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.

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

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.