Even staunch defenders of Charlie Whitehurst defend him mostly on grounds of principle. He didn't play enough to fail fully, but did fail when he played and more importantly, failed to unseat Matt Hasselbeck. That might be the ultimate arbiter of Whitehurst's fate. And now that Jeremy Bates is out, and Tom Cable and Darrell Bevell are in, Whitehurst is no longer prototypical either. Whitehurst will be expected to learn his third offense in as many seasons, and one he is not handpicked to succeed in. Though I do not think Whitehurst will be cut prematurely, I do think he is slated to be cut. I think Seattle wants a new developmental quarterback.
And I do think we're talking "developmental" quarterback, rather than quarterback "of the future." Maybe a franchise signal caller falls to Seattle at 25, but more than likely not, and with needs along the line and in the secondary, and quite a few talented fits likely available in the latter half of the first, I think the Seahawks are destined to sign a free agent quarterback, maybe Hasselbeck, and draft a developmental quarterback somewhere later in the draft.
Which isn't guaranteed stupidity. I mean, as infrequent as it seems, sometimes teams are able to select a developmental quarterback and actually develop that quarterback. Granted, not a single quarterback that finished in the top 20 in DYAR was drafted in the middle or late rounds and developed, beside of course Tom Brady, but I am willing to believe it is . . . possible? That would be the word. It isn't a sure waste of a pick, anyway.
So who's it going to be? With Bates went the need for an athletic scrambler. I am at best speculating about Cable and Bevell's preferences, but a pocket passer that completes a high percentage of passes and above all doesn't make mistakes seems like the acknowledged complement to a run-first offense. Someone that can excel without being particularly flashy. Someone that doesn't kill you but isn't a dreaded game manager either.
After watching the Shrine Game and reading a bit about him, I think Seahawks fans should know the name "Pat Devlin." He will have to prove his arm strength through the pre-draft process, and that's no small thing. But it looks adequate to me, and adequate in an applicable way. Consider a pair of slight quarterbacks with decent arms: Mark Sanchez and Jimmy Clausen. Put them in a drill, and either can "make all the throws." Put some pressure on them, force them to move around, throw on the move, throw off their back foot, and that ability goes away. Devlin doesn't launch it, but he's tall, throws overhand, has easy velocity and versatile velocity -- to coin a phrase.
From what I saw, he is very accurate. He's calm, fluid, not any kind of scrambler but not lumbering, and throws a very catchable pass. Like most young quarterbacks, he's pretty much one-read, but, yeah, who cares? We're talking developmental quarterback here. If Devlin can make a solid pre-snap read and throw an accurate pass to that read, he's ahead of the game.
This isn't meant as a scouting report. I will fire those up soon enough. It's a chance to introduce a player that I think hits the sweet spot where need, fit and available resources meet. Don't buy that Devlin lacks upside because of his less than stellar tools. That's hogwash. People used to talk about how Ryan Leaf had greater upside than Peyton Manning. For a quarterback, accuracy, judgment and speed of decision making determines upside much more so than size, arm strength and foot speed. Devlin doesn't have the latter, but he could develop what abilities truly matter.