What do the Seahawks have in QB Jake Waters?


When Tarvaris Jackson went down with a high ankle sprain in the Seahawks first preseason game last Friday, you knew they would have to add a QB.  The days of each team carrying 5 or 6 quarterbacks in camp are long gone, and 3rd stringer R.J. Archer just isn’t good enough to be trusted as Russell Wilson’s primary backup should Jackson be out any longer than a couple weeks. B.J. Daniels was mostly a QB throughout college and his first couple of years in the NFL, but the team values him more as a potential WR and kick returner now, so he’s only an option in an emergency.

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Enter former Kansas State signal-caller Jake Waters.

And this may just be a player that ends up being more than simply a two or three week clipboard holder.

Waters has won at every level. As a 3 year starter at St. Albert High School in Council Bluffs Iowa, he led his team to two state championships. From there he attended Iowa Western CC and was named the 2012 NCJAA National Offensive Player Of The Year while leading the Reivers to an undefeated record and a National Championship.

At Kansas State he immediately became the starter and over the next two years led his team to a 17-9 record while breaking a number of school records in the process. For his career at K-State he threw for 5,970 yards and 40 TD’s while adding another 796 yards and 15 TD’s on the ground in the Wildcats zone-read option attack.

And he had a particularly fruitful rapport with a certain diminutive WR named…. Tyler Lockett, the Seahawks 3rd round draft pick this year. Waters and Lockett hooked up 178 times in their two years together.

Watching Waters on film, I see a guy who has a solid throwing motion and appears accurate on intermediate throws and nice touch when throwing the fade or deep ball. He looks athletic and willing when running the ball, unafraid to put his shoulder down to run over someone but also possessing 4.75 speed in the 40, not bad for a QB.

He played in a very similar system in college to what the Seahawks run today, but unfortunately he shares one other trait with Russell Wilson that isn’t all that positive, he’s very quick to bail out of the pocket when there’s pressure. Take a look at the highlights of him against Baylor his junior year.

His offensive line couldn’t compete against Baylor’s front 7, and Waters often bails at the first hint of pressure. Fortunately he’s nifty enough to make some plays with his feet and he makes some throws on the run.

When he has time to make his first or second read he’s quick to get rid of the ball and he’s on time and in rhythm. But it’s hard to tell if he’s capable of hanging in the pocket and progressing through more advanced reads.

But then again, you could say that about nearly every QB coming out of the zone-read world of college football these days.

By all accounts, Waters is a solid prospect, and at first glance I like him better than R.J. Archer, a LOT better.

So…. why wasn’t he drafted, and why was he still available so early in camp?

Waters had surgery in January to repair the AC joint in his throwing shoulder and wasn’t able to cut it loose for his Pro Day until late April. That may have scared off some teams.

But for now, he’s a Seahawk, and while it’s a long shot we’ll ever see him throwing to Tyler Lockett in a meaningful game again, if he’s truly healthy he could have a good shot to beat out Archer and earn a spot on the practice squad.

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