Thursday notes: What could happen at quarterback around the league?

Justin Fields to the Patriots?

I noticed in the Athletic’s beat-writer mock draft this week they had New England trade out of the #3 pick with the objective of taking a left tackle then trading for Justin Fields. Meanwhile, Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock had them staying at #3 and selecting Marvin Harrison Jr, not a quarterback. Jeremiah says it’s with the idea the Patriots claim a veteran QB instead.

I get the feeling there’s a few whispers within the league that Fields to New England could be on. I think it’s plausible for a few reasons. Firstly, we’ve been saying for months that Drake Maye — while certainly an interesting prospect — had been wildly overrated by draft media. People were talking about him being the #1 pick a few weeks ago. In reality, there are going to be mixed feelings about Maye — and various people are starting to say that.

As it becomes increasingly clear Caleb Williams is a lock at #1 and Jayden Daniels will likely be taken at #2, it’s distinctly possible the Patriots aren’t that hot on Maye. A few teams won’t be.

New England might think trading, for example, the #68 pick plus something else for Fields will give them a two-year window to assess him on the final year of his rookie deal and the fifth-year option. Meanwhile, they can then go in a different direction in round one.

Don’t be surprised if they trade out of #3 for a huge haul to help build their new era. If Eliot Wolf is making the calls on draft day, it’s distinctly possible he’ll trade down a few spots, grab future picks and draft a left tackle. That would be very ‘Ron Wolf’. Alternatively, they could stay at #3 and pair Fields with Marvin Harrison Jr.

Vikings vs Broncos for J.J. McCarthy?

There could be a bit of a battle here, with both teams seeking to trade up and get their man. Mike Florio mentioned recently that he’s hearing the Vikings haven’t exactly been active in contract talks so far with Kirk Cousins.

They might be wary of committing major money to a soon-to-be 36-year-old coming off a serious injury, especially if he’s expecting another contract loaded with guarantees. Meanwhile, the Falcons (who have just appointed an OC who will be installing the same offense as Minnesota) are being heavily linked with a move for Cousins. Furthermore, Cousins’ wife is originally from Georgia and most of her family reside there.

The Vikings have, as some have called it, an ‘analytics-based front office’. As we noted in a recent article, McCarthy succeeds statistically in key areas such as third down, red zone and scrambling. This probably hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Meanwhile Denver is on the look out for someone who Sean Payton can order around and run his offense exactly how he wants. McCarthy more or less operated within that environment at Michigan.

Both teams could be eyeing the same player. Both could be aggressive to go and get him in the top-10 — even if physically McCarthy has limitations.

Could there be a run on quarterbacks?

I think it’s very possible. This is a very different class to the flawed 2022 group. There’s physical talent within the big names that can overpower concerns and flaws. Even though Will Levis dropped to #33 a year ago, it’s not like he dropped deep into day two. It’s plausible if J.J. McCarthy comes off the board in the top-10 as the fourth QB taken, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr won’t have to wait too long.

Such is the diverse range for those two in particular, and perhaps Spencer Rattler, it also won’t be a shock if they last to day two. I’m just saying don’t be surprised if they come off the board in the top-half of round one. Both have excellent physical tools, were highly productive in college and neither have any character issues. Penix Jr has the medical question mark but he did play two full seasons at UW.

Las Vegas could be in the market for one of the pair (Al Davis would’ve loved Penix Jr’s arm). What do Denver do if they miss out on McCarthy? Can Bo Nix run Sean Payton’s offense? Then there’s Seattle at #16. I think it’d be foolish to rule out the idea the Seahawks see someone, such as Penix Jr, as the present and future.

And I get it — every time that comes up we get the pro’s and con’s on Penix Jr, those who hate the idea and those receptive to it. I think it’d be a bit high and it’d be better to trade down first. The thing is, his arm is elite. John Schneider likes elite arms. They just hired the Washington OC. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that we’ll see six QB’s go in round one.

Where could other veteran QB’s land?

If the Raiders don’t intend to draft a quarterback at #13, Russell Wilson could be an interesting option. He’d be the big name they crave, plus he’d be highly motivated to beat the Broncos in the division. The cost would also be beneficial too because Denver would be picking up the tab.

If/when Mac Jones moves on from the Patriots, doesn’t it seem like a perfect match to go to San Francisco to back-up Brock Purdy? Who knows, maybe Kyle Shanahan will think there’s cause to roll with a cheaper Jones if things pan out, rather than paying Purdy a fortune?

The Buccs appear determined to keep Baker Mayfield and will likely ensure that happens.

It won’t leave much of a market for Geno Smith and this is why I think of all the options, Pittsburgh makes the most sense. The Seahawks might have trouble finding a market for Geno.

Meanwhile, it’s been announced Jer’Zhon Newton will not work-out at the combine after recently having foot surgery. Cooper DeJean will also not test in Indianapolis.


  1. Sea Mode

    Maura Dooley

    Rome Odunze on @SeattleSports discussing what the Seahawks are getting in Ryan Grubb:

    “Y’all are getting a dawg. A lot of people describe a player as that but to me that’s exactly what Grubb is. He’s the type of guy that’s out-preparing everybody to the fullest.”

    • Rob Staton

      Listening to Grubb on KJR was a breath of fresh air this week

      The anti-Waldron as a communicator speaking words about a plan that makes total sense for the modern NFL

      • cha

        Was that the Tuesday interview?

        Where he was asked if he’d talked to Geno and said yeah and then pivoted to he’s also talked to Drew?

        • Rob Staton

          Yeah, with Hugh Millen and Softy

  2. Big Mike

    My gut tells me that Sean Payton will stay where he’s at and draft Nix if McCarthy is not available.
    One thing’s for sure I’d be shocked if he didn’t pick someone at the position.

    • Brodie

      They don’t have a 2nd rounder though. They’d be 70 picks between players with more holes to fill than we have.

      They’re also -$24M cap

      • Big Mike

        He’s gotta have a QB tho. Maybe he tries a Tyrod Taylor

        • Big Mike

          And puts of drafting one for a year.
          What would be hysterical would be if he dropped to say 26 to get a 2nd thinking he’d still get maybe Penix and we dropped to 25 and snagged him first.

          • bk26

            Honestly, he might just draft someone so he has a better excuse/easier sale of moving on from Russ.

    • Denver Hawker

      If Sean Payton is deciding, he’ll try to trade up for a QB.

      If George Paton is deciding, he will try to trade back several times, and draft a QB.

      • Rob Staton

        Payton is definitely deciding in Denver

  3. Nick P

    Hey Rob,

    When you sit down to scout players, do you prepare to watch different things depending on the person’s tape you are putting on or do you have general things you look for in each position group?

    • Rob Staton

      Sure, there are things you’re looking out for. EG for a center — are they passive or do they attack the lineman and shoot their hands quickly, are they the enforcer, how are their angles etc. For a pass rusher can they win in multiple ways, how are they with their hands, what’s the get-off like and how do they bend/straighten. For defensive tackles can they push the pocket. Sometimes you just watch a player and it hits you right away — this is a quality player. Took about four snaps to know I liked Taliese Fuaga

      Most of the time you know quite quickly whether you’re going to like someone or not

      • Peter

        For Linebackers for me…do they square and hit or do they hold there guy in place. Corners if they run their heads or just stare down the reciever.

        For recievers a thing I like to see is do they shoot their hands out or do they basket catch.

        Dlinemen push the pocket like you mentioned, double teams, and can they disengage for blocks and attach the ball carrier or do they stay stuck battling past the play.

        Safeties do they sift through traffic or are always a step behind hitting after someone else makes the stop.

  4. Nick

    Was listening to Brett Kollmann describe Michael Penix and he called him a “trebuchet.” Stationary, but can absolutely launch it.

    Thought it was a really solid metaphor! I would be 100% down with taking Penix at 16 if Grubb, JS, and MM think it’s the right pick. He can tilt the field.

    For those who think it would be a waste of draft capital: there is nothing more important than a good QB. Giving up a second round pick to get that is not overpay imo.

    • Nick

      And by “giving up a second” I mean by not trading down and acquiring another pick.

    • Rob Staton

      Yep, that’s a good way of describing Penix Jr

      And he can tilt the field with his arm

    • bk26

      Unless there are concerns about him:

      1. being the guy/being enough of a difference maker
      2. being effective when he has anything less than an elite line
      3. injury concerns that might have ramifications on a long-term career.

      Nothing wrong with trading back, getting picks that could bear fruit sooner and easier, and then see what happens later on. Trebuchet’s can only launch it far. Sounds like a good comparison.

      • Roy Batty

        And Kollmann also gritted his teeth and talked about the drastic drop in QB rating when Penix was under pressure. Something close to a 50 point drop.

        I’m all for drafting Penix, but 16 is too rich for me. He’s a great leader and has a cannon arm. Is that enough for Schneider to overlook the statistical drop when under pressure or lack of touch in the short game? Will Schneider be willing to bypass a possible 2nd rounder in a trade back to Penix?

        This draft is so up in the air for that 16 pick. I love it. It brings excitement and drama with all the possibilities.

  5. Wilson502

    If the market is non-existent for Geno, then they should have just cut him before Feb. 16th and signed a cheap veteran and Lock

    • Rob Staton

      I didn’t say non-existent

      I said it might not be that great

      Which limits their ability to get a nice deal but doesn’t limit their ability to move him and get something instead of nothing

    • AlaskaHawk

      Agree that they should have cut Geno immediately. But since they didn’t, the only reasonable assumption is that Geno will be competing for the starting quarterback role next season. Unless someone is willing to trade a first or possibly combination of 2nd and more draft picks for him.

      • Rob Staton

        That is not the only reasonable assumption

        It’s perfectly reasonable they think getting something via trade for him is better than nothing

        • AlaskaHawk

          It wasn’t really for nothing though was it? They guaranteed a good chunk of money. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding that part of things?

          • cab

            That money was guaranteed if they cut him, but there’s a date in March where if they trade him before then they save the same amount. I think sometime around March 20th

          • Rob Staton

            Yes, you misunderstood what happened last week. The money they would’ve saved for cutting him last week was exactly the same as if they traded him before March 18th. So keeping him last week didn’t cost the Seahawks anything in that regard.

            Today, they have re-worked the deal and split the roster bonus. So that has changed things

            • Roy Batty

              That pushes more guarantees into 2025, correct? They can still move on without it being a really bad dead cap hit next season, but do you believe they might be leaning towards keeping him with this move?

              Might that also signal, as you stated, less of a market for Geno than was anticipated, especially after Schefter’s follow-up tweet? Tepid response, or none at all leading them to move on to the plan that includes Geno for this year.

              • Roy Batty

                Nevermind. I scrolled down and read the back and forth with cha.

                Good stuff.

  6. Happy Hawk

    If Fields is heading to New England and that #3 pick slot is available, and J Daniels is still on the board – wonder if the Hawks would go all in on moving up for him?

    • Rob Staton

      I think Daniels is a lock for #2

  7. Ryan

    Tony Pauline mentioned on his podcast that he does not have Michael Penix among the top 50 players on his board. He also had mentioned that he only sees three QBs in the first round, with Penix and Nix not showing they are worthy of being first rounders based on what he heard from the Senior Bowl. Couple that with Ben Allbright who mentioned the league is not as high on Nix and Penix as the fans and media are and JJ McCarthy will be a first rounder.

    It seems like Tony is saying that outside the top 3 QBs, there is not as much hype as has been projected among these QBs. Maybe we see them much later than in the first round?

    • Rob Staton

      As I keep saying, the range of these QB’s is extremely diverse. They could go early, they could go day two. I have two quarterbacks with firm first round grades. We might see six go in R1. It is what it is

    • Peter

      As much as people think this is the legendary ’83 draft all over its pretty easy for me to see three first round qbs.

      • cha

        I heard next year’s draft is better for QBs.

        //ducks out of the way

        • Peter

          Ha! Hope so though because:

          1. I’m not sure Seattle will be able to draft one high this year or…

          2. If other Gms feel that way it helps us this year.

  8. Julian

    What if JJ McCarthy is the guy? We don’t know what Mike MacDonald thinks of him, but surely he’ll know him better than most. If other teams are right to look at taking him in the Top 10 and the Seahawks through their connections and first hand knowledge are on that train, what would it take to Trade with either the Jets or Bears to get ahead of Minnesota?

    Bearing in mind the Chiefs came up from #27 to #10 with a 3rd and two 1st round picks for Mahomes in 2017, could Seattle get up 6 or 7 spots with a 3rd a 1st and 2025 2nd round pick?

    • bk26

      I’d bet money that it’s John’s call. Probably was even pointed out in the interview.

      He doesn’t have the arm that we know John wants. Probably the worst out of the top 7. He’s probably the one guy that we can rule out Seattle drafting. I’m of the mind that they shouldn’t trade up for anyone (maybe Daniels if he gets within a few picks). They almost can’t afford to.

      Just as a point, Christian Ponder went 12th overall.

      • Julian

        Just to know, can an arm be strengthened with conditioning, especially if the player in question is young? J.J. McCarthy was only 21 last month. Or is the arm what it is from college football onwards?

        • Rob Staton

          You can improve strength, anyone can really

          But he was small last year and he’s still small now, which makes you wonder if he can gain weight easily

    • Rob Staton

      Too much

  9. Jabroni-DC

    It’ll be interesting where Penix ultimately goes. I could see Atlanta having interest. Minnesota, Denver, LV, NO, Seattle. Top 10 wouldn’t be a shock, neither would rd 2.

    • Julian

      I don’t know, but perhaps the team match ups that suit the QB prospects the best with a QB needy team might be;

      Bears : Caleb Williams
      Commanders : Jayden Daniels
      Patriots : Justin Fields
      Giants : Drake Maye
      Falcons : Kirk Cousins
      Seahawks : JJ McCarthy
      Vikings : Michael Penix Jr
      Broncos : Bo Nix
      Raiders : Russell Wilson

      I’m not judging whether or not JJ McCarthy would be the best QB for the Seahawks, but for J.J. the Seahawks would be the best fit for him, as he’ll have a head coach he knows, a center he knows and he won’t have to start straight away?

  10. bk26

    Man, I appreciate your work. You are putting out so much content that I don’t realize that there are new articles until I go to comment.

  11. Ky

    Hey Rob,

    What are your thoughts on Drake Maye to the Hawks? Seems like he has been overrated by the media and could potentially be on the board longer than initially projected. He has the prototypical size and I could see JS really being really enamored with his potential.

    Do you see Maye lasting until the teens? Would you make a move up for him if he lasts until the bottom half of the top ten?
    Just curious on your overall thoughts on him in the Grubb offense and if you would prefer Maye over Penix, Rattler, or another QB?

  12. Blitzy the Clown

    The two QBs getting some R1 buzz this year aren’t like the two QBs who got some R1 buzz in 2022.

    Penix and Nix each could go first frame. Or they could slip to Day 2. I think they’re Day 2 talent, but both are better than either Pickett or (ahem) Willis (who never deserved his buzz).

    I’ll be a little disappointed if they take Penix at 16 but mostly because it means no trade down and a long drought of picks. Makes for a boring draft.

    Love your content lately.

  13. ShowMeYourHawk

    Honest question: Is there any feasible possibility that the Commanders decide to stick with Howell and take Harrison, Jr.?

    In that scenario, should the Pats decide to take on Fields and trade their spot to the highest bidder, do you pay the iron price to move up for Daniels?

  14. cha


    Field Yates
    The Seahawks have restructured the contract of QB Geno Smith, converting his $9.6M roster bonus into a signing bonus and creating $4.8M in 2024 cap space, per source.

    • cha

      2024 Cap hit: $26.4m

      Dead if cut now: $39.7m ($8.5m cap hit)

      Dead if traded now: $27m ($4.2m cap gain)

      • Rob Staton

        So not being dealt?

        • cha

          *Dead if traded now: $27m ($.6m cap hit) – I forgot the new $26.4m cap number.

          Would the Seahawks be OK eating $27m dead?

          Acquiring team only on the hook for $12.7m in 2024. All of 2025 not guaranteed at all.

          They could convert to bonus and pay Geno $7.7m in 2024 and be on the hook for $5m dead in 2025.

          Pretty attractive, but darn that dead money.

          Possible they ate this to make a trade more attractive.

        • Blitzy the Clown

          Seems like they fixed his 2024 cap hit to trade him without the other team taking on any financial baggage.

          Hurts a bit more this year but then his contract is completely off the books in 2025.

          • Brodie

            Not really. The purpose of converting to signing bonus is to spread the cap hit over 2 years.

            If they would have traded him, the guaranteed money would have gone to the new team. Now half of that is on our books for 2025, whether we keep him or not.

            I do agree that it makes him more valuable to an acquiring team.

        • line_hawk

          They need cap space to play around in the FA. So, it makes sense that way.

          It also removes the artificial deadline for when he can be traded and removes pressure on the draft. They can wait until after the draft or training camp to decide his fate. If they get someone they like in draft, they could move Geno before the season (his cap hit is quite low for the other team to fit in). Otherwise, they can roll with him.

    • Brett

      Appears he won’t be traded.

      • Brodie

        I think this makes him more tradeable. Acquiring team is getting him at a discount.

        If we keep him, it lowers the cap hit.

        Cutting him is the option that appears to be least likely – based on this move, unless I’m reading it wrong.

        • BK26

          Sounds like hedging bets?

        • Brett

          Unless a team trades for him within the next 24 hours (ie Seattle did this to facilitate the trade) I don’t think a trade is happening. The cap savings for a new team might net a pick that’s one round higher now (eg now they can get a R3 pick instead of R4) and I don’t think that’s enough to justify the extra dead money/lost cap space considering the team is still over the cap with this move.

          • Brodie

            That’s just guessing though. It buys a receiving team almost $15M in cap space. That’s worth more than going from a 4 to a 3, I would think.

            Again, I think this makes keeping or trading him more likely and cutting him less likely. If you want to deal him and commit to building with a rookie, get as much draft capital as you can. If you want to give it a run with him, free up some space for FA this year.

            If they cut him, it’s pretty much a major blunder in handling things IMO. That’s like forgetting to cancel your $10M/year private jeet club membership before the free trial ran out.

            • Roy Batty

              The Giants ate some guaranteed money to help in the Williams trade, didn’t they?

              This could very well be an enticement for a possible suitor, or suitors, they already have lined up.

              • Brodie

                They ate all of his guaranteed money and we paid up for it, yes.

  15. Odium

    One of my best friends from high school went to Miami with Eliot Wolf. My how time has flown…

  16. JimQ

    Noticed this quote on recent mock draft in the comments section when they mocked #16 as DT-Newton.
    A shout out to SDB!!!!
    “Not so fast. SeahawksDraftBlog discusses Schneider’s lack of commitment to QB Geno Smith, or perhaps his salary vis-a-vis his performance.” They went on to say maybe QB Penix instead.

  17. Waldo

    Geno to the Bears for a 4th round pick (they have an extra one from Philly). This move keeps Geno is Waldron’s system to be a mentor/back-up to Caleb Williams while the Hawks get much needed draft capital. Bears only interested if Geno’s salary was lower…otherwise too much for a back-up, so Hawks restructured

    Heard it here first. Ha! 🙂

    • Rob Staton

      The Bears are just going to start Caleb

© 2024 Seahawks Draft Blog

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑