With the biggest blockbuster of my draft being the trade of Wilson, my Seahawks need someone under center to challenge Paxton Lynch (who himself was a 1st round QB pick not so long ago).
I think that this position is one of the most difficult to evaluate because there are so many ways that a player can be put in a position to succeed, but there are also so many ways they can be set up to fail. So what would I want in a QB:
- first thing is first and that is a guy who can make it work. At the position you have to have superior instincts and the ability to improvise. you also have to have a high football and emotional IQ to connect with your players on all levels.
- improvisation in a different way is also important. I think a modern QB should be mobile, able to scramble and improvise without panicking.
- some Seahawks scheme specific things: he needs to be able to handle getting it done without a high volume. Some guys need that to get warm and get into a flow, you won’t get that in Seattle.
- to go along with the above, strengths with play action and the deep throw off of that would be great. accuracy, specifically on deep throws is a must – the Seahawks bring people in with the run before spraying it over the top.
If I were in the position of having to draft a QB, I would never go for one in the first round. In the first round I want to be picking a clear win so I go for someone who can transition from playing against adolescents to playing against men.
The best way, in my opinion, is not to look at College production, but physical traits and how that translates into the NFL. Of course their success rate at the college level is also important, but it is also a direct result of scheme, the players around them and the players across from them – both in a positive as well as a negative way. It is harder to fake physical measurements, movement and a high footballing IQ. So I am looking for those in the first round.
Going back to the QB position specifically. since 2007 31 qbs have been picked in the first round. of those, 13 are still starters (that’s including Rosen). That is a 1st-round-to-starter ratio of 41.94%. Is it worth spending that kind of draft capital on someone who is less than 50% likely to stay a long term starter? Not in my opinion. QB is also the position with the least rotation, which means that if you have not picked your guy, then you are either stuck with something you really didn’t want as a starter or you have completely wasted a pick, because he won’t even be a rotational guy. I think that if you are really convinced by someone then late 1st round to early 2nd round is the sweet spot for the earliest you should draft a QB.
What makes this decision easier is if you have a team that relies on values like the Seahawks: run heavy and top of the league defense. I love this more agressive-defense, for many reasons:
- it means you are controlling the opponent and the time rather than simply trying to outscore them and hoping that your defense is less bad than theirs.
- in this scheme you can defeat different styles of teams with multiple weapons, whereas if everything is going through your QB – and he is stopped by an opposing defense – you are screwed.
- the defense is taking pressure off the offense by making stops, and the offense gives the defense time to recover by controlling the clock with the run.
- as for a very personal reason, whatever sport I have played I have always played in defense and I am pretty sure that it is the foundation for every good offense. Even in non-team sports like Judo you are using the momentum of the enemy to start your attack. And being able to control an opponents momentum – which comes through the offense – frustrating them and then setting up your own attack, is a sure-fire way to a win.
So based on all of that, let’s look at some of the talents who I would be interested in.
1st round talent
Kyler Murray – 07.08.97 (21) – 5’10” height – 9 1/2″ hands – Oaklahoma
I am not going to go into great detail here because he will be gone long before I would consider drafting a QB. There are some very impressive things, but also some big red flags about him in my opinion.
Murray has electric movements on the ball and a good arm. I love the baseball background, because we have seen how much it helps Wilson and Mahomes. The size is also no concern because I believe that he is a guy who would make it work. He want’s to be a winner, he wants to reach the top.
But he wasn’t tackled or sacked much. how will he handle getting tackled to the ground by big guys? does he have the grit when things don’t go good? Is he a team player or someone who will be more focused on himself and how will that reflect on the team? Because of the last point I also do not see him as a leader in a locker room and rather a guy who will divide people. I would have concerns about his family situation as well, because I don’t know how much he is influenced in his decisions.
If there were any possibility of getting him at the end of the first round or early second round then I would risk it an draft him, but he will never drop that far. Lamar Jackson did last year and this guy is rated way higher by people, while maybe not having as good of a personality.
2nd-3rd round talent
Will Grier – 03.04.95 (24) – 6’2″ – 9 3/8″ – West Virginia
Leading up to the draft and before Wilson got his extension Grier was named as a possible draft choice for the Seahawks all over the place. Then he didn’t have a great Combine or Senior Bowl and his draft stock tumbled a little. I like to go against the grain, so when a lot of people say he would be a good match I am hyper critical. But in this case I have to say that I agree.
He can play over the top of defenses which would be a great match for the Seahawks and was in the conversation for the Heisman Trophy. There are some questions whether he will be able to keep that up at the next level.
He is highly organised, but that inhibits his creativity. For example when a play breaks down. He seems set to what is decided pre snap. But overall if a good game plan is made for him, I get the feeling that he has a lot of pro-readiness.
He seems like an extremely calm and collected family man, more private than glitzy. At the same time he has been noted as highly motivational for his teammates in the locker room. Seems like a good combo.
The earliest I would draft him is in the 3rd round, I think that the 2nd would be pushing it.
Ryan Finley – 26.12.94 (24) – 6’4″ – 9 1/2″ – North Carolina State
Calm and collected guy who I think could make a solid starter, probably not spectacular though and needs a good game plan around him. Has experience in a pro-style offense . Mature and eloquent in his interviews, with the benefit of a couple years experience on the younger QBs coming into the league. Plus on intelligence, which keeps coming up.
Quick processing for good intermediate range play, which I like a lot because I think it is one of the best ways to move the ball down the field. He has accuracy all over the pitch allowing him to make deep balls over the top and into tight windows, but he just doesn’t quite have the ideal zip on this throws.
Used to play basketball and has plus mobility. Also gives him the ability to throw while moving. Top in the country on third down conversions, but seemed to get flustered when things didn’t go according to plan on a given play. On the positive side, I think that games like the one against Clemson show that even if his Offense isn’t doing well he will stay calm and bite his way into a game throughout the 4 quarters.
Overall a guy where the word “solid” comes to mind. Ideal for an offense that wants to move the ball down the field quickly and needs an accurate and calm guy. I would pull the trigger on him late in the 3rd round, especially if you need a guy for now.
Tyree Jackson – 07.11.97 (21) – 6’7″ – 10 1/4″ – Buffalo
Didn’t stop smiling at the Combine. Reminds me of Cam Newton in the way he displays himself, without the same level of arrogance. Overall I like his positive character. He also lacks experience against the quality opposition – also means that he knows how to play with less.
Huge and can move for a big guy. Good scramble ability with the ability to make throws on the move – does, however, need to carry the ball closer to his body, not away from even if he has massive hands. In addition to this he has the ability to make the deep throws, those on the sideline and over the middle but needs help from receivers. Sometimes throws a bit behind rather than in stride and has a tendency to throw where he hopes there will be something, rather than where there is. This will be punished in the NFL.
Good arm, good character and can scramble well. I think he has huge upside. I would feel comfortable taking him in the 3rd if I was really sure, had already locked down other positions of need and thought he was going to be taken by someone, but I would feel better in the 4th round due to the inexperience.
4th-7th round talent
Gardner Minshew – 16.05.96 (22) – 6’1″ – 10 1/8″ – Washinton State
Very good accuracy numbers (top 5 nationally for completion percentage 70.6) but played in an offense built to maximize the QB’s numbers. Altogether I do feel like his accuracy is underestimated though. Can throw on the move. Seems well suited to an offense that needs lots of short and intermediate throws, but can also make the deep passes (which are sometimes lacking in power though).
can extend plays with his feet and keeps his eyes moving across the field. Not the most athletic, but uses his opportunities well.
His personality has something of Baker Mayfield that allows his teammates to rally around him – but a stoned California-style version. Not in a necessarily in a negative way, but a bit more chilled. There is also something about his character that i am unsure about, but can’t put my finger on it. Maybe he is just a character.
I don’t think that he is a perfect fit for the Seahawksbecause he just doesn’t have the arm strength to continually make the deep throws, but he could come in and add to a decent QB competition. I would be happy to draft him in the 4th round.
Easton Stick – 15.09.95 (23) – 6’1″ – 9 1/4″ – North Dakota State
He has some traits that could be interesting, but in the end I think that I like his grit, determination and character more than his arm. 3 year team captain, which doesn’t happen a lot.
He is a dual threat with his arm and legs (41 rushing TDs!), but doesn’t slide with his runs, wants to finish hard like RB. Think that would be quite frustrating and could result in injury at the pros. Similarly he will sometimes wait until the last minute to throw – happy to take a hit. I think his teammates appreciate it, but the question is whether his coaches will.
He has plus mobility with some straight line speed and can throw on the run. But he doesn’t always make the smartest decisions throwing and doesn’t always make the best throws either. Not convincing at selling the run fake.
I was very impressed with his interview at how he held eye contact with the interviewer. I think he is an effort player without the highest talent and don’t know whether that can be rectified. I would however take him in the 7th round if I wanted a player for camp that is going to push others and do everything for the starting spot, otherwise he is a good pickup as an UDFA.
Overall I find this draft a bit boring when it comes to QBs outside of Murray. There are a couple of guys who will go in the first round who are interesting for other teams because they are pure pocket passers, but I wouldn’t put a first round grade on them (Lock and Jones). What they do have, especially Lock more than the rest, is leadership personalities. Maybe I would give them 2nd round grades, but neither one fits the Seahawks. Haskins will also go in the first round as is probably the most intriguing of the three behind Murray. He is still very early on in his development though and he is just too slow on his feet for my liking.
To go through the 5 that are attainable and I like:
- Will Grier – “the fit” – great fit for Seattle in terms of what he was able to show at the college level. Would be great to see if he can push it to the next level in the NFL.
- Ryan Finley – “pro-ready” – has the intelligence and pro-readiness that would be great going to the next level. I feel like he is the kind of guy who would be able to be quietly successful or really thrive in an offense like the Patriots.
- Tyree Jackson – “the talent” – perhaps the most intriguing QB for me, and perhaps the only one I would be willing to overdraft on. I think he has something special and if he puts it all together he could be a franchise QB at the next level in a couple of years.
- Gardner Minshew – “the dark horse” – arguably more accomplished than the two above him, but his lack of arm to make the deep throws pushes him down my board a little.
- Easton Stick – “the grinder” – just doesn’t quite seem to have the arm, but it would be interesting to see how much he can progress at the next level because he is someone who is going to give it his all.
Grier sits atop the pile and then the next three are bunched quite close together before you have Stick to round off the list.
I would be happy to draft later but double dip, and then if it doesn’t work out, take a run at a QB next year.