With the NFL Draft coming up, Seahawks.com is taking a position-by-position look at where things currently stand on the Seahawks’ roster, as well as the top prospects at each position. We’ll also look at Seattle’s draft history at each position under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll.
The Seahawks currently hold 8 picks in the 2018 draft, which begins April 26 in Dallas.
Seattle’s 2018 Draft Picks: Round 1, Pick 18, No. 18 overall; Round 4, Pick 20, No. 120 overall; Round 5, Pick 4, No. 141 overall; Round 5, Pick 9, No. 146 overall; Round 5, Pick 19, No. 156 overall; Round 5, Pick 31, No. 168 overall; Round 7, Pick 8, No. 226 overall; Round 7, Pick 30, No. 248 overall.
So far we’ve covered the offensive line, the defensive line, tight end, linebacker, running back, cornerback, and receiver, and today we take a look at quarterback. Tomorrow we’ll turn our attention to the safeties.
Draft History Under Schneider and Carroll: Russell Wilson (No. 75 overall, 2012).
Where The Seahawks Stand
As you can see above, the Seahawks haven’t drafted a lot of quarterbacks since Carroll and Schneider took over—though they’ve got a pretty solid batting average—but even with Wilson in the middle of his prime, Seattle would like to add talent to that position if the right player is available at the right spot in the draft. Currently the Seahawks have Austin Davis, last year’s No. 2 quarterback, as well as the recently-signed Stephen Morris, but they aren’t necessarily done adding to that spot.
“We never feel like we’re set at any position,” Schneider said when asked about backup quarterback. “We’re not competing, we’re not doing our jobs, if we feel like we’re set.”
One reason Schneider will always at least consider drafting a quarterback is his history working under former Packers general manager Ron Wolf, who even after acquiring Brett Favre, continued to add at that position in the 1990s, often seeing those players develop into valuable trade chips, including future Seahawks Pro-Bowler Matt Hasselbeck.
“The two most important people in the building are the head coach and the quarterback,” Schneider said. “I was really blessed to start with Ron Wolf. He traded for Brett Favre right when he got there, then he acquired Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Brunell, Ty Detmer, Aaron Brooks—I may be missing somebody in there—but I don’t feel like we’ve done, and me personally, have done a good enough job of continuing to acquire quarterbacks all the way through. It’s a little bit more difficult now because we don’t have NFL Europe so we can’t placing these guys (there)… We need to do a better job developing quarterbacks, period.”
Doing a better job could mean drafting somebody in the later rounds to develop under Wilson, but the Seahawks will also do their due diligence on top quarterbacks just in case something strange happens on draft day. Again, this in part goes back to Schneider’s history in Green Bay, where in 2005, the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers, despite having Favre, because Rodgers slid so far, going from a presumed top pick to being available to the Packers at No. 24.
“I was in Green Bay when Aaron Rodgers fell,” Schneider said. “Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be the first pick in the draft, and we weren’t necessarily as prepared as we should have been for him to fall. When you get to draft day, you just want to make decisions like gameday, like you’re totally prepared. Quite frankly, when we acquired Aaron that day, we had to make some more calls during the draft, which you never really want to do, like, ‘OK, why is he falling?’ You never know what’s going to happen.”
Having an in-his-prime franchise quarterback is a luxury the Seahawks have had for several years, and it means they don’t feel pressured to reach for a quarterback at any point in the draft. The presence of Wilson, and the lack of quarterback picks in the past, do not, however, mean the Seahawks won’t pick a quarterback if the right value is there to be had.
NFL Media Draft Analyst Mike Mayock’s Top 5 Quarterbacks
1. Sam Darnold, USC
Overview (via NFL.com): At the end of the day, Darnold has NFL size, arm strength, accuracy, pocket mobility, poise and field reading capability. His windup is an eyesore for sure, but he has the velocity to mitigate the additional release time. While Darnold has the mental toughness and talent to start tomorrow, early sideline seasoning could help him better process coverages in an attempt to eliminate future interceptions. Darnold has the tools to thrive in any system and doesn't have to have perfect protection to succeed. His floor is solid starter, but he has the ceiling to be one of the top tier quarterbacks in the game as he gains more experience.
2. Josh Allen, Wyoming
Overview (via NFL.com): Likely be the biggest boom-or-bust quarterback prospect in the draft. Allen's size and arm talent are prototypical for early first-round picks, but it's rare to find a quarterback with such a low college completion rate become a successful pro. Allen's receivers struggled to separate, but there were plenty of times where his lack of anticipation and post-snap plan did him in. Allen can make some truly special throws, but his ability to improve the mental part of his game will determine whether he's a good NFL starter or just another big, strong-armed guy.
3. Josh Rosen, UCLA
Overview (via NFL.com): Josh Rosen's footwork and mechanics make him as pretty a quarterback as you will find in this year's draft. The biggest concern with Rosen is that his on-field success requires many elements to stay on schedule. He lacks plus arm strength, so identifying coverage (pre- and post-snap) and throwing with anticipation takes on added importance. Rosen has the pocket poise, accuracy and intelligence to become a good NFL starter, but he needs to be willing to take what defenses give him more frequently. Rosen will need to quell concerns surrounding leadership and coachability early on in order to establish a strong first impression and get his career off on the right foot.
4. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Overview (via NFL.com): Spread quarterbacks have had limited success as have small quarterbacks. Mayfield falls into both categories and has to prove he can transcend those perceived deficiencies on the next level. Having complete command of the Oklahoma offense isn't an automatic precursor for NFL success, but Mayfield's ability to process, extend plays and throw with accuracy give him a good shot. He'll be somewhat scheme-dependent so whoever takes him will need to be willing to build their offense around his strengths.
5. Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Overview (via NFL.com): Evaluating Jackson against the NFL standards for the position will cause him to come up short. However, he has rare speed and athleticism and can single-handedly win games. Jackson's accuracy is clearly spotty and teams must decide the level of accuracy they are willing to live with relative to his ability to create explosive plays. Jackson may need to operate in an offense ready to integrate RPOs (run/pass options) along with heavy play-action. Like Deshaun Watson in 2017, Jackson has the ability to counter mental mistakes and turnovers with a high number of explosive, touchdown-making plays. He has star potential, but his success will rest heavily upon his ability to stay healthy.
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