SEATTLE- Before the draft the Seahawks had one quarterback officially signed on the team roster: Charlie Whitehurst. Fast forward three days later, it’s still the same situation. The Seattle Seahawks, who held the 25th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft passed on Andy Dalton (TCU) and Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) in the first round and Ricky Stanzi (Iowa) in the fourth round.
ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. graded the Seahawks draft with a D+, the lowest grade of any team in the draft. Two reasons Seattle deserves that grade. One, they reached for almost every single player they selected and two they failed to draft a quarterback.
By passing on Dalton, and every other quarterback in the draft the Seahawks are sending one of two messages. Either one they are counting on Charlie Whitehurst to become the new franchise quarterback. Or two they are aiming to trade for one of the available quarterbacks on the market.
Those quarterbacks are Carson Palmer (Cincinnati), Kevin Kolb (Philadelphia) or Vince Young (Tennessee-unlikely). In a three-part series I decided to examine each quarterback and their possible fit in Seattle. If you look at it from a broad point of view, building up the offensive line through the draft makes sense to trade for a quarterback.
First up is Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer.
Palmer made headlines back late January by saying he wants to be traded, and if he’s not traded before the regular season he will retire. The first part is always heard from several players during the off-season but the second part is a bit of an eye-catcher.
Now I don’t see Carson actually retiring, but I also don’t see him coming back to Cincinnati in 2011. Cincinnati is basically starting fresh on offense via the 2011 NFL draft with wide receiver A.J Green and quarterback Andy Dalton. Two in, two out and Chad Ochocinco seems about done in Cincinnati.
With Dalton now in the fold it’s clear Carson will be moved. The question is where. Seattle, Arizona, San Francisco, Miami, Tennessee, Washington and Buffalo all could add a veteran quarterback. San Francisco draft and invested a lot in Colin Kaepernick so that’s unlikely. Tennessee selected Jake Locker and would be more inclined to sign Matt Hasselbeck on a one or two-year contract.
Arizona seems locked in on Donovan McNabb, in addition to McNabb working out with the Cardinals during player-organized events. The Redskins seems to think John Beck is the long-term answer in D.C so that leaves Seattle, Miami, and Buffalo.
Of those three Seattle and Miami are the two most likely destinations for Carson Palmer. The question is which team will pay the most (value wise) and where does Carson want to go.
Seattle has Pete Carroll, an offense that has a strong core and an improved offensive line. Miami has Brandon Marshall and a great left tackle in Jake Long…Not to discredit Miami but they would be better off going out and trading for Kevin Kolb than Carson Palmer.
Darrell Bevell, the Seahawks new offensive coordinator runs a pure west coast offense, Palmer’s best fit. Seattle has a strong run game with Marshawn Lynch and an underrated but talented receiving corps with Mike Williams, Ben Obomanu, Golden Tate and John Carlson among others.
One key for Seattle will have to be the offensive line under Tom Cable. Seattle’s offensive line has been in a wholesale rebuilding process since Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over. Seattle made that clear on draft day by selecting James Carpenter (right tackle) and John Moffitt (right guard) with their first two picks.
Add those two with Russell Okung, Max Unger and that becomes an incredibly improved offensive line from a year ago. A lot stronger up front at the point of attack.
One thing is certain though, Seattle has to go out and get at least one more quarterback. It’s a league rule to hold at least two quarterbacks on the active roster, but each team always carries three. Right now Charlie Whitehurst is the only quarterback under contract.
You can follow Lars at Twitter http://twitter.com/larshanson.