BUMP AND STACY

Seahawks Draft: This QB is ‘just a better QB’ than some top prospects, Jim Nagy says

Mar 16, 2023, 8:45 AM | Updated: Apr 6, 2023, 2:25 pm

Seahawks Draft Max Duggan...

TCU QB Max Duggan passes during the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31, 2022. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Are the Seahawks in the market for a quarterback in this year’s NFL Draft?

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That’s a question that’s being asked this offseason, even after Seattle re-signed Pro Bowler Geno Smith to a three-year deal last week.

It’s being asked because the Seahawks have the No. 5 pick in April’s draft – the highest of the Pete Carroll-John Schneider era – and could potentially be in position to draft one of the four top quarterbacks that analysts believe will be taken in the top 10.

But what about some other quarterback prospects Seahawks fans should know about? Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy – a former Hawks scout – joined Bump and Stacy on Tuesday and shared some insight into some of the less-discussed QBs in the 2023 draft.

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“We had (Tennessee’s) Hendon Hooker down here. It was the first time we invited a player that couldn’t be on the field and I felt like we owed it to him because he had a phenomenal year, he was kind of the one of the faces of college football and again, with the quarterback position, the meeting room time the interviews with the team is so important at quarterback, I just felt like we owed it to Hendon, so he did a great job,” Nagy said.

Hooker, the SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2023, tore his ACL late in the 2022 season, so that’s why he couldn’t practice or play in the Senior Bowl.

A quarterback who did play in the game is someone Seattle fans likely know about.

“The guys that were on the field, I would say Jake Haener of Fresno State from up your way,” Nagy said. “He spent some time up there at UW, had a really good week – he was MVP of the game.”

Of all the quarterbacks Nagy discussed on Tuesday, there was one who earned more praise than the rest.

“I’m just going through some Quinten Johnston tape, the big receiver from TCU right now and I really like Max Duggan,” Nagy said.

Duggan finished second in Heisman voting in 2022 and led the Horned Frogs to the National Championship game. He was also the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year after scoring 41 total touchdowns.

Duggan, who is 6 foot 1 1/2 and 207 pounds, is seen as a Day 2 or Day 3 prospect in this year’s draft, but Nagy thinks he could wind up being an NFL starter at some point.

“I think Max Duggan is gonna be one of those guys that if he goes in the third or the fourth (round), he could be a guy three years from now kind of like (star Philadelphia Eagles quarterback) Jalen Hurts – who was in our game three years ago – where you’re thinking, ‘Man, how did Duggan get that far?'” Nagy said. “Max plays the position. He plays the position better than some of the guys being talked about in the first round … He feels it better, he sees it better, he anticipates better. He’s just a better quarterback than some of the guys we’re talking about up high.”

The other quarterback in the National Championship was Stetson Bennett of Georgia, who was also at the Senior Bowl. Bennett is 5-11 and 192 pounds and led the Bulldogs to back-to-back titles as a starter.

“He’s gonna be a late-round guy,” Nagy said.

Kentucky’s Will Levis – a projected first-round pick – didn’t attend the Senior Bowl and Bo Nix returned to Oregon, opening up a spot for Bennett.

“When we revisited Stetson after the National Championship game, most teams had him in the sixth or seventh round, so I think that’s kind of where he’s at,” Nagy said. “I think he’s got more talent than a lot of people want to give him credit for. He’s a good athlete. I think he throws it better and has got better arm strength than most people give him credit for.”

All that being said, Nagy thinks Bennett has some key stuff to work on if he’s going to have a long NFL career.

“I think where Stetson has to figure it out is he’s a pro now, right? He’s not the big man on campus,” Nagy said. “… He’s got to learn how to be a backup. Like if he’s coming to Seattle, he’s Geno’s backup. The NFL is looking for guys to be in that backup role that serve a certain purpose that are dependable, reliable, good with the starter, good in the room. Just kind of a glue guy, good, dependable, just a good dude. So I think he needs to shift a little bit from like how he sees himself as the guy at Georgia to where most teams project him to be as a pro, and that’s a backup-level player.”

Listen to Nagy’s full interview with Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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