Yesterday, we started trying to prioritize the Seahawks’ needs for the upcoming offseason. I want to let that poll continue to run for a few more days before I break down the results, but even at this early stage one thing is very clear: We are all in agreement that the Seahawks need to find their next franchise quarterback. So with that in mind I thought I should run down the potential franchise QBs that should be available in the draft or via free agency, and a few QBs that aren’t franchise QBs but people seem to think they might be.
Before we jump in to the players, I want to point out that this is done with a scout’s eye. You’ll likely find at least a few websites that disagree with what you’ll read here, but these are my scouting results, and not just summaries of what I’ve read online. I have a surprisingly good track record with scouting QBs, so I’m not afraid to go out on a limb and disagree with the pros. You also wont find a statistical breakdown here, because I think that college stats have very very little to do with a player’s pro prospects, and this is especially true for QBs.
Andrew Luck, Stanford: Luck wont be available in any way for Seattle. Even if the Seahawks offered their first and 2nd round picks from the next 3 drafts, I don’t think they’d be able to get him. He really is that good. He has everything you’d want in an NFL QB: arm, accuracy, field vision, football IQ, everything. If there’s one knock on Luck it’s that he’s not the most mobile QB (He runs like Peyton Manning, and that isn’t a compliment) Luck will be the first overall pick in the draft, count on it. Pro-Comparison: Peyton Manning
Matt Barkley, USC: Let me make this clear: Barkley is way overhyped and overrated. He’s also still pretty darn good. Barkley doesn’t have an elite arm. Passes more than 15 yards downfield are hard on him. He has to change his mechanics to get the ball that far, and it hurts his accuracy. Shorter than that, he’s really accurate. Add in a very high football IQ and renowned leadership skills and you have a solid field general, but he’s not a fit for all offenses. Barkley will struggle in a vertical offense, but he will be outstanding if he ends up in a Homgren-style West Coast Offense. Expect Barkley to be picked in the top 5 of the draft. Pro-Comparison: Matt Ryan
Robert Griffin III, Baylor: Griffin is not an elite QB prospect. He’s good, but not in the same class at the top QB’s in the league. Griffin has a big arm and is very accurate, especially when on the run. His fundamentals, especially his footwork, are actually quite poor inside the pocket. He has this little dance move he does before throwing the ball that will hurt him at the next level. Outside the pocket he’s probably the best QB in the draft, which I find ironic. Expect Griffin to come off the board around pick #10. Pro-Comparison: Jake Plummer
Landry Jones, Oklahoma: Jones’s stock has been dropping like a rock recently, so he might go back to school and not declare for the draft. He’s big, tall, and has a huge arm. His accuracy is lacking at times, but at other times he’s right on. He also doesn’t seem to have a high football IQ, and isn’t know for his time spent in the film room, if you know what I mean. If he does come out, he’ll be available anywhere from mid to late round 1. This is a buyer beware pick. I have low expectations for him. Pro-Comparison: Joe Flacco
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M: Tannehill is a major developmental project. He was a WR until spring drills before the 2010 season. He’s still very much learning the position, and makes plenty of mistakes because of it. He’s still learning things that most QBs learn in high school. Still, he’s got all the physical attributes you want. Huge arm, accurate, ultra fast release, goof footwork. He’s also got the speed you’d expect from a former WR. If a team is willing to give him time to learn, and not rush him onto the field, Tannehill could end up being very good. Pro-Comparison: Steve Young
Matt Fylnn, Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers’s backup will be a free agent and will attract some attention. Flynn only has one career regular season start, so evaluating him as a potential starter can be a tough task of trying to figure out if his pre-season success is real or not. Still, Flynn has the physical tools you look for, and is reportedly a very smart QB who practically lives in the film room. Pro-Comparison: Matt Hasselbeck.
And here’s 2 QBs that will be available but are not going to be franchise QBs in my opinion:
Kirk Cousins, Michigan St.: Cousins is one of those leadership and intangibles QBs, who doesn’t have the measurables to succeed at the next level. He’ll make a great backup QB, and he’ll be able to play and play well in small doses, but he isn’t a guy you’d want to give the keys to your franchise to. Cousins has a very poor arm, and doesn’t have above average accuracy or anything else to help make up for it. Pro-Comparison: Trent Dilfer
Kellen Moore, Boise St.: Al lot of people, myself included, made many comparisons to Drew Breese at the beginning of the season. Both are short and accurate. That’s about where the comparisons end though. Moore is severely lacking in arm strength, and has some serious flaws in his fundamentals. Pro-Comparison: David Greene