RENTON – Despite signing Matt Flynn to a three-year, $19 million deal to compete for the starting quarterback job with Tarvaris Jackson, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider said the team still would consider selecting a developmental quarterback such as Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill with the team’s No. 12 overall pick.
Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have not selected a player for football’s most important position since taking over the team in January 2010. And Seattle’s depth chart at quarterback appears complete with Flynn, Jackson and second-year pro Josh Portis serving as the team’s third-string quarterback.
But Schneider and Carroll attended Tannehill’s pro day March 29, and according to a Sport Illustrated report, watching the athletic quarterback throw had Carroll “giggling like a school girl.”
“The guy had a great workout, and we left,” Schneider said. “I don’t know why somebody would say that.”
Despite Seattle’s depth at the position, Schneider said the Seahawks would consider selecting Tannehill at No. 12 if he were available.
“He’s a really good player and he’s got a great upside,” Schneider said about Tannehill. “We would definitely consider him (at No. 12). Just because we’ve done these things, the guys know – it’s no disrespect to Tarvaris, or Matt or Josh at all.
“The guys know at some point we wanted to get this thing rolling where we would be able to get a younger quarterback in, and kind of getting them going, whether it’s in the first round or second round or however it comes.”
But Schneider isn’t expecting Tannehill to last that long.
“It’s fun to talk about, but I mean, he’s not going to be there,” Schneider said. “You know, I think he’s going to get drafted pretty high.”
Schneider also said he likes where Seattle sits in the first round.
“I look at 12 as kind of like – and I think other teams may look at this way, too – that at 11, 12 and 13 there’s a little bit of a ledge there,” he said. “There’s a little bit of a difference in players. So if we want to stay and pick, I think it’s a really cool place to pick.
“But if somebody does something that’s real attractive and we feel comfortable with the way we prepared, we can go back, too. But we feel like we’ve covered some things where we can go ahead and just take the good players that come to us.”
Schneider said linebacker, running back, quarterback and defensive line are deep positions in the draft.
“Quite honestly, I feel like if I was a free-agent linebacker this year I would be a little bummed out,” Schneider said. “There were a number of very qualified free-agent linebackers, unrestricted guys. And then this draft compared to last year looks completely different. There’s good numbers up there at the linebacker position.”
And he highlighted two stats that have the most effect on winning games since 2007 – turnovers and explosive plays (any play 20 yards or longer) – and pointed to finding players in the draft that most affect that category.
“If you have what our guys upstairs call ‘daily doubles,’ and you hit both of those, you have like a 96 percent chance of winning the game if you are (on the plus side) in those categories,” Schneider said. “So is it a ballhawking defensive back? Is it an (defensive) end that’s going to put pressure on the quarterback? Or is it another receiver that can get down the field, or a runner? What is that combination – that’s kind of like what’s going through my head right now.”
Staff writer Eric D. Williams makes his mock first-round picks for Thursday’s NFL draft.