Seahawks Insider

Clausen in play for Hawks? Let the debate begin

Post by Eric Williams on April 8, 2010 at 3:03 pm with 36 Comments »
April 8, 2010 3:05 pm

Now that the Washington Redskins have traded for Donovan McNabb, the Seattle Seahawks are the next, possible landing spot for Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

Clausen will have his pro day at Notre Dame on Friday.

However, with the Seahawks making a trade with San Diego for Charlie Whitehurst, they seem to have their quarterback of the future.

Or maybe not?

During Whitehurst’s introductory press conference last month, general manager John Schneider would not rule out the possibility of Seattle drafting a quarterback in the first round.

“Absolutely not,” Schneider said. “We’re going to compete at every position. And you guys are going to get tired of hearing this, but we’re going to be going down every road. Even if there’s five of them standing there, we’re going to be evaluating all of them.”

However, ESPN senior draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. thinks Seattle will pass on Clausen. In a conference call on Wednesday Kiper said that he’s heard from multiple sources that the Seahawks will not take Clausen in the first round.

Kiper believes that Clausen is the best QB prospect in the draft, ahead of Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford, and has him going to the Oakland Raiders at No. 8.

Rob Rang, senior draft analyst with, agrees with Kiper, saying it’s unlikely that Seattle would take Clausen at No. 6

“I would be stunned honestly if they took Jimmy Clausen at the six spot,” Rang said. “If he were to slide to No. 14, and the team thought he was a legitimate, franchise quarterback, then it makes a good deal of sense just because with Charlie Whitehurst – as talented as he is – he is still an unproven prospect. And so the fact that Jimmy Clausen does have more recent game experience, then in some ways he ‘s a surer prospect. He comes from a pro-style offense, so that makes some sense.”

Gil Brandt, a longtime, personnel guy for the Dallas Cowboys who is now a personnel guru for the NFL Network, believes that Clausen could still be in play for Seattle. I asked Brandt his thoughts on what direction the Seahawks may be leaning at No. 6 and 14, and here is what he had to say.

“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they took a quarterback,” Brandt said. “It would not surprise me at all, because you’re not going to be in a position to take a quarterback very often. You know, unless you want to wait until next year and get that quarterback from Prosser, Washington (Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore), then you’re in good shape.”

Brandt also said he was one of several folks in the national media surprised by Seattle trading for Whitehurst.

“If you look at the Clemson quarterback as a junior, he was pretty good,” Brandt said during a conference call on Wednesday. “As a senior, he wasn’t very good. You know, so I think Pete saw something in him or John Schneider or somebody in that organization saw something in him that they liked is what it amounted to.”

“I jokingly told him the other day at practice, I said obviously you like Whitehurst better than I do,” Brandt went on. “And I said, the one redeeming quality, though, is maybe your owner is going to start a volleyball league and he (Whithurst) has a sister that is a great volleyball player, and it’s a package deal.”

Brandt said he talked with Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during Sam Bradford’s pro day at Oklahoma and the University of Texas pro day, and he gets a sense that Seattle will not give up a first round pick for Denver restricted free agent Brandon Marshall. Brandt believes offensive tackle will be Seattle’s priority with the team’s No. 6 overall pick.

Brandt also said Carroll coming from USC should help him in the draft evaluation process much in the same way Jimmy Johnson benefited after joining Dallas from the University of Miami.

And Brandt does not buy into the notion that Clasuen does not have leadership skills, and believes he will be successful at the next level.

“Last year he threw four interceptions, really three interceptions because one was a quick screen that hit the lineman in the back and intercepted. But I think he has a good arm. I think he has good athletic ability, and I think he has really good leadership qualities about him, also.

“I think the one thing about him is when you complete 68 percent of your passes like he did last year, that tells you something about a player. You know, he’s got a little bit of a swagger about him, and I think that’s good. Now, to some people, I think he rubs them a little bit wrong. But I think I’d love to have Jimmy Clausen on my football team.”

NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. Simple answer….no.

    I think Boling said it best in his article today “Here’s what speculation and scuttlebutt you should believe coming out of the National Football League this time of year: Nothing.”

  2. Clausen brings back disturbing memories of being mired in losses with another Notre Dame QB. But, nevermind that…

    “Onawingandaprayer”, or whatever his name is, called for a boycott on Notre Dame players, hunchbacks, and the colors blue and gold, so it looks like we’ll just have to draft a player who can help us this year.

  3. “Brandt believes offensive tackle will be Seattle’s priority with the team’s No. 6 overall pick”

    make it so… make it so… make it so.

  4. nighthawk2 says:

    I’d love to have Jimmy Clausen on this team. For once I agree with Kiper, Clausen is the best quarterback in this draft, and it isn’t even close. There’s a lot of irrational haterade out there for Clausen. He brings memories to of another Notre Dame quarterback who won 3 Super Bowls. Left offensive tackle is our biggest need, but I hope we find a way to get Clausen. That said, I really don’t think it happens, because of 1) the Whitehurst trade, although we didn’t give up a lot to get him and he isn’t being paid starter money, and 2) the front office may truly view QB now as a lesser priority position. Plus, if Holmgren really does want a better QB than Jake Delhomme and his 18 interceptions starting the season, they could move up 2 spots with KC and take Clausen. But keeping up the idea that we’d take him also helps position us for someone wanting to trade up with us like Buffalo if Cleveland passes on him.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    I too think they will pass on Clausen. Seems like we’ve been discussing this daily here, so without re-hashing it all; there are simply too many greater needs now that Whitehurst is here. At least for this draft. I cannot wait for the draft, if for no other reason than we can move on to what has been done rather that all the speculation.

  6. I’d love to take Clausen at #14, even though the Hawks QB need is only a 3 vs the LT and CB needs at 10; DE & FS needs at 9; RB, WR, & OG needs at 8; DT need at 7; SS need at 6; and backup C need at 5. If Clausen fell to 14, then he’d be the 2nd or 3rd QB and Teel would either be PS or cut.

    Also he’s currently injured, his accuracy is good (not great) on short to medium throws but tends to throw high (leads to tips/picks), doesn’t always hit the outside shoulder on deep throws, struggles at times where arm strength is required – 60 yd balls float, yet throws too hard at nearby receivers, clues defenders with his windup, doesn’t sell ball fakes and pump fakes very well, drops right shoulder on deep passes, gets happy feet if OL struggles, throws off back foot, average height – so may have trouble throwing over tall DLs, bird dogs his go-to receiver, takes too many chances throwing downfield when underneath receivers are open, throws late over the middle & across his body, and he’s often late feeling backside pressure. Still, a good value at 14, just not at 6 – not for Hawks.

    Charlie Weiss’ offense is a different style of offense than what Hawks have played in the past and from what Bates is gonna play in ’10. In Weiss’ offense, the backs stay in to block, which helps when the OL is struggling, but Hawks send their backs out as receivers, so there isn’t much help in the pocket.

  7. Big fan of the info coming on the new Blog at

    I’ve read Malcomson’s blog postings before. He’s a quality writer.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    Bates also likes to role out his QB so there isn’t the necessity to keep backs in to block. Also, is this your scouting report or an amalgam of reports from various sites?

  9. ND QBs scare me. Charlie Whitehurst scares me. I am hoping beyond hope Hasselbeck can regain his 2002-2005 form.

  10. pabs – you really didn’t say that, did you:)

    Don’t forget his best season, IMO, 2007.

  11. I’m not a college sports expert. But from having listened to a few who are in the last couple weeks, & looking at the Seahawks NEEDS (ok the only places there aren’t huge needs are LB &QB!), my preference is in this order for the #6 depending on who is still on the board:

    Russell Okung
    Trent Williams
    Eric Berry
    Ndamukong Suh
    C.J. Spiller
    Bryan Bulaga
    Jimmy Clausen

    I kinda think that rules out Clausen!

  12. Like i said before. If clausen falls to us at 6, i dont know if there is a better value pick at that spot.

    1. If Clausen falls to 6 that means Okung and Bulaga are most likely off the board. Any LT after that is a fill in at #14

    2. Do we really want to pay top dollar for Eric Berry and spend our #6 pick on him? I don’t see the value in that. There are 4 other safeties that are most likely starting caliber players in this draft that are easily reachable in 2nd round.

    3. CJ Spiller – Again the value is too high he can be had at #14 saving millions. If he isnt available the talent drop off is not THAT much. Besides we need a big bruiser that can bang his head in the hole and grind out some yards, i.e gerhart, dwyer, blount.

    The #6 pick needs to be a pick that will be expected to be a cornerstone of our franchise and the best Value you get is with Clausen

    Carrol is not going to put his franchise defining move in Charlie Whitehurst…..Why should we as fans expect that. Like nighthawk said CW is not getting starter money. They are hopeful for him to develop into THAT guy. We need top level competition for our QB of the future and Clausen is it.

    Again if he is available at #6…you dont pass that

  13. Please, lets remember, we should have a healthy dose of Hasselback this upcoming season. May be I’m lost in that 2005 superbowl haze. Honestly # 8 is our best option this season. So, lets see how this draft and offseason work out and oh Yeah Go HAWKS!!!!!

  14. Hey, once again, if this Management group doesn’t take care of the offensive
    line issues this is another 6-10 or 5-11 season. That is a scenario for Pete Carrol that makes about as much sense as paying a million dollars for a hamburger that is going to give you a heart attack that costs you another 20g’s to recover from. Honestly, everything is shaping up goldenly, coming off that sb run i believe in this posse. Something to build on. Line first and defense will follow only if it’s the current crew. Go HAWKS!!!!!!!

  15. Cougfan4real says:

    If they select Clausen in the first round period, it would show the ineptness that they have so far shown us (pretty comparable to the Obama admin.) That being said they probably will do it! If Suh, McCoy, Okung or Bulaga aren’t there at 6 they should trade down and stock pile picks possibly with San Fran, combo their two 1st or one of those plus a 2nd or 3rd. Pick up LG Mike Iupati with that later 1st.

  16. SpellStitchedHawk says:

    So what if we get an OT at #6 and Clausen at #14. Do we work out a 2nd draft day deal to trade Hasselbeck and pick up / trade up for a high 2nd?

    I can’t see us drafting a QB in the first and keeping Hass. I’d hate that, but it seems possible with this organization, especially since he only has 1 year left anyway. (My vote is to get Ryan Mallet or Jake Locker next year).

  17. HawksKD-
    There is a player value chart associated with NFLDraftScout (Rang) that ranks players overall and by position:
    Clausen is 12th overall / 2nd among QBs. He is good, just not #6 good. In fact, because of the team needs (and higher overall ranking) it would make better sense to take D.Morgan at 14. Berry is a higher need and better overall player at #6

    Duke –
    Scouting report from NFLDraftScout as fed to CBS Sports:;pageContainer

  18. zombiehooliganfc says:

    It seems like a great idea to float the idea of drafting the QB, maybe make your pick more valuable? As long as they don’t draft him, I like the ploy.

  19. vichawkfan says:

    I was 100% behind Clausen until we took CW, but it’s left me with a small pit in my stomach. Once we let Matt go after the season, assuming it’s a small disaster, all we have it Charlie and 1 year contract….and maybe a pick in the range of 4-10 in 2011. So now we’re really screwed at QB.

    Interesting 20/20 hindsight.

  20. Seattle should not take a LT any lower than Charlie Brown. He may be a clown but he fits their system. They could trade down and still get him at #20.

    Of course, if Okung drops to #6……..

  21. oregondawg says:

    Let’s not bother with Clausen. I really never did understand how he became as highly rated as he is. He was a loser at a losing program. I get really tired of all the Notre Dame hoopla anyway. Just because someone went to Notre Dame doesn’t automatically make them legit. I’d rather draft Tevo than Jimmy anyday, even if we move him to another position. Forget Clausen and get us some real talent. There’s plenty out there this year.

  22. If we pass on Clausen it will be 2 years in a row that we missed the best QB in the draft.

  23. fuzzybear says:

    If he proves to be THAT good by the coaches come draft day…get him. Yes, we need a line and we need rushers, but we NEED a franchise quarterback.

  24. I think Clausen could be a good QB, but do I want him? No, no way. We already have two QB’s that’s going to get a lot of money, so if we draft Clausen, Matt is out and I don’t want that.

  25. Before someone starts yapping about how Sanchez was the best rookie QB from last season, let me remind you that he threw about 20 INTs and the fact of the matter is that he had the best rushing offense in the NFL, not to mention the best offensive line, not to mention one of the best defenses in the league. Is anyone dumb enough to think he would have had that same success in Seattle (probably the interception part… but not the post-season run). I’d say that’s a little bit better position to succeed than Stafford who went to a terrible team who was coming off an 0-16 year. But, hey, some love to ignore surrounding talent as being a factor for a person having success.

    For the record, I’m not saying Sanchez isn’t good. He is. But he wouldn’t be enjoying as much success if his line sucked, he had no running game, and his defense was terrible.

  26. Jimmy the douche will suck behind Lock, scrub, Unger, Spencer, Willis. Jimmy will look like he has some potential to be good if he has a good LT, good LG, Unger, Spencer, Lock. It’s not hard to figure out. Build a damn line and get a go-to WR and it’ll make life easier on any QB. My personal opinion is that I don’t want to touch him with a 10 foot pole unless I can use it as a weapon on the side of his head. I’ve always thought he has carried himself like a pr!ck and I don’t mind a BM being a moron (although I’m not saying Jimmy is a jerk in the same way BM is in a criminal way) but you don’t (at least I) want a jerk as the face of your franchise. And I have had this thought about Clausen for a few years, before all this pre-draft crap talk has come out about him. I could easily be wrong about him, but I don’t think so. If I was, it’s not like it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong about anything. Just ask my wife:)

  27. Clarification on Clausen/BM comment:

    QB = face of franchise.
    Other positions = doesn’t matter as much if the’re a moron.

  28. I seriously doubt CLausen is chosen at #6, if he’s available at #14 then a case could be made. If the Hawks believe he will be there in the early 20’s, a trade down and pick-up is a draft day coup. I also seriously doubt they go LT at #6 unless they are convinced that they can get Okung there. Buluga is more of a RT and the Hawks need a LT, plus Bulaga may be off the boards and then you go BPA (Berry) and fill the line in later rounds where Gibbs finds his gems. I could be wrong, then again so could everybody else including the mock draft guys. One would have to imagine that Gibbs has already got his targets, and that PC and Schneider are meeting with him (Gibbs) a lot to determine what to do at 6. I’m sure Gibbs has more say in that pick then anybody else does, what I mean by that is if he (Gibbs) says no linemen there coach, then PC and Schneider will get their guy. I really don’t think that the Hawks are going to take a roster spot away from another player to put on a QB unless they plan on putting Teel on the practice squad or out in the streets.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    BobbyK – I don’t think anyone is implying that Sanchez would have had the success playing for the Seahawks last year he had for the Jets. But he was the best rookie QB last year. Even Manning had 17 ints last year and having a good team around him is an odd criticism. Not arguing he is Manning or Brady or Brees but as far as the rookie class last year, he was the best. Wouldn’t you agree?

  30. I don’t think it’s fair to call Sanchez better than Stafford because his team was great and Stafford’s was terrible. We don’t know what Stafford can do yet and some want to write him off as an afterthought because of his team and that’s the part I don’t think is fair.

  31. Say what you want but Jimmy clausen is actually one of the best college “pro-style” offense qb that has developed in the past 10 years. He played on an absolutely horrendous team. He had a terrible line and terrible run game (sound familiar anyone???) he still showed the ability to make great decisions and put points on the board. His team was still competing for wins solely on his arm.

    We hate Jimmy clausen because he reminds us of the biggest bust in the NFL Ryan Leaf. He’s cocky, he’s confident. He talks shit to the other team……..TO THE OTHER TEAM.

    Has anyone on Jimmy Clausens team say anything LESS than he is a great leader?

    He has what I want.
    The ability to make great decisions
    The ability to make all the throws
    The fire and compassion to win
    The ability to be a strong outspoken leader.

    Give me Jimmy clausen at 6

  32. Dukeshire says:

    I would take Stafford for the long term, he’s hardly an after thought. But for their rookie seasons, when I compare the two, Sanchez had a better season, IMO.

  33. HawksKD –
    I know you’re sold on Clausen, and it’s become personnal, but just rein in your horses a little and look at it like you didn’t have a stake in it . . . like you were in JS’s shoes, deciding whether or not to gamble the Hawks future on it (oops – maybe that’s a bad example [CW]).

    Has what you want:
    *Ability to make great decisions: Clausen often throws deep when his deep receivers are pretty well covered, while his underneath receivers are wide open. The opposite was specifically the improvement in Drew Brees game that he credited for the Saints winning that last SB. Golden Tate 5-10/199, 4.42-40 may be slotted as high as he is as a WR, despite being physically unimposing, because pro scouts see him as a big part of the reason for Clausen’s passing success. Still, he doesn’t bird dog his receiver to the point where he throws blindly at him, as CW was known to, so that could be an improvement.

    *Ability to make all the throws: When throwing deep Clausen lowers his right shoulder to get the leverage needed. His deep throws aren’t quite the same as a punt, but you could call him a “rainbow warrier” if you wanted. DBs in the NFL don’t need all that much time to get in position to make a pick.

    *Fire and compassion to win: Bradford, McCoy, Tebow, et al have such intangibles, too, and their teams won. It’s harder to see in Clausen, because his teams didn’t.

    *Ability to be a strong outspoken leader – Talking smack to the other team is not really a good thing. Don’t give post-ups to motivate the other teams. Calling out your teammates and embarrassing them in front of the fans and other team is not really being a team leader either. Team leadership is borne of mutual respect, not by bullying. Grandpa Favre is a leader because he respects his teammates and they see him as a competent, tough QB who loves playing the game. Being on Favre’s (or Manning’s, or Brady’s, or River’s, etc.) team brings out more desire to perform at their very best from his teammates – even when they see him struggling. If Clausen was a Hawk, continually running for his life, his receivers never getting open, constantly throwing picks because the throws take too long to get there, or because he throws underneath stuff high and too hard, or because he stares at his receivers, his teammates would perform just about as well as ND’s did – not much. His current teammates may not want to be seen as disloyal finger-pointer types before the draft for saying negatives about Clausen?

    That said, if Clausen is Aaron Rogers in disguise, then take him at 14 if he’s there. Those current performance drawbacks can be mostly corrected through coaching and finessing the scheme to fit. His attitude may just fit PC’s competitive approach, provided he can be a little more cool with his teammates.

  34. Take away Golden Tate and how good is Clausen? Probably about as good as Brady Quinn minus John Carlson. I watched Clausen play a lot and it looked to me that Tate bailed his a** out many times by making some pretty spectacular catches.

    So after Bradford, THERE IS NO QB WORTHY OF THE 6TH PICK IN THE DRAFT!! At that point I believe the Hawks go for the “Best Player Available” which will probably be Eric Berry.

  35. Norseman says:

    i still have the hawks taking a tackle and safety with their first two picks. whitehurst is an experiement/backup to matty for one more year…then we’ll make a move for locker next year. carroll is in love with that guy. if we can’t get him, then we make the most with whitehurst; but my guess is they’ll build the core upfront, probably have another high draft pick next year, and make a move on jake.

  36. KLM – Excellent assessments. Very enlightening actually. I’m not selling the wagon for Clausen. If he falls to six that would be the most outstanding thing for Hawks. I’ve made my opinion heard in that I think they should get him.

    I don’t think anyone really is taking a look at the big picture here. We are in an absolute DIRE situation at QB. First of, I have continually have been one of Matts biggest supporters. I still think he has another 3 years left of GOOD football. However, his contract expires next year and I highly doubt there will be any renewal. Our franchise will be in the hands of CW and a qb drafted this year. We need one THIS year. Clausen will be the best one coming out this year.

    Like i said before I’m not selling the wagon for him. If he falls to us I think we have the perfect opportunity. You either take him (my perspective) or trade out to buffalo and pick up another draft pick. Possibly getting our 3rd rd back and getting someone like Skelton.

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