Seahawks Insider

First look at the draft: Quarterbacks

Post by Eric Williams on Feb. 2, 2011 at 5:25 pm with 30 Comments »
February 2, 2011 5:25 pm

As we do at the beginning of every offseason, I sat down with Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for, to discuss this year’s draft class and how the Seattle Seahawks may be leaning in their draft preparation as we head toward April.

Rang talks about the strengths and weaknesses in this year’s draft, and breaks down the top quarterbacks in the draft in the video above.

As I see it, Seattle’s top draft needs are quarterback, offensive and defensive lines, cornerback and wide receiver.

A lot will depend on what happens between the team and Matt Hasselbeck and the rest of the 27 players the Seahawks have hitting free agency in March, along with when that free agency period will take place and how long it will be.

The Seahawks also have young quarterbacks Charlie Whitehurst and Nate Davis currently on the roster as possibilities that could develop into the team’s quarterback of the future, and they no doubt will consider looking to upgrade that position in this year’s draft.

Four quarterbacks are expected to go in the first round in April. They include Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert, Auburn’s Cam Newton, Ryan Mallet of Arkansas and Washington’s Jake Locker.

All four of those prospects could be gone by the time Seattle selects at No. 25, which makes it a possibility Seattle could look to select more of a developmental quarterback later in the draft.

“Possibly we could see all four quarterbacks go before Seattle’s on the board at No. 25, even though there are some quarterbacks – most notably Mallet and Locker – that aren’t going to be viewed as Top 25 players by a lot of teams out there,” Rang said.

“I would rank them Gabbert No. 1, Cam Newton two largely on his incredible upside, Jake Locker three and Mallet at four.”

That said, here’s a quick look at some of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft, with comments on each one by Rang.

Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, 6-5, 235

Rang: “He’s got a big arm. He’s got a quick release for a big guy, and that’s very rare for a big quarterback. He uses his feet well, and so it leads you to believe that he can make that transition. He reads defenses well – he does all of those things well. He just doesn’t have the eye-popping statistics. … When it’s all said and done with Blaine Gabbert I believe he’s going to be end up being a top 5 to top 7 pick.”

Cam Newton, Auburn, 6-6, 250

Rang: “He has an unbelievable combination of arm strength, athletic ability size – the whole package – it’s just does he have the ability to acclimate to a pro-style offense, be able to read defense and things of that nature.”

Jake Locker, Washington, 6-2, 228

Rang: “He certainly has the intangibles you’re looking for. He has the size. He has the strength. You know he’s a competitor. He didn’t have to go to the Senior Bowl, yet he chose to do so despite being a four-year starter at Washington.

“The accuracy is the thing, especially in a West Coast offense like Seattle is going to be running. You really question if he has the ability to make that kind of transfer to a scheme like that.”

Ryan Mallet, Arkansas, 6-6, 238

Rang: “Ryan Mallet has the strongest arm of any quarterback in the draft. At the same time he’s so tall – he’s in that 6-6 to 6-7 range – that he’s almost like a Dan McGwire-type in that he’s going to struggle to get outside the pocket. So when the pocket is collapsing around him, can he set his feet and make an accurate throw. He has made some eye-popping throws, plays that just jump off the tape. At the same time, there’s been a troubling problem with him that when the pocket collapses he has a tendency to react poorly, to throw the ball into coverage and trust his arm too much, and that leads to some costly interceptions, especially at the end of big ball games.”

Christian Ponder, Florida, 6-2, 222

Rang: “He’s a guy that came into this season, and a lot of NFL scouts are ranking him right there with Jake Locker. He struggled through some real arm issues this year, he had two surgeries within a year, and so that’s one of the reasons why he came into the Senior Bowl a little bit unheralded, because he had struggled with that. And then at the Senior Bowl practices I would argue he was the most consistent quarterback throughout the week. … He’s an interesting player because what he does best is the short-to-intermediate-level accuracy. He does have the mobility to move around the pocket. He is a leader. He’s very intelligent, so those types of things you’re looking for, for a true West Coast offense he has.”

Andy Dalton, TCU, 6-2, 213

Rang: “He has the intangibles and has the accuracy. There’s some concerns because he also came out of a spread offense, and so there’s going to have to be some acclimation to a pro-style offense that he’s going to have to undertake as well. But you see the intangibles and you see the work ethic out of him that make you believe he gets it.”

Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, 6-4, 230

“He has the length you like. He has ability to throw the ball down the field. He has short-to-intermediate field accuracy. He’s more of a ball-control kind of a quarterback. I don’t know if he’s a great fit for the West Coast offense, but he makes some sense for any team that tries to pound the ball in the running game, and then be able to make smart decisions with the ball on third down.”

NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 30
  1. It’d be nice to resign Matt, see how Charlie coninues to develop under Mr. Happy, AND draft a guy like Andy Dalton in the 3rd round (and, yes, I know we don’t have a 3rd round pick at this moment). Or someone the organization has faith in with a mid-round pick (if any). In a perfect world, I’d love to take a QB in the 1st round, but I don’t see anyone available when we pick. And if Newton is there, I hope we pass on him. My gut wants nothing to do with him.

  2. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Re-sign Matt, develop CW (I guess he still needs developing) and sign a rookie QB. Love it. Don’t love Dalton, and REALLY don’t love Mallet. Would love to see Pouncy at #25 or trade down to pick up some picks. WRs Titus Young and Austin Pettis out of Boise State are going to be very good in the NFL. Sure hope one of them ends up in Seattle.

  3. I really don’t have a good feeling about any of the QBs coming out this year. Some years, I feel good about this player or that player and don’t care if it’s not to the degree of what an ‘expert’ thinks or not, but I really have no clue with this batch of QBs.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, we won’t know how good this QB class is for several years. But, it does feel like any QB to go in the first will be something of a reach this year, let alone 4. Guys like Locker appear to have 1st round talent without a 1st round resume. And the players that are more polished, like Ponder, have limited upside and / or health concerns. IMO, most draft experts (throat-clear) have this particular group over valued. We’ll find out in April…

  5. Cornutt says:

    I like both Ponder and Dalton. If Ponder checks out physically I’d rather have him than Locker for sure.

    I sort of agree with BobbyK though, that this class of QB’s is harder to peg than other years. No super appealing franchise-type looking players.

  6. Georgia – have you been hitting the sauce again? lol
    (intended in good fun)

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Dang BobbyK. You know me better than, never mind!lol

  8. maddog12 says:

    So who is a lineman that might be around at 25th? None of the qb’s thrill me at that number. The best ones won’t be there at that number and it will be too soon to draft the projects. At 25 I want a guy who will win a starting job and dominate over the long haul.

  9. I think a lot of us would like to see Mike Pouncey available at #25. Partner he and Okung on the left side and watch 3rd and short become fun again.

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I wanted Mike Pouncey’s brother last year! We better not blow it this year.

  11. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Rottenberger chases pig and it squeals on him! Film at 11.

  12. maddog12 says:

    I remember those days….everyone in the stadium knows what we are going to do and then boom. It gets done and SA is in the secondary with a head of steam.

  13. Either resign Matt & draft a QB or sign Kevin Kolb.

  14. CDHawkFan says:

    Damn, was how I watched all the games (except the Giants home game which I flew in for) from London.

  15. chuck_easton says:


    Philly is likely going to want a 1st rounder for Kolb and possibly a second as well. He only makes 1.4 million next season so they can afford to keep him around as a backup and insurance if Vick reverts back to old form.

    I think the bidding war for Kolb will be too steep for Seattle to get involved. IF he’s traded it will be to a team that is a QB away (Minnesota, SF, Arizona, Cleveland) from being a possible contender.

    Seattle has too many holes to fill to give up a 1st and possible another draft pick for him.

  16. Dukeshire says:

    I agree. I’m not sure what has changed that Seattle would now be interested in parting with a high pick(s) for Kolb (or any player). There was no interest in doing so last season when they had more picks, than they do now.

    That said, I don’t actually see a “bidding war” for Kolb. Players that have stated their desire (demand…?) to be traded take away much of the teams’ leverage. It’s in their best interest to ship out a potential distraction. That said, there will be a lot of interest in him.

  17. SharkHawk says:

    I’m seriously thinking I’d like to take a chance on Vince Young if he gets released. He will possibly be traded, but I think a release is likely. His career record is 30-17 and he hasn’t had a coach that can get through to him yet. The talent is there. It really is. Let him learn under Matt for a year and transition into the position the following season. I don’t know much, but I’ve seen worse moves, and I think getting Charlie Whitehurst for about what it would cost to acquire Young is one of them. Charlie is a nice Gary Kubiak style backup (intelligent, good learner, calm demeanor), but I don’t know that he’s a future Super Bowl potential QB. Vince Young is. He has the size, strength, and intangibles. He’s also a headcase. But the NFL is a 3 QB league now quite frankly. You need 3. You can’t pay them all what they are going to want, but Vince Young isn’t damaged in the David Carr sense. Just a bit of a nut. Alex Smith would fit into the Carr category too. He may be beyond help at this point, but is a skilled guy. I love Locker, but would take VY over him right now personally because I’ve seen him win NFL games on multiple occasions and it wasn’t just through good game management, it was because of playmaking.

  18. chrisj122 says:

    Not to get off subject but check out #8 on the list of all time Superbowl Bluders,%20ref!&photo=9126044

    Sorry but I can’t let it go, this game literally gave me nightmares for months!

  19. Dukeshire says:

    For those interested, here’s the list of combine invitees;

    VY’s talent, for me, is overridden by his immaturity and seeming unstable behavior off the field. The fact his coach is now gone and they are still set on dumping him, with nothing behind him (Collins?), tells me a lot about what kind of leader he’s demonstrated he is. Talent? Undeniable. Can he lead a young and developing franchise in the early stages of rebuilding? I wouldn’t want to count on him, from his behavior.

  20. This week is the quietest it has been during Carroll’s tenure.

    Can we sign our FAs this month, or do we have to wait until the CBA is done?

  21. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – The short answer is yes, they can. But it appears that some players do have a clause in their contracts that will not allow them to be signed until a new CBA is in place. Mike Vick is the highest profile player with this type of clause. (The specifics of that particular clause isn’t clear, from what I’ve been able to gather.) He can be franchised prior to it expiring however.

    But regarding the ‘Hawks, unless a particular player has such a clause, they can be re-signed (technically extended, as they won’t become FA until March 3rd). Owners may be reluctant to do so until a new deal is reached, with so much unknown, but that’s a different story.

  22. My concern is that we have 27 potential FAs…that’s a lot of negotiating. If we wait until they’re FAs to sign them, there better be some sort of plan in place to quickly and efficiently get these guys back onboard before they get poached by other teams.

  23. chrisj122 says:

    There will be a slew of F.A. on the maket this year, on average there are around 200 F.A. in a given year this year there will be some 500 F.A. So even if we lose some there will be a lot more to choose from.

  24. jubabeast says:

    I think a quarterback’s success can have a lot more to do with his coaches’ skills than with his draft position. Have you noticed that some coaches seem to always have good quarterbacks? They have, it seems, a better eye than most for quarterback qualities and also have the ability to mold good quarterbacks from what they have.

    I’m hoping that Carroll has what it takes to make both Whitehurst and Davis good quarterbacks. It always takes time but if he can polish them in a couple of years that would be worth a lot more than getting a high draft pick which, at best has an NFL statiscal chance of success of about 32 percent.

    I’ve also noticed that some coaches rarely get good quarterbacks or rotate through them constantly, looking for the gem they want, recognizing I guess that they don’t have the ability to develop one.

  25. I know we need a younger, stronger, franchise QB, but the only ones I see are Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton. When I consider that we have Charlie and Nate Davis, I think we have as much or more upside with them. I would draft the G/C from Penn State at #25, Wiszniewski I think is his name, and then go for a corner in the second round. Try hard for a really good defensive tackle in free agency to go with who we have, and call it a night. Now I know PC and JS will not call it a night, which is why it is so interesting to see what they will do with our mediocre amount and position of our choices, so they get a chance to make yet another big splash in FA.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – Don’t know if you caught this, but DeMaurice Smith is giving a live press conference and he was asked about the franchise tag. He said that yes, teams could indeed place the tag on players before March 3rd. But the union will not recognize the tag in any way shape or form, once a new CBA is reached, either before or after the March 3rd deadline.

  27. Audible says:

    Thanks, Duke…guess all the CBA drama will at least make for an interesting offseason.

    No doubt, this coaching staff will figure out how to turn some of these obstacles into advantages.

  28. chrisj122, I will die a happy man if the Seahawks can meet the Steelers in another Super Bowl and whip them.

    Can’t stand it that they have 6 Lombardis and the Seahawks have zero. So you can guess who I’ll be rooting for this Sunday.

    I’m hoping PC can build a team that wins four Super Bowls this decade …

  29. I cannot imagine the demoralization though if we met them in a SB again and they whipped us.

    That’s the wrong attitude to take, but demoralized is probably too nice of a word for how I’d feel.

    Nothing would be sweeter though, that’s for sure!

  30. Sarcasticus says:

    I am pretty sure the team cannot resign Matt CBA or no CBA. However, it would be nice if they could re-sign him to a 3-year contract and then maybe take a shot on Ponder in round 2. I think Matt would make for a good mentor if the Seahawks could just find a qb with enough upside to replace him.

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