The Seattle Seahawks are preparing for the 2012 NFL Draft, along with every other team that is not currently in the playoffs (and likely a few that are). The incoming class of players eligible for the draft is talented and diverse and the Seahawks have a decent pick in the first round, owning the No. 12 overall pick.
Seattle has a lot of needs that they'll be looking to fill. One of those needs is a young quarterback that they can groom to take over for Tarvaris Jackson in the next few years. In a recent ESPN Insider article, Mel Kiper rates the various top quarterbacks in the draft and what they can each bring to the table.
It's a virtual certainty that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will long have been off the table by the time the Seahawks make their pick. Here, then, are Kiper's breakdowns of the Nos. 3-5 quarterbacks, in his estimation.
3. Nick Foles
He may have lost a little shine this season because of the way the Wildcats performed as a team, but Foles is a really solid developmental prospect. He's a big kid, at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, is accurate, moves and throws well to both his right and his left, and has solid mechanics. Questions for Foles start with decision-making, but I think he may have tried to force his throws too often as the team struggled, and the numbers tell some of that story. But you can draft Foles in the late first or early second round and develop him.
Grade: Late 1st to mid-2nd
4. Ryan Tannehill
He's a really intelligent player, with a strong arm. He displays a good grasp of the offense and has come a long way in a short time -- you're talking about a former wide receiver -- and was able to put up good numbers. Tannehill is a guy with more upside than polish, and part of that stems from the fact that I have him at just 19 starts after the bowl game. He had a really rough game against Texas, which looked worse when Griffin went out and lit up the Longhorns soon after, but all in all, I still saw this as a solid growth season. Again, he's not a player a competitive NFL team wants starting games in 2012, but there are skills to work with.
Grade: Early to late 2nd
5. Brandon Weeden
Hey, you subtract one key number, and Weeden jumps up this list. He has a big-time arm, is accurate, plays with poise and can beat you over the top. The bottom line is if you think this is a guy you want to draft and develop for a year, he might not make his first NFL start until he's 30 years old. Let's face it, that's a number nobody will overlook. It says a lot for Weeden's ability that he's in the position to be drafted at all.
Grade: Late 2nd to middle rounds
It seems likely that the stigma from the 2011 Arizona Wildcats may result in Foles being picked later than Tannehill, or maybe even Weeden. But make no mistake, any of these three quarterbacks would be a solid "get" for the Seahawks.
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