With Charlie Whitehurst difficult to count on as a "quarterback of the future," and Matt Hasselbeck's contract up, Seattle has planned for months to seriously consider pulling the trigger on a new signal-caller in the first round. ... There are likely three quarterbacks going in the top half of the first round: Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, Auburn's Cam Newton and Washington's Jake Locker. Now, to get any of those three would require a serious move up and a heavy cost to Seattle, and that means there would have to be serious conviction on the part of the staff. Maybe Carroll has that with the hometown kid Locker...But otherwise, all this might mean the team would be left with the option of Ryan Mallett at the bottom of the first round, and the Seahawks already are well aware of the kind of risk he presents from a character perspective.
One way for the Seahawks to address their quarterbacking question could be to make another run at Kevin Kolb. ... Remember, the Browns and Seahawks made inquiries last offseason about Kolb but were rebuffed as it became clear the Eagles preference was to deal Donovan McNabb. Cleveland, of course, has insight because of GM Tom Heckert's Philadelphia roots, while Seattle was another West Coast offense team that figured Kolb's transition could be a smooth one.
My take: This strikes me as nothing more than makes-sense speculation. A few disagreements I have:
- Kevin Kolb is indeed a hot commodity - in the sense that a hot stove top can scorch your hand. He's an untested QB and his very limited action in 2010 hasn't changed that. Something else that hasn't changed is his price tag of two first-rounders - a price Seattle walked away from last year when they actually had those picks available. Why would they go back to the well now?
- I have a creeping hunch that a surprising run on quarterbacks will occur early in the first round. As in all four top prospects (Gabbert, Newton, Locker, Mallett) gone in the top half of the draft, perhaps sooner. The draft is top-heavy with QB-hungry teams and has seen a number of free-agent QB experiments sputter and die this year (e.g. Donovan McNabb, Jake Delhomme, Jason Campbell, Brett Favre, Troy Smith, Kyle Orton, Derek Anderson, Trent Edwards), possibly making the free agent route a little unseemly. Struggling teams need new franchise faces to rejuvenate the fans. Rookie QB's are always a hot commodity. Plenty of GM's and coaches think they have what it takes to turn first-round projects into stars. Combine these factors, and you have the makings of an early run.
- If Mallett falls to #25, is that really such a hard choice for Seattle? Footwork schmootwork...the only real reason Mallett's stock is falling is those un-confirmable character flags. The guy knows quite well what he has to show in the next few months to maximize his stock. Give the kid a chance. His on-the-field abilities are starting to make him look like the most NFL ready signal-caller in this draft, other than the out-of-reach Gabbert.