Schneider: Why Seahawks met with top NFL Draft QBs at combine

Feb 29, 2024, 3:47 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

John Schneider has been running the Seattle Seahawks’ front office and NFL Drafts since early 2010, and during that time, the team has selected just two quarterbacks.

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One of those is pretty easy to remember: Russell Wilson, who Seattle took in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Who was the other? Take a second and try to recall.

Time’s up: It was Florida International’s Alex McGough, who the Hawks selected in the seventh round in 2017.

“It’s not like we haven’t tried to draft quarterbacks,” Schneider told Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob on Thursday during the weekly John Schneider Show. “We just ended up drafting two over the last (14 drafts). The quarterback position, it’s always a different position because of the medical grades. Those medical grades pretty much stay the same with the quarterbacks.”

This year, there’s expected to be anywhere from three to six quarterbacks drafted in the first round. Those prospects are all at the NFL combine this week in Indianapolis, as is Schneider. Not all of those top passers will be working out or throwing at the combine, but quite a few of them will be.

“This group looks pretty good,” Schneider said (watch the interview below or here). “I think it’ll be fun to watch these guys throw the ball down here.”

According to top NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks are one of many teams that met with LSU star quarterback Jayden Daniels, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Rapoport later reported that “essentially the same teams” were meeting with North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

In most mock drafts, you’ll see Maye and Daniels going second and third overall in some order.

The Seahawks were tied to the top quarterbacks of the 2023 NFL Draft when they had the No. 5 pick, famously meeting with the top QB prospects and posting selfies with them.

That came after veteran QB Geno Smith, who was a Pro Bowler in 2022, signed a three-year contract well before the ’23 draft.

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Smith just wrapped up the first year of that contract, and while his numbers dipped across the board, he was a 2023 Pro Bowl alternate. The Seahawks kept him on the roster past Feb. 15, fully guaranteeing his 2024 salary. Last week, the Hawks converted a roster bonus into a signing bonus, freeing up cap space for the upcoming season and lessening Smith’s 2024 cap hit. Both moves signal that Smith will almost certainly be Seattle’s Week 1 starting quarterback in 2024.

But there’s always the possibility that the Seahawks draft a quarterback to learn behind Smith for at least a year. Schneider explained why he and top Seattle brass have met with top quarterbacks at this year’s combine.

“We have to be ready for anything. We don’t know if there’s a certain trade that’ll go down or if something happens,” he said. “I mean, you guys have seen players fall in the past and you’ve seen teams be able to jump up and have successful trades moving up into the top 10 to grab guys. So you just have to be prepared for everything and not just rule players out like, ‘Hey, we’re never gonna be able to draft that guy.’ Now, there’s a couple of players in here where we’re kind of like, ‘OK, well, we’re probably not gonna have a shot at that guy,’ but we do study him, we do talk to him, we do get to know him as much as we possibly can without going over the top with it. But you have to know every player as much as you possibly can and not take any shortcuts.”

The John Schneider Show airs each Thursday during Seattle Sports’ Wyman and Bob leading up to the NFL Draft. Listen to this week’s edition at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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