Seahawks should consider multiple quarterback picks

Robert Griffin III, Heisman winner and productive quarterback from Baylor, will today reveal his decision to turn pro. Consensus opinion is that teams will have to move into the top three to draft him, although I remain somewhat sceptical. Nevertheless, if the Seahawks want to get into this party they’ll definitely have to move up, at least in front of the Dolphins. In many ways Griffin represents what the Seahawks have been looking for at the position. He makes very few mistakes, he’s capable of extending plays with his athleticism and running all of the bootlegs, developing routes and play-action’s in the playbook. Griffin’s got the arm to make difficult throws, but crucially he’s savvy enough to make the right calls and be that ‘point guard’ type that Pete Carroll has talked about.

Carroll has also talked quite openly about his desire to add speed to the team’s defensive front while improving the pass rush. All of this flies in the face of the concept of a move up the board to draft a quarterback. The Seahawks currently own six picks, a stark contrast to the nine they spent in both the 2010 and 2011 draft. Trading up would be expensive and given the good work done in the later rounds so far, I suspect they’d like to keep adding depth in key areas. Then you consider the lack of obvious options in round one at defensive tackle, defensive end and the WILL linebacker spot and you come back to a quarterback like Griffin. Maybe this is the year?

That’s a debate that will continue long into April, but today I wanted to consider a situation where RG3 isn’t an option. In that case, they should be looking to target more than one quarterback in this draft. Without doubt the most logical way to find a franchise quarterback is to draft one in the first round. If that isn’t possible for whatever reason, they need to attack the middle and later rounds. Finding a starter beyond round one is like trying to win money on a scratch card. Essentially, you’re very unlikely to win. However – the more cards you buy, the more likely you are to get a return. The only problem is there’s a chance you won’t get anything and then you’ve wasted money chasing something that could’ve been used more wisely. So when it’s all done, is it worth the gamble? That’s where the analogy ends, because it probably isn’t worth it with the scratch cards – but it almost certainly is in the NFL.

Yesterday we identified Chandler Harnish (QB, Northern Illinois) as a player to keep an eye on. In the video at the top of this piece, you can see further tape from his performance against Ball State (courtesy of JMPasq). We’ll be publishing more game-tape on Harnish soon, but my first impression watching him perform against Arkansas State, Toledo and Army was incredibly positive. He has a shot at the next level, no question about it. I’ve also spent considerable time talking up Austin Davis (QB, Southern Miss). Below, I’ve included a video highlighting Chattanooga quarterback BJ Coleman (tape courtesy of Aaron Alosysius) – a toolsy quarterback who lacks a lot of technical quality, but has some of the physical qualities the Seahawks are looking for.

By drafting multiple quarterbacks (for example, Harnish and Davies) the two rookies can compete with Josh Portis with the intent to discover if any have the potential to succeed Tarvaris Jackson and become the team’s long term starter. Beyond pre-season you could carry two of the players on the roster, with a third likely to make the practise squad. It’s not like the Seahawks felt obliged to stay loyal to their draft picks – they cut fourth round pick E.J. Wilson during his rookie season. Potentially losing a pick trying to open up a productive quarterback competition seems to be a perfectly acceptable situation.

Of course, you’re not going to completely force the issue. John Schneider and Carroll have done an excellent job identifying starters with their mid-to-late round picks. Are you going to pass on the next prospective Kam Chancellor or Richard Sherman just for the sake of opening up a token QB competition? At the same time, if you’re looking to spend two picks between rounds 3-7 on quarterbacks, you’ve also had the chance to spend your first two picks improving other areas of the team. Considering the blossoming depth on Seattle’s roster, perhaps they can afford to spend stock on the one position that has so far raised the most question marks for this front office?

This plan may prolong the starting career of Tarvaris Jackson for another season, but it’s also, in my mind, a better way of approaching things than throwing money at a ‘flavor of the month’ free agent like Matt Flynn. Let’s not forget that Flynn himself is the product of a similar plan in Green Bay. Despite having Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers, the Packers spent a second round pick on Brian Brohm in 2008 before adding Flynn in round seven. No stone was left unturned in planning for the future beyond Favre and in the end it was the later round pick that became a productive back-up for Rodgers.

Rather than tapping into somebody elses work, the Seahawks should do their own. They may not have a future Hall of Fame quarterback and a first round pick already in the stable, but that’s not to say this can’t help identify an eventual starter. If the project fails and they’re essentially left with two busted mid or late round picks – was it not worth the effort?

This isn’t an ideal situation and I do think the Seahawks should explore every opportunity to move up in the draft. In two drafts so far, this front office hasn’t used a single draft pick on a rookie quarterback. They did spend a third rounder on Charlie Whitehurst, alongside a significant drop in round two. Trying other people’s back-ups failed in that particular case, it’s time to take a different approach. If this team isn’t going to make that bold move up the board, they need to look at alternatives. Finding the answer this way might be akin to winning on a scratch card, but if you don’t buy a card in the first place you’ll never be winner.

B.J. Coleman (QB, Chattanooga) vs Nebraska

Thoughts on last night’s BCS Championship

Alabama controlled LSU for four quarters in an anti-climactic finale to the college football season. Both teams have a lot of pro-talent and you have to give credit to the Crimson Tide defensive line, led by nose tackle Josh Chapman, for thoroughly dominating performance. Chapman would be a solid depth pick for the Seahawks to spell the big trio up front. Courtney Upshaw had his usual combative game at defensive. He’s stocky and short and lacks the natural length and edge speed that fits what the Seahawks are looking for, but he’s a warrior. He understands leverage and uses his height as an advantage to get underneath lineman. He’ll become the heart of a defense, he will keep fighting for four quarters. Yet if he’s not going to play permanently in a front four, how does he fit in Seattle? Can he translate to the WILL linebacker position? He’s not a naturally mobile player and will struggle in coverage, so it’s not an obvious fit.

Dre Kirkpatrick again took a lot of plaudits as people gushed over his tackling ability in run support. Nobody will deny that Kirkpatrick is a physical corner who will hit you in the mouth and make great stops in the run game. However, his coverage skills are average at best – John Brantley at Florida targeted him earlier in the season and he struggled. I have some concern that the Seahawks – despite being relatively solid at corner – will consider Kirkpatrick for legitimate depth under the mantra of ‘you can never have too many good cornerbacks’. The big issue I have is I don’t think Kirkpatrick will ever be a good cover corner. The saving grace could be that while he’s a very good open field tackler, he’s quite poor at taking on receivers at the point of attack and struggles to knock them out of rhythm. Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are adept at this, so it could put the Seahawks off Kirkpatrick.

I suspect this front office will one day draft a linebacker like Dont’a Hightower, I’m just not sure it’ll be this year. He’s big (6-4, 260lbs), physical and will further help to create the identity that this defense is looking for. Hightower has some limitations – the knock on to his size is a lack of sideline-to-sideline quicks and an inability to shed blocks and get around. Yet he’s superb in run defense and with greater speed in other areas of the front seven that kind of player could be productive in Seattle.

LSU’s defense started brightly but tired (unsurprisingly given they spent most of the game on the field). Michael Brockers (DT, LSU) was a great example of this, getting off to a productive start including a blocked field goal before tiring as his team’s offense lurched from one three-and-out to another. He remains the best available three-technique prospect should he choose to declare and would be a top-12 pick if he turns pro.

Ryan Tannehill injury news

Tony Pauline is today reporting that Ryan Tannehill has picked up “a significant foot injury” in training and will miss the Senior Bowl. This is a blow for a player who needed to use the work-outs to make up for a disappointing senior season. Last year Christian Ponder had a largely mediocre season at Florida State but a decent Senior Bowl launched a positive hype that eventually led to becoming the 12th overall pick. We’ll have to wait and see how serious this injury is and how it could impact Tannehill in the draft. Pauline is also reporting that Ryan Lindley (QB, SDSU) will replace him at the Senior Bowl.


  1. David

    we only have 6 picks? didnt we get one from the Aaron curry trade?

    I really would like the hawks to get Griffin, He seems like a good kid with a nice head on his shoulders. i hope Carrol and Schnieder are looking at him to move up and take.

  2. Rob

    As far as I’m aware, we’re set to lose a fifth rounder in the Lynch trade. We spent a 7th rounder on Polumbus, and received a 7th rounder for Curry.

    R1, R2, R3, R4, R6, R7 (for Curry).

  3. Tyler

    Well you can bet Schneider will trade down in at least one round to pick up another pick or two. He’s done that in both of his drafts so far.

  4. Colin

    Seattle has to look at the options and make a move based on what gives them the greatest chance of succeeding. If Seattle decides not to move after Griffin, they must solidify other areas to avoid regressing next season. They must continue to make the run game better and try and turn a very good defense into an elite defense.

  5. Glen

    Outside of a RG3 slip, to the 6-9 range that would allow a “cheaper” move up I’d put money this early that we trade back for more picks.

    I’ve mentioned before outside of the #6 pick in 2010 (Okung) Schneider has acknowledged that the other 2 1st rd picks were for sale, and had deals set to move back…

    -2010 #14 – when Philly jumped to 13 Schnedier said in an interview they were sure it was to select Earl, and they were set to trade back and had a deal in place but the Eagles took Brandon Graham and Schneider stayed put…
    -2011 – the pick went right to the end of the allotted time, JS in an interview on NFL radio said they were trying to move back but didn’t get what they wanted so took their guy Carpenter…this part is speculation on my part, I think they were trying to drop 2-4 spots and pick up an extra late rd pick, while staying in front of Pitt & GB whom both had targeted Carpenter…Gil Brandt said on radio seconds after the Carp pick “hearts just broke in GB and Pitt”…

    At this point I’m ok with that…I don’t see the talent at our “needs” being around at our pick, nor a phenomenal talent like Trent Richardson or Mo Claiborne sliding to us that would would justify staying at our pick…

    Man I love draft season!

  6. MLT

    If RG3 slips out of the top 5 I think the hawks will make a serious move up to get him other then that I would think it would be too costly? What would a move up to #6 or 7 cost? And what about receivers @ 11 or 12? Could dwight jones slip that far? Maybe blackmon if his 40 yrd is slower? Would 1st round playmaker wr, then 2nd round DE and then 3rd round qb and also get flynn be something pc/js look @?

  7. Jared

    Good article Rob. I was thinking this exact same thing this last week. Thinking, if we pick 2 late rounders our odds at finding something worth developing would increase dramtically.

    But then again if Portis really is as good as the coaches hope, and if he’s progressed this year than perhaps that isn’t necessary. I would expect both Portis and Jackson to take a significant step forward after this offseason.
    I think the fact that TJ had arguably his best year as a pro (unless you count 2008, when he started 5 games) that it shows that our coaches can develop QB’s.

    I’m interested in seeing more about Tyler Wilson, Dominque Davis, Austin Davis. The problem it seems is that alot of these options you point out involved players who may or may not declare. Tyler Wilson and Brockers are intriguing but I would be surprised if either declared- especially Brockers whose only a SO, IIRC.

  8. williambryan

    Rob, Montgomery did not impress me last night at all. The only time I noticed him in the backfield was when the RT let him come clean on a playaction. It’s just one game, but I wonder if he can still be considered a high pick where as, as you noted, Brockers did show his ability rather consistently. However, the player that really stood out was Mingo. He looked fast and disruptive and perhaps a good fit at either LEO or WILL? If he were to declare for the draft (I think he is eligible as a redshirt sophomore?) how do you feel about his draft stock and specifically how he might fit as a Seahawk? Thanks!

  9. Rob

    Hey williambryan,

    I too thought it was a poor display from Montgomery and he’s decided to return to LSU next year. He won’t be part of tomorrow’s update mock draft. Mingo too is going to return. I think both players have a lot of potential but may see better days in the pro’s strangely enough.

  10. kevin mullen

    Upshaw was a beast last night. I agree that he’ll have a tougher climb than most guys at his position but can’t underestimate his talent. I thought that front four from Alabama was NFL Legit-worthy Dline. They were lights out…

    How’s the depth at RB for this draft Rob? Any surprises in store for the ‘Hawks in the early rounds? I don’t see Forsett coming back and if Lynch is resigned, we’ll need a #2…

  11. Brandon Adams

    So Seattle is looking at upgrading either QB or the pass rush this year. That’s a good situation to be in.

    Unless, of course, they just cave and go with Trent Richardson or David DeCastro in the first round.

  12. kevin mullen

    That would be pretty interesting, say they draft Richardson… I wonder what the negotiations would be like with Lynch?! He does have desire to stay but at the same time, drafting Richardson would downplay a lot of Lynch’s leverage, unless PITT or maybe the NY Giants came calling…

    I think we have enough depth at OLine to not warrant a 1st round pick. I’d rather we either trade down or package other picks/players to trade up for RG3. We’re too close to not speculate…

  13. dave crockett

    @Rob — nice piece. The last team I recall employing that strategy was CAR, choosing Jimmy Clausen in the 2nd and Tony Pike in the 7th. (They also chose App. State QB Armani Dawson, but made him a WR.) I’m less convinced that SEA will draft two QBs with < 7 picks, and Portis (who they like) already on the roster. Instead, I see Schneider as more likely to bring in a FA/trade to compete with or backup Jackson and then draft one QB.

    @Glen — I think it's going to be difficult to move back this year for teams in the 10-15 range. The distribution of talent appears to be pretty flat, making it unlikely that teams at the bottom of the first round will be looking to move into the middle of the round.

  14. MLT

    O line in the 1st would be a mistake! That would be 3 1st round linemen in a row! We are set except maybe 1 more versitile depth guy! I also think richardson will be a mistake! Why waste a 1st rounder on him when u have lynch who is 25 and the same type of versitile back! Richardson is starter quality for sure but why do we need 2 of them on our roster? Waste of a 1st if u ask me! Resign the proven guy and the face of the franchise all we have to do is pay him and we have plenty of $! Not plenty of draft picks though! Its either qb, playmaker @ wr to pair with sidney rice, or pass rusher in either a LB or DE! Who really believes richardson would be an upgrade from lynch? I know I don’t, so why waste a pick on something you already have access too? I think this draft is about an every down impact player on either offense or defense, not linemen or a rb to split time with lynch!

  15. Dean

    I’d be down to trade some of the draft if it got us RG3, but zero qualms if we move back and get some extra picks. And depending on who we resign, grab the replacements (Polk to replace Forsett? SIGN ME UP) where they lie, forgetting his name, but the TE from Stanford might be nice to tandem with Miller if he is in Rnd. 2. or something. grab a QB somewhere to push with Portis if they feel he is ready to comepte for backup. And then jsut spend the rest on LB/DL/hybrid types.

  16. pqlqi

    I keep hoping that we can trade away our 1st round pick completely, garnering two 2nd round picks in the next two drafts and a couple mid-late rounders to this draft. Such a strategy would dovetail nicely with picking two mid round QBs, without hamstringing the team with regards to filling roster needs at other positions and continuing to build depth.

  17. Bill

    I really believe the seahawks are going to trade down. If they can get another first rounder and a late rounder, or multiple late rounders, that would be huge. We still have glaring needs at backer and running back. Pete Carroll seems to have better luck with these young guys straight out of college buying into his system than that veterans that are used to a hard nosed coach probably thinking hes some kind of hippy.

    I like the theory of the Hawks drafting 2 QBs, but I wonder if they will have the space on their roster. Remember, Carroll seems to like the depth, and I dont blame him the way the last two years has went. 4qbs is alot to run around with, wouldnt surprise me if they replaced whitehurst with someone else and kept a QB on the practice squad.

    Trading up for a QB isnt going to work well this year, with seemingly only two pro-ready Qb’s coming out-Luck(already bottled up) and Griffin(tradeable but likely going to cost a kings ransom)

  18. MeatWad

    Thank you for the Chandler tape. I love his mobility and great fakes that are executed SO well. There was a couple throws that should not have been made, but not many. He appears like a decent option for a mid round pick. I feel 95% certain there will be zero trading up by S&C. I just do not see it. I would love to see Luck or RGIII in a hawks jersey. Not only the investment makes sense for a team that is building/growing, but imagine the marketing and tickets sold because of that pick! It would even please the finicky, fair-weather fans.

    Also I thought Curry gave Seattle a 7th rounder and depending on Curry’s playing time another conditional pick?

  19. Kip Earlywine

    Even if Seattle doesn’t draft Harnish, I really hope they call up his WR Nathan Palmer (#81) in undrafted free agency. Palmer is a 5th year senior without elite production or measurables, but the ability is there. If you want another Doug Baldwin success story, he’d be a good bet.

  20. Ryan

    Nice list Tom. Not too many success stories there. The odds are long.

    Move up. Davis/Harnish/etc if you absolutely can’t.

  21. Kip Earlywine

    @Kevin Mullen:

    Free Agency begins on March 13th- about six weeks before the draft. If Seattle does draft Trent Richardson, I’d certainly hope they have Lynch signed to a deal by then. : )

    I’d be stunned if Lynch isn’t a Seahawk next year. He’s the face of the franchise both in terms of media exposure and in the sense that he sets the emotional tempo for the rest of the team. I doubt he’d want to be anywhere else and the Seahawks would take a ton of heat for letting him go (and rightfully so).

  22. Kip Earlywine

    Looking at that list of quarterbacks, I think it only proves how poor many front offices are at evaluating QB talent. Most of those late rounders are guys that shouldn’t have been drafted at all. I guess that should be expected though. After all, demand for QBs, even backup QBs, far exceeds the supply of talented and workable options.

  23. Kip Earlywine


    The Packers have used a scattershot approach to drafting quarterbacks for two decades. Sure, they invested a 1st in Rodgers and paid a 1st to get Favre, there’s no denying that going the 1st round route is the wisest C.o.A.

    However, bulking up on late round talent using Green Bay’s blueprint can pay off over a large enough span of time. Green Bay drafted quarterbacks every year essentially, and they had guys like (UDFA) Kurt Warner, (5th round) Mark Brunell, (6th round) Matt Hasselbeck, and (7th round) Matt Flynn in their system at varying points, all acquired from late rounds or UDFA.

    No one is saying that Austin Davis or Chandler Harnish is as good as Robert Griffin or Andrew Luck. However, Griffin/Luck is going to cost you a lot, and may not even be within your reach. Davis/Harnish could cost you next to nothing, and give you a chance down the road. I agree that in terms of fixing the immediate problems, its a long shot at best, but in the long term its a very fruitful strategy- if you do it long enough and competently enough, it will produce results.

    I believe that if Seattle thinks they have an opportunity to get Griffin for a reasonable price (assuming they like him enough), I think they’d pull the trigger. If you count Whitehurst and Portis, then Seattle has honored Green Bay’s tradition of adding a quarterback every year. Looking at some of the discount talent available, I’d say this would be a TERRIBLE time to quit that philosophy.

  24. Kip Earlywine

    Dan Lefevour never impressed me, and to put it bluntly, he was never anything more than a Mel Kiper hype job. The only late round guy I liked last year was Ricky Stanzi (who was a bit of a Matt Hasselbeck clone), and there are probably 3-4 late round QBs this year that I like more than Stanzi last year.

  25. Rob

    Tom – you won’t find an argument from me here. However, we have to consider every possibility. If we discuss a subject on this blog, it’s not always a seal of approval. We can’t just keep beating a drum every day for trading up – people want to know what else is out there and what the team might consider.

    However, I’ll greatly disagree with just off-hand comparisons to Dan LeFevour. Not every mid-later rounder is the same – even if it IS difficult to find starting QB’s beyond round one. I didn’t rate LeFevour at all and felt he was nothing more than a late round flier. I feel much more positive about Chandler Harnish.

  26. Tom T.

    Just heard Tim Hasselbeck gushing about Brian Hoyer on the radio. Rob or Kip, do you guys have any throughs on him. Sounds like New England has trusted him as the #2 behind Brady for the past few years, and Hass said that he has performed very well in every pre-season game he’s played.

  27. Richard

    Tom, I’m with you on RGIII, I’ve have been since I first saw him in his 1st few games this year. He is the perfect threat on offense that can make the other players better. The recievers that are on the team now would work well with his skill set. With hopefully Marshawn (Beastmode) and Michael Robinson (Sir Blockwell) back, the running attack would work too. Speed back? Hell, RGIII would pass Beastmode going down the field. He is right for the Seahawks for all the right reasons.

    Now even Walters football is mocking a trade up by Washington to St. Louis’ #2 slot to take him. Does that stop the dream of seeing him in Seahawk blue and green? John S. couldn’t get around that kind of trade could he? St. Louis is not in any way going to help us get an RGIII. And Indy is committed now to the Andrew Luck pick aren’t they? Would John have to offer a pick or a player to entice St. Louis to not make that move? And all due respect to Kip, but where is Rob in this dialog? I love the way you guys think and articulate this process. It helps us fans that aren’t as well versed, understand and appreciate –the game around the game, within the game, that is all apart of the game that we love–.

  28. Richard

    Tom, I’m with you on RGIII, I’ve have been since I first saw him in his 1st few games this year. He is the perfect threat on offense that can make the other players better. The recievers that are on the team now would work well with his skill set. With hopefully Marshawn (Beastmode) and Michael Robinson (Sir Blockwell) back, the running attack would work too. Speed back? Hell, RGIII would pass Beastmode going down the field. He is right for the Seahawks for all the right reasons.

  29. Richard

    Now even Walters football is mocking a trade up by Washington to St. Louis’ #2 slot to take him. Does that stop the dream of seeing him in Seahawk blue and green? John S. couldn’t get around that kind of trade could he? St. Louis is not in any way going to help us get an RGIII. And Indy is committed now to the Andrew Luck pick aren’t they? Would John have to offer a pick or a player to entice St. Louis to not make that move? And all due respect to Kip, but where is Rob in this dialog? I love the way you guys think and articulate this process. It helps us fans that aren’t as well versed, understand and appreciate –the game around the game, within the game, that is all apart of the game that we love–.

  30. Richard


  31. Rob

    Tom T. – I have full game tape on Hoyer from pre-season that I’ll post on the blog soon. I like him more than Fynn but there are still some limitations there. Rather than dig around looking at other people’s back-ups, I’d rather be pro-active ourselves.

  32. williambryan

    I think expectations is an important part of the late round QB discussion. Are teams drafting late round QB’s in hopes that they can become starters? Obviously Schnieder and Carroll have done a great job at getting starters in the late rounds. When I look at that list that Tom posted its almost laughable. Why would so many teams waste draft picks on QB’s that don’t seem to amount to much the majority of the time? But if the value of those selections (for QB’s anyway) is to maybe get a backup with some potential, but you are not counting on anything, then I guess it’s fine? It’s pretty clear that getting Luck or RGIII is a superior option, but I really appreciate your (Rob) stance of looking and considering all options. Thank you!

  33. jim J

    Sure it would be nice to move up for RG III, but we have to compete with teams like Cleveland that have two first round picks to give away this year. It is highly unlikely that we will be able to offer as much as them.

    As for trading down – don’t you think that everyone in the league want’s more draft picks? It is unlikely that anyone will accept that offer. And with a lack of superstars in the draft, there is no reason for them to trade up unless it is in the top 10. So trading down probably won’t happen.

    That leaves us with another year of picking defensive linemen, a spare linebacker and cornerback, a spare offensive linemen, a spare running back, and oh yes another backup QB. It may not look good to a fan but that’s how you build a team and take care of business.

  34. Tarry

    The problem with trading up is the Rams hold the #2 pick. The Browns have 2 1st round picks, #5 and Atlanta’s pick 20ish. The Browns in my opinion are going to get a QB and RGIII is likely the target… The Rams are a mess and would love 2 first rounders this year (especially only moving down 3 spots to 5)… Also, I don’t see the Rams trading with us being in same division… IF the Rams keep their pick and we can move up to #3, I think we can make that deal… I’m not too optimistic though.

    As for this piece… I think taking a flyer on a QB in the later rounds is fine, but not 2 and the reason is with Barkley and Jones returning for their Sr. year and some other good looking QBs that could pop up for next years draft, I think we hold off on trading the draft for an elite QB and possibly do it next year where the QB depth in the draft could be deeper.

    To respond to Tom and that list of drafted QBs… a lot of QBs there that didnt turn out that is for sure… but how many CBs, RB, WR etc have been drafted and didn’t work out in those years and are out of the NFL? QB is certainly the most important position on the field and gets most of the attention, but there have also been a few success stories…
    Tom Brady – 6th round
    Ryan Fitzpatrick – 7th round
    Tony Romo – undrafted
    Matt Hasselbeck (remember him) 6th round
    Matt Schaub – 3rd round
    Matt Flynn – 7th round who a lot of people think we should go after (I’m not one of those).
    you could also add Matt Moore who looked pretty solid who was undrafted. Is it unreasonable to take a flyer on a QB in later rounds instead of taking a CB, LB, DE etc who will likely be designated to special teams duty? I dont think so. I’d much rather take a risk on a QB drafted in the 6th round than reach on a Ryan Tannehill in the 1st (at pick 11/12).

  35. Rob

    The problem is though Tarry, every year people say the quarterback class is better and yet it never seems to be the case. It wasn’t long ago peope were saying things like ‘six first round QBs’ about this year. Eventually you have to act and if they’re waiting for Matt Barkley – that will be very, very expensive if he ends up being the #1 pick (quite possible).

  36. ivotuk

    Thanks for all of your hard work English.

    I’m not sold on Harnish. In his case I think level of competition means everything. He’s throwing in to some tight windows that would be non-existent or picked off at the next level and it looks to me like some of his passes are predetermined. He moves around well and makes some good decisions when he gets pressure but I just don’t see him succeeding in the NFL.

    Coleman on the other hand looks really good, takes some snaps under center, good size, release looks good (from my amateur viewpoint), just his completion percentage is not that good. I think I’d take a flyer on him before I would Harnish.

  37. Tarry

    Hey Jim,

    I don’t agree with your trading down and it being unlikely… it happens every year. If you believe this is a weak draft class wouldn’t teams WANT to move up to 11/12 pick to get one of the limited elite players in this class and trade away picks from other rounds?

    I think it’s very likely, and I also think that although it’s not a fantastic draft class that their are a lot solid players to be had in this class for the positions that we need.

  38. Tarry

    Rob, I agree with Barkley being expensive and maybe he’ll be out of our range but any further out of our range than Luck or RGIII this year? Those are the only 2 ‘guaranteed franchise’ QBs I see in this class. I do like other QBs but wouldn’t reach for them in the first 3 rounds. I really like what Austin Davis brings to the table and after a year as a back-up could be solid #1. Harnesh looks very capable as well and certainly fits the mold of what PC and JS is looking for but again not in the fist 3 rounds.

  39. Tarry

    ok nobody has mentioned him yet and could be late 1st or early 2nd this year but why not Nick Foles. He’s got a cannon of an arm, he’s not what I’d consider a running threat but he can move and not cemented in the pocket either. His deficencies are coachable and would rate his game similar to that of Christian Ponder or Jake Locker who looked good at points this season. If we are to take a flier on a QB early… Is this guy worth that chance?

  40. Kip Earlywine


    I’ve said over and over again that I believe drafting a QB in the first is the best way to do things. I’m not sure why you keep acting like I believe otherwise. If Griffin was there at #11/#12, I’d do backflips. If Seattle could make a reasonable move up and get him, I’d do backflips.

    However, its unlikely that either of those things happen. Drafting QBs later- IF YOU KNOW HOW TO EVALUATE TALENT- can be a fruitful way over a long period of time to address that. Kurt Warner wasn’t with the Packers long, but they properly identified an undervalued talent- a guy who would later win a Superbowl and nearly win two others. Mark Brunell was another guy they identified, and they ended up trading him for a 3rd and a 5th to Jacksonville (a net gain of a 3rd round pick), where for a short while he was a top 5 QB. They drafted Matt Hasselbeck, then traded him to us, and netted them a 3rd round pick and a substantial move up in the 1st round. Matt Flynn could very well be franchised and traded for a Matt Cassel type sum.

    Any of those guys could have been franchise QBs in Green Bay if they didn’t already have a great established starter. But since they did, they still flipped them and got several times the investment they paid. They didn’t bat a thousand, but they did get results. Lets not forget either that having a good backup has tremendous value on a contending team. Just look at teams that don’t, teams like the Bears or (to a lesser extent) the Texans.

    No one is saying that its better to go the late round route. All the evidence suggests otherwise. However, Seattle knows a lot about identifying late round talent, and JS comes from a system that has the best late round QB track record in NFL history. On top of all that, Seattle runs a unique offense with unique requirements at QB- consider that their 2nd and 3rd highest rated QBs last year weren’t even 1st rounders. Its possible that a guy like Harnish could be the 3rd QB on their board. And since Harnish is only 6015 tall and played for a MAC school, there are a lot of teams that won’t even consider him. He could still be there in the 6th round due to a lack of competition. There are going to be quarterbacks out there who grade out much higher in our system than in other team’s, and that could lead to getting some huge value in the late rounds. Even if Seattle drafts Griffin, they should still take Harnish late, because there is a very solid chance he could produce and get flipped for a big profit down the road just like Matt Cassel was.

  41. Tom

    Kip, I was just discussing your scattershot premise. I never said you didn’t want to get RG3 but to think he’ll fall past Shanahan and Holmgren is wishful thinking. We’ll have to make a serious play up the board or we’ll continue to have what we’ve continued to view at QB the past couple of seasons.

    Do you realize that GB was able to draft mid-round prospects to groom to become backups or for trade bait because they had Favre and drafted ARodgers?

    That doesn’t pertain to the Hawks at all and why this scattershot theory isn’t smart.

    If we had an Aaron Rodgers in the fold, I’d have no problem taking a scattershot in an attempt to groom a backup or for trade bait like GB has done in the past. Trust me, I know all about Ron Wolf’s draft and trade history.

    Another team that has used that scattershot theory are the Eagles but AGAIN, they had DMac in the fold. They traded Feeley for a 2nd rounder to Miami and just did a similar move with Kolb to Zona.

    It works with an ESTABLISHED QB and not when you’re looking to find that elite QB and could use those draft selections to move up for RG3. It’s going to take an arm and those mid round draft selections are fingers of the arm that we’ll have to use.

    I believe Pete and John know they have to solidify the QB this year, their 3rd year and crossroads of their Hawk career and waiting until year 4 could be the first nail in their Prez, Coach, GM careers. The non-developmental options (2+ year plan) are minimal.

    Do you see when and how to use your scattershot approach? It’s 100% valid but doesn’t pertain to our Hawk situation.

    It’s all good, bro. We’re Hawk brethren even if we argue or disagree. Nothing personal given and nothing personal received from my end. 🙂

  42. Kip Earlywine

    “Kip, I was just discussing your scattershot premise. I never said you didn’t want to get RG3 but to think he’ll fall past Shanahan and Holmgren is wishful thinking. We’ll have to make a serious play up the board or we’ll continue to have what we’ve continued to view at QB the past couple of seasons.”

    I have nothing against that. But just like this season’s late playoff hopes, the Seahawks do not control their own destiny. If RG3’s hype continues to soar, then you are looking at a situation where it could cost far more to acquire him that teams paid for Eli Manning or Michael Vick. In that situation, I don’t think John Schneider would accept, and I’d fully support him in doing so. No matter how you look at it, RG3 is possible, but unlikely. There are going to be a lot of teams who want him and we are hardly in pole position. If we get him, great! But failing that, Seattle simply can’t afford to completely ignore the QB position by failing to draft a QB elsewhere. And as it turns out, this draft is one of the best in years for finding QBs later- particularly for a team that is using Green Bay’s model.

    “Do you realize that GB was able to draft mid-round prospects to groom to become backups or for trade bait because they had Favre and drafted ARodgers?”

    I’ve said so myself, not in this comments section but in previous discussions. However, its not important whether or not your “bridge QB” is a hall of famer or merely adequate. Seattle needs to upgrade T-Jack as quickly as they can, but it wouldn’t kill them to start him another year either. Seattle is only entering year 3 of their 4 year plan, and Jackson was not far below league average last year. Seattle can draft a guy like Harnish and Davis and sit him one year. Its better than having no one at all. Potentially a LOT better.

    Robert Griffin himself would have been a late rounder had he declared a year earlier. A good front office can, with less than 100% accuracy- but accurate enough- identify those 2010 Robert Griffin’s or 2009 Cam Newton’s before they hit paydirt. If you have the right blueprint, the right supporting cast, and you make a lot of smart bets, it WILL pay off. No one is arguing that going the late route is better than drafting early- but that doesn’t make it worthless or non-applicable.

    “That doesn’t pertain to the Hawks at all and why this scattershot theory isn’t smart.”

    Sure it does, and yes it is. Mark Brunell, Kurt Warner, Matt Hasselbeck, and Matt Flynn didn’t become good QBs because they played behind a great QB. They were already good QBs in college that Green Bay identified, and Green Bay uses a brilliant system which is fantastic for developing QBs- even those with some form of limitation.

    “It works with an ESTABLISHED QB”

    The established QB is only relevant in that it buys time, as taking a late round approach should not be expected to produce quick results. Tarvaris Jackson is good enough to buy 1 more year, and until that time, Seattle will always be open to the next Jay Cutler type opportunity. Its no secret that they coveted Carson Palmer.

    The problem with your argument is that you forget that I’m agreeing with you on most of your main points- but I’m realistic about it. Getting a franchise QB is HARD. Getting a quality bridge QB is surprisingly difficult as well, and if there was a better bridge QB out there than Jackson last year, he wasn’t better by much. And even if Seattle did trade for RG3, they probably would have HIM sit a year as well. I think Seattle should do what it takes for Griffin, but I also realize that as a powerless fan, its very unlikely to actually happen. Instead, I anticipate that Seattle will use the Green Bay model for QB. I have no complaints- its easily the most successful model for finding QBs in the last 20 years, if not all time. And I do believe it can work in Seattle’s current situation, although it is a long shot. A long shot worth taking.

  43. Tom

    Kip- We’ll just have to disagree because I don’t believe in QB long shots and don’t believe they’re worth taking when we need a QB in 2012, not 2015 and those dogs are 2015 projects.

    Go look at all the teams trying to do this approach and you’ll find out why 1st rd QB’s are the ONLY ones to have won SB’s since 2005 (Yes, with Drew Brees drafted at #32, that qualifies) and maybe Rob should do a blog on how / why Tom Brady fell because if you watched the Michigan/Alabama Orange Bowl, he should never have been a 6th rdr. That is the same Brady.

    All those scattershot GB draft picks really never benefitted the drafting team in Green Bay. It’s a weak example.

    Isn’t that what we’re talking about here? To benefit our Hawks? Yes and why that approach only works with an ESTABLISHED QB. GB was drafting for backups and then trades. We’re drafting to find a starter and don’t have 3 years to wait. At least Pete and John don’t.

    Pete and John will be LONG GONE if they rely on wasting draft selections on Osweiler, Davis, Harnish….

    It’s not even close, Kip, ” to the most successful model for finding QB’s in the last 20 years.” It’s still all about 1st rd draft picks and not praying to get lucky finding a Brady or Warner.

    2005 – Big Ben 2006 Peyton Manning 2007 Eli 2008 Ben 2009 Brees 2010 Rodgers.

    The New NFL is all about the QB and why QB’s drafted in the top 32 are hoisting Lombardi’s since the 2005 season while scattershot 3rd and 5th rd selections are always bridesmaids.

    If the Hawks can’t trade up for RG3, then the Hawks are better off paying Flynn than wasting multiple draft selections for all of these developmental projects that won’t turn out to be anything but pedestrian QB’s and wasting Hawk fans valuable Sundays for the next 3 years only to realize we need to get a bonafide 1st round day 1 starter.

    Book it and re-visit down the road, Kip.

  44. Kip Earlywine

    “All those scattershot GB draft picks really never benefitted the drafting team in Green Bay. It’s a weak example.”

    Well they would have if Green Bay needed a QB. The fact that they panned out is proof that good scouting and a good system can reap rewards. Green Bay did benefit, btw. They traded those QBs for a lot more draft compensation than they paid, and in the meantime, they had a quality backup QB which is very valuable to a contending team.

    You continue to ignore what I’m telling you- I also prefer drafting a 1st round QB. But (to use all caps so that the message gets through), IF GETTING A FIRST ROUND ELITE FRANCHISE QUARTERBACK IS NOT POSSIBLE, then taking a flier on late round players with a lot of promise is not without its merits. Seattle needs backup depth anyway. And I personally believe that guys like Davis and Harnish probably deserve 2nd round grades. If you could get a 2nd round CB in the sixth because he was overlooked, you’d take it right? Same thing at QB.

    I guess you just don’t believe in some of these QBs. Have you watched them? Davis and Harnish are pretty promising, and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of there being a 2010 RG3 or 2009 Cam Newton somewhere out there either.

  45. Tom

    Kip, I’m not ignoring that you prefer to draft a 1st rd QB like I do.

    I’m just disagreeing with the scattershot premise because it doesn’t work for teams like Seattle and has never worked. The GB example was weak because they had an established QB at the trigger and those QB examples you listed didn’t do squat for another 4 years because they were projects.

    We don’t have 4 years to wait. We have the young defense now.

    Davis and Harnish don’t deserve 2nd rd grades, Kip. Where are you getting that from? The overblown hype here? Neither guy will do a thing in the NFL. Harnish short arms so many throws and will be sitting 3rd on any depth chart. Davis “may” turn out to be a backup.

    So who cares about these guys?

    Let me ask you a question?

    What do the top 6 NFC playoff seeds have in common?


    Ok, I”m going to slightly fudge this because technically Drew Brees was the 1st pick of the 2nd round but in today’s draft, he’s the 32nd selection which is 1st rd material.

    All 6 NFC teams had QB’s drafted in Rd 1, Kip. Furthermore, 4 of the 6 teams had QB’s taken in the top 3 of their respective draft! These scattershot long shots are pipe dreams and will never take the Hawks to the promiseland no matter how much pixie dust you sprinkle on them.

    Want more?

    If Denver or Baltimore reach the SB, it will guarantee that this will be the 7th straight year the SB winner will have a 1st round QB under center.

    If either reach the SB, it will also guarantee that the last 3 SB contests that both teams will be QB’d by a 1st rd drafted QB.

    Ok, you want a 1st rd QB, I get it… The only 1st rd guys are Luck and RG3….

    It’s the overrating of these other bridesmaids and premise of scattershot that has never worked in the Hawks situation no matter how many times you repeat it or want to believe it in your heart.

    Follow the corroborating facts…. They’ll lead you to the right conclusion… 🙂

  46. Rob

    Tom, less of the ‘overblown hype’. We don’t do that here.

  47. Tom

    Rob, you run a nice website for Hawk fans and combining jmpasq vids makes it very informative and high quality. Kudos to you!

    Nobody wants to admit that they have “overblown hype” but frankly, I had overblown my hype for RG3 for months now. Fortunately, he’s lived up to the hype.

    Overblown = adjective
    1.= excessive, exaggerated, over the top (slang), too much, inflated, extravagant, overdone, disproportionate, undue….

    When Kip starts talking about ADavis and CHarnish with probable 2nd rd grades, that to me is “overblown hype”, excessive, exaggerated or over the top. Even in an era where these projects should start to show success as 3 QB’s bust through 5,000 yds passing in 1 season and it didn’t include ARodgers, the game is built for some projects to succeed.

    You’ve hyped ADavis since pre-season which is part of informing your readers about prospects that we don’t know. It’s informative. When you go to archive and search ADavis, a lot of front line features and hype surround this guy. I’m sure I’d do the same if I had interviewed him and established some sort of rapport.

    It’s serious hype for a guy that will be fortunate to stick as a quality backup and even get a chance to start in the NFL if he even sticks on a roster. It’s overblown in my eyes. Not a big deal.

    I’m surprised you don’t recognize the overblown hype for ADavis and the underwhelming support you gave to RG3 from day 1 but you believed you praised RG3.

  48. Tom

    I spent 20 minutes looking at your hype for ADavis through your search feature and couldn’t believe what I read about RG3, that guy you praised?

    “Now Mel Kiper is claiming Robert Griffin III is a first rounder, an assesment I respect but don’t agree with at all. I’ve never moved from this being a two-horse race in round one with Luck and Matt Barkley. “

    “Special mention: Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M) and Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor)- two project quarterbacks at the next level that people appear desperate to promote above their means seemingly to justify premature and inaccurate claims that 2012 presents a rare class of QB’s. Tannehill is much more polished than Griffin III, but he’s still relatively inexperienced and learning the position….”

    “Griffin’s numbers are sensational this season, but he’s not a polished passer and his footwork needs a complete re-work. Team’s will show interest earlier than they should based on athleticism and leadership, but he’s a long term developmental project and I struggle to imagine Griffin III playing in the NFL.”

    Matt says:
    “Could Robert Griffen push himself into the top 15? …..

    Rob says:

    “I doubt it, Matt. Personally I never had much issue with Newton and spent a lot of time promoting him on this blog. If you click on archives and search his name, you’ll see how highly I spoke about …”

    “Griffin is the opposite of Newton in that he is a faultless character, really hard worker who deals with his environment perfectly. Yet he’s nothing like a polished quarterback and he’s not got the ‘wow’ factor that Newton had. He throws a nice deep ball, but his overall game is based around some very easy throws that require very little technique or above the shoulders exertion. His footwork is woeful – he dances before pretty much every pass.

    Right now he’s a big time project and honestly I can’t see him starting NFL games, but someone may well over draft him. I doubt that will be this front office though.

    You couldn’t even see RG3 starting NFL games? Doesn’t have the “wow” factor? “You struggle to see RG3 playing in the NFL?”

    Yet, ADavis is this hidden gem that has NFL upside who you wouldn’t mind drafting early and Kip says has 2nd rd grade? = overblown hype… 😉

    Rob, you run a great site but to say that there hasn’t been some “overblown hype” for a couple of your boys and to say “you praised RG3” wouldn’t being honest with yourself. It’s o.k. to not nail everyone of your forecasts. Who does? No one.

    I’m a pain and hope you aren’t overly offended but I will bring some honesty and your audience will get a lot of corroborating facts unless you want to ban me from your site for being controversial. Your call.

  49. Rob

    My ‘underwhelming’ support for RG3 was based on 2010 tape – with little evidence he’d turn into what he has in 2011. Then having stuided multiple games from this season, I wrote several articles charting his development, progress and ability to be a top-5/10 pick. That is not underwhelming, that’s just the way it worked out. As for Davis, recommending a player to keep an eye on who Seattle may show interest in later in the draft is not overblown hype. We can’t just talk about the top guns every day or the same names.

  50. Rob

    Tom – enough already. You aren’t highlighting the articles where I also break down why my opinion shifted, including the two lengthy pieces I wrote about how he’d developed from the tape evidence of last year. Nobody – I repeat – Nobody had Robert Griffin III ranked as highly as he is now at the start of the year. The performance against TCU raised eyebrow’s, but follow up wins against team’s like Rice aren’t enough to shift an opinion, he struggled a bit against Oklahoma State and then basically lit up the big 12 after that. The idea of this blog and scouting on the whole is not to make one superb initial judgement and then be proven right or wrong down the line. The idea is to call it how you see it and then if the prospect develops from there, you change the opinion. I’ll say again, nobody was touting RG3 as a top-ten pick in September and early October. Some might have jumped on the train earlier than me, but ultimately we all got off at the same stop.

    I’m a bit tired of repeating myself on this, Tom. I’m not going to stop projecting guys like Austin Davis as options beyond round one because I think people want to read about more than just Robert Griffin every day. You can’t pick through select quotes that only tell half of the story. Enough.

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