Seahawks’ Anthony Gordon or Colts’ Jacob Eason: Who will be better?
There’s an interesting dynamic going on with the two quarterbacks from the 2019 version of the Apple Cup rivalry.
Jacob Eason didn’t set the world on fire in his one season as UW Huskies quarterback, but he did lead Washington to an Apple Cup victory over Anthony Gordon’s WSU Cougars and was taken in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts – though that came a few rounds later than most expected.
Gordon, meanwhile, set records in his lone season in the Palouse, and while his team lost the Apple Cup and he went undrafted, he doesn’t have to go far after signing as a free agent with the Seahawks.
Brock Huard, host of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk Podcast and a FOX college football analyst, is plenty familiar with both players having seen them play up close. On Thursday, he spoke to Danny and Gallant about how he thinks the two local products will fare in the pros.
“I think Jacob Eason’s gonna get more of a shot at it just because he’s 6 foot 6 and 220-some pounds,” Huard said before explaining why Eason, a Lake Stevens native who transferred to UW from Georgia, slid in the draft. “This league’s gotten a little bit smarter and 10 or 20 years ago, Jacob Eason’s still probably a first- or second-round pick. I think the league has learned and realized, nope, not gonna go down that road just because you have all those attributes. The productivity wasn’t there collegiately in two different spots.”
When it comes to the way the league’s offenses have been trending in recent years, however, the candidate to back-up Russell Wilson for the Seahawks may have the upper hand due to his success in leading Mike Leach’s Air Raid at Wazzu for a season. Huard has an idea what about Gordon caught the attention of Seahawks general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll, as well.
“I think an Anthony Gordon benefits in this league today as you’re seeing more and more systems go into and play into space in that Air Raid principle,” he said, “to really attack the field horizontally, vertically, to be able to get the ball out of your hand. I can’t wait to hear John and Pete talk about him whenever he does get on the field – ‘Oh, he’s got really cool release and he can whip it from a bunch of different spots.’ He’s dynamic in that way with his arm.”
In a normal year, that might have been enough to give Gordon the nod over Eason as being a better fit for the NFL. But with the likelihood of the 2020 season being delayed and the possibility that the Seahawks could still re-sign Geno Smith, Seattle’s 2019 backup QB, Gordon doesn’t appear as well off in his situation as Eason, who will get to learn from new Colts QB Philip Rivers.
“Being an unrestricted college free agent… and especially to be one in this offseason, man, it’s going to hard to ever get that engine started of opportunity,” Huard said of Gordon, “so I just have to lean into the Husky probably more in that debate.”
You can hear the full discussion in the Blue 42 segment of this podcast from Thursday’s edition of Danny and Gallant.