To QB or to not QB?
That’s the query dealing with the Seahawks as they put together for the 2022 NFL draft, which begins with the primary spherical on Thursday.
Since the second the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson on March 8 and obtained in return, amongst different issues, the No. 9 general decide within the draft, hypothesis has run rampant that Seattle will take a quarterback.
Of course, the Seahawks don’t should.
Seattle additionally obtained Drew Lock within the commerce, and the Seahawks don’t look like simply blowing smoke in saying they assume he has the potential to be a reliable NFL beginning quarterback.
Some across the league even assume that Seattle believes Lock is pretty much as good as any quarterback popping out within the draft this 12 months, a gaggle of which there’s little clear consensus.
But given the significance of the place, the Seahawks should be tempted at 9 or with certainly one of their picks at 40 and 41 to take a QB.
“You have to have that guy,” stated Randy Mueller, who labored within the Seahawks’ entrance workplace from 1983-99, the final 5 as vp of soccer operations, and had later stints as the overall supervisor for the Dolphins and Saints. “Your margin for error goes way up the better you are at that position. … You’re fighting an uphill battle if you don’t have that guy.”
That’s not information. No one’s ever questioned a quarterback’s worth.
But Mueller says it’s a realization groups should cope with when the draft comes – particularly, in not falling prey to taking a QB due to the significance of the place and overlooking flaws, or passing on a greater participant at one other place.
“I think the crux of it all comes to, you can’t let that need and that desperation trump what you see on tape,” Mueller stated. “And that’s where I think teams have gotten in trouble.”
Other occasions, even when a workforce has a necessity and drafting one is smart, it simply doesn’t work out.
Mueller had a close-up take a look at the one two occasions Seattle has taken a quarterback within the first spherical – Dan McGwire in 1991 and Rick Mirer in 1993.
That’s tied for the fewest quarterbacks taken within the first spherical within the Super Bowl period together with Dallas, Carolina, the Rams, New Orleans and Houston, in keeping with Pro Football Talk.
Seattle has solely drafted seven quarterbacks within the final 20 years and 17 general, partially as a result of the Seahawks have had as a lot stability on the place as any workforce since coming into the NFL in 1976. In reality, 508 of the workforce’s 725 common season video games have been began by 4 quarterbacks – Wilson (158), Matt Hasselbeck (131), Dave Krieg (119) and Jim Zorn (100) – and simply 23 QBs have began a sport within the workforce’s 47-year historical past (think about the Washington Commanders have had eight beginning quarterbacks within the final three seasons).
But if the workforce’s drafting of Wilson will ceaselessly go down as one of many best picks in NFL historical past, a few of Seattle’s quarterback-drafting previous serves as a cautionary story.
High decide no assure of success
Three occasions within the span of six years from 1988-93 the Seahawks discovered that merely getting a QB within the prime of the draft was no assure of something.
After 12 years of Zorn and Krieg, Seattle determined to attempt to swing massive to get a quarterback to take the workforce excessive, dealing three picks, together with a 1989 first-rounder, in 1988 to Arizona for Kelly Stouffer, who had been drafted sixth general the 12 months earlier than however was holding out. The commerce initially was for Kenny Easley till he flunked a bodily.
But Stouffer struggled to remain wholesome, beginning simply 16 video games in 5 seasons. He went 5-11 with a 7-to-19 TD-to-interception ratio and was out of the league by age 29. That, and Krieg’s impending departure, led to Seattle deciding once more in 1991 to go massive on a quarterback, taking the 6-8 McGwire with the sixteenth general decide.
Legend has it that coach Chuck Knox wished the Seahawks to take Brett Favre, who as an alternative lasted to 33 the place he was taken by Atlanta (who dubiously then shortly traded him to Green Bay).
Mueller at the moment was Seattle’s professional personnel director and never in a decision-making place on the draft. But he says the decision to take McGwire was fairly clear-cut and that “I don’t keep in mind a lot dialogue on Favre or Browning Nagle (who went 34 to the Jets).’’
Instead, this was earlier than the rookie wage cap, and Mueller says one vital motive for Seattle taking McGwire is that then-owner Ken Behring had relationship with McGwire’s agent, Leigh Steinberg.
That’s not a consideration anymore because of slotted rookie salaries launched as a part of the 2011 collective bargaining settlement.
In equity to Seattle, the consensus on the time was fairly evenly break up on whether or not McGwire or Favre, whose senior 12 months was not as statistically spectacular as his junior season, was the higher prospect.
Still, it might hardly have turned out extra disastrously. While Favre went on to a Hall of Fame profession, McGwire began 5 video games in 4 years, throwing two landing passes, and was out of the league by age 29.
Which led to Seattle two years later making what gave the impression to be a no brainer transfer – taking Mirer at No. 2 after the Patriots chosen WSU star Drew Bledsoe at No. 1.
Again, hindsight paints this as a reasonably apparent selection, however scouts have been much more divided on the time.
And Mueller says that Bill Parcells, who had simply taken over because the Patriots coach and de facto GM, referred to as Seattle to see if the Seahawks wished to maneuver as much as No. 1.
“He actually reached out to us to see if we wanted to flip,” Mueller stated. “Tom (Flores, then the Seahawks general manager) didn’t have a preference on the quarterbacks so he didn’t want to give up something to move up one spot.”
So the Patriots obtained Bledsoe, who led New England to the Super Bowl 4 years later and threw 251 profession TD passes, nonetheless twenty third in NFL historical past, whereas Mirer went 20-31 in 4 years with Seattle with a 41-to-56 TD-to-INT ratio earlier than being shipped off to Chicago.
But displaying how tough quarterback analysis will be, even legendary coach Bill Walsh thought on the time Seattle may need gotten the higher QB.
Walsh in contrast the 6-3 Mirer to Joe Montana – every had performed at Notre Dame – and famous his higher mobility in comparison with the 6-5 Bledsoe.
“To me, he has Montana movement,” Walsh stated in an interview with the Seattle Times in 1993. “Rick has a very good arm. He is sharp, a natural football player who I think is just the ideal quarterback prospect” noting one motive is that “the taller man is inherently less able to move and avoid.”
The failure of the Mirer decide, although, led to Seattle wandering by way of the QB desert the remainder of the last decade, turning the job over to John Friesz, then signing 41-year-old Warren Moon (who received a Pro Bowl berth in 1997) after which giving the job to Jon Kitna (signed as an undrafted free agent) earlier than Hasselbeck lastly secured it in 2002. He held it till 2010, which ultimately led to the decide of Wilson.
So what now?
After hanging gold with Wilson however the relationship working dry, Seattle is beginning over.
While even obvious sure-thing quarterbacks typically bust, one complication this 12 months is that there aren’t any thought to be potential certain issues. While a QB has gone first general the final two years – Joe Burrow (2020) and Trevor Lawrence (2021) – there’s debate this 12 months whether or not any is worthy of a prime 10 decide.
Conversely, as many as 5 are thought of as potentialities to go within the first spherical – Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder.
“I don’t know if any of them are going to be guys that right you would pin that ‘franchise quarterback tag’ on that they are a guy you are going to win Super Bowls with,” stated Jim Nagy, who was the Seahawks’ southeast space scout from 2013-17 and is now the manager director of the Senior Bowl. “I don’t think any of them are in the Justin Herbert category coming out. But there is something to like about all of them. And history shows that a couple of these guys are going to be, at minimum, solid NFL starters.”
Of the category, Nagy says, “I think Pickett, Willis and Ridder are definite locks. And the more I’m hearing, Howell is going to sneak in at the end. I think Corral is kind of the wild card, the guy teams are all over the board on right now.”
Mueller says his prime two are Pickett and Ridder. Of Pickett, he says, “He checks all the boxes. He’s 6-3, he has the vision, he has anticipation, he’s the most accurate guy. I don’t have a lot of doubts about him.”
Of Ridder, he says, “He’s the other guy who fits the size (6-3, 211) and talent boxes and he’s got (48) starts so he’s a fairly proven commodity. But I still think he’s a lot more inconstant than a normal first round pick would be and has a lot to grow into.”
Seahawks normal supervisor John Schneider on Thursday assessed the category as having “a quietness about it. … There doesn’t seem to be a lot of buzz right now.”
But he in contrast it to 2011, when after Cam Newton went first, there was loads of uncertainty. Three QBs ended up going from eight to 12 – UW’s Jake Locker (eight, Tennessee), Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert (10, Jacksonville) and Florida State’s Christian Ponder (12, Minnesota). That not one of the three ever a lot as made a Pro Bowl exhibits once more the precarious nature of evaluating quarterbacks.
The significance of the place, although, means groups will all the time be tempted to err on the aspect of reaching.
Wilson could also be Exhibit A of inflicting groups remorse, as Nagy is aware of firsthand.
Nagy was a nationwide scout for the Chiefs in 2012 when Matt Cassel was their beginning quarterback. Kansas City had the 74th decide – one earlier than Seattle.
Nagy says the Chiefs had performed intensive work on Wilson however saved coming again to his peak – formally only a hair below 5-11.
“That was a time when teams were still really leery of the height thing,” he stated.
So the Chiefs handed on Wilson and as an alternative took Oklahoma offensive deal with Donald Stephenson. Stephenson began 21 video games in 4 years for the Chiefs and has been out of the league since 2017. And with Cassel and Brady Quinn at QB, KC went 2-14 in 2012, ensuing within the firing of coach Romeo Crennel and far of the employees, together with Nagy, who landed on his toes with the Seahawks.
Seattle took Wilson, spurring one of the best decade within the workforce’s historical past.
“He definitely changed a lot of people’s life paths,” Nagy stated.
That’s an everlasting fact of discovering – or passing on – a franchise QB, a call that after 10 years of not having to fret about it’s going to as soon as once more weigh closely on the Seahawks when the draft begins.