Bump & Stacy: Should Seahawks tank in order to draft next QB early?

Sep 4, 2022, 9:48 AM


John Schneider and Pete Carroll watch Seahawks practice on June 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Seahawks enter the 2022 season with what many analysts feel is the worst quarterback room in the league, and neither Geno Smith nor Drew Lock appear to be Seattle’s long-term answer at QB.

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Smith, who is entering his 10th NFL season, has been tabbed as the Seahawks’ Week 1 starting quarterback when they host the Denver Broncos and former Seattle franchise QB Russell Wilson. Lock, who was part of that trade with the Broncos involving Wilson, will be Smith’s backup. Both Smith and Lock are set to be free agents next offseason.

Because the Seahawks don’t have a clear answer at quarterback but possess two first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, they are seen as a team who would actually benefit by having a poor season this year so they can draft their quarterback of the future early in that draft. Many fans think Seattle’s best course of action is to struggle this year in order to obtain an early first-round pick, commonly referred to as “tanking.”

But is that the right approach for the Seahawks in their quest to find their next franchise quarterback? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus and Stacy Rost discussed that idea during Friday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports 710 AM.

“This is the question,” Bumpus said. “Every text thread I’m in, a lot of my boys that I talk to, they’re saying (about) the Hawks, ‘Just tank.’ That’s not what (Seahawks coach) Pete Carroll does, so don’t expect them to tank. If they’re a bad team, they’re just a bad team. But why shouldn’t they do it? Because it does not guarantee that you are going to get the quarterback of the future.”

Bumpus noted that many quarterbacks taken early in the first round don’t pan out, such as Jamarcus Russell, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen. Additionally, Bumpus said more than half of first-round quarterbacks fail to win a Super Bowl or make the Pro Bowl.

“Look at the last quarterback to be a Pro Bowler for the Seahawks (before Wilson): Matt Hasselbeck. All-time great, sixth-round pick. Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick,” Bumpus said. “So I’m just saying, let’s try to look at it from both sides. Just because you have a high pick doesn’t mean that you are going to get the guy to take your team to the next level. There’s a chance you can have an OK season and get a guy late in the second, third round, maybe even the fourth round and that could work out for you. You have to get a quarterback that fits your system and that you can develop.”

Bumpus said he would like for the Seahawks to have a high pick next year so they can take a quarterback early, such as Alabama’s Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, but it’s not that simple.

“I’m saying just because you lose doesn’t mean you’re going to get your guy,” he said. “You might be OK being mediocre and getting a guy later.”

Getting a very high first-round pick, Rost said, would mean a lot of things going wrong in 2022 for the Seahawks besides poor quarterback play.

“I think the way I look at it, Bump, is No. 1, having the No. 1 pick means the rest of your team is pretty bad, too. So a No. 1 pick for Seattle also says something you don’t want about the defense and the run game and the offensive line,” she said.

That being said, Rost thinks you’re more likely to find an elite quarterback early in the draft as opposed to later.

“You do still want a higher-round pick for a quarterback because even though later-round picks can work out and there are a lot of great and really famous examples, more often than not the earlier you draft, the bigger your chance is of finding talent,” she said.

Bumpus liked Rost’s point about how the earlier the Seahawks pick next year, the worse it would be for the entire roster in 2022.

“If the Hawks have a high pick, that means the defense wasn’t great, the offense wasn’t producing, that line couldn’t protect. It’s a domino effect,” he said. “If you don’t play well this year or look decent this year, that means everything else didn’t work out for you. You do not want that.”

Added Rost, “You’re not having some Pro Bowlers and first-team All-Pros on defense and then getting the No. 1 pick. It’s just very unlikely that happens.”

You can listen to the full discussion in the Four-Down Territory segment of the podcast at this link or in the player below.

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