January 19, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; West quarterback Matt Scott of Arizona warms up before the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Griffith-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Philosophy: Backup QB or Potential Starter

I’ve been trying to find targets that the Seattle Seahawks might look at for backup QB. Both Pete Carroll and John Schneider have indicated that they want someone who can do “some of the things Wilson does” so the offense wont have to completely change if the backup has to come in.

I’m neck deep in game film of QBs (player profiles will be posted in the next few days) that possibly fit that description. In all honesty, there aren’t a lot of those in this year’s draft class. There is one though that is causing me some stress.

I really want to like Matt Scott from Arizona. He does a lot of things well that I think the Seahawks are looking for in someone to back up Wilson. But at the same time, drafting him would break one of my most concrete rules of the draft:

Never draft a QB who doesn’t have the potential to grow into a starter.

I honestly believe that. Picking a guy who, no matter how hard they work, will never be more than Trent Dilfer because  some some unfixable limitation, is simply a waste of a pick.

No, I don’t mean that you have to only pick 1st round QBs. There are plenty of guys taken the 6th round who have the potential to develop into starters. Few do, but that’s why they’re available that late in the draft. The key is that they have the potential. You only have to hit on 1 per decade to keep your team as a perennial playoff contender forever.

And that leads me back to Matt Scott. With his arm strength, or rather his lack of it, I don’t believe a team will ever be able win over a long stretch with him as their starting QB. He’s the type of guy that I created that draft rule so that I’d avoid.

But in the short term, like having to finish a game and start 1-2 while the starter gets healthy, I think that he can get the job done. That is, as long as it’s in an offense that runs the read option like Seattle does.

That is what is causing me this stress. Is it worth it to use a pick on a guy who will only ever be a backup? My draft philosophy says no, but I wonder if this might be the first time I’d be willing to make an exception.

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  • ricefield

    Hope you evaluate KSU’s Klein. He was hot stuff for a while last year. Don’t think there are many read option type qbs out there.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I have. He’s essentially Tim Tebow w/o the massive Christian circus following him. He’s not an NFL QB my in eyes.

  • Scott Collier

    Hmm, I don’t know about that rule Keith. There aren’t even enough great QBs’ to start on all the teams in the league, much less to have them to sit around waiting for a starter to get hurt. Pete Carroll likes “role players”. We have a franchise QB. Maybe a role player back to him doesn’t have to be the level of a Russell Wilson as long as he has a similar skill set and they don’t have to totally ravamp the offense for a few games while the starter gets well. I’d like to draft a guy who can avoid the rush, run the zone option, and complete a short to medium pass about 58 to 60 % of the time. I’m not worried about long bombs or super athletic runs. Just being able to function in the offense and sustain drives is going to be good enough. And who’s to say the guy can’t be a starter. Look at what was said about Wilson?

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I’m not talking about guys who can start now, just have the potential to develop into a starter down the line. Like Portis. He had the arm to start in the NFL, but needed a ton of work and needed to learn how to read a defense. after 1.5 years, he still hadn’t done that so they moved on.

      EJ Manuel comes to mind in this draft class. There’s no way he’s a starter now, but he has the potential to become one. Will he? who knows. that depends greatly on if he’s willing to put in the work to fix some mechanical problems. But at least the potential is there.

      Also, most of what was said about Wilson was that he’d be the #2 overall pick if he was taller. There was no weaknesses in college game tape, just ?s as to if he could see past the line.

  • Hawk_Eye

    Tim Tebow would be available for cheap. Ha, Ha, Ha

    • 12thMan_Rising

      so is Vince Young. can’t say I’d be happy to see either in the Seahawk uniform.

  • Hanley H. Bonynge

    I agree with the rule and would not break it. If you draft someone knowing they could never be a starter you’re already losing. It would be better to draft someone you think could eventually start and have that not work out. If you aim low and miss low you’re much more screwed than if you aim high and miss a little low.

  • Hawkman54

    The hawks were running 11 to 12 plays a game in the read option. So I beleive it is safe to say it isn’t necessary to have a read option QB.

  • http://www.facebook.com/perry.goll Perry Goll

    After reading your “Why I hate the Russell Wilson Pick” they should draft him! haha! Oh I kid I kid!!! Yet, I do agree with that logic, but with this FO, you never know which is kind of cool!