Griffin out of reach for Seattle? Not so fast…

The Heisman winner in Seattle? It's not quite so unrealistic anymore...

The Seahawks are a coin-toss away from the #11 overall pick in April, yet most people have given up on the Seahawks drafting a quarterback in round one. I was one of those people. After a big win on the road against Chicago, I presumed the Seahawks would win one of their last two games. I’m not sure many people anticipated two NFC West defeats to end the regular season, which pushed Seattle up to the fringes of the top-ten. Time to review this particular situation.

There are essentially two quarterbacks worthy of being drafted early in round one. Andrew Luck will go first overall to Indianapolis, leaving the rest to scrap for Robert Griffin III. Ryan Tannehill and Landry Jones get a lot of unworthy hype, but as I’ve discussed at length, I wouldn’t take either in the first round. John Schneider was at the Alamo Bowl to watch Griffin take on Washington and in many ways the Baylor quarterback fits what Seattle has been looking for at the position. He’s mobile, he’s capable of extending plays, he limits turnovers and he’s got the arm to make difficult throws. Nobody can accuse Seattle of looking for perfection with the three quarterbacks they’ve acquired under the current regime (Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis) but all share similar playing trends. Griffin is a more accomplished, more exiting model.

There’s an assumption doing the rounds that RG3 won’t last very long in round one. In fact, St. Louis are supposedly being primed to make a killing as teams jostle for position to draft the Heisman Trophy winner immediately after Luck leaves the board. I’m not going to rule that out and certainly Griffin’s hype-factor is through the roof at the moment. Not only is he a quarterback fans want to root for, but he’s a marketing dream with the potential to help sell a lot of tickets. He’ll test well at the combine, he’ll interview well and it’s no surprise that reports have surfaced that he’s going to turn pro. He’d be daft not to.

Even so, let’s not ignore the other side of the debate here which hasn’t been covered anywhere. What could lead to a fall, if anything?

The Washington game highlighted a couple of technical issues that haven’t always shown up this season. I sensed Griffin got a little impatient in the game and after a razor-sharp start, he was contained by the Huskies (even if they couldn’t stop the run and the steady stream of points). Feeling frustrated and wanting to make things happen, Griffin tried too hard. Suddenly he was moving around in the pocket trying to make unrealistic runs, bailing on the pass too early and losing a lot of his poise. Baylor scaled down their offense to take advantage of soft coverage and went to a heavy screen game – a staple used prior to the 2011 season that limited Griffin’s grade coming into this year. He didn’t look like a spectacular playmaker and was outshone by his opposite number – Keith Price. He’s also not working within an offense comparable to what he’ll find in the NFL and there’s a learning curve to combat especially if he’s expected to start quickly.

Although he generally makes good decisions, like most college quarterbacks he isn’t being asked to make pre-snap reads and adjustments. There are footwork issues he needs to solve when setting to throw, because he wastes too many steps on the drop back and dances too much in the pocket. Some teams will question the throws he’s making this year – although there’s been some sensational plays, the bulk of his throws are downfield lobs to utilise the extreme speed Baylor has at receiver and there’s a lot of comeback passes on bootlegs or scrambles, or simple screens and digs.

Griffin made enough mind-blowing plays for a lot of teams to see beyond this. However, it’s worth noting a possible flaw or two considering all of the non-stop hype everywhere else. Perhaps it won’t be any fault of Griffin’s ifhe falls? Maybe there’ll be reasons beyond his control that see him take a slight drop?

Indianapolis are clearing house after a 2-14 season – firing Vice Chairman Bill Polian and GM Chris Polian. Head Coach Jim Caldwell could also be on the way out. This is a big step for the Colts, who appear to be preparing for a new era at the franchise. Tellingly, the usually conservative Peyton Manning spent eight minutes with reporters after yesterday’s defeat to Jacksonville talking about the future. He acknowledged the Colts had to act and would do whatever they think is best. Manning sounded resigned to a future where he isn’t the heartbeat of theset-up. This is soon to be Andrew Luck’s team, with everything built around his future success.

Although Bill Irsay says Luck and Manning can c0-exist, the writing is on the wall. Due $28m before the new league season begins, Manning will be cut or traded before Indianapolis is footing the bill. It’ll create a scramble for a future hall-of-fame quarterback who, if healthy, could turn a team into an instant contender within their division and maybe even their conference. I’ve made the point many times on this blog, but doesn’t this just scream for Washington to make a move? Dan Snyder loves a free-agent splash and making Manning a Redskin would be a major coup. Suddenly, Washington would be in the NFC East mix. Mike Shanahan has endured two pretty miserable seasons so far as Head Coach, but adding Manning would suddenly make his offense relevant.

Sure, heisn’t the prototype quarterback Shanahan usually acquires – but this is Peyton Manning we’re talking about here. Washington can’t sit around hoping that Griffin will fall beyond Cleveland come April – they have to act. They could sign Manning and plan to go in a different direction in round one. The Redskins could still draft a younger quarterbacklike Ryan Tannehill, who should be around at the top of round two unless there’s a ridiculous Christian Ponder-type reach. By adding Manning, drafting a player such as Riley Reiff to play right tackle and then adding Tannehill as a developmental successor, Washington could have a direction for the future but also a short term plan to be competitive in the NFC East.

It’s not a ridiculous suggestion, in fact I think it’s fairly logical when you think about it. It’d also take the Redskins out of contention for Griffin.

The team in pole position to draft RG3 is of course Cleveland, who own the #4 overall pick. Colt McCoy hasn’t worked out (why did anyone ever think otherwise?) and they need a quarterback desperately. The Browns have two first round picks meaning they could draft Griffin and still improve another area of their team in round one. However, is there a possibility Cleveland could look to fill their quarterback void elsewhere? Let’s not forget how Mike Holmgren went about his work in Seattle. He hand picked a quarterback from his former employer and despite a bargain price, turned Matt Hasselbeck into a Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl quarterback. Already he’s avoided the position early in consecutive drafts, only to spend a mid-round tester on McCoy. Will he see Griffin as an unmissable talent for his master plan? Or will he believe there are other options out there? After all, this is a Cleveland team with very little offensive playmaking talent.

Griffin alone could be swallowed up, but go and sign Matt Flynn and realistically you could draft Trent Richardson and a first round receiver too. Then you’re looking at a quarterback with some of the technical qualities Holmgren likes, but not the physical brilliance of Griffin. You’ve got a playmaker capable of becoming a superstar in Richardson and a big bodied receiver (Alshon Jeffrey? Michael Floyd?) to help Greg Little. While the running back position is becoming less important in terms of draft stock, let’s not rule out the possibility of a team falling in love with Richardson as much as many expect teams to fall in love with Griffin. The relatively cheap price of a top-five pick these days could make for a more dynamic impact with Richardson pounding the rock in the AFC North and Flynn acting as the string-puller. Too far fetched? Maybe not.

If these two scenarios came true (run with it) it would leave Miami at #9 as the next obvious home for RG3. Suddenly, you could be looking at a situation where the Carolina Panthers are on the clock at #8 and the Seahawks would only need to move up three spots to usurp the Dolphins. The old trade value chart says Seattle would need to make up 150 points, essentially the price of a late third round pick. The Seahawks haven’t had a third round choice in the last two drafts, yet have still managed to find plenty of talent in the later rounds. If Seattle traded it’s early third round pick, they could probably get a 5th rounder out of the deal to soften the blow. It’s hardly a trade that will ruin the future of your franchise, especially if you believed Griffin had the potential to finally end the tedious debate as to who will be Seattle’s quarterback of the future.

A lot would need to happen for this to become reality – not to mention the possibility that other teams could also look to move up and might be willing to spend big in order to do so. However, there was a lot of hype about Blaine Gabbert last April. People might not recognise it considering Gabbert’sstruggles this year, but there was talk he could go first overall and wouldn’t make it out of the top five. At one point, reports suggested Washington were aggressively trying to trade up to draft him in the top-three. As it happens, the Redskins passed up the chance to draft him with their own pick and Gabbert went fell to the #10 pick – a surprise at the time. Although we expect Griffin to go very early – and people expect Griffin to be a better pro than Gabbert has so far – let’s try not to assume anything just yet.

Picking in the late teens would’ve made any potential trade a blockbuster – multiple picks, two first rounders. It would’ve handcuffed the Seahawks  – and Pete Carroll – to Griffin and his success or failure. I’d guess this franchise wouldn’t be prepared to make such a move, a risk that seems out of character. Whether Seattle picks at #11 or #12, suddenly such a deal is no longer so unrealistic. According to the chart, for the price of their second rounder they have enough to get up to #5 or #6. If the Seahawks like RG3 enough to make him ‘the guy’, putting a deal together to bring him to the North West may not cost quite as much as people first thought. Is he in play for the Seahawks? Why not?


  1. Charlie

    Say we can pull this off, what would be your thoughts on Jared Crick in the second? I remember his name being highly touted by other pundits, I seem to remember you saying he may have been overrated, but with his injury, would he be worthy of a second round pick? We need pass rush from the 3-tech so who might fit better if not crick?

  2. Ed

    Still don’t see it. We are in a good spot though (three good tackles, a few dl) to trade back and get another 1st next year to go for barkley. Trade back into mid 20’s, get another 1st next year. Draft Burfict in mid 20’s (move hawthorne to olb), then perry (de) in 2nd. Next year get barkley

  3. Rob

    Charlie – I think that would be a good range for Crick. The big issue with him is consistency… some times he’s unblockable, sometimes he might as well not be on the field. He’s best suited to the 5-tech role for me, but could play in the middle on third downs or permanently with a bit more size. He’ll get sacks, but he’ll also have quiet games.

    Ed – I think that’s a pipe dream scenario. For starters, why would a team trade their 2013 pick to move from #25 to #11 or #12? I can’t think of a prospect available in that range that would provoke such a deal. Atlanta traded into the top-six for a potentially elite receiver. Others have traded up for QB’s. I don’t see anything similar this year. Also, it’ll be very difficult to trade up for Barkley if he ends up being a front runner for the #1 pick as I expect he will be.

  4. Tom

    Good thoughts.

    You’re right, RG3 isn’t out of reach, but the assumptions are lofty because Manning can’t be traded prior to March 8th and even so why would Shanny take on a $28mm salary for an aging, injured QB? Manning would have to be cut and what would he see in DC?

    To succeed in Texas Hold ’em, you have to know your enemy. Do they bluff? Do they play tight?

    If your Pete and John, you can’t trust Holmgren and Shanahan, who know first hand the paramount importance to winning a SB and needing an elite QB and especially, in today’s NFL.

    Didn’t Shanahan move up the draft board in 2006 to select Jay Cutler, a QB who he targeted in rd 1? Yes, he did. Didn’t Ron Wolf and Holmgren trade a 1st rounder for Brett Favre? Yes, he did.

    Shanahan and Holmgren have been nothing w/out an elite QB under center and they understand that. You can’t trust these 2 guys

    If you’re Pete and John, you can’t take that risk that these 2 guys somehow pass on RG3, so we only have to give up a 3rd to move up to #8 for RG3. No time to hold onto 2nd’s and 3rd’s like their gold. A franchise QB is gold.

    It’s going to take our 2nd and 3rd rounders at a minimum to move up for RG3 at #3 and well worth it and not worth the risk of praying that he slides down to #8.

    Would anyone really complain in an average to below avg draft class to give up our 2nd and 3rd to move up to grab the most paramount player in your franchise? I sure hope not, so we can draft who at #12/#44/#76? Players that will likely keep us wandering between 7-9 and 9-7 for the next 5 years while we scream for an elite signal caller?

    You’ve presented one perfect storm here but to believe that Holmgren and Shanny plus any other potential suitor just sit back and let RG3 to drop to #8 in a 2 QB race isn’t worth that risk for the crossroads season of Pete and John.

  5. Scott

    I think this post assumes a lot of nitpicking of RG3 will play out over the course of the next 3-4 months. It might. I actually don’t think he works out at the combine. Doubt he holds a pro day. We’ve seen too many top draft picks at QB NOT elect to work out. This leads me to believe the hype machine on RG3 will not “go away”. His talent and personality are undeniable. There are too many teams that have a need for a young stud QB (Indy, MIA, CLE, WAS) ahead of Seattle that I think makes this scenario highly unlikely. It’s good to dream. I’ll be hoping it plays out this way. But, won’t be holding my breath that the chips fall in a favorable way for Seattle to get him.

  6. Chris

    @ Ed ummm no all that trading back for another first etc etc. Move Hawthorne to OLB wth he is not a sideline to sideline linbacker hes a thinker. Trust me when I say if Schneider and Carroll woildnr draft Barkley even if they had the chance

  7. Ray Smith

    Thank Rob, for not writing the next RGII hype article and going for something that no one else is looking at. I get so tired of the same old thing, I swear these guys are plagiarizing each other and then they always use the same old stats and team info as filler.

  8. Micah

    If we are willing to give up a first next year and a second this year to move up to #3, other competitors for the pick will have a hard time matching it. Indy will pick Andrew Luck, or Cleveland will with Indy’s pick, I can’t see anyone else moving up to #1, in that situation, the only barrier is the Rams. I think Cleveland is the only team that matches with the Rams needs in that position. They still need to get their OT, they can do that at #4, and they would probably want Cleveland’s second round pick as well. If they’re smart, they try to use us as leverage as someone to trade up at #3, which has the potential of scaring a suitor off and having the Rams take Kalil. The Rams might also decide they want a successor long term and complementary, short term, for Steven Jackson, and pick Richardson.

    It isn’t at all unsensible to think we can trade up and get RGIII, the only question is whether Pete and Schneider would pull the trigger if the opportunity presented itself.

  9. Nick

    The good thing is by mid march we should know where Manning and Flynn are going to play next year. Hopefully NYJ, DAL, or SF don’t decide to break the bank for Peyton as he’d probably prefer a contender and either MIA or WAS can snatch him up taking out one competitor. I fully expect one of CLE, WAS, MIA to commit to Matt Flynn as their QBOTF as he’s been more impressive in short stints then Kolb ever was. All this realistic talk of getting RG3 just makes it so much more disappointing that Barkley went back to school.

  10. Rob

    Tom – you’ve made some excellent points there and I agree, for the price of a second and third rounder, I’m making a jump.

    Scott – I wouldn’t say the post assumes anything, rather touts the possibility of something not being discussed – that RG3 could suffer a minor fall to #8. Not saying it’s likely, not saying it will happen – just that it could.

    Ray – my pleasure, and thanks for visiting the blog.

  11. Ed

    The off season is always about pipe dreams. Realistically, I don’t see them trading up. I see them staying pat or trading back a few spots (maybe for a tackle martin/reiff) and getting a rusher. QB wise, it’s TJack. If he can just be taught a little pocket presence, he has shown promise

  12. Rob

    If the Seahawks truly take the view that at QB it’s TJack, then they’re destined for mediocrity or worse.

  13. OverDraft

    Rob –
    Love your post!
    All things considered it seems the Seahawks are handcuffed to drafting a Quarterback with their first pick this year. Next year’s class looks like only Barkley and Bray are Blue Chip prospects coming out and there isn’t anything in FA that’s realistically an option. The way this team plays I doubt they will pick within the top ten the next few years and without the QB situation solved the won’t pick above 20. The Colts, Browns, Redskins, and Dolphins all need QBs. If that’s how the FO looks at it, the Seahawks don’t trade up, and Luck, Griffin, Tannehill, and Jones all get drafted, who would be next on Seattle’s radar? If its Foles, how can the Seahawks afford not to trade up no matter what the cost? It seems to me their only option is to trade up with whoever they can giving whatever they want. If they don’t do it this year they will have to do worse next year. We need one of those four players.

  14. MJ

    Why would they draft a Tackle in round 1? We will never be a playoff team by defaulting to OL on every first round pick.

  15. Billy Showbiz

    It would be amazing if this scenario panned out like you put it Rob. I really doubt it though. I could definitely see Holmgren going after Flynn, they must have a ton of cap space and now that they have to spend close to the cap they will have to pay someone.

    I don’t however see Washington passing on Griffin. I think the only way that happens is if Shanahan has trouble with the goofy offense that Baylor runs. My thought is that Shanahan believes he can groom a QB.

    I think that Griffin is going to be really good and I really hope that Pete and John make whatever moves are necessary to grab him. He’s a winner and a hard worker and I’d be shocked if he turns out to be anything but a great leader. I also wouldn’t rule out Flynn just because of the connection to the Packers. If that Detroit game is any indicator he is ready to play. We’ll see what happens.

  16. Rob

    Overdraft – thanks for the kind words and I completely agree that Seattle have to be aggressive this year.

    Billy Showbiz – You’re right about Shanahan, I just wonder if he thinks the QB he’d like to groom is Ryan Tannehill – who looks positively prototypical for Shanny. But then, Griffin is no slouch.

  17. David

    good article rob, IMO its flynn or RG3 are the best options for us. I would choose RG3 then flynn.. we should trade with minnesota for idk the price but whatever it is because RG3 looks elite and he will definitely get us to the next level.

  18. Nick

    Does it make me a bad person if I’m secretly hoping something goes terribly wrong with the USC program in the next 13 days and Barkley has to change his mind and declare this year? Come on someone taking benefits from a booster or agent!

  19. David

    No def not Nick. haha, that would be nice if he went Pro, damn was hoping he would.

    I am really hoping we get Griffin, I dont want Flynn, i would rather have him go to Cleveland or Washington or Miami and just have Griffin slide down to us even closer.

    also if we dont trade our mid round picks i would like us to get Frank Alexander from OU, i love this guys game.

  20. Mr Fish

    A key factor in this scenario is that by the time draft day finally happens, we’ll know where Manning and Flynn have landed. The scenario assumes that Manning will go to the Redskins and Flynn to the Browns — and that this means neither of those teams will be looking for a QB in the first round of the draft. So saying “Shanahan and Holmgren won’t pass up the chance to draft RG3” misses the point.

    And once you accept that point, the whole dream becomes tantalizingly possible.

  21. Rock


    Thanks for pointing out that RG3 does not walk on water. The Huskies exposed some of his weaknesses and you outlined them well. He has lots of athletic talent but it isn’t a guarantee that he will become an elite NFL QB. What is happening between the ears when under pressure seems to be the most important quality for success as an NFL QB.

    Last year at this time Locker was projected by most to be a second round pick. As they next few months drag on I am sure guys will move up and down the board. It only takes one GM to fall in love with a guys ‘potential’ and we have seen alot of draft day surprises in the past. I think the Seahawks will find it difficult to trade up and will probably be happy to draft Ryan Tannehill in round one.

  22. Kip Earlywine

    “Manning can’t be traded prior to March 8th and even so why would Shanny take on a $28mm salary for an aging, injured QB? Manning would have to be cut and what would he see in DC?”

    Manning will almost certainly be a free agent, since Indy if Indy doesn’t outright cut him in February (and tries to trade him later) it will in effect cost them something like $50 million (which isn’t chump change for a team in Indianapolis). I just can’t see any team picking up his current deal off waivers before that point. Manning won’t come cheap, but it probably won’t cost $28 mil next year.

    I don’t think Shanahan has any aversion to 1st round QBs, but he does have a type. He passed on Gabbert last year and still hasn’t drafted a QB in his two Washington era drafts. No Shanahan QB has ever resembled RG3, who’s MO appears to be fast+big+very big arm. Shanahan is undoubtedly on the hotseat so taking a QB who might need a couple seasons to acclimate could be a dealbreaker. Not that I’d expect Washington to pass on RG3 under normal circumstances, but I do think they will strongly prefer a veteran who can win games immediately in the NFL as they had hoped to accomplish with McNabb.

    Holmgren has never actually drafted a 1st round QB before, which is saying something as he’s had plenty of chances to, especially last year. Like Shanahan, RG3 is a bit of a fuzzy fit for Holmgren and it doesn’t help that they are more of a line oriented team than a weapon oriented team. Don’t get me wrong, I’d put the odds of Cleveland (or Washington) passing on Griffin at less than 50%, but if it happened, it wouldn’t shock me.

    I’d be willing, albeit hesitantly, to pay quite a bit to move up to #3 to ensure getting Griffin, but the real question will be if the FO believes he’s worth that much, particularly since he is such a glaring injury risk.

  23. Alex

    Assuming the Hawks try for Luck at #1 without any success, I see the Hawks potentially trading up to 3,5, or 8. In each of those cases, we would be jumping ahead of a QB needy team.

    For some reason, I just don’t see Mike Holmgren drafting RG3. It just doesn’t feel like a fit. Further, the draft capital needed to move to 3 is rather substantial and one I don’t think the Hawks will make.

    After this, trading up to 5 and 8 become realistic possibilities. #8 needs a 3rd rounder, which is a good deal for a potential QBOTF. If the Redskins haven’t settled their QB situation, the Hawks could try jumping to #5, which would probably be a 2nd rounder.


  24. Kip Earlywine

    I should clarify what I said before- its not that I think there is a very good chance that either Cleveland or Washington would pass on Griffin based on his value, its that they both may very well approach their QB needs taking a different avenue. Its happened plenty of times before where a team addressed QB through trade or free agency before the draft. If Cleveland signs Flynn, that probably rules them out. If Washington signs Manning, that makes Griffin less likely.

  25. STUFR

    Here is my problem with RGIII right now. I walked away from the Alamo Bowl wanting to draft Keith Price. RGIII came off as a slightly bigger, 6-9 year ago version of Michael Vick. He may turn out to be good, but I think he has a long way to go in a pro offense. If the UW D could spook him he is in a lot of trouble because they aren’t very good. I know you have to make the leap some time, but I would much rather have Barkley or Price next year.

  26. woofu

    If PM is healthy enough to play he stays in Indy and does. If not, then he’s not healthy enough to play anywhere else. Indy drafts Luck. Holmgren signs Flynn. After that is anyones guess at this point and even the first two moves are speculative.

    Where would you put Weedin?

  27. dave crockett

    Rob’s scenarios really are not at all unrealistic. They’re just unlikely because no one can really say what draft needs are before the FA period.

    But look at the teams ahead of us in the QB market (i.e., CLE, MIA, and WAS).

    CLE — Matt Flynn makes so much sense for what the Browns do offensively. CLE is building a similar offense to Green Bay. I think Flynn is most likely to sign there, and even more likely if GB franchises and trades him.

    WAS — Shanahan may not treat the draft with the open contempt of his predecessors, but it’s pretty clear that he’s built that team for a veteran plug & play QB. He’s looking for that guy; not some fresh-out-of-school kid to groom. Peyton Manning, if healthy, gives WAS a 2-4 year window to find complimentary pieces. The defense is already solid, and frankly, they’re a QB away from potentially winning a less-than-impressive NFC East. I just say to myself, Manning is going somewhere. And, he’s likely to have some say in where that is. What’s a hands-down better fit for him than WAS?

    MIA — One place Manning might fit better than WAS is MIA. The Dolphins are a real wild card. Their choice of coach will tell us a lot about their outlook. If it is Jeff Fisher (who is reportedly interviewing in MIA and STL) then Manning makes a lot of sense. It is very similar to WAS in that the defense is playoff caliber right now. They have a quality running game. They can add depth at WR. And, he wouldn’t have to face his brother as a divisional opponent. If MIA is unable to land Fisher then I think they are SEA’s main competition for Griffin.

  28. Rob

    Woofu – If Manning and Luck co-exist, it will be stunning in my view. I can’t see that in any way shape or form. When push comes to shove, I fully expect Indy to release Peyton. As for Weeden, I have no faith in his ability to start quickly in the league and as a 29-year-old rookie… that bothers me enough to avoid him.

  29. John_S

    I would trade what it takes to secure RGIII.

    The reason why I am most comfortable with this is because of Schneider and PC’s history of drafting well late in the draft.

    This team is still in the rebuilding stage and still needs help in many positions.

    One reason why I would normally be skeptical about mortgaging picks for a player is that you would not have those early round picks to use on other positions of need.

    JS and PC have shown an ability to identify a trait of a player in the later rounds who can help the team.

    That ability to identify players in the later rounds make me feel much more comfortable in giving up a couple 1’s and a 2 or whatever it takes and move up to be able to grab RGIII.

    With the front office changes in Indy, I can see that they are going to start from scratch with Luck as their centerpiece which would rule him out.

  30. lol

    I don’t see Miami as a player for Manning with a new coach and new outlook heading into 2012. They’re guaranteed to take RGIII if he falls to them, and I’d say they’re our biggest competition after Indy takes Luck.

  31. Matt J

    Seems to me that your scenario also needs to incorporate the Rams & Vikings. Not that I think they’re giving up on Bradford/Ponder, but in the sense that whoever wants RGIII the most probably won’t be fighting it out in picks 5-8. Someone will be willing to fork over whatever it takes at #2/#3, and that will be a nice haul for the MIN/STL organizations.

  32. Stephan

    Rob, Flynn or RGIII?

  33. Bruce M.

    I believe Flynn is an unrestricted free agent? If so, I do not believe GB has the option to “franchise and trade him”.

    I would swap firsts and throw in a 3rd, and even a 2nd if we needed to go up higher, for RGIII.

    The dude has incredible physical skills, and is smart and ambitious. Might not set the world on fire immediately, in fact probably would not, but his realistic upside is tremendous.

  34. Rob

    I’d have to go for RG3, Stephan. And in fairness, it’s not a close decision. I’m not high on Flynn.

  35. Turp

    Does the firing of the Rams GM change their possibility of drafting a QB? New GM, new philosophy? Same question applies if the Vikings GM gets fired as well.

    New Coach/GM for the Fins will probably not want to stake their tenure on Matt Moore. They are definitely our biggest competition.

    Depending on how FA shakes out (where Manning/Flynn end up), who would be willing to move up to 2/3 for a QB? I think it costs too much for the Hawks to do so. Moving up to 8 is much more likely. Even if Shanny does not get Manning, I think Rob is right on with the scenario that he drafts Richardson or WR stud in the 1st, and then adds Tannehill in the 2nd.

  36. Turp

    Bruce – GB can still franchise and trade Flynn. The caveat would be that they would probably work out a trade deal before franchising Flynn. They know Flynn will sign the tender if offered (at least 14mil!).

    This article explains the possibilities nicely:

  37. Turp

    Nevermind on the Vikings – Spielman is now the GM, part of the staff that drafted Ponder, so I’m sure they will not look at drafting a QB.

  38. Ed

    Have you seen our 2012 opponents, we may have a shot at #1 pick next year. Packers/Vikings/Patriots/Jets/Cowboys @ home. Bears/Lions/Panthers/Bills/Dolphins away. The Rams will have Bradford and everyone back (plus loyd all year and maybe blackmon). Could be anywhere from 2-6 wins.

  39. Norm M

    Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
    Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
    Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

    This is what popped into my head as I read your article. You give me hope but I really can’t see RGIII getting past Miami or Cleveland. I can see Cleveland filling there need with Flynn but Manning too Miami just seems like a strange fit. I think GM’s will be scared off from any dramatic moves to get Manning with his health concerns. With all the changes in Miami this year they need a big draft and a exciting player to put bodies in the seats. I can see miami doing whatever it takes to move themselves into a spot to draft RGIII. I truly believe that Seattle will start the season with TJ as our QB but will bring in “competition” in the way of a 2-3 round pick or free agent.

    I have read several reports of the NY Jets possibly trading Sanchez. What are your thoughts on that scenario and if it were true, what would the compensation be for a Sanchez type of player? Also, I see that Polk has declared eligible for the draft. Where do you see him grading out? He seems like a great pick in the 2-3 range as a back up and possible long term replacement for Lynch.

  40. Richard

    Rob, Not to get to far ahead of ourselves, but if the Hawks are lucky enough to get a raw talent like RGIII, who would you have him work with? If he were in the Seattle area, and could work with an accomplished pocket passer type. Maybe a Warren Moon or other local ex-pro. Thank you for your excellent work.

  41. Rob

    Norm – that’s a great line, you just reminded me that I need to watch that film again soon, it’s been too long. I think at this stage it’s easy to see why Cleveland and Washington will snap up RG3, but things can change quickly with certain moves in FA. After all, let’s not forget that Cincinnati passed on the 2011 QB’s to take a dynamic playmaker (AJ Green) only to draft Andy Dalton in R2. I could see Cleveland taking a similar approach, swapping Trent Richardson for Green. Richardson is good enough. I can’t see the NYJ trading Sanchez, not this year anyway. His contract makes it difficult too. I think Polk could easily go in the back end of round one or early second – great player with a lot of talent.

    Richard – I’d employ George Whitfield immediately if I was Griffin. And if I was the team that drafted RG3, I’d find a way to get Whitfield on the coaching staff.

  42. Richardfg7

    Hey we’re in great shape with John Schnider on the job. He’s been on it for months already. All over the country going to check-out quarter-backs. He’s the guy for the job we’re just having some fun with it.

  43. Tom

    Kip, Manning will only be a free agent if he’s cut prior to March 8th and do you believe Irsay is going to cut Manning? Irsay just fired the Polians, so that leads credence to Irsay bucking up the $28mm roster bonus. After they do that, they aren’t going to trade Peyton. So why again, do you believe Manning will be a free agent. I don’t see it.

    John_S, I agree. The other huge variable that no one is talking about besides Flynn are the free agents at other positions and why I see no chance that the Hawks would draft a WR. The free agency mkt looks very promising for big receivers like VJack or Colston or a stretch the field DJack.

    We can find a pass rusher or CB through free agency because we have cap space and Trufant and his $8mm likely won’t return. However, it’s typically impossible to find a bonafide SB QB in FA unless you’re coming off a shoulder injury like Drew Brees was and had little team interest.

    Bruce M, good call. It will take at least our 2nd and 3rd rdrs to go from 11/12 to #3 and I’d do it too and reload with free agents and rounds 4 & 5.

    Ed, get serious. A better QB with our defense growing through experience won’t get us #1 pick. Yes, Sherman, Wright, Thomas and Kam will continue to improve and can give us 10 Wins next year if we draft Luck or RG3. Even TJack can give us a repeat of 7 W’s. No way we win fewer than 3 games in our division alone next year.

  44. Tom

    Rob, speaking of Sanchez, it wouldn’t surprise me if Sanchez is demoted if the right opportunity for Rex arises. That ship is sinking, slowly, but it’s still sinking.

    The Jets have already dished out all of Sanchez’s guaranteed money, so w/out salary cap implications, I could see the Jets finding a new option because Sanchez isn’t it. If the Jets were smart, they’d pull a Pete/John and ask Sanchez to re-structure like we did with Curry and Hill.

    Sanchez is due $8.5 mm for 2012 and $4.5 mm for 2013 with NOTHING guaranteed. Why would anyone pay Sanchez $8.5 mm. He’s a game managing QB that lacks anything special and isn’t elite caliber.

  45. Tom

    Rob, here’s a great contract website for use in determining potential cuts/restructures and free agents as you do your projections.

    The Jets paid sanchez $14+mm in 2011 and only owe him $13 over the final 2 years. Enjoy.

  46. jake

    If we can’t get RG3 (and we probably can’t) and bring back all major free-agents, then I hope the draft goes something like this:
    First 3 rounds in no particular order: DE pass-rush threat, running back (either normal backup to marshawn or a speedy 3rd down back/playmaker, a guy like LMJ or darren sproles), linebacker. Order depends on what’s available, I wouldn’t want to draft a running back in the first round unless richardson somehow fell to us, and besides that we’d probably take either a athletic linebacker with great instincts or an absolute hulk of a pass rusher.

    After the first three rounds, I’d expect us to pick a quarterback prospect and then use the remaining picks to add depth in the O line and wherever else we need it. As far as quarterback prospects go I think Russell Wilson is incredibly underrated and a perfect fit for our offense. He’s an accurate passer who takes care of the ball, and his mobility and ability to make good decisions and pass well while running and under pressure are impressive. We could probably pick him up in about the fourth round. I also wouldn’t mind a project like Darron Thomas, although he isn’t the most accurate passer in the world he’s great at running an offense and mobile, making good throws on the run. Here are the best highlight videos I can find of each guy:,

    Notice how both of them extend plays all the time by scrambling while under pressure before running for a first down or passing for a big gain. If Tavaris Jackson did that ONCE instead of taking a sack in a close game, we’d have 8 wins instead of 7.

  47. Rob

    Hi Jake,

    The thing I keep coming back to with Wilson is that he looks like a slightly more technical, slightly less athletic version of Seneca Wallace. Virtually the first thing this front office did in Seattle was trade Wallace for a round 7 pick because they didn’t even want him to be the team’s backup. Instead, they traded for a 6-4, bigger, stronger armed QB in Charlie Whitehurst. I think that’s telling.

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