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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



April 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM

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Why not QB? That is the question

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The run on quarterbacks started well before Seattle even picked with four chosen in the first 12 picks.

And when the draft ended, the Seahawks had failed to choose a quarterback for the sixth time in the past eight drafts.

"When we were getting ready to pick, they weren't there," general manager John Schneider said. "They weren't in our area, and we're one of those teams that sits and follows our board."

That bit of draft lingo requires a translation. What that means is that each time the Seahawks picked, the only quarterbacks available were players the Seahawks had grouped in a lower round.

Because TCU's Andy Dalton was available when Seattle chose with the 25th overall pick. The Seahawks went with an offensive lineman instead. Dalton was chosen with the third pick of the second round (No. 35 overall), and Nevada's Colin Kaepernick right afterward.

There were a couple of quarterbacks who came off the board right before Seattle picked. Arkansas' Ryan Mallett was chosen in the third round by New England, one pick ahead of Seattle. Taylor Yates of North Carolina was picked in the fifth round at No. 152, which was before Seattle had two choices in the span of three picks at No. 154 and No. 156.

Schneider was asked if he thought teams might have been spurred to choose quarterbacks, knowing the Seahawks were coming up soon with a need at quarterback.

"Oh sure," Schneider said. "Absolutely."

Coach Pete Carroll concurred.

"We did hear that," he said.

But for the second consecutive year, the Seahawks mentioned that you could consider quarterback Charlie Whitehurst as part of this draft class. Last year, that was because Seattle slid down 20 spots in the second round -- moving from No. 40 to No. 60 -- as part of the package to acquire Whitehurst from San Diego, which also included Seattle's third-round pick in this draft.

"Charlie was part of this draft class in a sense," Carroll said. "We used a third-round pick to get him. We have a young and up-and-coming quarterback. I know where you're looking, 'Let's go get another one.' But we're happy with Charlie, and hoping that he's going to continue to flourish and blossom and all of that. He's a guy that -- in my mind -- I'm not feeling like we missed out on a quarterback opportunity because Charlie's growing with us."

And after three days and 254 choices, Whitehurst remains the only quarterback on Seattle's roster. Does that put Seattle in a tough position with the start of free agency still uncertain?

"No," Schneider said.

""We don't feel like that," Carroll said.

And then Schneider followed up with a quote that made it clear Seattle will be addressing that situation whether it's re-signing Matt Hasselbeck -- as Seattle has said it wants to do -- or going to a contingency plan.

"We had a plan going in," Schneider said, "and we still have our plan. We just can't execute that plan right now."

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