believe it was a calculated risk based solely on both their not knowing fully what he would become, as well as their ability to read the board and judge where guys are likely to go.

        • Soggyblogger says:

          I am surprised you guys are discussing this seemingly having missed when it was reported that “the scouts” had to sit on JS to keep him from drafting Wilson in the second round. They were convinced other teams did not have him targeted. They insisted we could use our second round pick on another need: LB. They were correct. It worked out like they had it figured. JS had Wilson as a must have. So he was willing to spend a second round pick on him, but the scouts convinced him he would still be available in the third round.

          • Rob Staton says:

            Whether JS felt that way or not… you don’t sit on Plan A. You make Plan A happen. Plan A in my opinion was merely to create a three-way competition.

            • Michael (CLT) says:

              Agreed. Ms would be wise to get an owner and GM like Seahawks and Sounders.

            • Steven in Spain says:

              Sit? PC and JS were jumping out of their seats to draft RW! They over-drafted him by at least half a round, given that no sub-6’0″ QB had ever been drafted in the first three rounds in the previous twenty years (or perhaps even longer). How is that not making your Plan A happen?

              • Rob Staton says:

                Wilson was going in round three. It’s since been reported Philly were set to take him in that round. And PC and JS have looked excited with every pick they make. As others have suggested, if the plan always was for Wilson to be this glorious franchise QB that he’s become, he doesn’t go in round three. You don’t risk it. They liked him, just like they’ll appreciate any player they draft in the first three rounds. But they weren’t taking him to be the top end plan for the position. It’s just worked out that way.

                • Attyla the Hawk says:

                  I agree completely. I think the evidence is pretty clear that Wilson pleasantly exceeded everyone’s expectations of him. Remember, this wasn’t a guy who just blew away all competition in training camp either. That battle lingered for a good while. I still think, and said at the time, that I though Wilson would emerge the starter. But it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that he would.

                  Regardless, I think for everyone involved, he’s turned out to be a better pro more quickly than even we or the Seahawks thought. I do give credit to the scouting department for seeing that potential and to having a good estimation of where he was likely to go. This front office has been really pretty adept at judging how far they can safely move before getting their guy. But I guarantee that if they really suspected he would be what he is, they would have taken him at 12 and they would have run up to the podium to do it.

                  You just simply don’t play around with getting a franchise QB. A lot can happen between picks 12 and 75.

                  I’m just glad it’s worked out this way. Tickled even. I could care less if we were lucky or just that good.

      • Steven in Spain says:

        You wait til round three because you know that no team in the past twenty years (or even longer) has drafted a QB as short as RW in the top three rounds.

        It wasn’t casual that PC and JS drafted RW in the third round. That was exactly one round before sub-6’0″ QBs get taken.

  17. A. Simmons says:

    One thing about Carroll, he backs his guy’s plays if they believe strongly in what they’re doing. Sounds like John Schneider believed strongly in Russell Wilson, Pete backed his GM’s play. John turned out to be right. That’s why I love this team right now. I love watching them play football during the season. I love watching the draft to see what John Schneider and Pete are going to do. They make the entire year interesting and exciting for Seattle fans. I’m always wondering what new gem of a late round player Schneider’s going to find. My hope this year is John Schneider can find us some elite defensive line talent. I think he can do it. He knows Mike Holmgrem and Ron Wolff completed the Green Bay defense by getting Reggie White. Schneider’s found his Brett Favre. Now we need Schneider to find his Reggie White.

  18. Phil says:

    Rob – what are your thoughts about picking a CB early in the draft? The pending suspensions have made me realize that unless Sherman and Browner improve their decision-making skills, we (and they) may be facing a year’s suspension the next time around. Plus, we need a nickle corner anyway, IMHO, to replace Trufant.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I would support it, especially if a player like Dee Milliner slipped a little. Jonathan Banks is also a nice option/scheme fit if he falls to the second. There’s not a ton of depth at the position, but I would support getting a corner.

  19. LouieLouie says:

    Hey Rob:
    I read that the other team who liked Russell Wilson, to become a back up, was New England. That would have pissed me off if they got Wilson, and he then he succeeds Brady in a few years.

  20. Michael (CLT) says:

    I wonder, if Barkley falls. Would Pete snatch him up in round 1? Could Barkley be Aaron Rodgers? Could Russell be more injury prone as his career goes along?

    I always love a good intrigue. I, at one time, thought Barkley would fall. However, I am fairly confident KC would jump at the chance to have Barkley.

    Not sure Barkley has IT (whatever that feeling about a person is) right now. Then again, I did not sense that Rodgers had IT when he was drafted. Maybe IT can be found?

    Thanks to all for patience with me. I am much too attached, and easily swayed to the negative. I blame being a Seattle fan ;)

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think there’s a 1% chance Seattle drafts a QB in round one this year. Wilson has been too good to entertain that.

      • ben-jammin says:

        So you’re saying there’s a chance!

      • SeaMeat says:

        circumstances would have to be just right. For one, they trade Flynn and get some extra picks. Perhaps Buffalo, Eagles (if no Vick), Chiefs, etc. Then Barkely would have to have a Rodgers-esque fall in the draft. No trading up since they have Wislon. They are going to draft a QB or pick up a FA since they cut Portis.

        • Rob Staton says:

          I think they’ll give serious consideration to Josh Johnson who was worked out this week. That makes a lot of sense in terms of a longer term backup option. But as mentioned, I just can’t see which team trades for Flynn. New York has $$$$ tied into Sanchez and it’ll be a hard sell to NY fans to go from Sanchez to a career backup. They want more than that. Buffalo I don’t see – I think they’ll draft a QB in round one. I’m willing to bet Vick stays in Philly… with Chip Kelly as his coach. Chiefs? Maybe. But they showed no interest in March and they’re picking high enough to use the draft.

          • SeaMeat says:

            Chiefs showed no interest before, but after the lack of QB consistency they may want someone like Flynn instead of taking a risk in round 1. I just cannot see Flynn staying in Seattle with that contract I guess. Especially when they could use some of it to upgrade DL and WR positions. Rework the contract?

          • Attyla the Hawk says:

            I think that may change Rob shortly after the draft. There are 3 teams that need a QB upgrade badly: Arizona, KC and NYJ. If one of those teams is unable to address it in the draft in 2013, the level of desperation will be intense. As it stands today, none of these teams would make a trade to ‘salvage’ the 2012 season. But it’s another animal entirely to stand here in May and try to sell tickets when you’re basically offering a throwaway season.

            When it comes time to marketing and earning your money heading into 2013 — the external pressure that could lead to moving Flynn will be more intense. And especially in the case of the Jets, where their window is pretty much this season and next. Beyond that, they’re really left with the nuclear holocaust option of rebuilding. They are an older team with a very limited shelf life. And currently they would be #3 in the QB pecking order of which there are 2 marketable rookies.

  21. [...] We talked recently about how underrated Markus Wheaton is. For me, he’s the second coming of Mike Wallace. If you want a consistent receiver with the right attitude, explosive speed and a knack of making key players – Wheaton’s your man. And if I was a good team looking for a receiver in the late first round, I’d draft him and feel pretty smug about it afterwards. [...]

  22. Rock says:

    Rob, I cannot see Barkley falling past Arizona in the draft. At the moment, it looks like a weak QB draft. What is your opinion about Taylor Martinez? He would have to come out early and might not be on everyone’s radar. He seems to have improved his passing this season (21 TD’s, 10 INT’s, 62%) and has the escape-ability to extend plays. I could see him being a good fit in the third or fourth round and then trading Flynn. As with Josh Johnson, he allows us to keep the same playbook if RW is injured.

    We need to free cap space for the younger guys like Earl. So, I do not see us making any big FA acquisitions this year. We might not be able to afford Branch.

    As for the defense, the weakness is not pass rush. We are tied with San Francisco in sacks. The difficulty seems to be giving up big plays in the running game. We have been gashed by some good RB’s. I could see another ILB being brought in and Bobby Wagner moved to the outside. Shayne Skov might be somebody to keep an eye on.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think Martinez is an athlete only. His throwing motion last year was frankly awful. It’s improved this year, but it’s still elongated and awkward. But man he has some speed. I’d love to work that guy out and see if he has any potential as a slot receiver. I would tend to disagree that the problem isn’t the pass rush. We might have some sacks, but that’s exaggerated by an eight sack half against Green Bay. The pressure overall has been wildly inconsistent and simply not good enough, especially on the road. It’s a major, major issue for this team. It’s just too easy to double Clemons on early downs and take away the pass rush.