Three years ago, the Seahawks surprised everyone with their third-round pick, selecting an undersized quarterback even though they had just signed a presumptive new starter.
As it turned out, the rookie, Russell Wilson, beat out the favorite, Matt Flynn, and then helped lead the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowls.
The Seahawks clearly expect to sign Wilson to an extension and have him be their quarterback for the next decade, but it would not be a surprise if the Hawks used another third-round pick (or a fourth) on a QB this year.
It would make sense for a lot of reasons — the least being a fallback option in case Wilson’s baseball agent just can’t figure out how to negotiate an NFL contract.
More than that, the Hawks could use a good, young (cheap) backup. Tarvaris Jackson has not re-signed because the Hawks don’t want to pay him much more than $1 million a year. And the Hawks don’t seem to see B.J. Daniels as No. 2 material. It seems like a good time to add a new guy to the mix.
And then there is the simple value factor.
John Schneider came up in the NFL under Ron Wolf, the former Green Bay general manager who made a habit of collecting young quarterbacks and then moving them to other teams.
Wolf traded Mark Brunell, a fifth-round pick in 1993, to Jacksonville for third- and fifth-round picks. He dealt Aaron Brooks, a fourth-rounder in 1999, to New Orleans for a third-rounder. And he sent Matt Hasselbeck, a sixth-rounder in 1998, to Seattle for a third-round pick and a move up from No. 17 to No. 10 in the first round. Of course, Wolf had one of the best QB developers around in Mike Holmgren, but that’s some good added value for a bunch of mid-round or later picks.
This might be an ideal time for Schneider to work the same angle — knowing the Hawks can develop a young QB behind Wilson for a couple of years and then potentially trade him to a quarterback-needy team. It’s another way Schneider could keep the draft picks coming.
The one issue: This is not a strong QB class. Most media draft boards list only 10 draftable quarterbacks, and even the top two, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, might not end up being the best when all is said and done.
But the next three guys on the board all could interest Seattle: UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson and Baylor’s Bryce Petty.
They are all considered third- or fourth-round prospects, although some think Hundley will be taken in the second round.
Hundley (6-3, 226) is physically talented, but scouts question his savvy to play QB in the NFL. Sounds like he will require a lot of coaching, with no guarantee he will get it.
Grayson (6-2, 213) is a great deep-ball QB whose decision making needs work, but — like Hundley — he seems a worthy project.
Petty fought through a back injury last season, but analysts think he can be coached into an effective NFL QB.
If you don’t think the Hawks would use another third-rounder on a QB, just remember: They blew a second on running back Christine Michael in 2013, and they have 11 picks to play with this year, so they can afford a so-called luxury item.
If the past three years are any indicator, the clubhouse leaders for the second-round pick right now are Colorado State offensive lineman Ty Sambrailo and Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards.
The Hawks have had individual contact with their second-round pick in each of the last three years, either bringing the players to VMAC or visiting them for interviews. They did it with Bobby Wagner, Michael and Paul Richardson.
The Hawks brought in 30 prospects last week — most of them not expected to be drafted.
The Seahawks also re-evaluated the medical histories of certain prospects last week.
“That’s always a little bit of a bummer,” Schneider told 710 ESPN, “because you’re excited about all these guys and then you sit down with your docs and your medical staff and your performance staff and they’re like, ‘Well, if you want this guy for a year, you can take him in the second round.'”
The Hawks figure to comb through that data more diligently in light of last year, when they burned one of their draft picks on Garrett Scott, who turned out to have a heart defect.