The opinions and analysis contained in this feature represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the thoughts and opinions of the Seahawks’ coaching staff and personnel department.
A look at the position heading into the April 26-28 draft:
Best of the bunch
Player, college Ht. Wt. Projection
Andrew Luck, Stanford 6-4 234 First pick overall
Robert Griffin III, Baylor 6-2 223 Second pick overall
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M 6-4 221 First round
Brandon Weeden, Okla. St. 6-4 221 Second round
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State 6-3 214 Second round
(Rankings and projections by Rob Rang, senior analyst for NFLDraftScout.com)
What it all means: Luck being the top pick in this draft has been considered a slam dunk since before the Colts stumbled to a 2-14 record, setting up the release of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and only hardening the cement on Luck’s lofty status. After winning the Heisman Trophy and wowing everyone at the NFL Scouting Combine, RG3 set up a bidding war for the Rams’ No. 2 pick that the Redskins won. But that’s when things start to fall into the anything-can-happen mode. Is Tannehill, a one-plus season starter at the position at A&M, worth a Top 10 pick? How much of a turnoff will Weeden’s age (he’s 28) be? How far are QB-needy teams like the Browns (No. 4) and Dolphins (No. 8) willing to reach to get one?
What about: Kellen Moore. All he did at Boise State was win, as in posting an NCAA-record 50 victories. But even that hasn’t won Moore many points when it comes to projecting his ability to be a winner at the next level. Not surprisingly, the NFL QB he most admires is the Saints’ Drew Brees, another 6-footer who has had to overcome the obvious lack-of-prototypical-height questions. Moore when asked about compensating at the Combine: “I don’t really think of compensating a whole lot. Like all of us, you have to find passing lanes and move within the pocket and keep our eyes downfield … because those linemen are all 6-5 and 6-6. At the end of the day, it’s about finding lanes and making plays.” Rang projects Moore as a sixth- or seventh-round pick.
Don’t forget about: Russell Wilson. His accuracy is uncanny. His intangibles are off the charts. But the one-year starter for Wisconsin comes up short – very short – in the height category. He checked in at 5-11 at the combine, but many remain skeptical about his ability to consistently find passing lanes in the larger-than-life world of the NFL. Wilson’s passer rating last season, however, was 191.78 – 22 points higher than Luck. He had a 76-19 TD-to-interception ratio in three seasons at North Carolina State, but transferred when the coaching staff wanted him to focus solely on football (he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies as a baseball player). That’s how he ended up leading Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl victory last season.
Seahawks situation: After signing Matt Flynn in free agency to compete with incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, there’s no way the Seahawks will spend a draft choice on a quarterback. Right? Not so fast, says this assessment from coach Pete Carroll: “Every year going into the draft we’re looking to take a quarterback and effectively upgrade the quarterback position, and this year is no different.” Carroll and GM John Schneider have not taken a QB in their first two drafts in Seattle, and the Seahawks have not drafted one since selecting Mike Teal in the sixth round in 2009. But as Carroll said, “We’re going into the draft with the very expressed intention to see if we can find a guy that can help our club. … As we go through it, if it fits and the timing is right, we’re going to jump on it.”