Thursday, February 16, 2012

Should the Seahawks look to the draft to solve their quarterback problem?

By Kshell

The Seahawks this offseason have a very serious problem at the quarterback position. I examined if the Seahawks should sign Matt Flynn or sign Peyton Manning . If the Seahawks strike out on either they can still salvage that position with the draft. The draft could still be an option even if they sign Manning who will be 36 years old. The draft is a necessary move for this franchise moving forward into the future. The draft has great reward if you draft the right guy you should have him for the following decade. The fall back to the draft is that this is a move for the future which means Pete Carroll who is 14-18 heading into season three will be yet another rebuilding year or two. The Seahawks if they choose the draft route will likely choose between Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill or take a sleeper later in the draft.

The first guy the Seahawks will be looking at is Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. Griffin won the heisman trophy and ended his career by defeating the Washington Huskies 67-56 in the Alamo Bowl giving the Baylor Bears their first ever 10 win season. Griffin had a terrific career at Baylor completing 66.5% of his passes for 10,366 yards(8.6 YPA) with 78 touchdowns to just 17 interceptions. He also ran for 2,081 yards with 33 rushing touchdowns. Griffin won the heisman last year completing 72.4% of his passes for 4,293 yards(10.7 YPA) with 37 touchdowns to just six interceptions. He also ran for 699 yards with 10 touchdowns. If Griffin III falls to the Seahawks I believe they will draft him regardless if they sign Manning or not. Griffin III is the type of talent you just don't pass up with the 12th pick. The problem is there is a 99.8% chance he won't be there. That means if the Seahawks were to land Griffin III they will have to trade up to land him. Is Griffin III worth giving up future draft picks to land? That will be up to Carroll and John Schneider to make that decision. If they feel Griffin III isn't worth trading up for there is other options.

If the Seahawks determine that Griffin III isn't worth the price of trading up for they could select Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A & M. Tannehill was only a full-time starter his senior year while leading the Aggies to only a 7-6 record. Tannehill is 6'4" and for his career completed 62.5 % of his passes for 5,450 yards(7.4 YPA) with 42 touchdowns to 21 interceptions. His senior year he completed 61.6% of his passes for 3,744 yards(7.1 YPA) with 29 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. He also ran for 306 yards with four touchdowns. Tannehill is a big physical quarterback who is also athletic as he can move in the pocket. Drafting him with the 12th pick overall might be a reach so to maximize taking Tannehill the Seahawks might have to trade back a few spots to acquire an extra draft pick before taking Tannehill. If the Seahawks can't find a willing trade partner they might go a different route in the draft.

The Seahawks if they choose to take a project later in the draft will have some options. I think the best offseason would be to sign Peyton Manning and draft Nick Foles in the third round. Foles comes from the Arizona Wildcats and was a three year starter there. In his career he completed 66.4% of his passes for 10,067 yards(7.1 YPA) with 67 touchdowns to 33 interceptions. The Wildcats went 4-8 last season during Foles senior year but that was no fault of his own. Foles during his senior year completed 69.1% of his passes for 4,334 yards(7.7 YPA) with 28 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Foles is very accurate and standing at 6'5" 245 lbs has the size to be a successful quarterback. He isn't the only option late in the draft but he is my favorite option late in the draft. The problem is the Seahawks have had a poor history in the draft with quarterbacks.

Here are the following names the Seahawks have drafted in their franchise history Steve Myer(1976, 4th round), Sam Adkins(77' 10th round), Frank Seurer(84', 3rd round), John Conner(85', 10th round), Davie Norrie(86', 11th round), Sammy Garza(87', 8th round), John Gromos(90', 12th round), Dan McGwire(91', 1st round-16th overall), Rick Mirer(93', 1st round- 2nd overall), Brock Huard(99', 3rd round), Josh Booty(01', 6th round), Jeff Kelly(02', 7th round), Seneca Wallace(03', 4th round), David Greene(05', 3rd round) and Mike Teel(09', 6th round). Not one of those players went on to do much in the NFL. In 1991 the Seahawks chose Dan McGwire over Brett Favre with the 16th overall pick. McGwire the brother of Mark was a bust for the Seahawks. He played in only 12 games making just five starts for the Seahawks. He completed only 50.3% of his passes for 745 yards(5.1 YPA) with two touchdowns to six interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 62.1 for the Seahawks. He was so bad that two years later with the second pick overall the Seahawks had to go the quarterback route again. This time the Seahawks selected Rick Mirer from Notre Dame university who was taken right after the New England Patriots selected Washington State Cougars quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Mirer played for the Seahawks for four years starting 51 games(20-31 as a starting quarterback) completing 53.4% of his passes for 9,094 yards(6.0 YPA) with 41 touchdowns to 56 interceptions. He had a quarterback rating of 65.2 . In 2005 the Seahawks took David Greene in the third round and he was cut before the 2007 season began never appearing in an NFL game in two years. This franchise for whatever reason has failed miserably in the draft when it comes to the most important position in football.

The main problem with going with the draft is that means Tarvaris Jackson will be your starting quarterback in 2012. Pete Carroll is 14-18 as head coach of the Seahawks and although he took over a rebuilding project this is still professional sports. Paul Allen is more patient with coaches than most owners but there will come a time when Carroll has to start producing winning seasons. By drafting a quarterback to develope that means you're rebuilding as Jackson who is very limited will be your starting quarterback in 2012 and possibly even in 2013. With the exception of Andrew Luck who the Seahawks have no shot at drafting there isn't a quarterback in this draft who can step in right away and lead a team to the playoffs in my opinion. So if the Seahawks choose to draft a quarterback that means they are punting 2012 away.

I've now gone over the three options the Seahawks have to solve their quarterback dilema. I think the safest option is signing Matt Flynn. I think the best option is signing Peyton Manning and drafting Ryan Tannehill or Nick Foles. I think by signing Manning that gives you the best chance to win now while also developing the future in Tannehill or Foles. I think the worst option is trading picks away to land Griffin III. I also think just drafting Tannehill or Foles and going into next year with Jackson as your starting quarterback is a terrible move too. We'll see what the Seahawks do this offseason but realistictly I think they only have three options to improve the quarterback position going forward. The draft is a move for tomorrow but I think signing Manning and drafting is the way to go. Why not win now and tomorrow? Hopefully Carroll and Schneider make the right decisions as this is a critical offseason for the Seahawks.

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