In opening a window to the Seattle Seahawks’ philosophical approach to the 2011 NFL Draft, Pete Carroll might very well have raised more questions than he answered.
By saying the Seahawks passed on selecting a quarterback because they didn’t think in their order of football — not financial — priorities they “could afford to yet,” Carroll effectively began a debate about timing that doesn’t really seem to have two sides.
When, in this pass-driven league, is it a good time to pursue a quarterback if you need one? Immediately.
Instead, the Seahawks used their first two picks, in the first and third rounds, on an offensive tackle (Alabama’s James Carpenter) and a guard (Wisconsin’s John Moffitt).
That, alone, was a bit of a head-scratcher. Quarterback and defensive tackle figured to be more logical positions to hit with at least one of those picks.
However, as Carroll recently explained while addressing a convention of Associated Press sports editors, picking up a couple of offensive linemen was vital because “without that, the quarterback can’t play.” Fair enough, although Carpenter seems like a reach, and the book on Moffitt is that he needs to improve his quickness before he can become consistently effective in pass protection.
And who is the quarterback who will be protected? Even if Matt Hasselbeck returns, it’s uncertain how much he has left to give, or whether his body can hold up for a full season. Charlie Whitehurst hasn’t exactly inspired much confidence that he is the answer.
Speculation that Carroll will trade for one of his former USC players, disgruntled Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer, seems far-fetched. The Bengals appear as dug in as can be in their refusal to grant Palmer his wish of being shipped out of town.
Unless the Seahawks are able to pull off a trade for someone else, such as the Philadelphia Eagles’ Kevin Kolb, or find a quarterback in an extremely thin free-agency market, they might regret taking the approach of building a wall before figuring out who to put behind it.