One of the things we’ll be doing over the course of this season is building our “Big Board” of draft prospects. And while I think it’s fairly silly to do too much of that before the college games have really started, the Seahawks’ need for a quarterback is so great I couldn’t help but start looking at possible players that will be available next year.
No matter where you stand on the Hasselbeck, Jackson, Whitehurst debate, I think we can all agree that the quarterback of the future isn’t among that group. Neither is Josh Portis who is probably 3 years of development away from being an NFL starter, so clearly there is need to draft a franchise Quarterback next April. Here’s the possibilities as I see them:
1) Andrew Luck – Stanford
Would have been the #1 overall pick had he come out this past year. His stock has nowhere to go but down. He’s big, got a huge arm, and has played, and excelled, in a pro-style offense. He really does appear to the be the real deal, but I don’t think the Seahawks have a shot at him. He’ll likely go #1 overall, and the Seahawks will win too many games.
2) Matt Barkley – Southern Cal
Barkley has all the numbers and intangibles that you want in a QB, but his value will be questioned repeatedly. How much of his success is due to the talent around him? Is he really better than long list of failed or average USC QB’s that have come before him? Will Pete Carroll risk drafting him with the possible fallout it’ll cause because of his own USC background? For some reason I expect him to be a 49er.
3) Landry Jones – Oklahoma
Big strong kid that comes from the same offense as Sam Bradford. He must show more consistency this year, but at this point I’d see him going around #6 in the draft, which is where the Seahawks will likely be sitting. Something about this kid just screams “Joe Flacco” to me.
4) Ryan Tannehill – Texas A&M
He’s got all the tools, though his arm isn’t as big as it could be. The knock on him will be the A&M offense he plays in, and if he can adjust to the NFL right away. Likely a late first, early second round pick.
5) Kirk Cousins – Michigan State
Mid to late 2nd round grade at this point. Questions about arm strength but very good accuracy and doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions. Could be someone who really moves up over the course of the year.
6) Kellen Moore – Boise State
There are actually many quarterback between Cousins and Moore on the big board, but I don’t think any of them have a chance to be a franchise QB. Moore, on the other hand, does, though there are plenty of question marks. For the NFL team that picks him, it’s really a boom or bust prospect. He’s considered too short for the NFL, (He’s listed at 6-0, but it’s more like 5-11 or 5-10), and he doesn’t have a big arm. Still, neither of those things have slowed down Drew Brees. Like Brees, Moore is crazy accurate and doesn’t turn the ball over. (9 interceptions combined over the last 2 seasons despite throwing the ball on almost every down.) He can likely be had in the 3rd round, but I don’t think the Seahawks wait that long to try and find their QB of the future.
There they are, my pre-season picks for possible franchise quarterbacks in the 2012 draft. What do you think?