Some, if not most of you have seen the information provided to Rob Staton over at SDB by a proven reliable source within the Seahawks. The rumors include the notion that Ryan Mallett is not even on the Seahawks draft board due to his immobility and not to his character. This, for me, is a little discouraging but ultimately not the end of the world. My guess is that John Schneider and Pete Carroll are looking for a guy more in Aaron Rodgers' mold, not that of Peyton Manning, and the system that they want to put in place is more effective with a guy with some wheels.
Whether this is a smart drafting strategy or not, I do not know. I've voiced it in the past that I don't think you pass up a potential star QB because he doesn't really fit the system you've installed. All NFL offenses have wiggle room in their play calling and it's pretty easy to design the playbook around someone's strengths and weaknesses. Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick are two very different quarterbacks but both have had success in Andy Reid's offense because they cater the playcalling to each QB's strengths and weaknesses. I'm not completely sold on the idea that "Oh, we really like Ryan Mallett and think he'll be really good, but he just can't run fast enough for our offense." But, if these rumors are indeed true, it means that the Hawks don't rate Mallett high enough to draft him.
I'll admit that my discouragement is mostly due to the fact that I think Ryan Mallett will be a very good NFL QB. If we were talking about a Pat Devlin, Nathan Enderle or RIcky Stanzi and the Hawks decided to go with a more mobile guy like Colin Kaepernick instead that's a whole different ballgame, so I admit that my bias towards Mallett is probably putting up some blinders for me. I actually really do like Kaepernick, a guy that Staton notes is 2nd on the Hawks' big board of quarterbacks. Though by almost all accounts he's a project guy that will take a few years of seasoning, he does have a high ceiling in the fact that he has a very very strong arm, is very mobile, is a proven leader, can see out of the pocket due to his good height, and would actually be a good fit for the offense I think the Hawks want to run.
I would even go on record to say I don't think it would be a major disappointment for me if Colin Kaepernick were picked with #25. Getting that franchise QB is an important step, and if they think he's the guy, I say go for it. I certainly believe the notion that with time, he COULD be that guy. I don't think that Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton have near the upside of Kaepernick and thus believe it would be a terrible value to take one of them at #25, which I've recently outlined. But, overall, this Kaepernick character intrigues me enough to say that even if Ryan Mallett is to be passed over (much to my chagrin), Colin Kaepernick could be a solid choice and I would even venture that I'd be tentatively optimistic about it.
Kaepernick, though stylistically different than Aaron Rodgers, has similar, if not better mobility than him. I don't think anyone expects Kaepernick to come in and play like Michael Vick. Although Kaep's straight line speed is very good, he's tall and a little more awkward of a runner than a guy like Vick, whose fluidity and shiftiness is without peer in the NFL at the QB position.
We all saw Rodgers extending plays and getting first downs with his legs. This often came much to the utter frustration of a stretched out defense that respects his arm enough to give him some space to run underneath, and I can't even count the times he converted 3rd downs because of that space in the defense allowing him 10 yards or so to scramble. Nothing is more demoralizing than having him run for a first down in that scenario and then throwing a bomb deep for a TD the next play. How do you plan your defense around that?
I have to assume this is somewhere near the Seahawks thinking in terms of what they want with a QB. Schneider was part of the draft process that drafted Aaron Rodgers, Brian Brohm, Matt Flynn, and Ingle Martin in the last five years or so- all mobile guys.
Although I haven't bought in entirely to these rumors as to their validity, this fact seems to support them. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Schneider has convinced Pete Carroll that this is the direction they want to go - they seem to have an excellent chemistry and for the most part seem to be on the same page. Very intriguing.