Seattle still left with QB questions after draft

In some way, John Schneider and Pete Carroll addressed nearly

every position of concern the Seattle Seahawks had entering the NFL

draft.

There were the two offensive linemen grabbed with Seattle’s

first two picks in the hopes they become the future right side of

the Seahawks’ shaky offensive line. Seattle grabbed a trio of

defensive backs to try to get help in the secondary, a pair of

linebackers that at the very least could help on special teams, a

uniquely tall wide receiver and even a bulky defensive end.

But, the Seahawks avoided the position everyone expected Seattle

to try to address during the draft – quarterback.

”When we were getting ready to pick they just weren’t there.

They weren’t in our area,” said Schneider, the Seahawks’

second-year general manager. ”We’re one of those teams that sits

and follows our board and quite honestly we didn’t have a guy who

was there when we were getting ready. … It never fell that

way.”

It seemed inevitable that at some point in last weekend’s draft

the Seahawks would grab a quarterback since Charlie Whitehurst is

the only one Seattle has under contract and no one is sure if the

Seahawks and Matt Hasselbeck will come together on a new

contract.

It wasn’t for a lack of opportunities that it didn’t happen.

When the Seahawks picked Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter

with the 25th overall pick, QBs Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick

were still available, although four quarterbacks had already been

taken.

Dalton and Kaepernick went 35th and 36th overall, taken by

Cincinnati and San Francisco respectively early in the second

round.

But they weren’t the only options Seattle let pass. Iowa’s Ricky

Stanzi, North Carolina’s T.J. Yates, Idaho’s Nathan Enderle,

Virginia Tech’s Tyrod Taylor and Alabama’s Greg McElroy were all

taken in the later rounds of the draft and, in one way or another,

passed over by the Seahawks.

The approach was somewhat contrary to what Schneider said before

the draft that taking a quarterback in each draft was part of a

philosophy he believed in after spending much of his career working

in Green Bay.

But to Schneider and Carroll, the Seahawks did take a

quarterback in this draft – Whitehurst.

Seattle sent its third-round pick in this year’s draft to San

Diego in exchange for Whitehurst before the start of last season.

Whitehurst never won the starting job from Hasselbeck but did start

a pair of games, including Seattle’s NFC West-clinching win over

St. Louis in the regular season finale.

”Charlie was part of this draft class in a sense in that we

used a third-round pick to get him. We have a young up-and-coming

quarterback,” Carroll said. ”And I know where you’re looking,

‘let’s go get another one,’ but we’re happy with Charlie and

continue to blossom and flourish. He’s a guy in my mind I’m not

feeling like we missed out on an opportunity because Charlie is

growing with us.”

By not taking a quarterback in the draft, it’s expected to be a

position of need whenever free agency begins or trades can be made.

New assistant head coach Tom Cable already has four-fifths of his

offensive line planned out with Carpenter, third-round pick John

Moffitt, Max Unger and last year’s first-round pick, Russell Okung.

The only hole is at left guard.

Seattle also needs more depth on the defensive line and said

re-signing defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is a priority.

But what the Seahawks do at quarterback will be the focus of

everyone, especially after not taking anyone in the draft.

”We had a plan going in and still have our plan,” Schneider

said. ”We just can’t execute that plan right now.”