Pick 124: Seattle Seahawks select Ryan Finley, QB NCST
Yes, the Seattle Seahawks just gave the biggest contract in NFL history to quarterback Russell Wilson. But the only other QB on the 90 man roster is Paxton Lynch. Addressing the QB position should be high on the priority list for Schneider and company.
A fourth-round pick may seem extreme for a guy destined to be a backup for the next 4-years, but teams have cashed in on turning late round picks into future draft capital at the position. The Seahawks have basically ignored the position since they selected Wilson, but now is the time for that to change.
Ryan Finley, the senior from Russell Wilson’s first college home, North Carolina State, would be an excellent selection in the late 4th round. In 2018, Finley completed 68% of his passes for 3,928 yards and a 25:11 TD/INT ratio. But we know how important college stats are for college QBs… they aren’t. So what does Finley bring to the table?
A 3-year starter at NC State, Finley produced a PFF focus grade of 89.9 which is very good. Finley is a prototypical west coast offense QB. He understands route concepts. He knows how to progress through his options on any given play.
Finley can read defenses and can dominate teams in the intermediate passing game with touch and accuracy. He led all of college football in completed passes between 10-19 yards. Finley also shows good pocket awareness and is a good enough athlete to make plays with his legs. So why is he a 4th round pick?
Well, he doesn’t have the big arm that wows NFL scouts. He posses enough arm strength to make all the throws but relies more on touch and accuracy than arm talent. The lack of arm talent limits his down the field effectiveness.
Finley also struggled against elite competition, raising questions as to whether he can beat NFL man defenses. But Finley’s accuracy, touch, decision making, athleticism, and intangibles should give him a decade long career in the NFL or longer.
Personally, I am a big fan of Finley and would take him ahead of Daniel Jones of Duke, who is getting the first-round buzz. He reminds me a bit of Matt Hasselbeck, a name Seahawks fans should be quite familiar with.