Tuesday, 19 January 2010

John Schneider and more quarterback talk

We now know that John Schneider will be the new Seahawks GM. The rebuild of the team's front office appears to be almost complete and the real work begins to try and change the team's fortunes on the field. How will his appointment affect the draft? I don't think it changes much in terms of decision making. Schneider's role in Green Bay was mainly evaluating team needs and long term planning with regard the roster, salary cap and more. As a right hand man to GM Ted Thompson, it appears he played a key supportive role. That is what I expect from the relationship between Pete Carroll and Schneider, with Carroll having final say on personnel.

We'll need at least a draft to define how this team will plan going forward and what to look out for in future off seasons. Until now, we're left to guess and project what might happen based on the personalities involved. It is perhaps interesting to note though, that the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers from a strong position with Brett Favre still on the roster. They gave their young QB time to learn and develop and he's made a very smooth transition into a starter. The Seahawks have Matt Hasselbeck approaching a contract year and turning 35 in September. Can we expect a similar situation with the Seahawks drafting a quarterback and allowing them to sit behind Hasselbeck until they're ready to start? It certainly would make sense.

The blog post yesterday asking whether Seattle needed to draft a quarterback has opened up a good debate, with some believing it's an absolute must and others suggesting it would be premature if the right guy isn't available. Both arguments are completely valid. I think it's important to stress that taking just 'any' quarterback in round one wouldn't be a good idea. Investing a lot of money in a failure at QB can set a franchise back years. A signal caller drafted early by Pete Carroll and his new regime will forever be tied together and a case could be made that should the quarterback fail, the new regime may fail too.

However, the position is more important than any other in football. It's not even close. When you look at prospects, it's best not to immediately think, "this guy could be the next Peyton Manning" or, "this guy could be the next Rick Mirer". There's very much a grey area between 'elite' and 'bust'. Finding someone who won't necessarily be elite, but can certainly keep an offense ticking over isn't a bad thing. As I've stated before - I have been as critical about Jimmy Clausen as anyone. However, if you believe he can 'do a job' for this team - even if he isn't going to be the perennial Pro Bowl type - you have to consider drafting him early.

Is it a risk? Sure. But it's always a risk taking a quarterback. The Seahawks will have to roll that dice one day unless they a.) want to start a rookie down in the future or b.) want to consider starting a journeyman. You have to bring in your young quarterback early and give them time to learn and develop. Have the best coaches you can find to help them along and in the mean time, create an environment for that prospect to be successful.

Seattle can afford to 'bank' a quarterback should they wish to do so and have enough picks this year and next to help create that platform so he can eventually start in a better team. It's not that I think they definitely will do this, but they simply have to consider drafting a quarterback early this year. If they think Jimmy Clausen can make this offense tick - he has to be considered too. The Seahawks are running out of time to secure the position in the post-Hasselbeck era and although it doesn't warrant recklessness, it certainly warrants investment.

Chris Steuber updated his two-round mock draft today. It's one of the most aesthetically pleasing mocks you'll find on the internet. He thinks the Seahawks will draft Jimmy Clausen, alongside C.J. Spiller (RB, Clemson) and Devin McCourty (CB, Rutgers).


Anonymous said...

Rob, once again I agree with everthing you said, although I would say that the idea that the Hawks need to "consider" drafting a QB is pretty obvious. However, I have to take issue with Rang's mock as being aesthetically pleasing with Trent Williams and Tim Tebow going ahead of Derrick Morgan. To quote General McAuliffe of Battle of the Bulge fame, "NUTS".

Jayce said...

Iupati at 46? Damian Williams 42? Weatherspoon at 49? I think he undervalues a lot of those players.

Anonymous said...

get off of cj spillers nuts.. we will not draft rb in the 1st..you know why?? alex gibbs okay! i dont know why you always want spiller here.. he will not be here. rb is not that much of a need for us. OFFENSE AND DEFENSIVE LINES WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS.. PERIOD.. NOT RUNNING BACK. SHAUN ALEXANDER SUCKS. OUR LINE MADE SA.. LADANIAN THOMLINSON HAS NOT WON ONE CHAMPIONSHIP..

Anonymous said...

It's amazing Chris Steuber gets paid to cover football. I feel secondhand embarrassment for the guy that he has Golden Tate going that high when he barely profiles as a decent #2 WR.

All in all, I'd be decently happy with that draft for the Hawks. I know we need a QB and as much as I'm trying to warm up to Clausen, I just can't stomach him in a Hawks uniform.

Patrick said...

1st Anonymous- Gotta disagree with you there. I don't think Tennessee is upset with having Chris Johnston on their team. OL is very important, and we may not grab a RB in the first round, but grabbing Spiller would certainly electrify our offense.

2n Anonymous- I think that's exactly my problem as well. I understand the need for a QB, I really do. It's just I'd rather have just about anyone but Clausen. I'm definitely trying to warm up to him, but there's a big part of me hoping the Rams take him 1st overall so he's not even an option for us. I'd love to grab Bradford, I'd be thrilled with Tebow, and I wouldn't even mind Colt McCoy (Assuming it's out of the first round). But, the good news is at least I have about 3 months to try to warm up to Clausen just in case.

Anonymous said...

Spiller behind 09's Seahawk o-line would probably be average at best.

Why waste a high draft pick on a bunch of dicy qb prospects when there are much better pickings at other positions high in the draft. BPA is the only way to go with the first two picks.

Better to go bargan hunting this year and take a flyer on a late round qb. Matt's still got a couple good years left if he doesn't get killed by a porous o-line.

Our new offensive line coach Gibbs thinks he can make an interior lineman out of anybody. That's what Ruskell thought too. Good luck!

Phil said...

of course.. who wouldn't want chris johnson?! but just because cj spiller is compared to chriss johnson skills doesn't mean that cj spiller is guaranteed to become chris johnson. feel me? i just dont think running backs are not that important. I mean u do have to run the ball, but picking a running back in the 1st round is just a waste imo. we are fine with forsett. we can maybe pick a rb up in the middle/late round right where justin forsett was picked. If the only hole on our team was running back? then i would be all for cj with a 1st round pick. But out of all our needs.. id rank it like this:

1. d line
2. qb
3. o line (only because we got alex gibbs and the players that we already have fit his past personel. Hopefully he can get them to play like an elite line. i wouldnt mind picking up tackle in the later rounds)
4. safety
5. wr
6. rb

Anonymous said...

option 1 (1st/1st/2nd):


option 2:


option 3


E in F

Anonymous said...

Green Bay GM Ted Thomson is known for going BPA with his 1. round picks no matter what. That is why he picked Aaron Rodgers, even though he didn't know when Favre wanted to stop, but he was clearly BPA.

That is also why trading up to get Matthews in 2009 seemed so brilliant. OLB was a big need in GB and Matthews was BPA.

I don't know if Scheider will continue with that approach, but I have seen people saying they picked Rodgers to sit him behind Favre and develop and that is not completely right. They picked Rodgers because he was BPA.

Ralphy said...

I know we will be hearing all about Leinart this off season but what about Reggie Bush? The Saints would need to pick up an 8 million dollar option on him and I don't see that happening even if he did learn how to run with heart last week. What do you think about him in Seattle? He could be that playmaker we are needing to find a free up those early picks for another position of need.

Jayce said...

I wouldn't mind getting Bush, if he gets released by saints. Reunion between him and Carroll could appeal to him. From his performance against Cards, he mos def shows playmaking ability. Think about he was no different from CJ, regarded as one of the best RB in the draft. Like Ralph said, this will allow us to pursue a player to fill our trenches.

E said...

Spiller is this years Crabtree for Rob..He loves him obviously and we do need a RB..I just don't know if we need to use a 1st rounder to get a decent one..

What does the RB depth look like this year, Rob? Much drop off in the 2nd and 4th?

Steve in Spain said...

It's funny how RB has gone from being an overvalued position to one that's almost ridiculously undervalued. Spiller absolutely has first-round value for the Hawks, especially if we get a rookie QB. Spiller's a true dynamic threat who will take the pressure off a rookie QB and make the play action passing game whistle. He'll make our O-line look better because he'll hit the holes quick and get through them before they close. He has proven himself an electric return man, and will spot us valuable field position on kickoffs and punts. Nothing helps an anemic offense like favorable field position. And for a back he's an excellent receiving option.

What makes Forsett great is that he's cheap. He's an extremely valuable component of our run game. But he's a complementary back. We need someone to take the bulk of the load.

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - the reference to Chris' mock being aesthetically pleasing was more to do with the design and layout rather than the picks themselves.

Jayce - some of the picks I don't agree with (Golden Tate), but there is a chance Iupati, Williams and Wetherspoon fall into round two. Certainly in some quarters that's been talked about as a real possibility, it's just not something I've looked at in a mock draft to date.

Second annonymous - That's a very valid point regarding Green Bay/Rodgers.

E - I was a big fan of Crabtree last year because I felt he was a rare talent with elite potential. I still think overall he was by far the #1 overall talent in the 2009 draft. Do I feel that way about Spiller? No. I think he's an excellent prospect and I've always had him high on my big board and mocks. But I don't think he's the rare talent Crabtree was. With regard to depth at running back, it's not great but there are some interesting options. I like Joe McKnight (USC) in the 2-4 range. Not a big fan or Ryan Matthews (Fresno State). Ben Tate (Auburn) and Charles Scott (LSU) are worth watching as later round options. LaGarrette Blount (Oregon) could offer a team some value despite his issues. Dexter McCluster is small but fast and offers some playmaking ability in the 5-7 range. The Seahawks have to consider Spiller because he offers something they lack - pure playmaking and the ability to put cheap points on the board.

kearly said...

Wow, that mock was embarrassingly bad. Berry at #2? Trent Williams is very high at #9. Tebow at #10? Morgan to Denver even though Morgan is strictly a 4-3 player? Dwyer at #20? Brian Price at #32 (wouldn't that be nice?)? Bruce Campbell (some mocks have him top 10) at #37?

McCourty is WF's #11 CB and projected as a round 3-4 player.

If the draft happened that way, I think I'd jizz my pants when both Mike Iupati and Damian Williams somehow reach us at #40.

Then I'd throw a brick through my television when we pass on them for a 4th round corner from Rutgers, lol.

kearly said...

Also, Greg Hardy looks like a little bitch/punk in his photos. He might be a boy scout for all I know, but his photo really jumps out.

Mike said...

I wouldn't be happy with the first round of Clausen and Spiller. I think RBs success in the NFL has a lot more to do with the line than what they did in college. Give me a second rounder or later like Best and/or McKnight, put them next to Forsett and a Gibbs coached line and we will be good.
I just don't see PC tieing his legacy to Clausen. There is an interesting read out there about the type of QB who flourished under PC at USC. He liked tall, moderately mobile guys who had cannons. We have a guy who fits that mold perfectly in Mike Teel.
I think PC will try and build the D and the run game and let the QB position ride a couple more years. The drafttek mock is much better to my liking. Haden and Morgan in the first. I really don't like the Dwyer pick in the second, but I think that will fix itself.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to say it right now. Matt Hasselbeck's confidence is shot and he's injury prone! We need his heir apparent right now!

This rookie may even start this year.

Rob Staton said...

Mike - everything you say is valid. Indeed, there's a very logical possibility that Pete Carroll won't want to be tied to a guy like Clausen although - I'm led to believe - he recruited him heavily at USC. They may well let the QB position 'ride' a few years. I think that would be a big mistake though. An average team can be defined by good quarterback play. A team with a bad quarterback needs to be very good almost everywhere else.

The playoffs are a great example. The Jets have a great defense, running game and offensive line. Sanchez isn't at top level yet (he could be soon) but he doesn't hold them back. But he's in a great foundation and still a first round pick with huge potential - he's not some guy they stumbled upon. The rest...

Bengals - Carson Palmer
Patriots - Tom Brady
Packers - Aaron Rodgers
Cardinals - Kurt Warner
Saints - Drew Brees
Colts - Peyton Manning
Vikings - Brett Favre
Ravens - Joe Flacco
Eagles - Donovan McNabb
Cowboys - Tony Romo
Chargers - Philip Rivers

Seattle will need to be some team in every other aspect if they plan to start a journeyman or major project like Teel and succeed. It will ultimately be easier for the Seahawks to draft a QB, coach him well and create a good (although not necessarily great) platform for him to start than it will be to improve every single aspect of the team except QB and hope that the guy pulling the strings won't hurt you.

neklok said...

Just curious, how did the last Notre Dame QB that the Hawks drafted pan out???

Stay away from Claussen Hawks, please!

O-Line, D-Line, QB, CB, RB. Those are the needs. Hasselbeck, I fear, is completely done at this point. But perhaps he's got one more average year left?

Rob Staton said...

In fairness Neklok (and I've been critical of Clausen on this blog, very critical at times) you cannot compare Clausen and Mirer, at least not in the context that Clausen should be avoided simply because he went to the same school.

Hasselbeck will be the starter in 2010 - the need for a quarterback comes in the sense that by 2011, you might need to look elsewhere. By 2012, they almost certainly will do with Hasselbeck set to be 37 that year. Unless they want to start a rookie one day, they have to start planning for the future.

neklok said...

obviously drafting according to school isn't exactly the best route to take. however, given the sheer amount of luck involved regarding how a high draft pick pans out (or doesn't), i don't necessarily think a team would be at that much of a disadvantage with such a bizarre drafting scheme. it seems less than 50/50 that a top pick pans out when a skill position player is taken. with 2 picks in the top 20, the hawks would be smart to take big durable bodies on the O and D lines that have less of a failure rate. the last thing the hawks need is a first round bust. those are so hard to bounce back from.

Rob Staton said...

I wrote an article for last year's draft talking about 'safe picks' and failure rates. I always rather judge a prospect on their own merits, regardless of position. If every wide out in the history of the draft busted in a twenty year spell, it doesn't mean the next guy won't be Jerry Rice. Likewise, the lineman issue - a lot of defensive lineman don't work out. I think offensive lineman get a pass in the most part, but they do bust. Every prospect has to be taken on his own merit.

Anonymous said...

The Hawks are better off taking a pair of linemen, either on the O-line or D-line. There is no sense in taking a QB when there isn't enough talent around him to get him to succeed.