Are we finally going to take these QB’s seriously?

Anthony Richardson is a unicorn

On November 22nd last year, I posted my first mock draft.

The top three picks?

#1 Houston — Anthony Richardson (QB, Florida)
#2 Carolina — Will Levis (QB, Kentucky)
#3 Indianapolis (v/Chicago) — CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State)

I suspect we’ll see a few similar looking mock drafts in the coming weeks.

The combine isn’t the be-all and end-all, especially at quarterback. What today has done, however, is shift the narrative.

There’s been too much talk about what the three players above can’t do and not enough focus on what they can become. The draft is about projection. It’s looking at a player and making a judgement on how they can be developed to reach the highest level possible.

I started writing this blog in 2008. I’ve never seen a quartet of quarterbacks with this level of upside in the same draft. I’ve never seen three players in particular — Richardson, Levis and Stroud — with the physical upside they possess, all at the same combine, throwing on the same field.

Let’s start with Anthony Richardson. A legitimate, bonafide unicorn.

He’s 6-4 and 244lbs with 10 1/2 inch hands.

He ran a 4.43 forty (second only to RGIII for a quarterback since 2003). He had a 40.5 inch vertical and a 10-9 broad jump (both new records).

Nobody watches him at Florida and thinks he’s the finished article. We can all see the misses (high and wide) and the mistakes he made early in his only season as a starter. Yet too many people get bogged down with the errors — many of which can be legitimately blamed on a lack of experience — and not enough people focus on the fact he’s absolutely f*****g incredible physically, doing things that no other human on the planet is capable of.

Richardson might never be a perfect player. He’ll never be Joe Burrow with his accuracy and timing. What he is going to do though is cover a lot of warts on your team due to his sheer talent and ability. He’ll be a threat to score at every snap. He will challenge teams with his legs and arm on a weekly basis. He will have fans arriving to every game excited to watch him play. Opponents are going to need a plan, every week, to handle him.

He can scramble away from pressure and turn back, off-platform, to launch the ball 40-yards downfield on a dime. If he breaks contain, he’s shown he can score 60-80 yard touchdowns as a runner. I’ve seen defenders beat a tackle off the edge, attempt to sack Richardson and he stays on his feet with the pass rusher hanging off him, then throws a completed pass for a first down.

He has ‘face of the league’ potential. He has MVP level physical talent.

And you know what? You might draft him and it doesn’t work out. That’s life. If it does work out, you could be rewarded with the best decade of your footballing fandom.

Tyree Wilson and Will Anderson (I’m not even discussing Jalen Carter any more, especially after this latest development) don’t have anywhere near his impact potential. They are not the next Bosa, Garrett or Miller.

Good players they might be — yet I find it strange that they seem to have taken on a reputation that precedes them, while people rush to diminish the freaky quarterbacks we’re talking about here. It’s almost as if there’s this phobia surrounding the most important position in the sport. A fear of making a bad decision — preventing any level of excitement about the opportunity in this draft to select possible greatness.

There’s almost an over-the-top loyalty to Geno Smith too. He deserves credit for his 2022 season but not necessarily the keys to the franchise with no future planning at quarterback. Plus, last time I checked — he isn’t under contract in Seattle. Not yet anyway.

When you watch Richardson today launching the ball downfield with aplomb, throwing with touch and velocity to the sideline and just looking like he’s living his best life — all after wowing everyone at the podium with his personality — how is he still being looked at with extreme suspicion?

I’ve watched every game he’s played. There’s a clear progression over time. He was carrying Florida at the end, highlighted by their embarrassing 30-3 bowl defeat to Oregon State when he didn’t play. In his final six games against Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Florida State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt (hardly an easy run) he recorded 16 total touchdowns and two interceptions.

Give him more time — a redshirt year would be ideal — and have patience when he starts in the NFL and imagine what he could become?

There was actually a quarterback who threw the ball better than Richardson today in the second group.

C.J. Stroud is without a doubt the best touch-passer I’ve ever watched in college football. He could throw downfield, towards the sideline, with perfect accuracy and touch. He delivered balls that were akin to 45-yard hand-offs.

He looked in complete control during the throwing session. A natural. His ball placement was mostly spot-on (nobody delivers a perfect session at the combine, throwing to receivers they’ve never met before). He showed off a strong arm launching passes downfield at the end. We again saw a variance in terms of velocity and he delivered a very catchable ball.

Stroud oozed confidence throughout and just looked like he belonged on this stage.

While he might not have Richardson’s staggering traits, he does have good size (6-3, 214lbs) and large hands (10 inches).

He’s a top-five pick in any class. There just aren’t many big-armed QB’s who can throw with his touch and accuracy. The spotlight isn’t going to be too high for him and I wouldn’t put it past Stroud to quickly develop into one of the more productive, competent quarterbacks in the league (in the right system).

Finally there was Will Levis — all 6-4, 229lbs of him. It was staggering watching him around the other quarterbacks in group one. He’s in incredible shape.

It’s not just the muscular, toned frame either that stands out. Levis has 10 5/8 inch hands. Do people realise how advantageous that is? That is rare hand size and it’s no wonder when you watch his throwing session and you see unnatural velocity.

Physically he looks like John Elway if he hit the all-night gym every day. That doesn’t mean he’ll achieve one tenth of Elway’s success — physically though, we are talking about another rare athlete with an arm for the ages. This all matters in the modern NFL. The top QB’s are generally outstanding athletes and they need to be able to drive the ball downfield and into tight windows.

I posted this tweet earlier today. I don’t think people realise that Levis, like Richardson, can do things most quarterbacks can’t:

Yet the narrative is constantly about his lack of success at Kentucky.

Just look, once again, at the ‘sacks per game’ stats for a collection of teams featuring big-name quarterbacks in 2022:

Oregon — 4 sacks in 12 games (0.33 per game)
Georgia — 7 sacks in 13 games (0.54 per game)
Washington — 7 sacks in 12 games (0.58 per game)
Ohio State — 8 sacks in 12 games (0.67 per game)
Florida — 12 sacks in 12 games (1.00 per game)
Alabama — 20 sacks in 12 games (1.67 per game)
Tennessee — 23 sacks in 12 games (1.92 per game)
Kentucky — 42 sacks in 12 games (3.50 per game)

Levis played behind the worst line in the SEC. His right tackle was particularly dreadful. Every game he faced constant pressure, sometimes immediately off the snap.

Playing behind a better line in 2021, he was sacked just 22 times. Kentucky gave up 20 more sacks. Twenty. Yet there are college teams listed above with wide-open schemes capable of avoiding barely any sacks.

He had no receivers or tight ends of note to throw to. His running back missed four games through a suspension. His new offensive coordinator struggled and was fired after one season.

In 2021, however, he was incredible. Only Heisman winner Bryce Young had a higher PFF grade at quarterback in the SEC. This was before losing two offensive linemen to the NFL and Wandale Robinson, his top target, went in the second round. This was before Liam Coen bolted to be offensive coordinator for Sean McVay. It’s a mark of the success Levis enjoyed in 2021 that Coen got that gig.

Playing in a pro-offense, with McVay concepts, he excelled. He drove Kentucky to a fantastic season. He made plays with his legs and arm.

He admits himself that he needs to fix technical aspects of his game and he’s been working with Jordan Palmer, one of the best in the business, to do that.

Yet nobody comes into the NFL as the finished product. Levis is a player with the physical tools to achieve anything he wants in the league.

Today we learned there are three physically stunning, high-upside players at the most important position in the sport in this draft class. It’s very possible they’ll all leapfrog Bryce Young, who opted not to do anything at the combine and wait until pro-day.

Teams are going to look at these three Marvel Superheroes and wonder whether a higher ranking for a 5-10 quarterback, who has gained weight just to try and answer concerns about his actual playing weight of around 190lbs, is the right thing to do.

The size, the arm strength, the athletic talent, the upside.

Richardson, Levis and Stroud could easily be the top-three picks as predicted in November.

So what does all this mean for Seattle?

Firstly, I think the Seahawks will be very fortunate if any of the three last to #5. If they do, they should be selected. Opportunities like this don’t come along very often. They will (hopefully) not be picking in the top-five again any time soon. Even if Geno Smith is re-signed, selecting a potential heir (and security against Smith regressing back to journeyman status) would be the right thing to do.

The top three quarterbacks all present a jackpot opportunity that Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson simply do not.

The make-up of the top-five will determine everything and working out what’ll happen will be the key task in the coming weeks. Teams trading into the top-four will dictate a lot of this. If the Bears and Cardinals trade out of the top-three, we’ll see it go QB-QB-QB.

It could leave the Seahawks in a situation where they have to pick from Bryce Young and whoever is left from Anderson and Wilson. That’s not a terrible place to be, frankly. But it will be a tough pill to swallow if Richardson, Levis and Stroud live up to their potential in the NFL and they just miss out.

If the Bears swap places with the Colts — and if the Cardinals stay put — it stands to reason that only two quarterbacks will be off the board by #5. That, for me, would be an ideal situation. Not, as many are suggesting, because it’d be a trade-down opportunity. Rather, you’d have a chance to draft one of the top three quarterbacks yourself.

Let’s be right here — John Schneider loves traits at QB. Richardson, Levis and Stroud have traits for days. If I had to guess, he will feel very strongly about all three players.

Which begs the question…

Should the Seahawks trade up?

I have pushed back against this because this is a team that needs an injection of talent. Having so many picks is a plus — and we saw the value of a good, deep draft in 2022.

After today? I’m more inclined to consider moving up.

You’re never going to have a chance like this again. You’re never going to own #5 and #20 and have the stock to hand to move up and get a quarterback who you can feel good about delivering glory to this franchise.

It’ll be so much more expensive to move up in the future, without necessarily the quality of players in this class.

Let me stress — I’m not saying the Seahawks should definitely do this.

I do think, however, they should call the Bears (if they haven’t already) and just ask to be kept in the loop. Do the same with the Texans too. Keep the door open.

It might not be necessary if the Bears and Cardinals stick in the top-four. But when you’re so close to the holy grail, you need to keep your options open.

I wouldn’t be unhappy with Young, Anderson or Wilson (if he tests well) at #5. I like the options for Seattle in any scenario — and think they are just in the range where you can feel happy in this top-heavy top-10.

But if Schneider watched those quarterbacks today and feels one or all are going to be the next big thing in the league, he has to go for it. And we, as fans, should trust his judgement if he does.

If he was willing to trade prime Russell Wilson in 2018 to take Josh Allen first overall — with the incredible traits shared by Richardson and Levis — surely he has to have a high opinion of this class too?

I’ve long felt the Russell Wilson trade was made with a plan in mind. They’ll have been studying these quarterbacks for a long time. They have the stock to move up.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in free agency and how that shapes things. If they can address defensive needs properly in the veteran market, that creates an opportunity to be aggressive.

Some will shudder at the thought of this. They might be more open to the idea when they imagine an offense so dynamic that it features Anthony Richardson, D.K. Metcalf and Ken Walker — three elite, explosive, dynamic weapons.

Jalen Carter’s legal issues and a lack of true blue-chippers at positions such as offensive tackle make it more likely the quarterbacks go early though, meaning if the Seahawks want one of the top-three, they might have to make a move.

Speed matters at receiver

As we noted in our combine preview, the Seahawks generally only draft players who run a 4.4 or faster. Here are the qualifiers this year:

Trey Palmer — 4.33
Derius Davis — 4.36
Matt Landers — 4.37
Bryce Ford-Wheaton — 4.38
Marvin Mims — 4.38
Jalen Moreno-Cropper — 4.40
Jalin Hyatt — 4.40
Tre Tucker — 4.40
Zay Flowers — 4.42
Jacob Copeland — 4.42
Andrei Iosivas — 4.43
Charlie Jones — 4.43
Rakim Jarrett — 4.44
Demario Douglas — 4.44
Tyler Scott — 4.44
Jayden Reed — 4.45
Jonathan Mingo — 4.46
A.T. Perry — 4.47
Antoine Green — 4.47
Josh Downs — 4.48
Jordan Addison — 4.49
Tank Dell — 4.49

That’s a decent list, including blog favourites Josh Downs and Jonathan Mingo.

It was disappointing to see Cedric Tillman run in the 4.5’s. Zay Flowers looked like a first rounder during drills due to his fluid routes, control and suddenness.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba didn’t run a forty but he delivered a blistering 3.93 short shuttle which raises an eyebrow at 196lbs. We’ll see what he runs at the favourable setting of an Ohio State pro-day.

It’s not an amazing class of receivers but there are options for Seattle to tap into.

Tight end class wows to end the day

The key tests for tight ends, we’ve identified, are the short shuttle and 10-yard split.

Here are the numbers for some of the top TE’s:

Rob Gronkowski — 1.58 (10), 4.47 (ss)
Travis Kelce — 1.61 (10), 4.42 (ss)
George Kittle — 1.59 (10), 4.55 (ss)
Mark Andrews — 1.54 (10), 4.38 (ss)
Dallas Goedert — unknown (10), 4.31 (ss)
Zach Erz — 1.64 (10), 4.47 (ss)
T.J. Hockenson — 1.63 (10), 4.18 (ss)

We also know the Seahawks put a lot of emphasis on the short shuttle and three-cone:

Luke Willson — 4.29 (ss), 7.08 (3c)
Will Dissly — 4.40 (ss), 7.07 (3c)
Nick Vannett — 4.20 (ss), 7.05 (3c)
Anthony McCoy — 4.57 (ss), 6.99 (3c)
Zach Miller — 4.42 (ss), 7.01 (3c)
Jimmy Graham — 4.45 (ss), 6.90 (3c)
Greg Olsen — 4.48 (ss), 7.04 (3c)
Colby Parkinson — 4.46 (ss), 7.15 (3c)
Gerald Everett — 4.33 (ss), 6.99 (3c)
Noah Fant — 4.22 (ss), 6.81 (3c)

Here are the 10-yard splits from the group this year:

Luke Musgrave — 1.54
Zack Kuntz — 1.57
Darnell Washington — 1.57
Brenton Strange — 1.57
Will Mallory — 1.59
Luke Schoonmaker — 1.59
Tucker Kraft — 1.59
Sam LaPorta — 1.59
Davis Allen — 1.60
Payne Durham — 1.61
Josh Whyle — 1.62
Blake Whiteheart — 1.63
Michael Mayer — 1.66

These are really good times across the board. Even Michael Mayer ran a time comparable to Zach Ertz. His forty yard dash of a 4.70 was also faster than expected.

Seven tight ends ran the short shuttle after drills:

Darnell Washington — 4.08
Zack Kuntz — 4.12
Sam LaPorta — 4.25
Luke Schoonmaker — 4.27
Tucker Kraft — 4.29
Brayden Willis — 4.36
Brenton Strange — 4.46

So what does it mean?

Darnell Washington running a 1.57 10-yard split and a 4.08 short shuttle makes him one of the most intriguing TE’s to enter the league in recent years. None of the elite TE’s currently in the league can match his combination of burst and agility — and yet we know Washington as a blocker predominantly.

When you consider that Noah Fant was the 20th overall pick in 2019 running a 1.55 split and a 4.22 shuttle at 249lbs, I wonder what grade Washington will get running a 1.57 and a 4.08 at 264lbs?

He looked a lot lighter during on-field drills. He’s shifted weight. If he can keep it off and play with this frame, the sky’s the limit for Washington. He’s 6-7 and has 34.5 inch arms. He looked so smooth running the gauntlet and getting into his routes. This was an exciting display and I’ll be hard pushed to not promote him right up my horizontal board given how unexpected this was — and how it’ll be the ideal complement to what we know he can already do with his blocking, which was his main role in college.

It’s not just Washington though — the following players look very interesting and compare well to the best in the league physically:

Zack Kuntz — 1.57 (10), 4.12 (ss)
Brenton Strange — 1.57 (10), 4.46 (ss)
Luke Schoonmaker — 1.59 (10), 4.27 (ss)
Tucker Kraft — 1.59 (10), 4.29 (ss)
Sam LaPorta — 1.59 (10), 4.25 (ss)

Mayer didn’t run a shuttle which is a shame but he showed excellent body control and an ability to catch away from his body. Given he ran a 4.70 I do think he will go earlier than people realise. He’s just so consistent and competitive and he creates subtle, late separation to make up for a lack of blazing speed.

This was believed to be a strong tight end class and so it proved.

I’ll be doing a live-stream with Robbie Williams at 8:30am PT on Sunday discussing day three of the combine. Please join us — I’ll post the video on the blog (or subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the notification button for a reminder).

If you enjoy the blog and appreciate what we do — why not consider supporting the site via Patreon — (click here)


  1. Palatypus

    I’m not sure Anthony Richardson is a unicorn. He’s more of a pegasus to me.

    • Seattle Person

      I still think Ade Ade is a bigger freak of nature.

      • Ben

        I think when you factor in the arm of Richardson it gets close, but in terms of moving mass, yeah. Ade Ade is insane.

  2. Shaun

    Fantastic article as usual Rob. If you were JS, given the talent guaranteed to be available at #5, what kind of offer would it take for you to accept a trade down, and how far this year would you be willing to drop?

    • Rob Staton

      I doubt any team would be willing to offer me a deal that would make me want to trade down

      I’m not interested in just having a bunch of picks forever

      I want to build a team with quality players

      • Bluenlime

        Thank you. Some seahawks fans got obsessed over the years with “trading down” at some point we have to master a winning team

      • Palatypus

        This was a brilliant rant, Rob.

  3. Henry Taylor

    I’m all in on these QBs now, especially with Carter completely out of the running. The only reason I wouldn’t trade is is because I love all 4, but if they had the conviction to go and get their guy, I’d be stoked to see it happen.

  4. Steve Nelsen

    Rob, kudos for being early on Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Most lists had him as “Day 3/UDFA” and the highest I saw was one “Early Day 3.” What was it you saw that put him in Round 3 on your horizontal board?

    Only 2 other prospects have ever matched his combo of size/speed/athleticism and they are both Seahawks (DK, Tariq) so he is firmly on the radar.

    • Rob Staton


    • kenny

      Wow this guys measurables are insane… 4.38 40 , 1.54 10 yard split at 6’4 220 pounds.

    • Smitty1547

      Two schools they seem to scout hard West Virginia and Texas A&M

  5. cha

    Sorry to be a relentless cheerleader, but again: This is the only place logically talking about the Seahawks.

    Draft Jalen Carter. Boys will be boys, and his mistake plays in our favor because he will drop to #5 and the Seahawks need run defense.

    The QBs testing well today is good news for Seattle….because they’ll get a bigger haul to trade down.

    Geno Smith deserves a huge contract because “that’s just what you have to pay for the QB position.”

    Every day it’s erasing the board and “-0- days since our last nonsense”

    Thanks for providing so much clarity.

    • Gross MaToast

      While all of this is true – super, super true – I’d also like to bring Bobby home. BBH, baby!

      Seriously, though – offer draft picks until Chicago says yes and go get a QB.

      • cha

        Oh right. BBH.

        I’ll go erase the board again and we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

    • Palatypus

      You look sexy in that cheerleader outfit.

      And yes, I love this place too.

    • Elmer

      “boys will be boys” Seriously?

      In the UK, would Carter be a bloke, a chap, or something else?

      Is there a defensive player in sight that would cause JS to pass on a top QB if one is there at 5.

      Trading up feels too expensive. Trading down feels wrong. Top teams are built with top players.

    • Peter

      0 days since our last nonsense….

      F-ing perfect cha!!

    • Big Mike

      There are reasons I don’t go anywhere else to discuss Seahawks. You listed several of them cha. Cheerlead on brother!

  6. Roy Batty

    Washington’s one handed grab brought down the house. The guy just blew the doors off of any expectations. I was amazed at how he controlled his body through all the drills. He looked like an NBA power forward. A really great athlete.

    • Steve Nelsen

      I have frequently posted that Seattle was unlikely to use an early pick on a TE considering how well the 3 guys on the roster played last year and the amount of money already invested by Seattle in the position. Washington changed my mind today. I thought he was just a good blocker.

    • Rob Staton


      • Madmark

        I remember asking you about taking him at 37? I want say this could be the Jimmy Graham that they wanted.

        • Peter

          Darnell Washington and the curious case of everyone we like at SDB is a second rounder.

          Washington like ade ade before him had an awesome combine.

          But I just looked at the numbers both his testing and his stats. He was legitimately quicker than parkinson. No contest. Not tge difference between Ade Ade and everyone else, but faster.

          However. Parkinson blew him out of the water in production. Not fractionally so. Like nearly night and day.

          I’d be super stoked on him. But I’ll call my shot that I’ll be very surprised if he’s a second rounder. I’ll even be surprised if he’s a third rounder.

          • Seattle Person

            I’ll go a step further…I think he’s a first rounder.

            • Peter

              Honestly it would be cool if you’re right.

              Be pretty wild if a guy with such basic production and isn’t the “ade ade'” of TE’s goes first round. Stranger things though….

    • clbradley17’s 2 1/2 min. youtube video of Darnell Washington’s 2023 NFL Scouting Combine workout. The awesome one handed catch over his head and behind him, similar to OBJ’s famous catch, is at the 2:15 mark. Looked great in the gauntlet drills and had the fastest short shuttle in addition to running in the 4.6s at almost 6’7″ 265. Wonder if he’s worth a chance to be the next Kittle or Waller on later day 2 if we don’t get Mayer?

  7. Steve Nelsen

    Seahawks met with Stroud and Richardson and…..Ade Ade 🙂. (Also John Michael Schmitz)

    John said they talk to the guys they have questions about like culture fit. It may not mean much but I think it means they have some interest.

    • Palatypus

      The staring contest is the most important thing.

      • Big Mike

        And Pete’s shirtless flex

  8. Ben

    It’s interesting. I do think that Bryce Young is going to get into that top 3. I wouldn’t personally take him that high, but his tape is amazing, size be damned, and someone’s going to want that. Indy seems the most likely to me since they’re (in theory) the most ready to compete right now, though that could also lead them to taking Levis or Stroud. Houston I think might take Richardson, but I’d also think they’re more likely to go Levis because again, more ready to start right away. I honestly think that Seattle is Richardson’s best chance to succeed because he wouldn’t be asked to start right away. He could sit behind one of Geno or Drew for a year before pulling a Mahomes and making his debut in year 2. I hope the Seahawks make that happen. It would be so cool.

    • Cysco`

      Agreed. I think that as long as the narrative about Richardson needing a year on the bench continues to hold, He has the best chance of making it to 5.

    • AlaskaHawk

      Is sitting on the bench really an option though? Geno won’t be signed unless he’s willing to take less than 10 million. It’s questionable what anyone would learn from Lock who also isn’t signed. So would they sign some other vet with lots of experience to pass on his knowledge?

      Seems like this is more of the Russell Wilson experience. Whoever they pick will be playing and gaining experience from day one.

  9. Romeo A57

    Excellent content today Rob.

    I would start by offering the Bears #5, #20, and one of the Second Round picks for the first pick. I wouldn’t expect that to be enough so I would start throwing in some current players.

    The Russell Wilson trade included Fant, Lock and Harris along with a bunch of picks. Chicago has very little talent on their roster and may look at some of Seattle’s mediocre players as an improvement.

    • Cysco

      It’s too early to be talking about trading up. I think you need to get a better understanding of what’s going to happen with Bryce Young and the Bear’s pick.

      I imagine in the next month we’ll know who is trading up to get the #1pick. (Which I’m convinced will be Stroud) If it’s the colts, great. We’ll also hear about Bryce young’s pro day.

      It’s easy to lose track of Young today since he didn’t participate. But let’s not forget that had the draft been last week, there’s a good chance he’s QB1 off the board. I still think there’s a good chance that he is one of the top-2 QBs drafted.

      As things become clearer, we’ll start to better understand the feasibility of getting Levis or Richardson at #5. If narrative around Young shifts and/or someone other Than IND trades up, then I think we can start seriously talking about what it would take to move up. (I just can’t see SEA paying the haul it would take to get #1 overall)

      • WestSide72

        You can absolutely let the board fall to you but to get the QB you covet…I don’t think you can ever overpay

        • Cysco

          The key here is that there isn’t a clear-cut “best QB”. From what we know about JS’s preferences at QB there are three QBs that fit the mold. (Stroud, Levis, Richardson) It’s hard for me to imagine that he likes one of the three so much more than the others that he’d be willing to enter the trade up competition with the Colts. It’s also possible that he views Young in that group.

          The Pick you/we should be talking about is #3. Yes it’s a division rival, but I seriously doubt that ARI would care if they were being compensated for it. They have to know they’re in full-on rebuild. Division rival be damned, they just need picks) With Carter falling, I can see ARI being open for business.

          I would be thrilled with any of Stroud, Richardson, Levis and would be more than willing to overpay a bit to ARI to guarantee I get one of them. (That cost would be less than trying to move up to #1)

          • WestSide72

            No problem with that if you can make it happen…getting to #2 takes all the guess work out

          • Wsumojo

            Just my 2 cents and I’m sure I will get ripped to shreads, I get the part of trading our entire draft class and next year to get “your” guy but the facts are any of these 4 QBs could be the franchise and any could be the next Charlie Whitehurst. Without a doubt I’d rather take the QB that drops to 5, and draft starters with our other 1, two 2’s, 3rd and possibly fourth then give it all up to move up and draft a QB, who may or may not be the answer, all while forfeiting any other worthwhile draft pick.

            Left over QB and 4 or 5 starters > trading up for a QB and nothing else.

            It’s not that I don’t believe in JS picking the right one, but 5 or 6 starters triumph over 1 every time. That is how you build a team, not dream and end up being the cellar dweller.

            • Wsumojo

              My apologies, i failed to mention that would be 5-6 starters on cheap rookie contracts, something this team desperately needs with the significant overpays at safety and TE.

              Rookie starting QB, C, WR, DE, DT, LB > single pick of “3 or 4th QB of choice”

            • BK26

              I would counter that by saying, without the talent of one of the “Big 3,” the window will be closing. Biggest takeaway from the Super Bowl: we aren’t in the same league as a team with that kind of talent and leadership. As far as I’m concerned, then we are stuck in limbo and the mid first round and will flirt with a lower seed if we make the playoffs.

              Tired of them being cute and them being careful. They finally went against that approach with last year’s draft. Either swing for the home run or be the swinging with a broom instead of a bat.

              • DJ 1/2 way

                The NFL is a copy cat league, and it does not matter how close the Superbowl was. Teams copy the winner, and that means KC with Patrick Mahomes.

                Which of the to four qbs is most similar to Mahomes? It might be Bryce Young. His ability after a play breaks down is the best of the four. Mahomes also has a cannon, and maybe Levis and Richardson are better comps there. What does everybody think on this question?

                • AlaskaHawk

                  Patrick Mahomes is 6-3 and 230 pounds. Joe Burrow’s is 6-4.

                  I like Young but the team would be playing roulette on his durability sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

              • John

                You are correct, last year was BPA, no “where did that come from” picks.
                Hopefully we do the same this year.
                If management sees 1 or 2 (I am sure,not 4) of the QB’s are franchise material at 5
                I’m all in. ‘Otherwise, BPA with a little room for needs.
                I know most here think the QBs are the BPA and obiously a need.
                The Hawks run a QB friendly “O”. I just don’t see a sure franchise QB (time will tell)
                I have been looking at Washington as a 3rd rounder before gthe combine.
                With the #’s posted, he should be gone by then. He is the type of TE I want for “my” team (disclosure, moved to Hawks with Ground Chuck), old school blocker and chain mover.
                Love Dissley, just can’t stay healthy.
                Jack Campbell was another surprising tester with fantastic on field #’s, would like to see him man the middle, behind Mazi.
                I have not even looked at FA, but historically we wait for for 3rd level and pick up “bargains”
                With all the picks last and this year, hopefully we will have some problems 3-4-5 years from now with salary cap. A good problem.
                Another point, I suppose for an early pick on QB, the position, more than others is a crap shoot. Do we have the right staff to teach the finer points of the position?
                Such an exciting time with all the drama and anticipation.
                Looking forward to it all unfolding. 🙂

      • Joe

        I think INDY has to trade up to assure they get their guy. Irsay DNGA_. Question is do they feel they must trade to 1 to go before HOU? (My hope is yes). Else they can go to 3 and offer Cards only a drop of 1 slot and the opportunity to trade again, or to hold the pick ransom right before Hawks go. Hawks might be forced by ARI to trade to 4. That scenario worries me, but then we get our guy too. The draft will be very fluid IMO. Trades may not occur until we are go for launch.

    • DougM

      We could trade away next years 1st without giving up to much capital this year.

      • BK26

        That might be the key: Chicago and Arizona will be much more likely to draft a quarterback next year. Gives them ammo to trade up if they need to.

  10. WestSide72

    Normally I think in worst case scenarios but I am choosing to stay positive because I love three QBs and JS is very good at moving around the board. I also believe we can offer the best package of picks to Chicago and Houston in a trade up scenario. My preference is Levis/Stroud because you don’t need to resign Geno. Having just said that…I would be most excited for Richardson after what I saw today… that was crazy!

  11. JGB

    Hi Rob, thanks for all your contributions. I find your insight enlightening. Just curious, your recent posting almost seem like a plea to take the QBs seriously. You also state “some” criticize the QBs. Who are the “some”? I assume it’s pundits and other posters but just curious if this a plea for John and Pete to not be with the “some”. I think there’s a great shot they move on a QB but none of us will really know until the draft.

    • Rob Staton

      It’s mainly the fanbase and media, most of which I think aren’t taking the possibility of a QB at five seriously enough

      • JGB

        Thanks for the explanation. At the end of the day, those groups don’t count. They actually know nothing. I’m more inclined into your analysis since you’ve watched so much film. But if your analysis is a guess. I do hope your inclinations or correct though. Thanks again for your dedication to this craft.

  12. Blitzy the Clown

    Been with you on this from the start

  13. ShowMeYourHawk

    My word. I think I may be completely crestfallen if we miss out on Stroud, Levis or Richardson. These kids are special.

    • WestSide72


  14. Wilson502

    Excellent Article Rob, glad to see my banging the drum for a move up is starting to gain traction on this site. I think the opportunity is just too good to pass up to not acquire one of the top 3 QB prospects and likely will never appear again for the Seahawks.

  15. All I see is 12s

    I think part of the conversation needs to get back to this Geno contract. It sounds as though Jones in New York may be getting a contract for 40,000,000+. If Jones gets that, then of course Geno can expect more. I don’t think us as the hard-core fans who have a bit more knowledge or the Seahawks themselves want any part of that. This seems like the bigger story in relation to Seattle’s drafting of a QB.
    Personally, I thought a contract in the mid 20s was still excessive. Now whenever I want them to move on and sign Lock and draft one of these high upside qbs.
    On that note, and maybe others can correct me, but it kind of feels like a bit of a standoff regarding the major quarterbacks including Smith, Jones, Carr, and Garoppolo. I feel like the league is waiting for one of them to sign so that everyone else has a baseline of what to expect.

    • AlaskaHawk

      But why is it a baseline? My observation is one or two players at a position get big bucks. The next bunch fall into a mid tier, and the rest are left fighting for a contract. If your not in the first tier of quarterbacks – your just backup and who pays big money for backup? Other than the 49ers – har har

    • Rob Staton

      If Jones gets $40m I think this will be a repeat of the Frank Clark situation

      ‘We wanted to get him back but the market went against us’

      Good luck to any team willing to pay Geno $40m by the way. Jones isn’t worth that in the slightest. I doubt anyone is willing to offer Geno that. The only question mark for me is whether Tampa Bay’s offer will be better than Seattle’s.

  16. Brett

    What do you think is fair compensation to get the QB you desire? Let’s say you stay in touch with Chicago and know Indy and Carolina want to move up to #1? If Carolina can’t get #1 they’ll surely try for #3 or #4 right? There goes the top 3 QBs. Do you trade #5 and #20 for #1? I’d bet that’s the best offer that can be created for Chicago? Or maybe #1, #37, and 2024 R1? As much as I want Seattle to cash in on this wealth of draft talent, I also don’t think you can pass on getting one of these top 3 QBs that you have the first pick on.

    • Cysco

      I think you need to wait it out before you determine that there’s only a “Top 3” QBs.

      Bryce Young didn’t participate so people are basically writing him off today. Had he participated and thrown there’s a good chance this statement would have been “Top 4” QBs. Don’t sleep on Young. It’s no accident that he was being talked about as QB1 in the draft up until this weekend.

      I don’t want him for the Hawks, but some GM is going to fall in love with that production and character. I could easily see him still being QB1 or QB2 in the draft. Carter’s implosion definitely doesn’t help, but as of right now I still think this is a top-5 players draft with the four QBs and Anderson.

      I think if you’re on the Levis or Richardson train, you need to hope that Young blows people away and that the narrative about Richardson needing a year on the bench continues to hold. If that happens, I think there’s a good shot he’s there when we pick.

      • Rob Staton

        Young is a good player

        But I’ve always felt he will be knocked for his size and I still believe that

        Especially in a top-10 featuring three athletic beasts

        There’s no scope for Young to blow people away at his size

    • OakleyD

      If we let Detroit/Las Vegas/Atlanta or Carolina jump ahead of us, we only have ourselves to blame.

      We have a better range of picks than all those teams in 2023, I’m sure any pre-draft conversations on trading picks will include a phone call to JS if any of those offer a haul of picks to move up.

      On draft day, with a time limit – anything can happen. But pre-draft I’m sure JS is making calls and fully aware of the situation.

      I think trading #5, #20 & #52 for the guarantee of getting your favorite QB is good value for all parties if trading up with the Bears. Offers them immediate help for a struggling roster rather than deferring some of the benefit to next season. No other teams can match that value in 2023 and would have to give up picks next year to meet the Bears valuation imo

      • OakleyD

        Just checked and Detroit actually has a boat load of 2023 picks, that’s a team nobody is talking about in terms of trading up and could make things very interesting if they are prepared to look past Goff

        • Cambs

          That’s a really sharp point and honestly, they’re just like Seattle in terms of this particular market — they have a meh veteran placeholder (actually under contract in there case), they have the draft capital (6, 18, and two seconds), but they never feature in most trade-up speculations.

          Jared Goff might be someone you can envision as a veteran mentor/bridge, and he might be someone you can envision cutting so as not to pay him a $21M non-guaranteed salary.

          They’ve laid in a lot of scaffolding the past couple of years. Now, Minnesota is mid, Green Bay and Chicago might be quite bad, and they’re in the NFC. An aggressive and succesful QB move might shoot them right into contention.

          • Cambs

            *in THEIR case jfc

  17. DJ 1/2 way

    What a fun day for this community. Thanks Rob for having us all prepared for what unfolded.

    Does this group remind anyone else the “formers qbs” class? Lets call Andrew Luck part Levis and Part Stroud. Richardson has some traits like RGIII. While much more successful at every level, Bryce has some “former qb” measures and traits. Very Old Brandon Weedon might be Hendon Hooker or Stetson Bennett. I am afraid Ryan Tannehill might be tough to match with the 2023 class, but has some Stroud and Levis but mabe not the best parts like Luck.

    Brock Oswieler, Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins need to fit in here somewhere. Maybe the 2012 class was deeper than 2023.

  18. clbradley17 has several videos of the QBs and others from the combine on youtube.

    Anthony Richardson’s FULL 2023 NFL Scouting Combine On Field Workouts

    C.J. Stroud’s FULL 2023 NFL Scouting Combine On Field Workout

    Wish they also would’ve had one dedicated to Will Levis, but he has some highlights in this video.
    Best of Quarterback Workouts at the 2023 Scouting Combine

    • Rob Staton

      Even these videos are ruined by the relentless chit-chat we had to endure on the NFL Network

      There was virtually no analysis yesterday short of ‘that was a good throw’ or ‘that’s a good time’

      There were way too many awful, forced puns about player names, attempts at humour, people talking like they’re in a bar at 6pm rather than broadcasting the combine

      In prior years we had ex-players on the field analysis the drills, providing expert thoughts on who was doing well. Now they’ve bumped that off to NFL+ and we’re stuck with this

      I miss Mayock so much

      • clbradley17

        Makes me happy I was working and didn’t have to endure that. And could just read your excellent analysis and listen to your podcasts later. Thanks so much for all you and Robbie are doing this week. You have the best draft content anywhere.

  19. Trevor

    I think what I loved most today about the 3 QBs was that they all stepped up and none of them were afraid of the bright lights and big stage.

    Levis looked relaxed and almost like he was having fun throwing to some buddies out in the yard. Seems like a real charismatic guy who the other players really like.

    Stroud looked like it was a stroll in the park. Not sure I have ever seen a QB make things look so easy. He say the crowd going crazy for Richardson and instead of backing down not only matched him throw for throw but was even better.

    As for Richardson all I can say is wow. Not sure I have ever seen a young QB not only want the big stage like that but then actually dominate it. It was almost like he said this is my event hello NFL here I come and you have not seen anything like me before. From the interviews, to running and jumping to throwing he did everything and excelled with the ultimate confidence and a smile on his face. Pat Mahomes and Joe Burrow will have competition as the new face of the NFL.

    One of these 3 guys has to be Hawk on draft day and JS should do whatever it takes to make that happen.

    • Rob Staton

      Excellent review — agree completely

      • bmseattle

        Does Favre seem like a good Levis comp?
        Amazing arm… a bit of a risk taker…very athletic, if not super fast.

        • Rob Staton

          A bit — but he doesn’t have that… ‘no no no no no no no… yes!’ thing going on that Favre produced on any given play

  20. James P

    I’ve been following the draft since about 2005 – and for the very first time I’m all in on trading up. Make a deal with Houston and go and get one of Levis, Richardson or Stroud. We’ve been gifted this pick, we need to make the most of it. If that means no 1st round pick next year then so be it, just get it done.

  21. McZ

    Personally, I not a big Richardson fan, but I can admit that there is lots of upside. At least, if he keeps working on his deficiencies. His interviews were assuring in this respect, as he showed maturity. He put on a freaking show.

    But that is not my point. You can make a case for any of the four Top QBs. And here I’m struggling.

    What PCJS need to do to land a top QB they like and they think will make it, despite 1:8 odds to hit… get some balls, send 5+20+51 to Chicago and take the guy they think can and will lead the Seahawks for the decade to come.

    What they will do is overthinking, hesitating to risk their legacy (which is under pressure anyway), mulling the idea of being smarter than the rest of the league combined. Even in their 2022 draft, there were signs of it.

    My fear is, they will be at 5, Anderson, Levis, Richardson and Stroud gone, and will then hesitate over Young. The 2019 scenario, all over the place. They will then draft way overrated Tyree Wilson, and will proceed this way, until they pick Hooker at 51. Mediocrity, here we stay.

    We need to take luck out of equation.

    • Rob Staton

      What PCJS need to do to land a top QB they like and they think will make it, despite 1:8 odds to hit

      The reason those odds are as they are, though, is because teams make dumb decisions

      EJ Manuel in the middle of R1
      Christian Ponder in R1
      Brandon Weeden in R1
      Deciding Trubisky is better than Mahomes/Watson
      Trading your house for Trey Lance

      All of these moves looked stupid, were stupid and teams will continue to make dumb decisions because the league is desperate for QB’s

      Then you’ve also got the fact that most highly drafted QB’s are taken by bad teams, meaning they go into an environment which is counterproductive — and they’re often told ‘go on then, be the saviour’

      These four QB’s are well worth a top-five pick and in Seattle, they wouldn’t be walking into a disaster zone situation. If they bring Geno back, neither would they have the pressure of playing immediately.

      It’s ideal.

      My fear is, they will be at 5, Anderson, Levis, Richardson and Stroud gone, and will then hesitate over Young. The 2019 scenario, all over the place. They will then draft way overrated Tyree Wilson, and will proceed this way, until they pick Hooker at 51. Mediocrity, here we stay.

      This is also my fear. If they come out of the Russ trade with Charles Cross and Tyree Wilson as top-10 picks, that would be underwhelming IMO. Tyree has amazing size and length and he may test well. But his tape is inconsistent, he doesn’t win off the edge with quickness and to me he looks like someone who will fall into the ‘decent’ category, not great. Just like my expectation for Cross has been.

  22. Henry Taylor

    Seahawks ALL-Freaks mock

    #5 Anthony Richardson
    #20 Ade Ade
    #37 Darnell Washington
    #50 Julius Brents
    #83 Bryce Ford-Wheaton

    • clbradley17

      I’d be ecstatic if we got that draft by day 2. As always wish we had a couple-5 more picks by day 2 to add Mazi & Nolan Smith to our draft, and a few others. Would like to see us draft Yasir Abdullah, LB/Edge from Louisville in rd. 4, 4.47 40 & 1.56 10 yd, split. Or his teammate DE Yaya Diaby there instead, 4.51 40, also a 1.56 split. If Ojomo last until rd. 4 he’d be an excellent DL option.

      Have heard that Ade Ade only played DT at the Senior Bowl for the 1st time and dominated the OL. With another 10-15 lbs. of muscle and steak dinners he’d be 300 and a 3 down DT, still running the 40 in the 4.5s. Unbelievable. Add a big fast RB and OL as well on day 3 and we’d have 2 great drafts in a row. Or as Rob says, just draft the BPA, regardless of position. We need BAMFs!

  23. Canadian Hawk

    After Day 3 list of players seen.

    • Mick

      Makes me wonder why Will Levis is not on the list.

  24. Cysco

    Interesting interview with Anthony Richardson

    Most interesting part was his answer about going to a team and not starting for a year. His answer was great, which to me says he’s answered it before and that the notion of sitting a year is very real.

    If that’s the case and there is a real consensus that he needs to sit a year, that bodes well for Seattle. Hard to imagine him being QB1 or 2 off the board if there is a league-wide belief that he’ll need to sit. Our best hope for Richardson or Levis is that the more “polished” passers go 1/2 followed by Anderson.

    • Rokas

      Or GMs will remember that Mahomes sit for a full year before taking off.

      • Cysco

        the point is that a team drafting a QB #1 or #2 likely doesn’t have the luxury of waiting a year on their investment. Especially if there are really good options available that could start day one. I’m sure most GMs see the talent and potential Richardson has, but not all of them will be able to draft and stash. That bodes well for seattle.

  25. Sean

    First off, love your blog! You really do your homework. I trust your blog more than any other. My question: what would it take for Seattle to move up to get their guy at QB?

  26. Happy Hawk

    I am really interested in how JS/PC rank these QB’s in order of preference?
    After yesterday ( which isn’t fair to Young):
    1. Richardson
    2. Stroud
    3. Levis
    4. Young

    I would still be over the moon if Levis was there at #5 and the Hawks grabbed him!!

    Rob how would you rank them?

  27. DJ 1/2 way

    When talking about trading up the discussion is almost all draft stock and this is how it has been in the past. To get to #1 or #2 it will be multiple high picks and a judgement call as to how high those picks will fall.

    Alternatively, the Seahawks can trade some highly regarded players. Players on rookie deals might be the most desired, but one name that comes to mind is DK Metcalf. Would the 5th pick and DK get the Seahawks to #1?

  28. ShowMeYourHawk

    Everything currently feels like Indy trading into #1 is a sure thing. Chicago gets nice compensation while only dropping a few spots. You never know how aggressive a front office is going to be but the leap from Carolina at #9 to #1 seems awfully steep, considering that they could likely win the NFC South with Derek Carr under center this coming season. Indy just makes so much more sense, given their “veteran QB jamboree” experiment the last few years. That’d take one QB off the board.

    It’s been discussed at times here before but the real mystery is what Houston does at #2. Given the long contract Ryans was given as HC, they can afford to take a defender (Anderson, Wilson…. Carter?) that Ryans can make the face of his new regime. Obviously, this is what we hope he does, allowing a QB to slip. However, HOU could just as easily take the QB of their future, as that’s a need too.

    That leads me to the thought that since HOU has that flexibility in their needs, they might be the best trading partner should we be looking to move up. It’d still be expensive but less than what CHI would demand. Also, trading with HOU also allows us the ability to bypass ARI, who would also certainly be looking to move out of #3 for draft capital. Leapfrogging them removes the possibility that they sell the pick off to LV, CAR or ATL, who may want to land a QB but not deal with the cost of #1. You could also argue for trading up to #3 directly but giving a division rival your future draft capital is skin-crawling. Only way I approve of that is of HOU does go QB and the one guy you LOVE is still available.

    If CHI does trade with Indy and you sweat through selections #2 & 3 with a QB you love somehow dropping to #4, you call CHI and inquire about the cost of moving from #5 to #4? It’d be nerve-wracking, but might be the cheapest option to get who you want without mortgaging your future first rounders. Thoughts?

  29. TJ

    Something that could work in Seattle’s favor in a trade up scenario is the fact that Bryce Young is still an exceptional talent. A team picking in the top 3, even one that needs a QB, could trade down with Seattle knowing that they can still add Young at 5 while picking up additional high picks. Young may still be the top QB on some team’s boards.

    • Matteo

      Young is ABSOLUTELY a TOP QB for several teams. Especially teams that NEED a QB1 on week 1 of 2023. Stroud is the only other of the Top 4 that is a guaranteed QB1 in week 1. Levis would benefit from at lest 1/2 a season of sitting and Richardson definitely needs the Mahomes or Rodgers path (1-2 years backing up Geno or other veteran). It makes sense that Seattle, with the J. Carter nonsense, is poised to get the QB of the Future but if they REALLY want Richardson (I do and did before this combine as I thought at that time #5 would easily get him), I suspect they’ll have to trade up to #2 to get him.

  30. dahveed

    I think Stroud goes 1
    and I think Richardson will be there at 5
    lets face it a gm would have to WAIT and sit Richardson a year and all these teams at the top are desperate for immediate results…exept the Hawks

  31. OakleyD

    I think there’s an opportunity for 6 x QB’s to go in round 1 – not because they should, but because multiple teams have a gaping hole at that position and nobody is willing to pay top dollar to any of the FA QB’s given there is a strong likelihood they can develop a cheaper alternative.

    The NFL is a league of arrogance (misplaced confidence) and teams will look at what the Seahawks did last year and think they can do the same with a 2nd tier QB rather than pay the money the above average QB’s want to make.

    Drew Lock, Minshew, Brisset, Heinekie all have a solid market now thanks to Geno.

    You could argue he created a situation that has prevented him earning comparable $$$ to his peers.

    Washington, Detroit (if they don’t trade up), Tampa Bay & New Orleans all need a QB.

    You could add the Giants and Baltimore to this list if their QB situations don’t improve.

    One will take a risk on Tanner McKee (a big risk) and Hendon Hooker (if they are happy with his medical) if it means guaranteeing a cheap option at that position.

    Only teams I can see going for a veteran option are the Falcons & Raiders (if another team trades ahead of them) or the Pats (never usually make huge splashes in FA). No other teams have the cap space to do it & by releasing players, make themselves an unattractive team for a top tier QB to play for.

    • McZ

      Detroit is not in the QB market. Goff showed leadership and consistency the whole season, getting better with every game, without having a midseason breakdown. They will add a weapon and another CB, Hyatt and Gonzales. I expect them to be a contender next season.

      NY will resign Daniel Jones. Spotrac values him at $26m, which is a bargain compared to going for another guy, who doesn’t know the system.

      Tanner McKee? I would need to google the name first. Guy made no impression on me, and the same goes for Hooker. Were they carrying their teams, which is the gold standard for late round QBs? In this respect, I like Max Duggan and Aidan O’Connell.

  32. Stephen

    Thing is RW was accurate in college. Inaccuracy is the one thing you don’t want in a QB. Can his be fixed? Big gamble. Too big too trade up, I’d say. But I’m no expert. I have spent alot of time watching a number 2 pick, be athletically gifted and hopelessly inaccurate. Rick Mirer. So Richardson sacres me.

    • Rob Staton

      But he isn’t hopelessly inaccurate

      And unlike Wilson he wasn’t four years into his college career

      He just needs time

  33. Stephen

    How can you tell that?

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑