Monday, March 12, 2012

Quarterback Solution Yet To Show Itself

John Schneider and Pete Carroll did not address the long-term quarterback situation in their first season. They did not address the long-term quarterback situation in their second season. It is looking more and more like they won't commit to a Quarterback of the Future (QBOTF) this season either, but will instead spend a few non-first round picks on project QBs that are long-shots to become franchise players. This front office has arguably aced almost every other personnel decision they have had to make thus far, but their legacy will still be defined by how they address this one position. It is usually easy to look backwards in situations like this and second-guess the decision makers, "If they had just drafted [Insert Guy Few People Wanted At The Time], we wouldn't be in this mess." Take a look at the choices they could have made. You might be surprised how few options they really had.

Start with the draft. Here are all the QBs drafted in 2010:

RDSEL #PLAYERPOSITIONSCHOOLTEAM
11Sam BradfordQBOklahomaSt. Louis Rams
125Tim TebowQBFloridaDenver Broncos
248Jimmy ClausenQBNotre DameCarolina Panthers
385Colt McCoyQBTexasCleveland Browns
4122Mike KafkaQBNorthwesternPhiladelphia Eagles
5155John SkeltonQBFordhamArizona Cardinals
5168Jonathan CromptonQBTennesseeSan Diego Chargers
6176Rusty SmithQBFlorida AtlanticTennessee Titans
6181Dan LeFevourQBCentral MichiganChicago Bears
6199Joe WebbQBAlabama-BirminghamMinnesota Vikings
6204Tony PikeQBCincinnatiCarolina Panthers
7209Levi BrownQBTroyBuffalo Bills
7239Sean CanfieldQBOregon StateNew Orleans Saints
7250Zac RobinsonQBOklahoma StateNew England Patriots


Source: http://www.nfl.com/draft/history/fulldraft?type=position

Colt McCoy would be preferable to the third round pick spent on Whitehurst, but not many Seahawks fans would be chomping at the bit to have McCoy as their QBOTF right now. A miss, but not a devastating one. Joe Webb would be a nice guy to have on the roster, especially at a 6th round value, but again, not devastating to miss on him. Time will tell, but that's a pretty crappy looking quarterback class. Even #1 overall pick, Sam Bradford has some questions to answer after a sub-par sophomore season.

Here are the quarterbacks drafted in 2011:

RDSEL #PLAYERPOSITIONSCHOOLTEAM
11Cam NewtonQBAuburnCarolina Panthers
18Jake LockerQBWashingtonTennessee Titans
110Blaine GabbertQBMissouriJacksonville Jaguars
112Christian PonderQBFlorida StateMinnesota Vikings
235Andy DaltonQBTexas ChristianCincinnati Bengals
236Colin KaepernickQBNevada-RenoSan Francisco 49ers
374Ryan MallettQBArkansasNew England Patriots
5135Ricky StanziQBIowaKansas City Chiefs
5152T.J YatesQBNorth CarolinaHouston Texans
5160Nathan EnderleQBIdahoChicago Bears
6180Tyrod TaylorQBVirginia TechBaltimore Ravens
7208Greg McElroyQBAlabamaNew York Jets


Could Seattle have traded up from #25 in the first round to get Jake Locker? Perhaps. Very few teams were convinced he was going to be a successful pro player heading into last year's draft. He showed flashes of a great future in the chances he was given last season. If there is any regret, it is that the Seahawks would have had that #8 pick if they had lost to the Rams and failed to make the playoffs. Five years from now, will you wish you had Locker or the Beast Quake memory? Either way, there is no blame that can be placed on the front office. Seattle could have made an attempt to trade up for Blaine Gabbert or Christian Ponder. Neither appear worth the capitol it would have taken to move up and nab them. Andy Dalton is possibly the most controversial. He was selected 10 picks after the Seahawks chose RT James Carpenter. Word is, the Seahawks tried desperately to trade back, possibly to select Dalton. They could not find the right deal, and stuck to their guns about drafting talent at the level they saw it. Dalton had a very promising first year, but there aren't many fans up-in-arms that the Seahawks don't have him at the helm. He has the look of a good enough quarterback, but will he ever be great? The jury is out on that one. It's too early to tell on the rest of the players. None of those players stand out a year later as major misses by the Seahawks.


Now, take a look at the free agent QBs available in 2010:


Derek Anderson
R.J. Archer
Richard Bartel
Charlie Batch
John Beck
Kyle Boller
Todd Bouman
Tom Brady
Tom Brandstater
Levi Brown
Mark Brunell
Marc Bulger
Jason Campbell
David Carr
Kellen Clemens
Brodie Croyle
Daunte Culpepper
Nate Davis
Jake Delhomme
A.J. Feeley
Charlie Frye
Jeff Garcia
Bruce Gradkowski
Quinn Gray
Chris Greisen
Rex Grossman
Matt Gutierrez
Gibran Hamdan
Graham Harrell
Tarvaris Jackson
Byron Leftwich
Matt Leinart
J.P. Losman
Josh McCown
Matt Moore
Matt Nichols
Keith Null
Kevin O'Connell
J.T. O'Sullivan
Kyle Orton
Jordan Palmer
Chad Pennington
Patrick Ramsey
Brett Ratliff
Chris Redman
Mike Reilly
Ben Roethlisberger
Jeff Rowe
JaMarcus Russell
D.J. Shockley
Chris Simms
Troy Smith
Jevan Snead
Jim Sorgi
Brian St. Pierre
Mike Teel
Charlie Whitehurst

Any huge misses in that group? No. The 2011 group is not much better.

Derek Anderson
McLeod Bethel-Thompson
Kyle Boller
Rhett Bomar
Todd Bouman
Tom Brandstater
Brian Brohm
Jarrett Brown
Mark Brunell
Marc Bulger
Sean Canfield
Hunter Cantwell
Rudy Carpenter
David Carr
Kellen Clemens
Kerry Collins
Todd Collins
Mike Coughlin
Jonathan Crompton
Eric Crouch
Brodie Croyle
Nate Davis
Jake Delhomme
Dennis Dixon
Trent Edwards
Brett Favre
Charlie Frye
Jeff Garcia
David Garrard
Bruce Gradkowski
Chris Greisen
Rex Grossman
Matt Gutierrez
Matt Gutierrez
Caleb Hanie
Graham Harrell
Matt Hasselbeck
Shaun Hill
Tarvaris Jackson
Dan LeFevour
Matt Leinart
Thaddeus Lewis
J.P. Losman
Peyton Manning
Josh McCown
Luke McCown
Donovan McNabb
Matt Moore
Keith Null
Kevin O'Connell
J.T. O'Sullivan
Dan Orlovsky
Kyle Orton
Jordan Palmer
Chad Pennington
Ryan Perrilloux
Tony Pike
Patrick Ramsey
Brett Ratliff
Scott Riddle
Zac Robinson
Sage Rosenfels
JaMarcus Russell
D.J. Shockley
Chris Simms
Alex Smith
Troy Smith
Jim Sorgi
Brian St. Pierre
Drew Stanton
Tyler Thigpen
Scott Tolzien
Michael Vick
Billy Volek
Seneca Wallace
Adam Weber
Charlie Whitehurst
Drew Willy
John Parker Wilson
Vince Young

Note that many of these players were not unrestricted free agents, but even if they were, how many do you wish the Seahawks future was tied to? 

Carroll and Schneider deserve a ton of scrutiny for how they are handling the QB situation. They have not invested in young players at the position outside of Josh Portis. If he hits, it won't be because they knew he could be the franchise quarterback. It will be lucky. If they knew he could be a great player, they would have drafted him. A number of factors have contributed to the situation the Seahawks now find themselves in relative to this all-important position, most have been out of the team's control. The patience for explanations like that will run extremely thin this year. You cannot win the raffle if you do not buy a ticket. Schneider needs to buy a few tickets this year. Settling for mediocrity will not fly much longer.

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