Seattle Seahawks: Pick an NFL/NCAA Signal-Caller—Any Quarterback
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With Super Bowl XLVI now in the record books, every NFL team is 0-0 again, and hope for 2012 springs eternal. At least until the first weekend of the season, anyway.
With the draft coming up in April, the Seahawks will be looking to shore up both their lines and their linebacking corps—but what they really need is a top-flight signal-caller, or at least someone better than who they have now.
So the question for Seattle remains: Draft a rookie? Or go with a proven/unproven NFL veteran?
Whoever is chosen, the Seahawks should have somebody new under center come September at CenturyLink Field. The following list is not meant to be all-inclusive.
Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst
Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst are simply not the quarterbacks to take Seattle to the next level.
Jackson (no helmet in photo) soldiered on in 2011 despite a pulled pectoral muscle, but he still has a tendency to make poor decisions with the ball.
Whitehurst did lead the Seahawks to a win over St. Louis in 2010 to earn a playoff spot and then came off the bench to help beat the eventual champion Giants last year—but otherwise he hasn't been all that impressive in his handful of appearances.
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Based largely on his one-game performance against Detroit (31-of-44, 480 yards, 6 TD) in Week 17, should Seattle seriously pursue Packers QB Matt Flynn? Flynn would likely relish the chance to be a starter elsewhere, especially since that guy wearing No. 12 in Green Bay won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Luck, Griffin, Etc.
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Seattle won't pick until at least 11th in the first round, which means Stanford's Andrew Luck won't be around by then. Ditto for Baylor's Robert Griffin III (at left), the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. The Seahawks could trade up for a shot at one of those guys, but who would they have to give up in return?
(Step back, Mr. Lynch.)
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Another possibility, though maybe not in the first round, could be Michigan State's Kirk Cousins. Solid if not spectacular, the 6'3", 205-pound Cousins completed 267-of-419 passes for 3,316 yards and 25 touchdowns as the Spartans advanced to the inaugural Big Ten championship game and won the Capital One Bowl over Georgia.
He's also MSU's all-time leader with 723 completions, along with 9,131 passing yards and 92 TD tosses.
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Another potential Seahawks QB could be Cousins' predecessor at Michigan State, Brian Hoyer—but that's probably a long shot.
Hoyer has spent the last three seasons with New England as Tom Brady's backup and will be a restricted free agent this year. He only saw action in three games in 2011, though, completing the only pass he threw for 22 yards.
In 13 career NFL games, Hoyer is 27-of-43 with a touchdown and an interception.
With so little pro playing time to date, odds are he could turn out be another Jackson or Whitehurst if he's chosen by Seattle (which he probably won't be).
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Campbell, who started his NFL career with the Redskins, played last season with the Raiders and is an unrestricted free agent, so he wouldn't cost the Seahawks any players to sign him. In six games last year with Oakland, he was 100-of-165 for 1,170 yards, along with six scores and four picks.
Campbell has completed nearly 61 percent of his passes in his career for almost 14,500 yards, including 74 TDs against 50 interceptions, and he also has considerable size (6'5", 230).
A former first-rounder out of Auburn in 2005, he might be worth a look. Might.
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An unrestricted free agent, Henne went down with a shoulder injury this past season, playing in just four games and probably won't be re-signed by the Dolphins.
The former Michigan Wolverine had perhaps his best NFL campaign in 2010 with 301 completions, a 61.4 completion percentage, a total of 3,301 passing yards and 15 TD passes. He was also picked off 19 times that year, though, and for his four-year career has a TD-interception ratio of 31-37.
Henne has also been sacked 67 times while playing in Miami.
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Orton will also be an UFA this year—but will he want to stay in struggling Kansas City and the AFC West after being Tebow-ed out of Denver earlier in the season?
The former Purdue signal-caller, who began his NFL career with Chicago in 2005, has completed 1,284-of- 2,204 passes lifetime for 14,532 yards, 80 TDs and 57 picks while being sacked 132 times.
Orton definitely has more experience than Jackson or Whitehurst, but he struggled last year with the Broncos before he ultimately lost his starting job to a "rookie" running QB.
He might be worth a look if the Seahawks can offer him better protection up front, and having Marshawn Lynch in the backfield would only help.
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Another former Michigan State signal-caller and an UFA, Stanton isn't going to start over a healthy Matthew Stafford in the Motor City anytime soon.
He didn't play at all last year after subbing for the injured Stafford six times in 2010. In his career, all with the Lions, Stanton has completed 104-of-187 throws for 1,158 yards along with five TDs and nine picks. He's also run the ball 30 times for 166 yards and two scores.
Stanton, 27, hasn't had enough NFL playing time to really be anything more than a backup right now—which is not what the Seahawks really need.
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If Young was auditioning for the Seahawks starting job last season in a Monday night game at CenturyLink Field, he didn't have a great showing.
He went 17-of-29 that evening for 208 yards and a score for the visiting Eagles, but he also tossed four interceptions, one of which was returned for a TD in a 31-14 loss.
Young's sour attitude earned him a ticket out of Tennessee and sent him to Philadelphia, for whom he went 66-of-114 for 866 yards, four TDs and nine picks in 2011. He's almost five years removed from his best season with the Titans in 2007 when he had 238 completions along with 2,546 yards and nine scores, but also tossed 17 interceptions.
Has the former Texas star grown up sufficiently since his days in Tennessee? More importantly, does he have it in him to be a starter again—and are the Seahawks willing to wait to find out?
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Grossman, who engineered a come-from-behind 23-17 win for the Redskins in Seattle in November, could make the move from Washington to Washington State.
He has experience, having guided Chicago to Super Bowl XLI, but he came up short in that game and like Jackson, has been prone to making costly mistakes.
Grossman went 265-of-458 with 3,151 yards, 16 TDs and 20 interceptions for the Redskins last season, including two wins over the eventual Super Bowl XLVI champion Giants where he completed 36-of-58 passes for 490 yards and three scores.
He can play well when he gets hot. When he's not...
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A converted receiver turned back into a QB, Tannehill threw for 5,450 yards and 42 touchdowns at Texas A&M, including 28 TDs as a senior in 2011.
He would likely be a work in progress, learning how to read NFL defenses and such after just two years as an NCAA starter.
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A transfer from NC State, Wilson led the Badgers to a win in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State, along with a Rose Bowl berth against Oregon.
His TD-INT ratio last season was an astounding 31-3, and he completed 206-of-284 throws for an outstanding 72.5 completion percentage.
There are concerns about Wilson's height (5'11"), but he can definitely throw the ball.
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Moore racked up a record number of wins at Boise State, even if they weren't all against the likes of the BCS Top 25. Though not overly big, he still threw for 140 career TDs with the Broncos, against just 26 interceptions.
He could find his way to the Seahawks in the later rounds of the draft. As a southpaw, he could also conjure up memories of Seattle's first-ever starting QB, Jim Zorn.
Moore would need time to grow, though, and Seattle wouldn't want to wait too long.