Huard: Four quarterbacks the Seahawks could consider drafting
RENTON – John Schneider counts Ron Wolf among his biggest professional influences.
Wolf was the Packers’ general manager when Schneider broke into the NFL as an intern in Green Bay’s front office in the early 90s. One of the hallmarks of Wolf’s tenure was that he strongly believed in always having three quarterbacks – the starter, a veteran to back him up and a youngster to develop – and he drafted accordingly.
In the 10 drafts he oversaw in Green Bay, Wolf took a quarterback seven times – including Matt Hasselbeck in 1998 – even though future hall-of-famer Brett Favre was entrenched as the starter the whole time.
Given his NFL upbringing, Schneider never could have imagined when he came to Seattle that he’d only select one quarterback in his first seven drafts as the Seahawks’ general manager.
“It’s just happened that way. It really has,” Schneider said at his annual pre-draft press conference on Monday. “I’ve always thought you need to have one in the chamber all the time and have a guy getting ready, and it just hasn’t gone that way for us. I don’t know how to explain it to you.”
The only quarterback Schneider has drafted with Seattle, of course, is Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012. But, as Schneider said, that’s been more a matter of circumstance than design.
The Seahawks, for instance, nearly chose Andy Dalton in the first round in 2011, as Danny O’Neil documented in this piece. They could have drafted Trevone Boykin last year but projected correctly that he’d be available as an undrafted free agent. And, in Schneider’s words, “it just hasn’t matched up from a round standpoint” with other quarterbacks they’ve liked. Bryce Petty in 2015 is one example.
“But that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t happen,” Schneider said. “… Philosophically, that’s something that you want to try to do. The most important position on the field.”
Schneider reiterated this week that Seattle wants to bring in another quarterback to compete with Boykin for the backup job that he held as a rookie last year.
If that quarterback comes through the draft, here are four players that Brock Huard thinks could be possibilities for Seattle in the one of the middle or later rounds:
Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee. Huard said Dobbs’ maturity and intelligence are “off the charts.” He noted that Dobbs weathered adversity at Tennessee in the form of a coaching change and being thrust into a starting role as a sophomore before he was ready. He said Dobbs has the athleticism that Seattle prefers in its quarterbacks but considers his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame less than ideal. “He’s not a franchise quarterback, I think, I because of that frame, and he’s not necessarily innately accurate,” Huard said. “But when I look at guys on this list that could fall into the fourth, fifth round and have some genuine upside that you would feel good about growing … Josh Dobbs would strike me there as probably being the top guy on this list.”
Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh. Peterman (6-2, 225) began his career at Tennessee but couldn’t beat out Dobbs and transferred to Pitt, where he started for two seasons and ranked eighth in FBS in passing efficiency as a senior. Said Huard: “Peterman’s athletic, he’s married, he’s mature, he graduated, he went through adversity, he’s got some of that gritty path that we know the Seahawks like in other positions, and he’s got game. He’s a good athlete with a nice arm, and he’s really functioned at a high level in a pro-style system.”
Davis Webb, Cal. After losing his starting job at Texas Tech following an injury, Davis transferred to Cal for his final season of eligibility and finished second in the nation in passing yards with 4,295. Huard called him a “big-armed, high-ceiling talent” and noted that he’s been working with Seahawks legend Jim Zorn, who’s been impressed with Webb’s football intelligence despite his upbringing in an Air-Raid system. Huard said Webb (6-5, 229) has a better arm than Dobbs and Peterman but that he isn’t nearly as athletic as either. “When I think of the Seahawks’ system of being able to run, play action, I think more Dobbs, more Peterman, even C.J. Beathard … ahead of Webb,” Huard said. “But when I look at pure arm strength and some of the shots and some of the things the Seahawks like to do, that’s where Webb’s skillset could come into play.” The Seahawks hosted Webb on a pre-draft visit earlier this month.
C.J. Beathard, Iowa. “Not a prototypical arm, doesn’t wow you in any measurement, size, strength, speed,” Huard said of Beathard (6-2, 209), who never threw for more than 300 yards in a single game in any of his four seasons at Iowa, which included two as a full-time starter. “But he’s just a true game manager and a guy at Iowa that took them all the way to the Rose Bowl, and when you elevate a program like that, especially one that had been stagnant for some time, that moves the needle for me.”
You can hear all of Brock’s thoughts on the four quarterbacks in this link. The audio is also embedded in the photo atop this post.