Monday, 18 January 2010

Do the Seahawks have to draft a quarterback?

Before I start, I recommend everyone takes a look at Kyle's excellent piece from yesterday. There won't be better analysis when it comes to the Seahawks and their potential draft policies under the new regime.

Matt Hasselbeck will be 35-years-old on September 25th. He has one year left on his contract. In the last two years, Seattle's starting quarterback has missed 11 games through injury and thrown a 22/27 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Bad line play, lack of playmakers and changing schemes have undoubtedly played their part. However, as former GM Tim Ruskell said in the lead up to the 2009 draft, the Seahawks are "in the zone" with regard to finding a long term option at the position.

In Pete Carroll's introductory press conference, he spoke of creating the right platform for Hasselbeck to be successful. A much improved running game was touted as a necessity, whilst any question marks about the quarterback's health were brushed aside. If the Seahawks can create that solid rushing attack it'll help Hasselbeck to 'manage' a game sufficiently. He can still do that for sure - he's an intelligent player. But this is a quarterback that has struggled physically and is taking on his third offensive scheme in three years - approaching the twighlight of his career. To expect much more than a capable game manager would be unfair - and I say that as a huge Hasselbeck fan. He needs to be in the ring of honour the day after he retires.

This is essentially the problem. Hasselbeck can be serviceable and I have no doubts he'll be the starter in 2010. Can he be the quarterback for a playoff caliber team? Absolutely. Can you put your faith in him long term? Absolutely not.

It seems unlikely that Seneca Wallace will be viewed as anything other than a backup and potential trick play commodity. Mike Teel may never get a chance to prove his qualities - wrong team at the wrong time unfortunately, he may never be afforded the true opportunity to enhance his skills and have a chance to start. Such is the desperation for a legitimate long term solution.

Some people suggest waiting a year or two on the off chance better quarterbacks will present themselves than those available in the 2010 class. That's all well and good, but a.) who's to say next year's options will be better (many thought the same about this year compared to Stafford/Sanchez) and b.) the longer you wait, the more likely you are to be throwing a rookie QB in at the deep end.

Drafting a quarterback this year in round one would allow the Seahawks to sit the prospect for one year and potentially become the starter in 2011. All being well, Hasselbeck may be re-signed for an extra year to give the rookie extra experience. Having as much time to learn as possible clearly did no damage to Aaron Rodgers.

I think it's important to reiterate at this stage how critical I've been of this year's quarterback class. Lingering doubts about Sam Bradford's durability are a major concern, whilst my views on Jimmy Clausen are well publicised and archived on the blog. It would surprise me if Pete Carroll, having stayed away from using the spread at USC, suddenly drafts a Bradford/Tebow/McCoy type to be the long term answer at quarterback.

Clausen would appear to be the most logical choice. He's someone Carroll and current Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian tried to recruit during their days at USC. The Notre Dame junior is experienced in a pro-style offense and would be the most prepared to make NFL reads. Does he jump off the screen as a legendary quarterback in the making? No. Are there issues with his slingy release, lack of elite physical qualities and character? Sure. At the same time, if you're going to sit and wait for the next Peyton Manning - you'll be waiting forever.

A lot of Seahawks fans would advocate a move for Jake Locker in 2011. He would come with his own issues. Clausen is no different. When you're talking about drafting a guy, especially at QB, sometimes you have to admit there are creases to be ironed. Can Clausen be a serviceable quarterback in the NFL, work an offense and get a team into the playoffs? Of course he can.

In my last two mock drafts, I've had Clausen dropping into the late first/early second round. That could happen. He could also go in the top ten, because this is a quarterback league. If the Seahawks feel Clausen can make an offense tick - make most of the NFL throws and be a long term replacement for Matt Hasselbeck - they absolutely must consider taking him in the top ten... and I speak as one of Clausen's biggest critics.


Mike Kelly said...

It seems that the NFL is doing a much better job of selecting QBs in the fisrt round over the last few years. I have not seen many busts (Jamarcus Russell being a notable exception.) But what I do not understand is why teams do not draft a QB to develop every other year or so. Draft him in the 5-7 round area and stash him on the practice squad. If you strike gold (Romo/Brady/Warner) then you can keep or trade him for many picks but at least you are never desperate for your most valuable position. The hawks have players ont he practice squad that never make the team. Why not stash QBs and linemen there?

Trey said...

good point but i think seattle needs to work on there running game rob do you think that joe mcknight would be a good fit?

Patrick said...

You know as sad as it is, the one player I don't want Seattle to draft is Jimmy Clausen. There's just something about Clausen that has never impressed me. It's not just on the field, but also off. He doesn't seem like the future franchise QB some people lead him off to be.

On the flipside, the player I would most like Seattle to draft is Sam Bradford. If he's available at #6, I hope Seattle pulls the trigger. More than likely, Bradford would have been the #1 pick last year. Instead he could fall right into our laps at 6. I've heard many people complain about the spread offense, but I really think he will translate fine (Big Ben was just one example of a spread offense QB who did just fine).

If Bradford is gone, I would much rather take either Eric Berry, Derrick Morgan, or Bruce Campbell at #6. Tony Pike is very intriguing and he could probably be available at #40. If not, I'd much rather wait a year and hope we have the ammunition to trade up for Jake Locker.

Or, Maybe Pete Carroll will actually give Mike Teel a shot. I know Hasselbeck gave his recommendation for Teel on a radio show a while back, and this year may be the perfect time to see what he has.

Anonymous said...

I think I pretty much agree with everything here. I think Hass has a couple of good/ok years left in him if we can rehab the OL and passing game, but I think we need the QB of the future on this team by June. We don't have the luxury of waiting for a 6th-round pick to develop, we need either a first-round pick or Cassel/Campbell-type on the team so that they have a year or two to sit behind Matt. I think we'll go for Clausen/Bradford/McCoy pick sometime in the first 3 picks if we don't trade away for a Kolb or a Quinn.

I think its interesting, though, how we're complaining this year about having to settle for Bradford (and some are lamenting passing on Sanchez) this year after many were salivating over him last year.


germpod said...

Unless they are seeing Teel as the future of the franchise, then we for sure need to draft a QB in this draft. We can not watch Teel in practise, and even if I could I would not really know what to look for, so we have no idea. I am very curious though.

I would be quite thrilled if we ended up with a QB, WR, OL player with our first three picks.


I hate drafting quarterbacks because they are such a risk. However, I think we have to take that risk this year. Hasselbeck had a hard time learning a new offense (which he has to do again) and is becoming quite injury prone. I've got a man-crush on the guy, but he's just not reliable any longer. As much as I've hated Clausen since he arrived in a limo for his press conference to announce his choice to attend Notre Dame, I think he has to be the front runner. I just don't trust Bradford's shoulder and the rest are spread offense guys.

Trey said...

okay well listen to this my cousins friend is matt hasselbecks cousin he told me that he emailed matt and that pette carrol told him that hes the man and hes going to start again so theres little point of getting a quarterback unless oyur going to get tony pike sit him for the first year and then play him for the next year

Anonymous said...

I was a big advocate for Sanchez last year. My own thought is that if there is a logical debate for whether or not you need to draft a QB, then you need to draft a QB.

All I know is that I can even imagine the possibilities of this draft if we had Sanchez on the bench this year, ready to step up in 2010. Scary to think about how expedited the "Rebuild" process could have been.

That said, I am not overly giddy about either Clausen or Bradford. Being an optomist though, I do appreciate Clausen's toughness and experience in a pro offense despite him coming across as an undersized douche. I love Bradford's accuracy despite his goofy offense and frail build. Hopefully, if Carroll and Co. decide to draft a QB, they do what they can to build the offense around that player rather than trying to pigeon hole them into a system that doesn't match up.

Lastly, can we please stop this Eric Berry at #6 talk? I love Berry as a player, but it makes no sense to invest that high of a pick on a safety when you have glaring holes at critical positions ie QB, OT, DE.

Anonymous said...

Please no Tony Pike. He has horrible physical tools (besides Height) and comes from a goofy offense. He's also like 24 years old.

Rob Staton said...

Trey - McKnight would be a good fit for Seattle. He fits the model for the kind of back that's usually succesful in Gibbs' running schemes.

With regard to Hasselbeck - absolutely he'll be the man for this year. There's no doubt about that, Pete Carroll's said that in his press conference. However, you're looking at a quarterback that will be 35 when the season begins this year. Realistically, the Seahawks have to think about the future. Drafting a project like Pike in the middle rounds would be a nice thought for a team in a more stable position at QB or one that already has a solid foundation (running game, pass rush etc).

The Seahawks have to address the QB position eventually. I can certainly see the 'Hawks not taking a quarterback this year - but they have to, absolutely have to consider it. That's the purpose of the article, because in a best case scenario that Hasselbeck returns to form in 2010 - even then he's not someone who is approaching the end of his career. The longer you wait to draft a QB, the more likely you're going to have to be to start a rookie.

Anonymous said...


My problem with drafting a guy like Clausen in round 1 is that we could probably get someone like Sean Canfield in Round 3 for a lot cheaper, and he's played in a pro-style offense at OSU. He's got great vision and a solid arm.

I still think the Seahawks best bet this draft is, with their first 3 picks, they need to get an Offensive playmaker (I'm begging the football gods for Spiller), an OT and a pass rusher.


Mike said...

Instinctively, I feel like Clausen will be a terrible mistake. I don't know why, but I can't stand him. I dislike him enough that I think that the Cowboys should draft him.
With that said..
Rob, what are the odds of trading for a guy like K. Kolb?

Rob Staton said...

Ultimately I think Canfield's qualities are restricted to playing in a system that will suite a short passing, quick hit system from the shotgun. I'm thinking Patriots... or Broncos. From what I've seen he can show a decent touch but throwing deep is a concern. He forces some passes too. I think his lack of physical tools but nice short range restrict his ability to play in numerous systems. I know he's a favorable pick right now as people try to find better alternatives to Clausen/Bradford in later rounds, but I think generally Canfield is likely to go in the 5-6th round range as a project.

I think the point of the article mainly was to open a discussion here. A lot of my posts about Clausen/Bradford have verged on the negative - Clausen in particular. However, I wanted to put a different angle to it. Essentially, if the Seahawks think Clausen is even a decent QB at the next level - you have to consider him. The position is too important. A decent QB for the long term will get you playoff appearances. A bad QB or cloudy situation at the position will not. No other position in the NFL will hold you back like QB.

Does that mean Seattle wil definitely 100% go that way? Not at all, but it'd be wrong of me not to consider it on this blog. It could happen. We have to cover every base.

Pete Carroll has talked about building around Hasselbeck to put him in a better position. Taking a RB/WR, OT and a pass rusher would do that. But 12 months down the line you're still asking the same questions about quarterbacks and you're a year closer to having to start a rookie QB. Taking one this year means you can sit them for 1-2 years and you have two first rounders - so can still find more of an impact guy too. It's something Seattle has to consider and I'm sure will do.

Rob Staton said...

Mike - I would be surprised if Seattle made that move. Because of the lack of options elsewhere (draft, free agency, trade) Kolb has become a fashionable choice for trades off the back of a couple of decent performances. I'm not convinced. Also, I think the Eagles are committed in some part to him being the long term option. It wouldn't surprise me if Donovan McNabb was playing somewhere else in 2010 or 2011 with Kolb the starter in Philly.

Patrick said...

You make a very good point Rob, and unfortunetly it's 100% true. I'm one of those against Clausen, but you're incredibly right in saying that it should be considered an option for the Seahawks. As much as I'd like to see Hasselbeck play for years to come, I noticed several times throughout this season that we needed a new QB. I'm still holding out hope it's Sam Bradford, but I guess ultimately, I just need to prepare and warm up to the possibility of Jimmy Clausen as well.

Are there any QBs out there you could see Seattle go after? Not just free agency, but possible trade candidates? Maybe ...

Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Matt Leinart, etc. I'm not suggesting we take these guys, I'm just throwing some names out there.

Rob Staton said...

I don't see any I would be comfortable with as anything other than a stopgap. If Jason Campbell leaves Washington - he'd be a capable stop gap if you were waiting to introduce a younger guy. But long term?

Leinart doesn't interest me, but he's still a much better option than Quinn/Anderson et al. I'm not sold on Kolb. The one guy I kind of like is Tyler Thigpen but he's a spread guy, he won't land in Seattle and in all honesty - as much as I like him in one-off performances he's not a franchise QB.

The whole 'Leinart to Seattle' thing will likely never go away because of the obvious links. I'd be stunned if it happened via trade because Arizona would have nothing to gain from that and everything to lose if Leinart worked out. There seems a relatively good chance he'll be the Cardinals starter next year with Warner seriously talking about retirement.

The lack of options here just goes to show you have to find a QB in the draft. Seattle are beyond the point of bringing in a 6th rounder and letting him sit. It's at a point now where a rookie may only have a year, maybe less on the bench. Seattle has to look at what's out there. Everyone knows my opinion of Clausen, but if he's even considered a QB that can make an offense tick, he has to be in the mix at #6 or #14. The elite QB's are Manning, Brady, Brees. You have a lot of guys who are capable after that. If Clausen is anywhere close to Romo, Rivers (perhaps the best two comparisons from a technique p.o.v.) then you make that selection and you don't look back. You work on the kinks. But Seattle will not win long term without a legit QB and the time has passed for major projects.

John said...

First, Carroll is trying to install an offense so a guy like Sanchez can come in, throw 12/20 and still take them deep into the playoffs. Wallace could do it easy. Failing that, there are one or two top flight QB FAs who become available every season. If you get desperate, get the next Drew Brees or Jay Cutler. Meanwhile you try to develop lower draft picks either by picking them up as FAs like Hasselbeck, or as lower round draft picks, like Tom Brady.

What you don't do is get the next Rick Mirer, or Kelly Stouffer, or Dan McGwire, guys who cost you a high draft pick, tons of cap space and years of losses because you have to keep playing him even though he sucks.

Jayce said...

May I ask is why people don't think that Teel can be our future QB? Like what qualities of him do you not think can make him a franchise QB? I mean this guy gots good height(6'4) good weight(220) and from the highlights I saw of him, he gots a pretty nice arm too. He displayed character when he kept fighting even though everyone wanted him benched.

I just hope Hawks give him a chance to prove he is capable to play in the NFL next season. Who knows he might be the next Brady or Hasselbeck.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the last comment, but only the coaches know what Teel's potential is and they're not talking. I too don't feel good about Clausen and really prefer Berry or Haden at #6, Morgan or Bulaga at #14, and LaFell or Griffen at #40. I really liked Canfield in the two games I saw. Tight spirals, accurate, over the top throwing motion (vs. Clausen and Bradford) and VERY poised in the pocket. He has the demeanor of a mature QB. At the same time, NOT real athletic, not going to scramble for yards or elude tacklers. If we can get him in the 4th round, that's not bad value for a guy who at the least should develop into a solid backup QB and might just surprise. Let's not forget, Brady was a distinctly unathletic string bean at his combine and wasn't good enough to start at UCLA. Canfield wouldn't have started either if not for the injury to Lyle Moevao.

kearly said...

John, top flight QB's almost never hit free agency. Drew Brees hit free agency 4 years ago, and back then, he had a mixed track record. When the Saints signed him to a mega-deal, a lot of people questioned it.

The only other notable QBs to come from free agency recently that I can think of were Kurt Warner, Chad Pennington, Drew Bledsoe, and Kerry Collins. Pennington and Collins had 1 fluke year before returning to reality. Drew Bledsoe is a decent example but was up and down between Buffalo and Dallas. Kurt Warner was a massive failure in New York and struggled in his first few years with Arizona before resurging in 2008.

This year, there aren't any top flight QB options in free agency at all. In fact, if Hasselbeck was a free agent, he'd probably be the #1 QB on the Market.

Trading for a QB is difficult as well. Cutler cost the Bears two firsts and rewarded them with a terrible 2009 season. Guys like Kevin Kolb really aren't that different from a 2nd round QB pick most years.

As far as drafting a QB, part of it is having a competent front office that can properly make decisions. The early 90s seahawks sucked in large part because of poor decisions. For example, selecting Mark McGwire's brother instead of Brett Favre. Rick Mirer was actually a great choice at the time, but no QB prospect is guaranteed to succeed and we were particularly unlucky with Mirer, who's considered to be the 2nd biggest draft bust of all time after only you know who. However, drafting 1st round QBs is essential. In most cases, only a couple QBs even possess the ability to be NFL QBs every year, and they usually end up in the 1st round. Of the 12 teams that made the playoffs, 10 of them were led by a QB drafted in the first 32 picks.

A 1st round QB has about a 50% chance of panning out. A 6th rounder is about 3%. Drafting a 6th rounder as a backup is just fine, but when you have an imminent need for a #1 QB, going the 1st round is the only way that has a reasonable chance of success.

kearly said...

English, you should follow this up with a post about what "not drafting a QB" could look like in the next couple seasons. Its an idea that sparks thought and debate. Should the Seahawks built the foundation first and then add the most important piece last? Or grab the QB now because of the opportunity and ticking clock?

Steve in Spain said...

Rob, your post hits on all the key questions and dilemmas. I think you are dead-on with most all your analysis.

As for the Seahawks' current situation at QB, however, I think the situation's a bit more desperate than your post makes it out to be. Hasselbeck's been only slightly better than the JaMarcusses and Tavarises of the league over the past two years in terms of yards per attempt. He's been badly injured and broken down three of the past four years. It's a long-shot to hope he'll be even league average next year. I see him as a backup on a team with a young QB in the WCO, giving advice and helping in practices, maybe Cleveland, or Philly if McNabb gets moved.

I don't buy into Carroll's public or private comments giving Hasselbeck the nod. When in recent history has anyone in the Seahawks organization said anything less than glowing about their players? This organization was talking up Shaun Alexander right until the day they cut him. The one and only time I can recall anyone in the Seahawks badmouthing a player in recent history was Mora's notorious criticisms of Mare - and a mea culpa was not long in coming. So I'm not surprised that Carroll is saying all the right things about Hasselbeck.

Rounding out the roster, Wallace has no connections to the new coaching staff and his track record gives no indication he can be a starter in the NFL. Teel's just some guy that the former GM drafted in the late rounds. Why would Carroll turn the franchise over to them? Sure, if there's no other palatable option, but otherwise?

With Clausen, it's one thing to point out his flaws and limitations, but we can't just nitpick him to death. As you say, waiting for a perfect prospect means waiting forever.

Take him at #14 and you can have him sit behind Hasselbeck on opening day if you want. At #6, the economics suggest he might start even sooner.

Anonymous said...


How do you see your new GM, Schneider, effecting our draft?


John said...

Kearly and Steve, QBs rely heavily on the rest of the offense to succeed. If Hasselbeck was with the Jets they would be the favorites to win the Superbowl. The problem with drafting a QB high in the first round is that it is too high risk. If the QB fails, he takes down your franchise for at least three years due to the cap cost and how badly it affects the offense. There are so many other good ways to get a great QBs. In fact, there are way more lower round QBs succeeding in the NFL than high draft picks. The way to beat the odds (which are *not* 50% and 3% btw) is to acquire more low risk QBs. One of them will pan out. It's all in the scouting. If you run out of time because Hasselbeck gets badly injured or declines in ability (which he hasn't yet), you get a top flight FA QB.

Anonymous said...

Rob, with the Schneider hiring, we get a guy who drafted Rodgers in the 1st round with a HOF QB still playing reasonably well. They didn't play in FA much. Still, smart guys (and I think all the new hires are smart guys) don't force a player in the draft. Assuming they physically check out completely, and with positional value considered, I think Bradford is potentially a top 6 pick, but Clausen should not be top 10, possibly top 15-20. Therefore, if Bradford is there at 6, or Clausen is there at 14-20, take them. If not, don't force it, look to the mid rounds for another developmental guy. We need draft picks to fill numerous holes, so don't trade 2 for 1. First, however, Seattle should extend Hass contract without a big bonus or more than 2 years guaranteed money. Plan to start him in 2010, but equally importantly, lock him up so that IF another QB develops he can be traded for something, like GB did with Favre. IF Brady doesn't work out in Cleveland, maybe we trade Hass to the Browns after 2010 for a 3rd rounder, provided Teel or "other" have developed. We can use that pick next year to continue to build for the future.

ChavaC said...

The problem with taking a ton of low risk players is there's no guarantee you find anyone you want to play behind center. I mean look at all the low-risk backups and 3rd string QB prospects the Seahawks have brought in over the Hasslebeck era. The only one who has panned out is Seneca and he's not a real starter. In the last five years, the only quality starters to come after the second round are Cassel (arguable), and Schaub (3rd). There are about 50 others who developed into mediocre starters (your Charlies Fryes and JT O'sullivans) who should be backups or guys who aren't playing any more. In the same time about 50% of the 1rst rounders have developing into playoff caliber starters. The ones who didn't were mostly guys that got thrown into the fire their rookie season behind bad lines. I don't think taking a 1st round QB is nearly as big of a risk as it seems if you give him time on the sideline to learn the NFL.

And in terms of FA, Cambell is the biggest name this year. Is he really an upgrade?

John said...

Chavac, We need look no further than the Seahawks themselves. It can be argued that the playing time and resources invested in *all* the Seahawks high draft pick QBs Stouffer, McGwire and Mirer were the main cause of a decade of Seahawk mediocrity. Meantime Zorn, Krieg, Moon and Hasselbeck, *all* the successful Seahawk QBs, were acquired without the huge investment a high draft pick QB requires.

John said...

And oh yeah, 1) We have no idea what QBs will still become available this offseason. and 2)We don't need one right now. We have a Pro Bowl QB still under contract!

Rob Staton said...

Griffin - It's hard to project what impact Schneider might have. In Green Bay he worked as a right hand man to Ted Thompson, from what has been reported he helped with scouting, evaluations, salary cap and contracts. I imagine he'll play a similar supporting role in Seattle, working alongside Pete Carroll. But ultimately, it'll be Pete making the calls.

I have to say, I think Chavac has a point. There never will be a quarterback in the draft who isn't going first overall who won't carry an element of risk. Seattle, under Ruskell, drafted low risk types and became mediocre overall. You do the homework, you scout and you prepare. But eventually, you're going to have to make a judgement call. A quarterback will never just appear on the porch. You draft a guy you believe in, surround him with good coaches and you make life easier for him with personnel choices. It's no surprise to me that the young QB's who've been succeful recently have come from secure enviroments with good coaching.

And I think we need to differentiate here in terms of quality. There is a chance Clausen/Bradford/whoever won't be Rick Mirer or Peyton Manning. They could be somewhere in the middle - and that wouldn't be a bad thing.

Rob Staton said...

John - we have a Pro Bowl quarterback and he will start in 2010, no doubt about it. But in 2011 he'll be 36. Unless you want to start a rookie one day, now is the time to draft and stock the replacement.

John said...

Rob, Now is the time *if* the right guy falls to you. Now is *not* the time to be desperate and acquire very high risk/high reward players. There is no such thing as a high draft pick QB who is low risk. It is the highest risk move in the NFL. Meanwhile there are *plenty* of high reward/low risk QBs available who can be acquired and developed over the next two seasons. Why should the team make a high risk move when they are not desperate? Make the high risk moves when you get desperate, not before.

Anonymous said...

Spending a high draft pick on a qb might be putting the cart before the horse. Without a decent o-line Matts career will be shortened or ended and a rookie qb would be ruined behind a porous o-line. We need some horses first.

Steve in Spain said...

John, I used to be real high on trying the "numbers game" strategy you described. I remember Jon Gruden tried doing something like that in Tampa Bay. Recall, he got run out of town. The trouble with dumpster diving is you end up with a lot of trash. A lot of Byron Leftwiches and J.T. O'Sullivans and Seneca Wallaces and other fringe starters. There's a reason these players are easy to accumulate - no one wants them. The fans, the players, the media get tired real quick of the pyjama game. At the end of the day a leader and his organization need to make a real commitment, even if it ends up being wrong.

I'd be surprised if Carroll went that route. When your front office is cleaned out and you bring in a new GM and coach, they usually want to set a new face for the franchise. We certainly have the big picks to get the best QB around. I'd have to question Carroll's fortitude for the job if he doubted his ability to find and get that guy.

Rob Staton said...

John - If the Seahawks wait for the perfect long term QB to fall into their lap, they'll be waiting forever. The time to develop a QB was a couple of years ago - now we're at the point where Hasselbeck wil be 35 this year, he's had injuries the past couple of years. I fully expect him to start the 2010 season, but in 2011 he'll be 36 and a free agent. The longer you leave it, the more likely you are to be left with a jouryneyman QB or a rookie starting.

I completely agree that it's not about taking 'any' QB and I've been critical of Clausen on this blog. However - my point is, if this franchise believes Clausen is even a servicable QB who can make things tick for an offense, they simply must consider him. The importance of the QB position is so strong, it dwarfs any other need. Seattle are not in a critical state about needing a starter today - but they could well be next year or the year after - you have to prepare ahead and they've simply run out of time to handle a major project.

Annonymous - The Seahawks do need to create a better enviroment for success for Hasselbeck or any other QB. But you're never going to create the perfect situation. Not many young QB's enter the league behind a great line with great weapons. Using Atlanta would be a great way for Seattle to approach this. They didn't have a great line or offense in general, but drafted Matt Ryan. They signed a running back (Turner), drafted a lineman (Baker) and rebuilt the offense. The Seahawks are in need of a similar rebuild and it can be done. But they need that QB for the future on the roster too. With three picks in the top 40 to play with, they can create that platform.

michael said...

rob do you think that the seahawks running game is terrible and do you think that dorsett and jones are not very good

Rob Staton said...

Michael - I think the Seahawks running game has been an abomination ever since Shaun Alexander's MVP year. It's a combination of things - lack of productive playmakers and a decrease in quality amongst the offensive line. Julius Jones left Dallas for a reason and they invested two draft picks at running back when he left. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked in Seattle. His signing was a band aid at a position that needed more.

Forsett's performances this year have almost certainly secured his roster spot for 2010. He did a good job. He has some value going forward working in a committee. But nobody is going to be game planning him too much.

I expect Seattle to cut Jones and bring in at least one running back this off season.

John said...

Rob, I don't advocate "waiting for the perfect long term QB to fall into their lap." I advocate aggressively looking for second round and below QB or FAs, carrying four or five on the roster and developing the next Hasselbeck/Brady/Krieg. With some smart scouting, you find a great QB in the next two or three seasons. With what we've seen from Warner and Favre, no reason to think Hass is finished after next season.

Disastrous mistakes are made when teams make desperation moves when they aren't desperate. When it comes to QB, the Seahawks are far from desperate.

Jayce said...

Build the line before you bring a QB in. I don't think drafting the top QB's this year is smart when our o-line is crap. He's just get killed like Matt did.

Even with Gibbs, I think one of the first three be used for somone on the o-line...favorably Iupati :), but doubt he will fall this low. Still a chance we can draft one in first round because it's Carroll and Schneider scouting the players not Gibbs. So you may never know.

BJW said...

So, you briefly mentioned waiting for Locker next year as having risks, as he would have his own issues. Have you already written about him specifically in more detail that I can take a look at. And would targeting him next year be such a bad strategy?

If the Hawks are looking at a few years of a rebuild, looking at a two year window for that new face of the franchise may be smart. No guarantee you find that qb whose fate Carroll ties himself to in a qb draft that most people say is a poor qb class at the top.

Locker intrigues me because of his charisma and chutzpah, as well as some pretty impressive measurables. He stayed for one more year which could be very good for him as a pro too.

Is there any likelihood that the qb who helped beat USC will play for Carroll next year? And do you have some info on him? Sorry if you've heard this a million times, just wondering what you think of him because I've really appreciated your analysis of other players. Great job. Great blog.

Steve in Spain said...

John, I have Moneyball instincts, and I like thinking outside the box. Trouble is that, unless and until the Competition Committee expands rosters, tying up 4 to 5 spots with QBs is totally unworkable. Teams can barely squeeze 3 QBs onto their current rosters. Besides, the main job of as head coach is to coordinate and communicate a Plan to the GM (so he knows what players to get), to the coordinators and asst coaches (so they know what schemes to implement), and the players and fans (so they know what to believe in). It's hard to justify your salary as a head coach if you walk in the room and say "the Plan is that there's no plan, let's get a bunch of guys and maybe in a couple years we'll have somebody." You'll get run out of town on a rail.

Jayce, we can rebuild the line *and* get a QB in the same draft. We've got three top-40 picks - that's plenty of ammo to accomplish both aims.

Jayce said...

However, doing so is drafting against the grain. This years draft has a lot of great defensive players. In my opinion the most important positions of need are O-line, D-line, and possibly DB. Don't forget a offensive playmaker to be a scoring threat.

I think addressing the defensive side with first pick is a must. Someone like Derrick Morgan, Gerald McCoy(hopefully), and (Rob, I know you will disagree) possibly Eric Berry. 2nd pick should definitely be offensive player, be it a linemen(Iupati/Campbell/Davis/Brown) or a weapon(CJ/Bryant).

It would be a real waste to not pick up any of these players and go for a QB like Bradford or Clausen. As of now I do not think a QB is in need. And by upgrading the o-line you could potentially keep Hasselbeck alive for a few more years. 2-3 maybe? You would then have even more time to develop a successor for Matt.

We should build up a foundation before we get a a high pick QB. This will allow the line to develop and work better when the new QB starts.

kearly said...

There was a study done for all drafts going way back, and in that study, it was about roughly 50% vs. 3% for the 1st vs. 6th round. I couldn't find it, but I did find this, which covers draft picks since 1990:

1st round: 60% bust rate.
2nd round: 76%
3rd round: 91%
4th round: 87%
5th round: 94%
6th round: 86%
7th round: 97%

The 6th round strikes me as a statistical anomaly- pushed up in a big way thanks to Brady and Hasselbeck (who were both "made" by HoF coaches) in a small sample size. Its sandwiched between rounds 5 and 7 which have 94% and 97% bust rates respectively.

But even if that 86% number was legit, its still 3 times more unlikely than the first rounds 60% number. If its a number like 97%, you're 13 times more likely to succeed with a 1st rounder. You only have so many roster spots and so many opportunities, and teams that succeeded with a late rounder didn't do it with a "by volume" approach, they simply got really lucky.

Rob Staton said...

John - I think the Seahawks are desperate at quarterback. I'm a big Hasselbeck fan, but he'll be 35 years old when the season starts. For every Warner (throwing to Fitzgerald, Boldin, Breaston, Doucet) and Favre (legend) there's a lot more 35-36 year olds who are well past their best physically and can't get the job done anymore.

Without doubt Hasselbeck will start in 2010, but he's in the position now of having to prove he deserves a contract extension. With injuries and a 20:27 TD/INT ratio the past two years, that necessarily won't be the case.

Are the Seahawks going to be able to find the next Brady/Hasselbeck in the later rounds between now and next year or, at the latest, 2012 if Hasselbeck returns to form? Picks like that have essentially been gold dust, they just don't happen.

Now - I'm not just advocating taking any quarterback and I certainly see scenarios where the Seahawks don't go in that direction this year. Absolutely - Seattle might not go QB in round one. However, if they firmly believe Clausen can make an offense tick, they have to take him. Have to. Because then you allow him a year to sit and become the starter in 2011/12. Not having a quarterback for the future will hold this franchise back more than anything else.

John said...

"Not having a quarterback for the future will hold this franchise back more than anything else."

No, there's one thing that will hold it back more: Having a high priced, long contracted QB who they spend years trying to develop, who never does, like Mirer, Stouffer, and McGwire. It takes up a huge chunk of cap space, it loses you games and seasons, and it prevents you from developing the right guy.

Rob Staton said...

But that's the risk you take drafting any quarterback in round one. If you see a guy who you think can be succesful, you don't 'not' take them through fear they might be the next Mirer.

Not having a prepared quarterback post-Hasselbeck and relying on a) a rookie starter or b) a journeyman will be the platform for years of disappointment. The Seahawks face the very real possibility of Hasselbeck not being the starter after 2010. They must be pro-active about this situation. I'm not saying they must or have to draft Clausen - but if they feel he can even make an offense tick he warrants consideration. You don't avoid him through fear - as Carroll said in his introductory press conference, "You make the decision a good decision."

I've been as critical as anyone about Clausen. But it would be naive of me to look only at the negative aspect of his selection. Guys with his issues have been drafted and had success. He reminds me a lot of Romo and Rivers from a technique point of view.

John said...

Kearly, You're not addressing my conjecture. So watch this. My point is that a franchise can find a great QB without taking the huge risk inherent in a first round QB. Say the Seahawks pick a second round guy, with a 24% chance of success. They pick up a promising looking FA who was drafted in the fourth round, but who has played well for his team in preseason. We'll give him a 13% chance of success even though by playing well in NFL preseason, his odds have probably gone up. They have Teel, with a 3% chance, and they trade their sixth round pick for another guy, a third year backup whom Schneider has had his eye on.

Now we have a better than 40% chance of having the guy, without *any* of the massive risk entailed in a first round QB with a huge contract. We have avoided the 60% chance of this franchise being held hostage and losing for three years by the wrong QB. Better, right?

Steven said...

John, I don't think it's feasible to carry that many quarterbacks on an NFL roster. Even if you just accumulate three of those four guys, you have to cut Seneca and Matt. Plus doesn't that smell an awful lot like a Cleveland Browns situation where nobody gets the support/reps needed to properly develop into an NFL quarterback? Besides the contract argument is essentially irrelevant in this sense. We are picking at #6 and thus no matter who we pick we will have to pay out a gigantic contract. It doesn't matter if that guy is a QB, a LB or a kicker ... if the guy goes #6 he's going to get paid. A useless linebacker with a $50 million deal is no less of an albatross than a useless QB with a similar deal. There are no sure things in the draft ... quartebacks certainly get the most publicity for being busts, but I would imagine that just about any player in the draft is 50/50-ish at best to live up to their pre-draft hype. Taking a QB top-10 and missing on that player is not a death sentence ... the Cardinals are a great example of a team who took a QB very high, have gotten next-to-nothing out of him, and have still built a contender anyway.

Rob Staton said...

I think that's a brilliant point Steve regarding the Cardinals and Leinart. He has to constitute a bust at this point, yet despite that his team have actually got better and better since he was drafted. It can be a hand cuff of course, but it doesn't necessarily have to be and as you say - a huge contract either way will hurt you whatever position you pick at.

John said...

I've been thinking about the Leinart example overnight and I'm ready to contend that Leinart is actually a good example of my side of the argument. I am not *as* concerned about the large amount of cap space a high first round draft pick will take up, but more the commitment and investment the team has to make in him.

Even though he is a bust, Leinart is still sitting there on the bench eating up cap space and coaching time and reps and QB development four years later. A bust at any other position would not get anywhere near that much. If the Cardinals would have drafted an undperforming CB at that spot, he'd have been cut or traded and they would have moved on. His cap dollars would have been used to acquire a much better player and they would likely have won the Superbowl last year, as close as it was. The Cardinals would have flourished just as much, but also they would have been looking at numerous up and coming, lower risk QBs to eventually replace Warner instead of hoping and praying that Leinart will finally turn himself around. They are left with doom if Warner retires or finally declines. In fact, it is generally agreed that if Warner retires, the Cardinals are done, right? It seems clear they would likely be in a far far better position had they not drafted a QB bust.

Online pharmacy reviews said...

To expect much more than a capable game manager would be unfair - and I say that as a huge Hasselbeck fan. He needs to be in the ring of honour the day after he retires.