Here’s the reality when it comes to QB scouting

Anthony Richardson has elite tools, simple as that

Did you know that 28 quarterbacks received a higher grade than Patrick Mahomes on over the last 10 years?

Did you know that 22 quarterbacks received a higher grade than Josh Allen?

Well, now you know. There’s a lesson to be learned here.

Let me be clear. This article isn’t having a go at anyone. Quarterback scouting is hard. Especially because where a player is drafted — and who they’re coached by — is incredibly important.

So many young QB’s are drafted by desperate teams, thrust into starting jobs too early and they’re coached by inadequate coaches. The end result is a bust.

It’s no surprise that Mahomes has blossomed playing for Andy Reid, having been afforded a redshirt year as a rookie. It’s no surprise Josh Allen developed and thrived under Brian Daboll (with Daniel Jones having a breakout year under Daboll in 2022).

When they were coming into the league though, both players were criticised for being ‘toolsy’ but far from the finished product. In the end, they landed in the right place to have those tools developed. The result is two world class football players.

For the last few weeks we’ve heard a whole bunch of negative things about the 2023 quarterback class — particularly Anthony Richardson and Will Levis.

Haven’t we been here before?

I’d like to make a suggestion. All of the top four QB’s are excellent, physical talents. They aren’t physically limited, like some of the other quarterbacks taken in round one over the last 10 years. If they land with the right team and the right setup, they’ll probably thrive.

I think, for example, whoever goes first overall has a shot to make it playing for Frank Reich. I think the Colts will be a good place for a young quarterback. I can well imagine a young player succeeding in Atlanta with Arthur Smith. I think the Seahawks, because of Geno Smith and a QB-friendly offense, would be a good place for a player to sit and learn for a year like Mahomes.

I think Houston, on the other hand, could be a problem. They might even know that themselves, which is why we’re suddenly hearing about a defender being taken second overall.

You don’t often hear this angle in the media though. How many times are the physical tools of Richardson and Levis talked about positively, with the acknowledgement that if they land in the right place they could be developed into something special?

What we get instead is an obsession with flaws and what these players didn’t do in college, playing for two pretty mostly average teams.

I wanted to look at how every quarterback was graded over the last 10 drafts on I think it shows how inaccurate this pre-draft process can be. Again, this isn’t to criticise or embarrass anyone. Most of the grades below are from Lance Zierlein. I think Lance is fantastic — he clearly puts the work in and he should be respected greatly. He’s a treasure and someone who should be celebrated within the draft community.

However, how players were graded in the past helps us understand why it’s arguably wrong to criticise players without full context in the future.

In 2014 Nolan Nawrocki wrote the grades for This is how he scored the quarterbacks:

Blake Bortles — 6.80
Teddy Bridgewater — 6.80
Johnny Manziel — 6.40
Derek Carr — 6.30
A.J. McCarron — 6.20
Jimmy Garoppolo — 5.90

For what it’s worth, Odell Beckham and Zack Martin received the same 6.40 grade that Johnny Manziel got.

Lance Zierlein took over in 2015. Let’s look at how he graded the top quarterbacks:


Jameis Winston — 7.00
Marcus Mariota — 6.80
Brett Hundley — 6.10


Jared Goff — 7.00
Paxton Lynch — 6.80
Carson Wentz — 6.70
Connor Cook — 6.30
Christian Hackenburg — 6.10
Jacoby Brissett — 6.10
Dak Prescott — 5.90


Mitchell Trubisky — 7.00
Deshaun Watson — 6.80
Deshone Kizer — 6.30
Patrick Mahomes — 6.30
Nathan Peterman — 6.30


Sam Darnold — 7.10
Baker Mayfield — 6.70
Josh Rosen — 6.70
Josh Allen — 6.40
Lamar Jackson — 6.40
Mason Rudolph — 6.20


Kyler Murray — 6.80
Dwayne Haskins — 6.70
Drew Lock — 6.40
Daniel Jones — 6.30


Joe Burrow — 7.07
Tua Tagovailoa — 6.77
Justin Herbert — 6.45
Jordan Love — 6.36
Jacob Eason — 6.25
Jake Fromm — 6.16
Jalen Hurts — 6.14


Trevor Lawrence — 7.40
Zach Wilson — 6.50
Trey Lance — 6.47
Justin Fields — 6.45
Mac Jones — 6.33
Kyle Trask — 6.19


Malik Willis — 6.42
Matt Corral — 6.40
Kenny Pickett — 6.40
Desmond Ridder — 6.36
Sam Howell — 6.22

28 quarterbacks have received a higher grade than Patrick Mahomes between 2015-2022. He received the same grade that year as Nathan Peterman. So if anyone tries to tell you that Mahomes was a celebrated quarterback prospect going into the league, he wasn’t. He had fantastic physical tools but, as we’ll come onto in a bit, he was also seen as reckless and a system quarterback from the spread.

22 quarterbacks have been graded higher than Josh Allen since 2015. Allen’s grade (6.40) was higher than Mahomes’ (6.30) but the following quarterbacks were graded significantly higher than the pair: Blake Bortles (6.80), Teddy Bridgewater (6.80), Jameis Winston (7.00), Marcus Mariota (6.80), Jared Goff (7.00), Paxton Lynch (6.80), Carson Wentz (6.70), Mitchell Trubisky (7.00), Sam Darnold (7.10), Baker Mayfield (6.70) and Dwayne Haskins (6.70).

Players with traits typically faired well. This is one of the main reasons why I’m supportive of the 2023 quarterback class. Anthony Richardson and Will Levis have special physical tools. C.J. Stroud has a big arm, he can create as he showed against Georgia and his ability to throw with touch is at an elite level. Bryce Young lacks height but he has a clear natural quality and he’s incredibly creative. I have him ranked fourth out of the group simply because he lacks the prototype size and tools that typically excel but I’m still a fan.

Here are Lance’s grades for the 2023 class:

Bryce Young — 6.82
C.J. Stroud — 6.70
Anthony Richardson — 6.40
Will Levis — 6.34
Hendon Hooker — 6.23

He’s given Richardson the same grade as Josh Allen and Levis has a marginally better grade than Mahomes. All four players have a considerably lower grade than Paxton Lynch.

Doesn’t that at least tell us that lingering on perceived weaknesses is a mistake? That what we probably should be doing here is concentrating on what these players can become? When you have the size, massive hands and rocket arm of a Richardson or Levis — develop those tools properly and we’ve seen what the results can be.

I keep coming back to this quote from John Schneider when he was asked about quarterback scouting on 710 Seattle Sports:

“You have to be able to project where they’re going. You just can’t look at here’s A, B and C and that’s part of their game, you have to be able to say here’s A, B and C — what’s it going to look like at X, Y and Z? Where are they going to be? That’s the study, that’s the art, that’s the projection that’s involved.”

Too many people going into the 2017 draft slept on Mahomes’ physical talent. They didn’t project where he could go, they simply focused on what he wasn’t doing at Texas Tech.

Remember, Mahomes wasn’t listed in Daniel Jeremiah’s top-50 prospects in his February list ahead of the 2017 draft or an updated version in April, weeks before he was taken 10th overall. Deshone Kizer, however, was ranked on both occasions.

In Jeremiah’s final April 2017 mock draft, he eventually did include Mahomes in round one at #27 overall. Deshaun Watson wasn’t included in the first frame. They ended up being the 10th and 12th picks respectively. Kizer was the 52nd pick and flamed out of the league.

We’ve already highlighted that Lance Zierlein gave Mahomes a 6.30 grade and in his blurb he wrote, “Mahomes will be a work in progress, but he’s a high ceiling, low floor prospect.”

In an article on written by Lance, Josh Allen received an unflattering review:

The scoop: “He scares me like he scares everyone, but he is easily the most physically talented quarterback (in this class). He will get drafted much higher than the level of his tape.” — AFC director of college scouting on Wyoming QB Josh Allen

The skinny: Listed at 6-foot-5, 233 pounds and with high-end arm talent, Allen is the prototype at the quarterback position. However, Allen’s production has been very pedestrian this season (181 yards passing per game, 55.9 percent completion rate, 12 TDs and 6 INTs in 8 games).

His accuracy and decision making are not where they need to be. In comparison, Carson Wentz had very similar physical traits and ability coming out of North Dakota State. He was the No. 2 overall selection of the 2016 draft, but his accuracy and football intelligence were exceptionally high. Coincidentally, Allen’s coach (Craig Bohl) helped groom Wentz at NDSU before being hired at Wyoming.

Allen might make a substantial leap forward with better talent surrounding him than what he’s working with at Wyoming. However, I’m not ready to say he’s a franchise quarterback at this juncture.

These are all things being said about Richardson and Levis currently.

I also like to keep highlighting what Bob McGinn’s anonymous scouting sources said about Mahomes and Allen:

On Josh Allen:

“He reminds me of (Blake) Bortles,” a second scout said. “Bortles lacked consistent accuracy and I see the same thing with Allen. Big-time athlete but really an inconsistent passer. I don’t see (Carson) Wentz. Some people do because they had the same coach (Craig Bohl). Wentz was a very mature, confident person.” Two-year starter. “He looks the part and a good athlete,” a third scout said. “But you talk about lacking in being a winning quarterback. He has a lot of bad tape (even) at that level. Somebody will still take him high. Are we going on what the tape is and the production and the winning? Or are we going on this guy looks like he should be an NFL quarterback and how he throws the ball?”

On Patrick Mahomes:

“People are trying to make that comparison because of his arm. He’s got a really good arm, but Favre was not as reckless as this guy.

“He’s crazy. He plays crazy. He’ll do anything. I don’t even think “gunslinger’ is the right word. He’s reckless.”

“He’s in ‘that offense’ and the way he plays, he’s very erratic,” another director from an NFC team said. “You can see the talent but he’s just so streaky and wild and reckless. He put a lot of balls up for grabs where you’re saying, ‘Man, what are you going to get with him?’

“He could (come on) but I don’t see it. I just don’t think he has the necessary qualities. He has no vision, no mechanics. He’s erratic as hell. He makes a lot of mistakes. It’s going to be a long (development).”

“Mahomes is the boom or bust guy,” said one of the two evaluators that expected him to fail. “He carries the biggest upside but he does have a bust factor. He’s just going to be inexperienced doing the things he’s going to do here.
“When you start looking at players that play off the script it concerns you, and a lot of what he does is off-script. In the NFL, when you get off-script is when you make big, big errors. It’s not as easy to make the off-script play on our level as it is at Texas Tech.”

I’m not guaranteeing that Levis and Richardson are set to become elite players and follow in the footsteps of Mahomes and Allen. That would be silly.

I’m just highlighting that we’ve been here before. Overlooking elite traits and focusing too much on what a player wasn’t in college, rather than what he can become in the NFL, has been a mistake made by teams and draft media alike.

I think a better approach to this would be to spend more time acknowledging the physical tools with Richardson and Levis, then discussing the best landing spots to enable them to succeed.

Context is important too.

Allen and Mahomes didn’t play for Ohio State or Alabama. They didn’t play for the new-fangled spread in Tennessee or Washington. They played for Wyoming and Texas Tech. Mahomes benefitted from the air-raid and put up monster stats, admittedly — but he was 12-13 in his last two seasons. Allen was given an incredibly challenging situation with no supporting cast.

Neither were throwing to Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson like Joe Burrow, that’s for sure.

Richardson and Levis were in a similar boat in college.

Florida is basically in a ground-zero rebuild. Despite that, Richardson showed gradual improvement as the season went on — finishing on a streak that included 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in his last six games against Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida State & Vanderbilt. When he missed the Bowl game, Oregon State hammered Florida 30-3.

Levis played behind one of the worst O-lines in college football. Here’s a reminder of 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)

We have to accept that Levis facing 3.50 sacks per game is a world away from Bo Nix, Stetson Bennett, Michael Penix Jr and C.J. Stroud benefitting from less than a sack per game.

Levis also had a young group of inexperienced receivers to throw to with no star names. His running back had a suspension. He then got hurt, because of the bad O-line, breaking his toe. He played through that plus other injuries. It’s all detailed in this article from Jeff Howe at the Athletic, published today.

How would Bryce Young fair in that environment? Or Hendon Hooker? Or Michael Penix Jr? Or Trevor Lawrence? Or Joe Burrow?

Despite all of this, here’s what Levis put on tape:

Difference making tools, when developed properly, can win you a lot of football games in the NFL. A great quarterback can cover a number of warts. Some of the best players in the league were viewed as inaccurate, reckless, not good enough and scary when they were coming into the league.

We’re hearing it all again this year.

Plenty of mistakes were made in 2017 and 2018. Will the same thing happen this year?

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  1. Patrick Toler

    Great article.

    The point that doesn’t get enough attention is that the situation into which these quarterbacks are drafted has a huge impact on their development. Seattle has shown they can put different types of quarterbacks in a position to succeed, they have a strong quarterback room, and can afford to let a QB sit.

    If you want a young quarterback, you can’t count on the opportunity to draft a Lawrence type. You’ve got to take a shot a drafting a flawed prospect – the question is what kind of flaws can you live with and can you support a player as they develop. Your list of quarterbacks does a great job of showing that it is the toolsy quarterbacks who have the best chance to flourish.

    • Malanch

      “You can’t count on the opportunity to draft a Lawrence type.”

      Ohhh, sure you can! Just wait till next year and get Caleb Williams—it’s no problem, don’t ya know? (Unless the Hawks’ defense sucks again, in which case the 2024 draft will also have to go defense, defense, defense, followed by drafting the ensuing “sure thing” quarterback in 2025…)

  2. Matt

    Hi everyone…

    Anyone know where I can find the Seahawks draft history that includes the measurable of all the players drafted over the past 15 years…?

    Would be most appreciated.

    • Sea Mode

      In one place, no.

      But for history this one is good:

      And for measurables you can use this:

      or just Google “Tyler Lockett draftscout” and see the top result (

    • slartibartfast42


      I don’t mean this flippantly, but you have to do a bit of clicking though each player to get their pre-draft measurables. It’s not an all-in-one shop, but it’s pretty easy to find what you need.

      • Glor

        Chatgpt will do it for you, example:


        2nd round, 56th overall pick: D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan (5’9″, 190 lbs., 9 1/8″ hands, 73 1/4″ wingspan, 4.38 40-yard dash, 4.15 short shuttle)
        4th round, 137th overall pick: Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma (5’10”, 185 lbs., 9″ hands, 72″ wingspan, 4.40 40-yard dash, 3.94 short shuttle)
        6th round, 208th overall pick: Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida (6’8″, 329 lbs., 10 3/4″ hands, 85″ wingspan, 5.28 40-yard dash, 4.75 short shuttle)

        • Glor

          You can also have it format it into a sheet format:

          Year Round Overall pick Player name Position Height Weight Hand size Arm length Wingspan 40-yard dash Bench press Vertical jump Broad jump 3-cone drill 20-yard shuttle
          2012 1 15 Bruce Irvin DE 6’3″ 245 lbs. 8 7/8″ 33 1/4″ 84″ 4.50 23 reps 33.5″ 123″ 6.70 4.03
          2012 2 47 Bobby Wagner LB 6’0″ 241 lbs. 10″ 33 1/2″ 81 1/2″ 4.46 24 reps 39.5″ 129″ 7.28 4.28
          2012 3 75 Russell Wilson QB 5’11” 204 lbs. 10 1/4″ N/A N/A 4.55 N/A 34″ 118″ N/A N/A
          2012 4 106 Robert Turbin RB 5’10” 222 lbs. 9 1/4″ 31 1/4″ 75 7/8″ 4.50 28 reps 36.5″ 121″ 6.89 4.31
          2012 4 114 Jaye Howard DT 6’3″ 301 lbs. 10 1/4″ 33 5/8″ 80 3/4″ 5.21 26 reps 29.0″ 109″ 7.30 4.47
          2012 5 154 Korey Toomer LB 6’2″ 234 lbs. 9 7/8″ 32 1/8″ 79 1/2″ 4.53 22 reps 40.5″ 132″ 7.08 4.32
          2012 6 172 Jeremy Lane CB 6’0″ 190 lbs. 9 1/8″ 32 3/4″ 77 5/8″ 4.51 16 reps 34.5″ 123″ 6.73 4.44

        • Malanch

          Good gracious, these are freaky humans. Wth? My ape index is dead even, but these guys…I’m jealous. I have to frickin’ bend over to tie my shoes, a daily inconvenience.

        • Matt

          Thanks Glor…

          I’ve never used ChatGPT before, but was willing to sign up to do this exercise. The problem is I keep trying to and keep getting this message:

          “Signup is currently unavailable, please try again later.”

          Any ideas?

          • Blitzy the Clown

            Their servers are overwhelmed by demand. You gotta keep trying

            • Matt

              Thanks. Been on message boards…Seems it’s been going on a while so they might not be taking any new customers.

    • Brashmouse

      Good choice to only go back 15 years, between Kreig and Hasselbeck were some of the worst QB returns on investment of any team ever. Anyone remember Kelly Stauffer

  3. Sea Mode

    On the topic of QBs, some of us had been commenting the other day about the S2 test. Here are some cliff notes from another, longer interview given a few hours ago by S2 cofounder Brandon Ally to PFF.

    The highlight is about how overall score is not everything. A good overall score could still hide a fatal flaw in any one certain ability (think Jimmy G simply not seeing a LB…). The test is meant to help teams and players get a picture of their cognitive strengths and weaknesses in order to work on them and cater the offense to their strengths while masking their weaknesses.

    Bryce Young has been taking the test since he was in 10th grade. And his high score is not because he got better at taking the test 100 times or whatever (the test is designed so one can’t), but because he identified early his areas of weakness and has worked on them.

    Anyways, lots of interesting stuff. Too bad we’ll probably never have the full info.

    • Sea Mode

      Here’s the video link if anyone prefers that. Interview is from 2:55-38:40.

      Is the S2 test the Holy Grail of NFL Draft QB evaluation? | PFF NFL Show

      • Trevor

        Thanks for sharing. Interesting stuff.

      • EdS

        Thanks, Sea Mode. I ran across the S2 because I was interested in how the very last person taken in the 2022 draft, Brock Purdy, Mr Irrelevant, could turn out to be a potential franchise QB. Now Shanahan is a big part of the answer, but still – what does this say about how QB are evaluated and developed? In addition to his high score on S2, there was a very interesting article in Sports Illustrated (1/14/23) on how he retrained his body in the month before the Shrine Bowl, at an outfit called QB Collective, and added 5mph to his pass velocity. So in a 4 week period, he was able to make dramatic physical improvements with a position specific training program, despite having played the position all his young adult life. Character and professionalism – identifying weaknesses and working on them – coupled with really effective, scientific training.

        Think of it this way. If the Hawks don’t end up with one of the top 4 QB (ie, someone trades into Arizona’s spot to grab AR, and that someone is not the Seahawks), many of us will be disappointed, including me, but all is not lost. There is more than one road to a franchise QB and there’s still a lot of art and luck to finding those people and putting them in the right situations, as Rob documents.

        • BK26

          He also went to the best system possible for him. All he has to do is get the ball out fast. And he has some decent weapons.

          There is a reason why there is a better hit with the top picks. Still not sold on Purdy because I was stuck watching him for 4 years at ISU. So far I’d say he’s capable in a system that that is all that they ask for. But he has also done what he has done and does deserve credit. I’m just wary of a system like that.

          But the work he put in is legit. Shows what could happen to Richardson with us once he gets actual quarterback coaching.

  4. TwilightError

    Thats the that matters most but is discussed least. Landing spot. Will the QB just be thrown to wolves and expected to handle the offense by himself or will there be support and a plan for just that quarterback? This is why the Browns always fail drafting a QB. It’s not because they just pick the wrong players.

    Wilson thrived on Seattle as a third round pick. Geno was seen as a lost cause when last season started. There are all the reasons to believe Seattle os the place where Levis or Richardson can become great.

    • Patrick Toler

      It is funny because for a long time Pete was heavily criticized for putting Russell in bad situations (run, run, 3rd and long). Yet, their QBs have outperformed expectations. Tavaris, Russel, Geno. I think he is sneaky good at putting QBs who have a flaw, or need some development, in good situations. Maybe he isn’t the Coach to get the most out of an elite quarterback at the top of his game, but I would love to have him developing Richardson or Levis (even though Levis does make me a bit nervous).

      I read Win Forever a long time ago and the only thing I remember is an anecdote from when he was coaching for SF and Bill Walsh was in the building occasionally as a consultant. The one thing that Pete said he learned from Wash is that you have to make things easy for the quarterback. That always stuck with me.

      • TwilightError

        There seems to be something in that. Pete gets a lot of critique but he does something right to get QB:s the chance to succeed.

  5. EJ McGee

    Clearly what we’re all forgetting is John Gruden’s QB Camp. Now there was a sure-fire way to tell if a prospect would hit. I recall him nailing the Mahomes projection. Rob, you should start one of those.

    • Rob Staton

      I miss Gruden’s QB camp

      • PJ in Seattle

        Those were fantastic. He was pretty much dead on with his evaluations.

        • Big Mike

          Remember Gruden standing up for Wilson on draft day while Bill Polian kept saying Russ was too short to succeed?

          • PJ in Seattle

            I do. Gruden was adamant that Russ was going to be a very good NFL QB. I remember well sitting on the couch with my wife that day when we drafted him – fresh off of signing Matt Flynn to crazy money. I said “There’s our future QB and face of the franchise.” Thought it might take a a half a season or so, but he had Flynn holding a clipboard week one.

        • STTBM

          Didn’t Gruden love Nathan Peterman?!

        • Malanch

          I’m trying to remember a quarterback Gruden didn’t like…

          • Hawkdawg

            Didn’t he like Baker Mayfield a lot?

            • Malanch

              I have no idea, yet I guarantee you the answer is ‘yes’.

              • God of Thunder

                Some of the “fails” are hard to explain. Wentz had all the tools. Baker Mayfield made some great throws and seemed to see the field pretty well. For example.

                And I remember thinking “they will both be good but who will be better: Winston or Mariota?”

  6. Sea Mode

    JMS good stuff, although I can’t really shake the image of him getting rag-dolled by Calvin Avery.

    • Malanch

      I’ve been critical of Brock Huard’s characteristically low commitment to draft coverage, but this “very biased” Top 20 list he’s been doing this year has nonetheless offered some illumination, and he’s now ticked off a list of several prospects widely favored in this forum.

      On this year’s center class, Brock is all over Joe Tippmann as easily the best prospect he’s covered. With his pre-game locker room access privileges as an announcer, he got to see how Tippmann interacted with his teammates in multiple games, and raves about the guy’s alpha dog nature, leadership qualities, athleticism, youth, and size—and he doesn’t sound too worried about that tackle length being insurmountable inside (though it’s an obvious area to address). Indeed, the much shorter Evan Brown is in position to hold down the fort while Tippmann hammers his technique into sufficient form…

      …But his thoughts on John Schmitz and Luke Wypler? Nope and noper. Brock sounded pretty irritable at the thought of yet another bad athlete on the O-line, and he was very clear about the older Schmitz being a more-or-less topped out, low-ceiling guy. And poor “try hard” Luke Wypler gets the Wee Joey Hunt comp—ouch!

      This might not mean much to you all, but I found it interesting in that it seconds what I’ve been seeing in the three. I was under the impression that the Seahawks were done with tall centers, but I can see how they would feel better about Tippmann as a developmental guy than both Justin Britt and Ethan Pocic.

      • seahawkward

        Brock’s analysis stood out to me as well. Him comparing Wypler to Joey Hunt especially. I asked about Tippman after it aired, and was told flat out that he didn’t fit the Hawks scheme. Seems things have changed. Kudos to Mr Staton for shifting his analysis when presented with pertinent information. The sign of a true analyst.

  7. Rob Staton

    Thought the John Schneider show was very interesting this week

    Hinted at things without spelling them out

    • Sea Mode

      I meant to watch that. Now I definitely will!

      Seattle Seahawks GM John Schneider on draft board, Top 30 visits

    • Wilson502

      What did u interpret as “hints” from it?

    • Z$

      The comment about their draft choices not being influenced by the fan base jumped out to me. Gave me hope for QB. What jumped out to you?

      • Rob Staton


        And all of the stuff about the 30 visits

      • Patrick Toler

        The (almost) exact quote: “Some teams won’t take a player because they’re afraid of blowback from the fanbase, and I’m not sure we could do that because we believe in what we’re doing”

        Some people will interpret this as Jalen Carter but for sure could mean a quarterback as well.

        • cha

          *cough* Ken Walker *cough*

          • Nick

            Jahmyr Gibbs cough

        • EdS

          I was picturing Carter as the guy who blew off JS as just one of the staff, and then found out the next day in a group meeting that he was the GM.

        • Rob Staton

          I thought quarterback immediately

    • Sea Mode

      One thing that hit me right at the beginning which should have easily shut down all the talk about smokescreens and “no chance they take a QB” crowd:

      Imagine them going to Jody Allen and asking to use her private jet… for an elaborate smokescreen because we are not actually even considering drafting any of these QBs we are travelling to see.

      Now imagine they make this request because the possible future QB of the franchise they promised her when she signed off on trading RW could very well be one of these four and they want to make sure they nail the pick if they do go that direction. And Jody says OK, just send me some pictures as you go. 😉

      • Patrick Toler

        This is a great point. Of course the whole smokescreen talk is ridiculous anyway. Let’s have our decision makers spend a week flying around the country during draft prep to throw people off.

        Another comment I found interesting is that he says that evaluating players on field performance is the easy part compared to integrating their medical, mental, psychological, heart is what makes it hard. Which prompts me to recognize that there is a lot of information that the teams have that we just don’t have. Especially with the quarterbacks, whom they have obviously invested significant time in.

      • AL

        Thats an intersting take.

        How about this, Arizona goes QB at #3, theres no one to trade with and the QB’s all go in the first four picks.

        Could make a lot of sense for Arizona as they could sit their rookie QB for a year and trade Kyler Murray in 2024 for significant draft capital as well as a cap savings of $38.9 million.

        The possibilities with these four QB’s is really interesting.

        • Rob Staton

          1. How would they get significant draft capital in that situation? They would’ve told the entire league he isn’t wanted

          2. They would have a $46m dead cap hit in 2024 to trade him and would only save $5m

          • AL

            Article by NFL analyst Brad Gagnon shared his thoughts as to why the Arizona franchise may want to consider moving away from Kyler Murray.

            Gagnon noted salary cap concerns and the Cardinals’ prime position in the 2023 NFL Draft as potential reasons for trading Murray.

            “Still, the Cardinals could save $3 million against the 2023 cap by trading Murray after June 1, per Spotrac,” Gagnon said. “His ongoing recovery from the ACL tear might throw a wrench into that, but the fact even a 2024 trade would create significant cap savings for the Cardinals ($38.9 million) could cause them to consider taking C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young or Anthony Richardson with the No. 3 overall pick.

            “Arizona could take one of those guys now and then trade Murray for a slew of 2024 draft capital this summer or fall.”

            • cha

              Cleveland so badly overspent for Deshaun Watson and his baggage that wonks think any team can escape their QB problems and still get top dollar in return.

          • AL

            The 2024 season would be the first time a move with Murray would make fiscal sense. That season, his cap number is $45.6 million, and the dead cap is $33.2. Then, the Cards would actually save $12.4 million by getting rid of Murray, but would still be dealing with more than $30 million on the cap for him not to play for them.

            In 2026 and 2027, it begins to be beneficial to the Cardinals to get rid of Murray or renegotiate his deal. In those years, his cap vs. dead cap are $55.5 million/$20.2 million and $43.3 million/$7.2 million, respectively.

            • Old but Slow

              If they dump Murray they still need to pay whoever replaces him, so that money is part of the equation.

        • 509 Chris

          Murray would make such a toxic locker room if they drafted his replacement. Also I don’t know how much capital they would really get for him. (See Lamar Jackson) Once a team trades for him they’re committed to that contract. I think AZ is best to wait another year and see if they can get him back ok track, he has shown a lot of potential. They are a few years from being out of the top 5 or 7 picks anyway if they can’t get Murray going so they can always address qb again. I just don’t see any way it would make sense for them to go qb.

        • Purpleneer

          Arizona has the exact kind of roster that ruins young QBs, and they’re a long way from making enough difference, even if they use #3 well.

          • Patrick Toler

            The roster is a wreck, the qb is injured, their best two players could get traded, and (not unrelated) leadership from the owner down is horrible. AZ needs tough minded leaders on that roster. It would be silly for them to pass on Will Anderson unless they get offered an absolute hall to move down.

  8. Group Captain Mandrake

    Good stuff as always, Rob. The thing I have not been able to wrap my head around is the constant nitpicking of the QBs, and then at the same time saying that Jalen Carter or Tyree Wilson is the best defensive player in the draft and conveniently ignoring the big ol’ negatives about them..

    • Rob Staton

      100% this

      It’s as if QB flaws are overly discussed and D-line flaws are brushed aside

      • Wilson502

        On top of all that they don’t consider that DL is a lesser value position than QB.

      • Group Captain Mandrake

        I think part of it is that the QB is so important that people over analyze them. They have seen too many Baker Mayfields, Blake Bortles, etc. and are afraid it may happen to their team. Paralysis by analysis as it were. Personally, I look at pick number five as a freebie, particularly in the shallow top end of the draft. They have another pick so they can still get a quality player, and like you have said, if it doesn’t work out, go get another one later.

  9. MountainHawker

    Malik Willis might be the worst college QB I’ve watched. Not sure how he got a 6.42

    • PJ in Seattle

      Willis sure looked like a horrible QB when he stepped in at Tennessee last year. To the surprise of absolutely no one at this blog.

      Maybe he’ll put it together and become a serviceable or better NFL QB, but I highly doubt it. He’s the opposite of the Mahomes/Allen argument that you should prioritize traits over gametape. He was drafted later than expected and almost purely for his traits – and those certainly haven’t translated yet.

      • Cheese22

        So, his ceiling is Brett Hundley…at best. No thank you.

  10. EIEIO

    Another great post, Rob. It’s one thing to report on what simply shows on the surface, as many analysts seem to do; it’s totally different to take a deep dive into the intangibles that differentiate the elite player from the journeyman. I believe that’s why you have developed such a following. Intangibles can mean many things, including work ethic and character. But it can also mean putting talented-but-raw prospects into an environment where they can succeed. Based on what you have discussed on SDB these past several months, I do believe that Seattle is one of but a handful of franchises set up to provide this for the likes of Anthony Richardson and Will Levis. I hope things fall our way, it would be uber exciting to watch.

  11. HawkfaninMT

    So who is the QB coach for the Hawks, and is there any evidence that he can develop a QB?

    • Rob Staton

      It’s Greg Olson

      Coached Drew Brees at Purdue

      • Peter

        It’s almost like they got one of the best qb coaches at maximizing different talents that they could….

        • Rob Staton

          Fancy that…

          • Big Mike


    • Patrick Toler

      Greg Olson also worked with Marc Bulger with the Rams, Josh Freemen (who had a few good years) with the Bucs, and Goff (in his McVay seasons) in another stint with the Rams. 

      • PJ in Seattle

        We can have full confidence that Greg Olson will coach the hell out of whoever we draft at QB.

        • Steve Nelsen

          The Seahawks bringing in Olsen (and Olsen agreeing to come to Seattle) was very telling to me about Seattle’s intent to draft a QB to develop. I’m sure they discussed their QB plan with him. They told Geno about their interest in drafting a QB in his exit interview at the end of last season so you know that wasn’t some pre-draft smoke screen. And their PR throughout the combine/Pro-Day process has been preparing fans for this.

          • AL

            I agree and really hope they can get AR. Still Rob feels that if Will Anderson is their at #5 that they make take him over a QB. That still has to be considered.

            • Wilson502

              I just cant help but think that would be a massive mistake to take a “not special” OLB instead of going for the most valuable and impactful position (which is QB). Anderson is not even an elite prospect, hes basically another Nwosu. QBoTF is so much more valuable than adding another Nwosu to the roster.

              • Patrick Toler

                I would say Anderson’s floor is Nwosu with better run defense and a core leader. The upside is there for him to be much better (Khalil Mack?) if he develops significant pass rush moves. I’m all for qb though.

                • Wilson502

                  Even if Anderson was somewhere between his floor and his ceiling, he still doesnt have nowhere near the impact a franchise QB or QBoTF would have.

          • Brashmouse

            How soon people forget Lock was a first round pick with all k8nds of arm talent that needed coaching to fix the mistakes.

    • Z$

      Could be another reason they’ve been tied to high caliber centers this draft – a high quality starter who can take on some of the responsibility and calls at the line can be a young qb’s best friend.

    • LouCityHawk

      You might remember him from his work developing Jon Kitna, or orchestrating the best years of numerous QBs.

      Nice guy too, lovely wife.

    • Dr. Tim

      As soon as they hired Olsen, I said to myself, “Oh, so they’re definitely going to pick a quarterback to develop with their 1.5 pick!”

      • VanHawk

        Wow, you guys are all suckers.

        The Olsen hire, just did for a smoke screen to get Carter.

        Telling Geno they would be drafting a QB, smoke screen for carter.

        PR through the combine/pro days, smoke screen to get carter.

        Can’t believe you all fell for it.

    • Jim Kelly

      Greg Olson was also a graduate assistant at WSU. He saw a raw prospect in Timm Rosenbach coached up to a 1st round pick, only to flame out when he had bad coaching at the Phoenix Cardinals. I always wondered if that had an effect on his coaching?

  12. Mr Drucker in hooterville

    That’s it. Let’s hire Brian Daboll!

  13. Beacon of half truth

    Outstanding. This year is the best draft preview you’ve ever done IMO. What’s frustrating about the players this year is so many people are commenting that haven’t actually watched them play. Let alone study film.

    • Rob Staton

      Thank you

  14. PJ in Seattle

    The more people focus on the flaws of these QBs, the better. I feel like front offices have caught up now. Allen and Mahomes and, to a similiar extent, Herbert have shown that if a guy has the traits, you need to lean heavily in that direction vs. their college tape. Feels like those traits are starting to get pricied into the draft value now more than they were even 4 years ago.

    Sucks for us because we’re sitting here at #5 and may have to cough up capital to move up and get a guy such as Stroud or Richardson that would have been an easy get at #5 in past years.

    Still, I remain on the QBOTF train. Richardson or Stroud would have my pants off, but would take Levis at #5 and not look back either. Just too many reasons, laid out here in this blog repeatedly for months now, why ywe cannot let this shot at a franchise QB slip through our hands.

  15. Zach

    I think there was a time in NFL draft scouting where quarterbacks with big, strong arms were generally overrated – think Jeff George if you’re old like me, or Kyle Boller throwing the ball through the uprights from the 50 yard line on his knees, or what have you. I think that scared off a lot of draft analysts and even some analytics types away from talking about how physical tools and traits can absolutely be separators at the NFL level. Yes, Richardson and Levis in particular are unfinished products, and in the wrong hands a chunk of marble can just be a mess, but in the right hands, you can get Michelangelo’s David.

    I also think you’re spot-on that many analysts and fans tend to focus on downside with QBs and ignore it with other positions. The track record for all highly-drafted players has more misses than we’d like to see, but I do think that if the Seahawks are going to miss with the #5 pick (and certainly I hope they don’t!), I hope it’s missing on a player who has the potential to radically transform the next decade, and that means it almost has to be a QB.

    • PJ in Seattle

      This. Any player can bust – even the “safest” ones. See: Aaron Curry.

      The upside of hitting on a QB is so astronomically above the value at any other position that you have to absolutely take that risk if you’re given the chance. This is the first time in JS/PC’s tenure that we’ve even had the opportunity to consider it. I expect it not to be squandered.

    • Malanch

      David sure had nice abs and pecs, and probably would’ve broken DeForest Buckner’s combine record for hand size—but wow did he get…shorted…elsewhere, poor fellow. Can you imagine if Michelangelo had had Anthony Richardson as a model? Qualcuno mi porti una foglia di fico, affrettarsi!

  16. geoff u

    Excellent article once again, Rob.

    Want to see something funny? Go to 2:40 in this video and check this masterclass in playcalling:

    2nd and 8: Short WR screen to the left side. Dropped.
    3rd and 8: Same short WR screen to the left side. 6 yrd gain.
    4th and 2: Same short WR screen, but to the right side. Corner somehow knew this was coming. Pick 6.

    Is that interception on Levis?

    I’d also like to point out that Levis went 4-0 during Rodriguez’s suspension. And Kentucky also lost their bowl game 21-0 without Levis.

    Gotta run, I wanted to say a bit on AR, but no time so I’ll just say this: his pocket presence, feeling pressure, knowing when to step up, when to side step, when to run, while keeping his eyes downfield is absolutely outstanding. That is a special trait you cannot teach and will do him well in the NFL.

  17. Niro

    I remember when the off-season started and I started looking into this year’s draft I didn’t really think much of the QBs but the more I learn the more I get into the QB train. I think my preferences for Seattle are Richardson, Stroud, Levis, Young in that order but not really upset about any of them. Anderson would be a fantastic consolation prize but I would be a bit sad to not get a QB. This is the most excited I’ve been for the draft in a very long time

  18. Blitzy the Clown

    Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

    Cardinals’ Pro-Bowl safety Budda Baker now has requested that Arizona trade him, per source.

    3:50 PM · Apr 14, 2023


    • PJ in Seattle

      Gonna be a hot mess down there in Glendale for a while. You know Budda wants to play in Seattle someday. Sadly, don’t think we can find anyway to get him in under the cap now, unless we can somehow swap Adams for him?

      • Jason Nelson

        I’d love to have him on board, much as I wish they’d have taken him on draft day 2017 instead of Malik M. a pick earlier, but there’s no way on God’s green earth we could fit his salary on the team.

        • Peter


          Hope this draft rules and we see it on the field next season.

          But that draft is 100% why I’m not a trust the process guy.

          Forget tj watt. You bust in McDowell instead of drafting baker…..then you whiff on Thompson, lano hill,, and Mike Tyson….brutal.

    • Sea Mode

      Still tired of losing, I guess…

      • Huggie Hawks

        QB! QB! QB!

    • Tim M.

      We’ve got to get Buddha Baker. The Seahawks have two first round picks burning a hole in their pocket. $100 million on safeties or bust!!

  19. Jason Nelson

    I feel pretty confident that the Seahawks will stick and pick at #5, with a small chance they’ll trade up if they see THEIR GUY and worry they’ll get pipped and miss him.

    That said, I wonder if they’d trade back from #20, maybe multiple times. The PFN mock draft generator is no expert predictor, but within their algorithm it’s pretty easy to trade back from 20 and end up with something like 4 picks in round 2. If they’re not mortally attached to a specific player late in the 1st, I wonder how much they’d be willing to slide back to pick up more of those “good-but-not-great” lottery tickets in picks 30-70.

    • PJ in Seattle

      I’d swap #20 for 2 picks in the second this year with no hesitation.

      Unless there was some ridiculous faller there at #20. Like Bijan or Witherspoon. But having four 2nd round picks in this class would plug premium prospects in at a number of need areas.

    • Malanch

      “Within (PFN’s) algorithm it’s pretty easy to trade back from 20 and end up with something like 4 picks in round 2.”

      Four second-rounders from #20? Wha-wha-whaaaaat?!

      Absolutely no way, and not even close. Otherwise, teams would be pulling that off annually, because most drafts have that third tier running from the mid- to late-first through the second (and sometimes into the third) round, and what team wouldn’t prefer four such players to one?

      But I’d be cool with a REALISTIC downtrade (or series of downtrades) from #20, provided the value is there.

      • Jason Nelson

        To clarify, I said “end up with” something like 4 picks.

        Which is to say, we’ve already got two (37 & 52), so trade back from 20 and end up with two more, for a *total* of 4 second-round picks. Not get 4 second-round picks *just* for #20.

        You can often get an offer for something like #20 to the Eagles for #30 and #62, plus a future 5th. Or Buffalo for 27 and 59. Or Chargers 20 and 83 for 21 and 54. Or Jaguars 20 and 123 for 24 and 56.

        One of the common offers I see with PFN is trading 37 & 151 to the Bears for 53 and 61.

        Bills & Bears deals would leave you with 5, 27, 52, 53, 59, 61.
        Eagles & Bears would be 5, 30, 52, 53, 61, 62
        Chargers & Bears 5, 21, 52, 53, 54, 61
        Jags & Bears 5, 24, 52, 53, 56, 61

        Or Jags, then Bengals (24 and 83 for 28 and 60), then Bears (37 & 151 for 53 and 61), leaving us 5, 28, 52, 53, 56, 60, 61. Two firsts and FIVE seconds. And then a whole lot of nothing until the end of the draft.

        You keep one high pick. Then you’re squeezing your picks into the optimum value zone in that 25-75 zone.

        I’m not saying this is how human beings would operate, but it is interesting noting that the PFN mock seems to make it pretty easy to stock up second rounders (and even high third rounders – I was keeping it just to the second round for the sake of argument).

        • Malanch

          Oh, you mean totaling four second round picks, which would include the two picks already acquired. Yeah, that has to be a consideration for the Hawks, if they can get a bit lucky in finding teams who just have to have their guy. Bill Belichick has been brilliant over the years at stacking third-tier picks; in the 2009 draft, he pulled off four second rounders (#34, 40, 41, and 58), so there is precedent.

  20. Sea Mode

    Another fun listen, but those nails tho…

    DK Metcalf on Seahawks transition to Geno Smith, talks Bobby Wagner & trolls J-Mac | NFL | THE HERD

    • PJ in Seattle

      DK is ours… and you can’t have him.

    • Malanch

      Thanks for the link, Sea Mode. That’s an awesome interview. DK’s thoughtfulness and communication skills really stand out. Very clear-headed. The respect and appreciation he holds for the coaches and players who have helped him along the way cast him as a humble person deep down, despite any boastful comments he might be lured into making. Yeah, the Hawks did right by not ditching him in the fire sale they were supposed to have had last year (LOL).

  21. AL

    I really enjoyed this article and just about everything else you do on the blog. You just keep producing quality content. I just want to say thank you!

  22. Rob Staton

    Per Tony Pauline, Steve Hutchinson, now working for the Seahawks, met with Joe Tippmann earlier this week. The Seahawks sent Hutchinson to work out Schmitz too.

    Seattle will also look to trade down from 20 with the hope Tippmann or Schmitz are available later.

    • Sea Mode

      Added both to tracker.

      I was also thinking earlier, what players whom they have met with could be hedges for other players they might be interested in earlier?

      • Tbone4444

        Rob, this is why you are the best in the business. Honest, clear scouting and interpretation. You really should be a NFL GM, not just a scout. I mean it, thanks for doing what you do, we are truly lucky.

    • Blitzy the Clown

      It may take Tippmann a little longer to work in with the first team

      They probably prefer JMS but have the ability to pivot to Tippmann and work him in with Brown if JMS isn’t available after whatever trade down from 20 or trade up from 37 they make to take their C.

    • LouCityHawk

      I’ve always thought Tippmann looked a little better. Someone was trying to tell me he was too tall to play Center in the Seahawks offense.

      Pairing a rookie QB with a rookie Center makes a whole lot of sense.

      • Rob Staton

        In fairness Carroll said specifically a year ago they were going with shorter center’s in this scheme due to leverage

        • Malanch

          Joey Hunt fits the bill.

      • STTBM

        If Tippmann is picked by Seattle, or AZ is found to have considered trading with Seattle, I’m going to chuckle.

        Seattle always seems to pass on guys we are all certain they will like, often to take guys we weren’t as high on, and sometimes guys we never really considered. I’m expecting more of the same this year.

        I think after this draft, we’ll have a good idea of what types each unit is after, and positions of need will become less plentiful, and therefore more glaring. That should make guessing Seattle’s draft targets easier.

        Maybe Tippmann is a smokescreen to hide that Wypler is their Secret Plan B….I’m joking!

        This has been a weird draft season, I’m excited but nervous to see if we get one of the top 4 qbs…

      • PJ in Seattle

        I’ve been guilty if calling out Tippman as too tall for center in our scheme. Maybe they are reconsidering that.

        At 6’5, Max Unger was no Joey Hunt. That’s the last time we had a stalwart at center. Perhpas they are reconsidering the physical profile now that Russell is gone.

        I love TIppmann as a prospect . He’s been on my list and in some of my mocks as a guard with backup center flexibility. If he’s truly on their radar as a center, that would be great because they already have a couple of perfect scheme fits to consider:

        Olu Olu

        If you add Tippmann, Stromberg, and Avila to the list of center candidates despite their size, that’s a plethora of options to consider.

        • Rob Staton

          I’ve been guilty if calling out Tippman as too tall for center in our scheme. Maybe they are reconsidering that.

          Seems that way. Or they simply like Tippmann so much that they’re willing to overlook his taller frame

  23. Madmark

    Simulator gave me a chance to get Richardson and then it offered me a trade that I had to take. Texans offer 29, 65, and 161 for 20 and N. Fant I was shock. This the way it went.
    5 Anthony Richardson. QB
    29 Darnell Washington. TE
    37 John Michael Schmitz OC
    52 Drew Sanders. LB
    65 Antonio Johnson S
    83 Jonathon Mingo. WR
    123 Bryon Young. DE/DT
    151 Chris Rodriguez. RB
    154 Riley Moss. CB
    161 Broderick Martin. NT
    198 Antonio Mafi. OG
    239 Deneric Prince. RB
    UFA T.J. Bass. OG
    Nikki Remington. WR/ST
    I really like this mock because of the the trade.

    • London Seahawk

      Amazing haul but leaves the d line pretty thin after all the cuts they made there.

    • Jason Nelson

      I pretty much smash the *yes* button on any draft-day trade in the PFN Mock that lets me unload Noah Fant’s contract! 😀

  24. Jordan

    If Seattle goes QB at 5 I’d be fairly confident that it will ultimately work out.

    Reported interest in the aforementioned Allen and Mahomes; Seahawks Russ compared to post-Seahawks Russ; Geno with the Seahawks compared to Geno elsewhere. I think they trust that their environment is conducive to QB optimization.

    And I would love to see if they could follow that up with one of the TE prospects and a Center. As a stout interior oline and quality middle of the field targets can be a young QBs best friend. Quality bookend OTs, bigtime WRs, and stud RB are already in place.

  25. Joseph

    This is the truth I learned when it comes to picking quarterback:
    Doesn’t matter what system a quarterback played in college
    Mechanics isn’t necessarily important but good to have. But having the tools and ability to read defenses quickly.
    Coaching and a good destination matters more than anything.

    It doesn’t matter if quarterback is looked at as a generational qb. If he goes to a bad situation with a coaches that can’t develop him, chances are he’s going to fail. Look at players like Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and a good amount of qbs that fail in the last decade. Only qbs to go to bad situations and succeed were Stafford and Derek carr.

    Why are qbs like Mahomes Allen Jackson hurts succeeding? Because they have the coaches that can develop young talent.

    Look at Jared Goff. He looked like a bust under Jeff fisher until McVay brought out the best in him. Trevor Lawrence looked like a bust under Meyer until Doug Pederson came in.

    Realistically the team needs to be good enough to carry the QB before the QB can be good enough to carry the team. If a qb gets drafted to bad team and you expect him to turn the franchise around that early, chances are he’s gonna fail.

    This says a lot about offensive coaching more than anything. To separate the good off minded coaches from the bad, you have to see the coaches that can develop talent. Some offensive coaches look good because they inherited already qb talent. Look at Adam gase. He had Peyton manning in 2013 and gase failed to develop Darnold with the jets.

    If Seattle does draft a qb, I have faith in Schneider in picking one because he can evaluate qb talent good. I also believe Waldron will be capable of developing a qb, turning him into a star. Only time will tell.

    • PJ in Seattle

      “Realistically the team needs to be good enough to carry the QB before the QB can be good enough to carry the team.”

      That is a great line! Well done.

      • Joseph

        Haha thanks my man! I just look at Mahomes. He ended up in the best situation a young qb could ask for.
        I know fans would talk about:

        “Oh they chose Mahomes over trubisky”
        “Can’t believe the browns traded that pick away, they could’ve gotten him”
        “Oh would if the jets got him”

        What’s funny is if Mahomes ended up with either of those franchises. He would’ve been a busy. Those franchises as well as Washington are not good organizations for qbs that need to develop.

        Just over the years of watching qbs who turned into stars or busts. It’s extremely hard to determine whether or not they’ll succeed. You kinda can get an idea if they will succeed based on the team and coaches who are working with them. But the question is, whether they end up with good coaches or not, “can they read nfl defenses in their first few years?”

  26. All I see is 12s

    Excellent article as always Rob. From the bottom of my heart I want you to know how much I appreciate you in this blog, and the endless hours of content and the thought-provoking conversations you inspire. Thank you

    Watching this Carter situation makes me recall an interview John Schneider gave in 2020 after they failed to re-sign Clowney. Schneider made a comment about how some athletes have had their asses kissed since they were in middle school and how he was tired of dealing with that sort of attitude. does not Jalen Carter absolutely reek of this? He’s probably been getting special treatment his whole life. He doesn’t need Hardwork or grit because what he does, he does naturally and enough adults around him Will give him what he wants so they get what they want.

    Given their aggressiveness in free agency this year, I think signs point to the Hawks thinking they can win this year. You don’t sign Jones, Love and bring Bobby Wagner back to not win. But given the Geno Smith contract, I had another thought. What if locks larger than expected contract has more to do with the teams doubts that Gino can continue the progress he made in the first half of last season. Maybe lock is around to actually be Geno’s replacement this season if Geno is not up to par.
    If that’s even close to the situation, then why wouldn’t you draft one of these QBs with these elite traits to sit for a year or so. When will you have this chance again?

    • UkAlex6674

      100% about Carter and the way he/the Georgia players are treated. They are like gods in Georgia. Which means they have zero to little accountability off the pitch (and I’m not saying that’s all of the players by any means).

  27. Schadyhawk001

    Rhett Lewis & Cynthia Frelund Seahawks Mock Draft:
    1.5 Will Anderson
    1.20 Dalton Kincaid
    2.37 Emmanuel Forbes
    2.52 Mazi Smith
    3.83 TANNER MCKEE (??????)

    I would lose it if we took McKee in the 3rd round lol

    • Rob Staton

      Another bloody corner pick they won’t make

      • Schadyhawk001

        The media wants to convince us that Levis might slip out of the 1st round but on the same token Tanner McKee might go in the 3rd round?! Maybe I’m more invested because we have a top 5 pick but the mock drafts and talking heads have been driving me insane this year

    • Allen M.

      5, 20, 52 look good

  28. Peter

    Watching a pod where they are discussing trade down for cash reasons….

    But also talking about Jody not selling for five odd years.

    What a horrible way to build a team if both things are true.

    Also levis would not be a top ten pick in another draft? Weird. I think he would have gone top two last year….but that’s me.

    • Rob Staton

      Watching a pod where they are discussing trade down for cash reasons….

      But also talking about Jody not selling for five odd years.

      What a horrible way to build a team if both things are true.

      They aren’t

      As if they’re going to make the biggest free agency splash since arriving in 2010, only to then craft a draft strategy ‘to save cash’. Nonsense.

      • Peter


        Dang thanks for such a salient point.

        Of course that makes a ton of sense.

  29. Troy

    Have to have faith that JS/PC are in fact going with QB at 5. Richardson is the unicorn that John’s been hunting in the QB Garden for the last half decade. It FEELS like the best fit imaginable and at the same time the leaks of Houston going D, sudden surge of Levis being undervalued, Stroud being overvalued, Richardson being too big a risk…..

    Almost like the group manifestation of this blog is guiding this ship to port!

    Courtesy Matt Waldman:

    Anthony Richardson: Richardson may have less game experience at the college level than what’s desirable for an early- round draft pick. He is often criticized for his inaccuracies with pass placement, assessment of coverage, and throw/don’t throw decision-making.
    For most of the year, I’ve heard commentary that describes Richardson as raw. In terms of experience, this is true. In terms of working through types of coverage long enough not to get tripped up by looks that other top quarterbacks with more experience will, this is also true.
    However, in terms of Richardson displaying the ability to manipulate defenders, manage the pocket, and place the football, the idea that Richardson is raw couldn’t be further from the truth. This is why comparing Richardson to Malik Willis is an egregious mistake of superficial analysis that lacks the appropriate valuation of what’s most important about quarterbacking.

    Some NFL teams will regard him as a risky first-round selection because he’s a one-year starter. They’ll cite Trey Lance, Akili Smith, and the oft-mentioned rules for drafting a quarterback from Bill Parcells:
    • Minimum of three years as a starter.
    • A college senior.
    • A college graduate.
    • 30 starts.
    • 23 wins.
    • Deliver a 2-1 TD-to-INT ratio.
    • Minimum of a 60 percent completion rate.

    These rules are worthwhile guard rails to reduce risk. A head coach like Parcells can also do a convincing job of explaining why each rule has value. But they should be called guidelines rather than rules.
    Breaking rules implies negative consequences. Here is a short list of quarterbacks that did not meet all of the criteria of the rules. Some came close, some were missing several criteria:
    • Cam Newton
    • Patrick Mahomes
    • Trevor Lawrence
    • Andrew Luck
    • Matt Ryan
    • Tom Brady
    • Joe Flacco
    • Aaron Rodgers
    • Ben Roethlisberger

    There are several more I could have mentioned. Obviously, Parcells’ “rules” are meant to be broken in certain cases. I prefer to use the term guidelines because the closer the player is to fulfilling every guideline, the safer his prospects will be. This appeals to a head coach like Bill Parcells whose background doing hands-on work with players and scheme was with the defensive side of the ball.
    While many of these guidelines feel like timeless football wisdom, football and the analysis of the game have evolved since the Parcells era. There’s a lot more information available for teams to contextualize box score data. How well teams use this information is a different story, but they can examine accuracy independent of completion percentage and touchdown-to- interception ratios.
    Lamar Jackson’s and Baker Mayfield’s completion percentages were pre-draft points of analysis that I railed against. The prevailing point of view was that Jackson was a raw passer and Mayfield was the next coming of Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Brett Favre in one.
    Because we can examine accuracy independent of the box scores—and I did—the truth revealed that Jackson’s accuracy was actually an asset in the middle of the field whereas Mayfield’s was often a liability. The safest prospects according to
    Parcells’ guidelines won’t inexorably wreck your team’s performance, but it doesn’t mean players who do not meet every guideline aren’t worth a franchise-caliber investment.
    Prospects who don’t meet some of Parcells’ guidelines need to have compensatory factors that are compelling enough to override these guardrails. Richardson has uncommon combinations of skills and traits in one player and they are compelling compensatory factors:
    • Mobility and mature, economical pocket management.
    • A big arm and wise pass placement.
    • The ability to buy time and manipulate defenses from a static pocket position.
    • Big-play acceleration and stamina to maintain his top speed as a runner.
    • Power to break tackles and short-area movement to defeat pursuit angles.
    • Elite instinctual learning.
    Regardless of their athletic ability, the best quarterbacks win from the pocket and Richardson is arguably the best in this class at managing a pocket. You’re going to hear different opinions from some in the public analysis sphere, but they’re some of the same analysts who had reservations about the pocket skills of Jackson.
    Richardson’s biggest issue with pass placement is targets that sail due to his foot placement during his release motion. This is a correctable issue because it’s a singular part of the release process.
    The most egregious mistakes Richardson has made with pass placement were the result of Hero Ball—trying to deliver a big play under heavy pressure when getting the ball off is as much of a chore as earning good placement. I’ve seen countless instances where top prospects make egregious errors due to Hero Ball, including Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Stafford, and Patrick Mahomes as collegians.
    These lapses or displays of unrefined execution are all things we have seen quarterbacks improve upon with daily work/maintenance of their craft. This includes the names mentioned above.
    Because Richardson has far fewer starts than these three, he’s getting double-dinged for his mistakes and learning curve. What isn’t discussed as often are the number of opportunities Richardson has had to make significant gaffes last year and, instead, executed like a veteran college star who should acclimate quickly to the NFL. While growth isn’t linear and you’ll see isolated lapses later in the year, his rapid improvement has been impressive.

    Moreover, Richardson has skills that are much harder to teach. In multiple games—and often repeatedly in each game— Richardson showed his efficient pocket management, manipulation of middle-of-the-field defenders, and advanced pass placement into tight windows that protected his receivers.
    It’s difficult to teach each of these specific skills separately. The fact that Richardson combines them and generates productive outcomes is uncommon. This requires integration of three demanding skills and applying them with expertise— often in unrehearsed situations.
    I’ve been providing advanced scouting reports to quarterback coach Will Hewlett for the past two years. Hewlett worked with Brock Purdy before the 2022 NFL Draft. Richardson is one of Hewlett’s clients this year.
    Hewlett told me in March that Richardson is one of the best he has ever had on the white board and with film analysis. Hewlett says Richardson’s instinctual learning is elite. For me, that’s not new information, but a confirmation of what I’ve seen from his film in 2022.
    Let’s return to what I’ve seen repeatedly on Richardson’s film: He’s a quarterback who can place the ball in windows where only his receiver can earn the ball, in a window he manipulated open while efficiently maneuvering away from pressure in a crowded and leaky pocket.
    This is like telling a saxophonist to learn the unwieldy harmonic changes of Cherokee and improvise over the harmony at a tempo of 400 beats per minute in front of a stadium-sized audience on national television. Each of these four things are hard to do on their own.
    If Richardson were the saxophonist with limited playing experience on a big stage, he’d not only handle the blistering pace and complex harmony, but he’d also be tastefully incorporating licks he learned from unrelated songs and building
    compelling musical themes with the band that brought the audience to its feet.

    Richardson has the highest ceiling of the quarterbacks in this class and his floor isn’t nearly as low as characterized—think Matthew Stafford’s ups and downs more than anything remotely Malik Willis-like. Because Richardson is about to make a second significant jump in competition within the past two years, it’s likely you’ll see significant highs and lows if he starts immediately for a bad team.
    This will give his naysayers ammunition to maintain their stance that he’s raw. They’ll be looking at the box score. Contextually, I anticipate a lot more signs of big things that will eventually come from Richardson as his career unfolds. As long as he doesn’t have multiple offensive coordinators and a turnstile with his offensive support, expect Richardson’s promise to bloom within 16-24 games.
    Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t remotely as athletic as Richardson or Josh Allen, but he was an excellent pocket manager in his prime with a big arm who also could win in the quick game. Roethlisberger, like Allen, was a gritty pocket player. Allen is far more dynamic of a runner early in his career than Roethlisberger ever was, but both extend plays in and outside the pocket as throwers.
    If you could combine the size and athletic ability of Allen, Cam Newton, and Daunte Culpepper with the pocket skills, game management, and passing potential of Roethlisberger and Allen, you’ve got Richardson’s upside.
    Richardson has the ceiling to combine the best of these players. If he doesn’t reach these heights, I still think he can be on par with Newton and Culpepper—whose careers were statistically similar during their prime years despite the differences in supporting cast. Culpepper as the more efficient passer and Newton the superior runner.
    Although you’re going to hear so much about the risks because of overvalued box score stats, I recommend embracing the undervalued analysis in this publication that applies contextual data generated from quality game charting and well-defined evaluation criteria. It’s a big reason why I was not high on the likes of Drew Lock, Baker Mayfield, or Zach Wilson but was far more bullish on Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Russell Wilson.
    Richardson has work to do, but he’s closer to a young Roethlisberger, Allen, or Matthew Stafford in terms of mistakes he’ll make than he is a young Malik Willis. Those are vastly different entry points for development than characterized. I’d leverage this type of analysis to your benefit.

    • Zeke


      • Troy


        (Matt Waldman)
        Elevator Pitch: Imagine a quarterback who is as fast as Justin Fields, but 17 pounds heavier, has a vertical explosion of 40 inches and has a more nuanced understanding of how to manipulate coverage despite playing 12 fewer games in college. What about a passer with arm talent on par with Josh Allen but with more consistent pocket management and smarter pass placement than Allen had in college? Until Richardson came along, you wouldn’t have dared.
        And if that’s not enough, consider that Richardson is one of the most impressive learners on and off the field that his quarterback coach Will Hewlett has seen—including Hewlett’s recent success story, Brock Purdy. The best way to visualize Richardson’s comparison spectrum isn’t a straight line but that of a pyramid with Richardson the top point and the other players’ feeding into his game from either side of the spectrum. He’s a unique amalgamation of player styles.
        For those of you who can’t get past the 58 percent completion rate, interceptions, and untimely errors, consider that the nature of Richardson’s errors are more akin to problems that we saw with the likes of Matthew Stafford, Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck, and Ben Roethlisberger. If they were the type of errors linked to Drew Lock, Zach Wilson, and Baker Mayfield, there would be reason for concern.
        Read the segment on Richardson in the Underrated and Platform Accuracy section of this chapter and you’ll learn why accuracy and interception data from the box score lacks the contextual power to provide an optimal evaluation of a quarterback.
        Richardson is raw if defining raw as inexperienced—perhaps in the same way that Queen’s Gambit’s Beth Harmon was inexperienced playing tournaments. However, if you’re defining raw as technically and conceptually unskilled—like Malik Willis, for instance—then you’re using the wrong definition.
        Richardson, like Josh Allen, will likely have significant highs and lows on the field as he acclimates to starting in the NFL. And like Allen, Richardson should develop into a star.

    • Justaguy

      Didn’t read this first before I posited my trust. I really don’t see any other option being the #1 pick

    • Patrick Toler

      Waksman is one of the best in the business and his opinion on Richardson strengthens my belief that Richardson should be the target. I just hope that we don’t let anyone else trade above us and nab him.

    • London Seahawk

      Wow – if I wasn’t already pro AR then whewee…

      Will he be there at 5!!!

      I don’t like the idea of using precious stock when we’ve still so many holes…
      But this makes me consider it more.

      Dream scenario is he just falls to us anyway…

      Thanks for posting this

    • geoff u

      Excellent write up, Troy

    • Robert M

      That Cherokee reference is something else – is Richardson the Charlie Parker of the NFL?

  30. samprassultanofswat

    I like Tippmann a ton. However, he probably does not fit the Seahawk scheme.

    • seahawkward

      Why would the Seahawks bother with having Hutch go see him then?

      • PJ in Seattle

        Becuase he projects as a hell of a guard, as well. I like him a lot but have been assuming they wouldnt see him as a center fit since he’s 6’6. Possible that they’ve had a change in philosophy though.

  31. Justaguy

    Anthony Richardson completes the circle. I was a Will Levis guy but this draft screams Anthony Richardson

  32. clbradley17

    Bodycam footage from the police just after the accident questioning Jalen Carter. He repeatedly lies to them about how close he was, that he only heard it, and then denies racing.

    Again shows his character. Instead of telling the truth about how the accident happened, tells lies to minimize his role and distance himself from the situation after people died. Sounds like a brutal accident where the other vehicle hit a curb and went through multiple telephone poles and trees.

    • Rob Staton

      That is a very uncomfortable watch

      And I guarantee, unlike being suggested in the media, teams won’t just consider the matter closed and will have done plenty of work to establish what happened that night

  33. Mr drucker in hooterville

    Baker wants out of AZ. Think they’d take Adams😀?

  34. London Seahawk

    Can I just say, love reading the comments section here these days. Buzzing with great additional content and footnotes from Robs pieces – love it!

    Thanks to all the regulars for taking the time to share their thoughts and insights.

  35. OTS

    Setting aside the off-the-field portion of the comp, Anthony Richardson’s floor is Colin Kaepernick.

  36. Sea Mode

    Arye Pulli

    Fresno State QB Jake Haener has met with 7 teams and will be visiting the #Lions next week, per source.

    – The #Raiders and #Jets met with Haener at Fresno State.
    – Haener visited the #Saints and #Browns in-person.

    Met the #Cardinals, #Seahawks, and #Commanders virtually.

  37. clbradley17

    You replied to a recent podcast ? that CB Witherspoon might be the meanest player in the draft. Exhibit A:
    That kind of play fires up the whole team + the stadium if you’re at home.

    On PFF about RB Robinson: “This year, he broke the PFF College record for the most forced missed tackles in a season (104) while his 39% career forced missed tackle rate is tied with Javonte Williams for the best. Robinson’s the only prospect in the 2023 class where the “generational” label truly applies.”

    Mentions he is rated higher than Giants RB Barkley and may not be a RB as high since Adrian Peterson. Could be tempting if he’s still there at 20.

    • PJ in Seattle

      Bijan and Witherspoon are the two players who, if they fell to #20, would keep me from trading back. I doubt it happens but if either one is there with our second pick, I’d grab them without thinking twice.

  38. Sea Mode

    Finally dug up a TE we have met with… and it happens to be the one Rob just mocked to us!

    Tom Dienhart
    ·Mar 28

    #Purdue TE Payne Durham has had interviews (in-person and/or Zoom) with the following NFL teams:

    Added to tracker, of course:

    • clbradley17

      He looked like the best blocking TE during Senior Bowl week and had a couple big plays in the game.

      • geoff u

        Great blocking tight TE? Sounds like an excellent late round Seahawk pick

    • AL

      I’m not sure how accurate it is, but have you looked at the the Walter Football Draft Visit Tracker?

      Has the following players that are not listed on your spread sheet,

      Jake Andrews, Center, Troy (PRI) private meeting
      Calvin Avery, Defensive Tackle, Illinois (PRI)
      Ronnie Bell, Wide Receiver, Michigan (PRO)
      Anthony Bradford, Offensive Tackle, LSU (PRI)
      Jaydon Grant, Safety, Oregon State (LOC)
      Daiyan Henley, Linebacker, Washington State (COM)
      Nick Herbig, 3-4 Outside Linebacker, Wisconsin (PRI)
      Dequan Jackson, Linebacker, Colorado State (PRO)
      Darrell Luter Jr., Cornerback, South Alabama (VIR)
      Jartavius ‘Quan’ Martin, Cornerback, Illinois (PRI)
      Rezjohn Wright, Cornerback, Oregon State (LOC)
      Byron Young, Defensive End, Tennessee (PRI)

  39. Cysco

    Apparently the Colts have made up their minds and will be taking Levis according to ESPN.

    Saw this come across my feed this morning. (Apologies if it was already posted)

    “Matt Miller of ESPN reported that the Colts will select Will Levis with the fourth overall pick if it comes down between him and Anthony Richardson. “They (Colts) need a Day 1 starter from this rookie class, too, and Levis is currently ahead of Anthony Richardson (Florida) for Indianapolis, according to sources close to the team, because he’s more likely to be able to play right away.”

    • Rob Staton

      It has felt that way for some time

      But remember when everyone dropped Levis in their mocks because gym workouts?

      • Cysco

        Yeah, interesting to see it start getting reported basically as fact. “This will happen”

        Seems like we can etch picks one and four in stone.

        • PJ in Seattle

          Hope it’s true, but why would the Colts leak this? How does letting other teams know you’re locked in on Levis help you in any way?

          • PJ in Seattle

            Unless they are trying to bait other teams into moving up to #3 for Levis.

          • Rob Staton

            I don’t think we need to even give this report/speculation credence to appreciate what is being said should be very predictable

            It’s an ideal fit

          • seahawkward

            It could be that the Colts don’t want anyone trading with the Cardinals to draft Richardson ahead of them. Telling the world you are locked in on Levis could tell a team like Seattle to not worry, you can yet Richardson at 5.

            • Rob Staton

              Richardson to the Colts isn’t as good a fit as Levis and teams will know it

        • Rob Staton

          And we’ve been all over Levis to Indy for weeks if not months

  40. Troy

    This article is a must re-read daily until draft day. Excellent work Rob.

    Also agree with your latest mock on 1-5. Commanders,Titans, Raiders come up to 3 for CJ.

    Link is a reminder of how badly ‘experts’ can get it wrong, and how big of an ass Skip Bayless is

  41. NCHawk

    Rob have you looked much at QB Holton Ahlers from East Carolina?

    If we go Will Anderson at 5 and miss on the big 4 QBs, wondering if he’d be a possible late round flyer or UDFA.

    • Rob Staton

      I haven’t no

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