Monday notes: Seahawks would be picking 8th

There’s something about Matt

I’m a little bit confused by the way people are reporting Matt Barkley’s pro-potential. The most bizarre thing I think I’ve read all year was Todd McShay’s justification for having him at #22 on his big board. Here’s how McShay described Barkley:

Barkley is a natural leader with a high football IQ and good short-to-intermediate accuracy and touch and a quick release and adequate arm strength to make all the NFL throws

That sounds pretty good to me, just what the Seahawks and several other teams could use right now. Such is the importance of the quarterback position, I don’t believe you can judge them in the same way as other players. To me, if you don’t have a franchise quarterback and a player is worth taking in round one it doesn’t matter whether that’s 2nd overall or 22nd you draft the guy. Once you invest that round one pick in a quarterback, you’re making a statement that this is your man. The implementation of a rookie pay scale increases that belief, making any round one quarterback completely affordable and removing some of the previous horrific cap-crisis risk.

If there’s a quarterback with high football IQ, who’s a natural leader, with good accuracy, touch and a quick release with the arm strength to make all the NFL throws (McShay’s words) why isn’t he in the top ten?

To compound matters, McShay also has some strange picks ahead of Barkley. Melvin Ingram (DE, South Carolina) has made some big plays this year, no question about it. However, he’s 6-2 / 270lbs and looks like an undersized defensive tackle. He has no obvious role in the NFL, he’s a classic tweener. Sure, he’s athletic for his size and he’s created a bit of a niche for himself with the Gamecocks, but a round one pick? Really?

What about another player in Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB, Alabama) described by McShay as, “a DE/OLB tweener who won’t fit in with all teams.” Alameda Ta’amu (NT, Washington) is above Barkley, so is talented but problematic Janoris Jenkins (CB, North Alabama).

There’s no rhyme or reason to the Barkley grade especially given the glowing review that accompanies it. I suspect it’s because there’s a fashionable opinion right now to describe Barkley as an unspectacular athlete. Only this weekend Wes Bunting at the NFP tweeted, “USC QB Matt Barkley isn’t the most gifted kid, but is in complete control of offense.” How do we define gifted these days? Arm strength and running ability? Cam Newton had lots of that, but strangely a number of high profile pundits (read: nearly every single one of them) held back from pumping his tires last year because he lacked a lot of the plus points Barkley has such as the technique and football IQ.

It bemuses me why there’s such a difference of opinion on Barkley, who looks every bit a brilliant QB prospect to me just in different ways to the Newton’s of this world. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong down the line and he won’t live up to the expectations I have for his career. However, I firmly believe that if he declares and the Seahawks are fortunate enough to be in position to draft him next April they shouldn’t be thinking about any other player in the draft. With Pete Carroll running the show, at least the best qualified person to judge Barkley is making the final call – whether he’s drafted by the Seahawks or not.

**To see game tape of Matt Barkley leading USC to victory over rivals Notre Dame last Saturday, check the video at the top of this blog post courtesy of JMPasq**

Seahawks would pick 8th

If the season ended today (FAO those who watched the Browns game – it won’t) the Seahawks would own the 8th overall pick according to our friends at NE Patriots Draft. The following teams would be picking before Seattle: Indianapolis, St. Louis, Miami, Minnesota, Arizona, Jacksonville and Carolina.

The most important question is how many of those realistically would be in the market for a quarterback and it’s pretty clear the answer is two. That could change if the Colts don’t own the #1 pick because they won’t necessarily look for the next best quarterback if they miss out on Andrew Luck. If a similar scenario presented itself next April it would be in Seattle’s best interests for Miami to pick first, take Luck away from Indianapolis and potentially giving the Seahawks a realistic shot at whichever quarterback they rank #2 on the board.

On Sunday I was in London to watch the Chicago-Tampa Bay game at Wembley. Using two phones (my battery died) I kept up with the Seahawks game, leading to a very disappointing four hour journey home afterwards knowing Cleveland had won my a meagre 6-3 scoreline. This is still a team in rebuilding mode, but I came away with two striking conclusions (I had a lot of time to think during that four hours)…

Firstly, the Seahawks are the worst kind of bad team at the moment. The injuries are mounting up, yet there’s still enough quality there to win football games. Seattle’s in that middle ground area, seemingly out of realistic playoff consideration (unless San Francisco implodes) but not awful enough to grab a top-five pick. There’s still two games against hopeless St. Louis and a further encounter with the equally poor Cardinals. Home games against Washington and Cincinnati are certainly manageable. Seven wins wouldn’t be a total shock, but it’s not going to be enough to fluke a playoff berth this year. I’m not one of those people who wants the team to deliberately lose for draft position – evidenced by the fact I’m travelling 5000 miles to Seattle this weekend for the Bengals game. However, if it’s a case of picking 8th or 15th come the end of the season, the team would significantly benefit more by owning the earlier pick.

We all know why and that brings me on to point two…

This team absolutely cannot for any longer delay the acquisition of a long term quarterback. Let’s beat this drum until it bursts. No more stop gaps, no more trades or re-treads picked up in free agency. Next off season will be the introduction to year three of this regime and front office – it’s time they put their faith and investment in ‘their guy’. If it costs picks to move up, so be it. It will be unacceptable if this team doesn’t address that situation next April. Of course, we may review this if Matt Barkley and a lot of the other underclassmen simply don’t declare because the team can’t draft a guy who’s not physically available. However, if everyone declares as expected it’s time to end this tiresome debate once and for all.

Congratulations to Austin Davis

Regulars will know I rate Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis very highly indeed. This week not only did he lead his team to a great win over SMU, he was also named as a finalist for the CLASS award which is given to a NCAA FBS senior who has notable achievements in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. Davis has already graduated with a degree in business administration and has broken many of Brett Favre’s old records for the Golden Eagles.

We’re striving to supply more Southern Miss tape this year to try and raise awareness for a player who really deserves a lot more attention than he’s getting.

Logan Harrell continues to impact games

Another sleeper who deserves more credit is Fresno State defensive lineman Logan Harrell. He had another sack at the weekend in Fresno’s loss to Nevada. In 1.8 seasons for the Bulldogs, Harrell has 15.5 sacks and a cluster of tackles for a loss. He’s constantly in the backfield and although he doesn’t carry elite size to play inside, he’ll have a role in the NFL predominantly as a five-technique who can move inside on third downs.

Harrell is also the proud owner of a world class moustache, which warrants an even higher grade than usual.


  1. Jmpasq

    Mcshay is the worst draft guy in the business . I feel like he is just there to be the Ying to Kipers Yang

    • Colin

      Agreed. He constantly changes his stuff after Kiper does, and when Walter football seems to make a change… sure enough, “Sun Tan Man” (McShay) follows suit.

      Note: Sun Tan Man is product of Walter football, not my own name.

      I do like Walterfootball’s site. They have good sources and in the final week or so before the draft can pretty much nail whose going where, although it should be noted they were not sending James Carpenter to Seattle at 25.

      • Rob

        Walter’s a great guy and runs a great site, I have nothing but respect and time for Walterfootball and visit it every other day.

        However – Walter also had Jimmy Clausen going #1 overall for a long time and argued a lot against Todd McShay saying he would go in round two. For the basis of fairness, we have to mention that.

        • Kyle

          I think Kiper annoys me more than McShay. I am not alone as Kiper is on dickipedia.

          Sorry Rob if the link is not ok, I will edit and delete if needed. A little humor after a loss to the browns like this week is needed. 🙂

          • Kyle

            Just realized after I posted I cannot delete.

          • Rob

            We all need a bit of humor after Sunday!

  2. Chris

    Worst case scenario lets say Indy gets the first pick and the Phins #2. Indy would snag Luck (or trade out maybe) and the Phins need to pick a QB. I know you are worried they will rate Barkley higher and draft him but it seems the majority opinion in draftland is that Landy Jones is the #2 QB. Isnt it possible that the Phins would take Jones and leave Barkley to slide on down to us perhaps?

    Also the team which concerns me the most is still the Browns. They have some serious draft capital to throw around if they need to move up and there is still a decent chance they will finish worse than us and draft higher anyways.

    • Rob

      I think that’s very possible Chris regarding Miami/Jones – I certainly hope so. A good shout too on Cleveland who absolutely must find a quarterback in the same way Seattle needs to. This is why when all is said and done I expect several QB’s to go in the first two rounds again – this may become a regular thing. Teams need quarterbacks, they’ll do what it takes to find one and now the rookie pay scale will encourage teams to take more shots at finding the guy.

    • PatrickH

      Don’t forget about the Redskins and the Broncos. Depending on how John Beck and Tim Tebow play, those teams could end up in the mix as well.

      • Kyle

        Yes, I thought the Skins were going to snag a QB in the first round last year. Surprise! Perhaps Shananananana the genius was waiting for this years draft thinking by playing Beck and Grossman he would be guaranteed the first pick. Oops.

    • PatrickH

      Also, if it’s not Andrew Luck, then Miami’s choice will depend on the new coach. If it’s Gruden (as rumored), he may choose a QB more experienced in the West Coast Offense, which would be Barkley.

      • Finnian

        Gruden signed a new contract with ESPN so it will not be him.

        • FWBrodie

          It’s 5 years. No doubt there is an opt out clause in the case Gruden should land a coaching job.

  3. FWBrodie

    Way better than the Cal game in terms of assertiveness with his throws (less floaters) and accuracy/decision making I thought. Although he is straight-line slow, he flashed Rodgers like pocket awareness and agility. That was nice to see.

    Robert Woods in an amazing player.

  4. David

    it would be great so see us nab Barkley with Miami getting Jones, Maybe they see Jones as a better, More Nfl Ready QB then Barkley, if so thats great, id love to have Barkley then well since your CB’s are dropping like flies..maybe get a CB in the 2nd round and with a 3rd round pick getting Frank Alexander the OU pass rushing DE, Hes a hell of a good DE, ived liked him since the FSU game he played, constantly rushing the QB.

  5. Rob

    For those wanting a second positive opinion on Barkley, check out this piece by Mike Loyko at NE Patriots Draft:

  6. Aaron

    I like both Luck and Barkley for their pocket presence alone. So if they are not available for the draft next year I fear the FO will pick a QB due to the pressure of the Seattle community and the mainstream media. However, if they do pick a QB (not Jones not Jones), it will probably define their career in Seattle.

    A question Rob and others, as coach Carroll is a defensive guru, do you think he will give the role of picking the QBOTF to the Quarterbacks coach Carl Smith and/or Darrell Bevell, or will Coach decide who his Quarterback will be, or will the coaching staff work together to find their optimal quarterback (like a employer asking the employees what is best for the future of the company)?

    • Rob

      Hey Aaron,

      I’ve no doubt that Pete Carroll will be picking any quarterback this team has, working alongside John Schneider. It’s Carroll’s project, his vision. Although he’s a defensive coach, he also knows what he wants from his offense and it’s being devised as he sees fit. Of course the scouts, coaches and front office all have input, but when it comes to making a decision rest assured it will be Carroll who chooses this team’s future.

      • David

        yah i was wondering the same thing kind of

        Tom Cable picked his O-line last draft

        and well as we all know we need a QB now

        who gets to pick? Darrell bevel? or Carroll? and yah since its Carrolls team, i believe he will make the pick and i trust in him, with whoever we pick, he was right with Jackson

        although Jackson isnt gonna win us a SB, we didnt ask him too, hes a good QB and hes gotten into a rhythm lately i believe.

        Trust in Carroll.

  7. Jim

    My worst nightmare is the Seahawks drafting in the middle of the 1st Round. Barring devine intervention, the play of Tavaris Jackson isn’t gong to quiet the demands for a QBOTF. Either the FO will have to sell the farm to Miami or Indy and gimp the team’s continuing rebuilding process (the D needs some love too) or reach for one of the second tier QBs like the Vikings did with Christian Ponder.

    Question for Rob; given the team need for a QB, would someone like Austin Davis, Robert Griffin or someone I can’t think of be worth a mid round reach for the Hawks?

    • Kyle

      Selling the farm is scary. I just read on by Albert Breer stating he was told, or believes, a team would have to give up all of the teams picks for two years!! That is just silly. Please tell me a team wouldn’t give up all of their picks for two years for Luck?!

      • FWBrodie

        I believe selling the farm would be warranted given the exponential growth potential of your entire team with improved QB play. In other words, you upgrade QB all the weapons on offense gain value, the O-line gains value, the defense improves (TOP, playing with leads, etc.), you’re coaching staff looks better, and on and on.

        The other factor is the massive amount of cap space the Seahawks possess. Free agency will be a huge source of incoming talent.

        It is difficult to predict whether PCJS agree as they have protected draft capital in most cases and seem to value it highly. Then again, the times they have spent it outside the draft have been on QB’s.

      • Rugby Lock

        EVERY draft pick for two years… too high a price…
        This years first and the next two years first round picks… oh yeah…

        • Kyle

          Yeah, I would be happy to give up 3 first rounders, and maybe a once 2nd. But all..Too much. One bad car accident…

    • Rob

      Hi Jim,

      In a word -absolutely.

  8. darnell

    – I have a feeling that Barkley is the Hawks QBOTF. Just a feeling that they’ll do what it takes.

    – Barkley’s oline looks terrible. Amazing discipine not to have thrown a crap-load on ints.

    – I hope we can get Shea McClellin (I see him having a Clay Matthews/Brooks Reed type of slit at the combine) from Boise or O’dell Willis from the CFL to add to the DE rotation.

  9. Kip Earlywine

    Watching Keith Price has actually made me feel that Barkley is a very real option for the Seahawks. Price has been, on the whole, extremely effective for the Huskies this year in a point guard role, without almost any ability to run the ball due to injuries. When I watch Barkley, sure, his athleticism looks below average, but his speed isn’t as bad as his athleticism and he runs intelligently. Being a point guard type isn’t about passing for 3000 and rushing for 1000 more. Its just about making solid, smart decisions all the time. When Barkley runs, he may not make highlight reels, but they are consistently positive, smart plays.

  10. Colin

    Interesting note I heard Rob. Today Warren Moon was on the “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd, and Cowherd asked for Warren’s take on the Seahawks football team after Colin made the point (a bit exaggerated if I might add) that Seattle had spent a ton of money and draft stock on CW and TJ. Warren liked what Pete was doing (didn’t expect much negative with him being a Seahawks radio play by play) but he was also asked about Barkley. Warren didn’t seem to think Barkley would be an elite guy, but could be a great fit for the Hawks and the offense Pete Carroll likes to run.

    You can hear the piece on ESPN radio website. Encouraging stuff.

    Off note, that hit Kam Chancellor put down yesterday was awesome. Beautiful form tackle. A man possessed. Seattle might have two Pro Bowl safeties in the secondary.

    • Kip Earlywine

      Chancellor is playing at a higher level than Thomas this year. Both statistically and by the eyeball test. He may not get noticed nationally or make pro bowls (even though he really, really should), but that’s a good thing come contract time.

      • Kyle

        I loved watching Chancellor play. I even had a dream about our safty positions. Too much football perhaps before bed. I just wish the Corners were just as encouraging.

      • FWBrodie

        If Kam keeps rocking somebody every week as he has been doing, he’s going to become nationally recognized fast. Picks obviously help as well.

  11. Patrick G.

    If the draft stays around where it is now, I almost think that Robert Griffin III will end up as the Seahawks’ next QB.

    Let’s say Indy picks first = Luck. Miami second = Barkley or Jones. Denver will offer more than us to trade up for whichever of the three remains. Elway is dead set on blowing up the Tebow experiment – as demonstrated by trading Brandon Lloyd and basically having John Fox install no Tebow-friendly spread offense concepts or screen passes during the bye.

    If Indy, Miami, and Denver all pick ahead of us, that leaves us with either Tannehill or Griffin, I guess.

    If you look at the prototype of quarterback the Seahawks have gone after this year – Tarvaris Jackson and Josh Portis – Robert Griffin III certainly seems like a much, much better version of the same sort of concept. I get he’s got the major footwork issues, but I’ve seen him put some throws in NFL windows notwithstanding his mechanical issues. Plus, I don’t care what offense you’re in, ~80% completion percentage w/ 10+ YPA is golden. That combined with his legit near-Olympic-level athleticism, work ethic, leadership, character, etc and I see the Hawks taking a chance on him.

    We both commented during the last draft (when Luck was still in the picture) how much we wanted Cam Newton to fall to the Hawks. We need a dynamic, superstar potential guy here in Seattle. Matt Barkley just screams “good” to me. Griffin might have that something extra, given a year to develop and fix his issues. Overdrafting him might get some funny looks, but then again how many funny looks would we have gotten taking Josh Freeman at #4 in 2009 instead of “world’s safest pick” Aaron Curry. Oh wait, we would look like geniuses…

    • Kip Earlywine

      Barkley was one of the very top high school QB recruits in the nation when he signed with USC, and not because of his elite size, athleticism, or speed (like Jake Locker). It was because he was just a plain good quarterback, and he’s done nothing at USC to change that. I feel that, if Barkley reaches the Seahawks pick, wherever that may be, he’s our version of the Aaron Rodgers opportunity, another very talented quarterback who was under-rated for the strangest reasons. Plain and simple, Seattle HAS to make that pick if it happens.

      I have a very hard time imagining Robert Griffin being successful in the NFL. He makes Tim Tebow look like Drew Brees. But, I can see the alure of drafting him, as like Cam Newton, his potential is simply enormous. As much as I stick up for Ryan Tannehill, the truth is he might not even be the best quarterback prospect on the team if he’s drafted (Portis grades better in several areas). If Seattle is going to draft a quarterback outside of round 1, then it would make some sense to at least swing for the fences as hard as possible as it gives the roster something it had before.

      Not to imply that I’m against drafting Tannehill, just the opposite, but getting Tannehill would kind of be like doubling down on our bet with Portis. That’s fine though because its better to bet on two guys than just one. Having potentially two good quarterbacks is a good problem to have.

      • Kip Earlywine

        I think the reason guys like McShay have Barkley so under-rated is because they have noticed the surface level parallels between him and Jimmy Clausen. Both were very highly recruited QBs coming out of college, both are about the same size/weight (6’2″ 222 vs. 6’2″ 220), both played in pro-style offenses, both were known more as passers than athletes, and both had the specter of leadership concerns (Clausen interviewed poorly, got punched in the face; Barkley has gone on record saying he’s only at USC to get ready for the pros, and there are rumors that the USC locker room has a poisonous atmosphere.) They even look a little alike.

        Obviously, Clausen is well on his way to being a bust for Carolina, and I think guys like McShay want to look good on their predictions. They aren’t running an actual NFL team, the only thing they have to worry about is their own reputation and egos.

        Of course, Barkley is a far different and superior QB to Clausen on the field. But at this stage in the season, I doubt most of the draft experts have looked at a ton of tape yet, and they are making predictions based more on surface level impressions.

      • FWBrodie

        The Tebow/Brees comment was WAAAAAY overboard.

        • Kip Earlywine

          Griffin’s technique across the board is really, really, really ugly. I don’t know if I could quantify it, but in terms of work to be done, I’d say the challenge is at least twice that of reforming Tebow.

          • FWBrodie

            I disagree. Tebow’s gruesome release being exhibit A. My god it’s so terribly awful and slow. You cannot swing the ball down to your thigh every time you throw it.

            Griffin gets it out quick and the accuracy is much better.

            End of argument I’d say.

  12. Jim

    I would pick Robert Griffin III over Barkley. The reason is that I prefer a quarterback that has to throw the ball to win. Baylor has a porous defense, they have to keep putting points on the board to win. Griffin has been throwing and throwing, and has a great record.

    USC has always been the big bulies of the Pacific. They have a strong running game, and so Barkley doesn’t have to throw the ball to win. Yes he makes some throws, I especially like his deep passes.

    But the stats don’t lie, and they show that Griffin has higher marks than Luck at quarterbacking. I don’t care what someone says about his feet, Griffin is the real deal.

    • Matt

      USC’s running game is actually not great this year. Barkley definitely has great weapons and good protection, but this is definitely not the 2005 USC team in which Matt Leinart simply made long hand offs due to a combination of passing windows and weapons. Don’t forget that USC was still RB by committee then, they just happened to have two 1,000 yard rushers on top of 3,000 plus yards passing. That was a completely different animal than the USC we see today.

      *Robert Woods is unreal though. That said, Barkley makes every kind of throw and his ability to go through progressions (IMHO) is much better than Luck. The speed at which he goes through reads is simply awesome to watch. Don’t forget that Tom Brady and Drew Brees are not known for their physical talents but rather their ability to process information quickly and accurately.

      • Matt

        Don’t get me wrong, I do really like Griffin, but you know exactly what Barkley can do and his athleticism and arm strength are by no means weaknesses by any stretch of the imagination. NFL average tools RIGHT NOW, but with an extremely mature approach to the game. Tough combination to find, which is why Luck is going #1 no matter what.

      • Rugby Lock

        Montana (I am not saying in ANY way that Barkley is Montana..) was no great athlete but he could go through all his read so fast it was unreal. So long as the guy is decently athletic and can rapidly progress through his reads I am happy with that.

  13. Jim

    2011 OPPONENTS Att Comp Pct Yds TD Int Yds/A Rating
    TCU (Sep. 2) 27 21 77.8 359 5 0 13.3 250.6
    Austin (Sep. 17) 21 19 90.5 265 3 0 12.6 243.6
    Rice (Sep. 24) 33 29 87.9 338 5 0 10.2 223.9
    Kansas State 31 23 74.2 346 5 1 11.2 214.7
    Iowa State 30 22 73.3 212 1 0 7.1 143.7
    at Texas A&M 40 28 70.0 430 3 1 10.8 180.1

  14. Jim

    I’m looking forward to next weekend’s Stanford vs USC. That should be an interesting head to head matchup.

    • FWBrodie

      Hell yes. Can’t miss football if your NFL squad is in need of a QB and has a chance at a top 10 pick.

      • Alex

        Not just that. But you probably have the best NFL OG prospect (DeCastro) and two of the best OT prospects in the game (Martin and Kalil). You also have a future top 10 pick in Woods. Talk about serious talent.

        • FWBrodie

          LSU/Alabama should be a war as well.

          Do what you can to get some couch time lined up for this weekend.

  15. Richardfg7

    Agreed the time is now to do what ever it takes.I want Carroll to get his roster built . Tired of watching rookie ball every week. Penalties , dropped balls , dumb stuff. Didn’t have all that with Big Mike in charge

    • FWBrodie

      Didn’t have dropped balls? Beg to differ.

  16. Brandon Adams

    I think another piece of the Barkley anti-hype is the “choker” tag. Detractors often accuse him of coming up short in fourth quarters and big games, which seems a pretty intangible argument.

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