Rob Rang, a draft scout for CBS Sports (and Seattle-Tacoma local) was on the Ian Furness, 950KJR show on Wednesday and talked a lot about the crop of undrafted free agents still out there, ripe for the plucking. He mentioned some quarterbacks that have been linked to the Seahawks this offseason and had some more thoughts to add on each of them. First, his take on whether UDFAs will have a better chance this season, over previous seasons, of catching on with teams:
"I think they absolutely have a better shot at making the team. I'm glad you mentioned this....undrafted free agents, they're working their tails off because they know at some point, this lockout's going to end, and they're going to get an opportunity. Someone's going to call them and give them a shot. If they're in better physical shape, if they're hungrier, than say, a guy that's drafted in the 6th or 7th round, then an NFL team, simply because they need bodies, because some of the veteran players aren't going to be ready to play either, but [the undrafted free agents], they're going to be ready to rock and roll. That's why I think you're going to see a feeding frenzy, when it comes to these college prospects, these undrafted free agents.
Everybody's talking about real free agency with the veterans, and that's going to be a feeding frenzy, it's going to be nothing compared to the NFL teams contacting these college players, once they get the green light.
There's obviously been some looking at the rosters. I think that every agent out there, worth his salt, knows exactly what the Seahawks needs are, for example, so if he's representing a defensive tackle, he's going to wait for a call from the Seattle Seahawks [before signing his player to another team], or he's going to be calling the Seattle Seahawks himself."
First, Pat Devlin of Delaware. Devlin isn't someone that I've talked about much here at Field Gulls but as Rob points out, could very well be on the Seahawks' radar. He said, of Devlin:
"A player that we've talked about many times, was Pat Devlin from Delaware. This is a guy that was viewed as a possible 3rd to 4th round pick throughout most of his senior season. He went to the East West Shrine Game, still viewed as a player that maybe he was slipping a little bit, but he was still was absolutely in that 5th, 6th round range. And then he went to the East-West Shrine Game and really struggled there. There was some concern that maybe he didn't have the arm strength to be successful in the NFL, but that's one of the nice things about Darrell Bevell's offense. In a West Coast Offense, that's based on timing, based on a lot of short to intermediate routes, Pat Devlin, coming from a spread offense at Delaware, is going to be able to make an easier transition than he would be able to in a different offense. So he's one, absolutely, to keep in mind."
"I think they're (the Seahawks) are going to sign at least one of these undrafted free agents, but most likely, two. A lot of times you like to have at least four quarterbacks throughout training camp. So I wouldn't be surprised to see them sign two of these guys. Pat Devlin is going to have a market, there's going to be a lot of clubs out there that are going to be running this West Coast Offense, so this is an example of where Pat Devlin's agent is going to be looking around and wondering what team is my player going to be most likely to be able to earn himself a roster spot."
Rang went on to list some of the positives and negatives of Pat Devlin as a quarterback. He said:
"Postivies: He's intelligent, he's accurate, especially in the short to intermediate level, he is mobile, he's athletic enough to get outside the pocket and do some things in the bootleg, he has at least average size, 6'3 225 pounds, so you don't have to worry about those types of things."
Now, the negatives:
"Some knocks on him are that he struggled when they raised the level of competition at the East West Shrine Game, he does not have the ideal arm strength, he comes from a shotgun offense, and so there's going to be some transition there. Obviously, with the ways the Seahawks are looking to run the football, there's going to be a lot of play-action passing and that's one of the things that makes you nervous. Anytime you have a spread quarterback he's going to have to learn how to take the snap from the center, turn his back, to either hand off, or fake the handoff, and then have to read the defense again. So those are some of the concerns with any quarterback, but certainly one like Pat Devlin."
Rang went on to talk about a guy that has been talked about here a lot post-draft, Adam Froman. Doug Farrar was nice enough to provide me with a previously unpublished and detailed scouting report on Froman so you can go revisit that now, but here's what Rang had to say about the former Louisville QB:
"Adam Froman, he's a guy that didn't start very much in his career. He started a little bit as a junior, a little bit as a senior. He has only average accuracy, and that's the concern. What's exciting about him, is that he has a legitimate arm, and he's a very good athlete, for his size. Again, 6'3, 225 pounds, but this is a guy that's running in the 4.6s (in the 40). He's very fast for a quarterback, so there is a degree of upside with him that Pat Devlin does not have."
Rang then continued by bringing up a guy that's been linked to the Seahawks, and most probably will be one of our undrafted free agent signings, Josh Portis. Rang had this to say:
"The one I'm most excited about is, as far as a long-term, true diamond in the rough, maybe this guy can develop into a legitimate starter at some point, and that would be Josh Portis. Now, if the last name Portis sounds familiar it's because he's the cousin of Clinton Portis (Redskins RB). This is a guy that was a really highly touted athlete out of high school, signed with Florida, transferred to Maryland, and then ultimately played at California Pennsylvania, it's a very small school. He was a superstar there.
This is a player that has a big arm, he has great athleticism, can dazzle you moving around, but at the same time, I don't know if he has the intelligence, or quite honestly, the work ethic to be successful in the NFL. The fact that he had to transfer three times is a concern. But, if you're talking about pure athletic upside, the guy that really could be a standout at some point, then Portis is the guy you're looking for."
We talked about Portis here at Field Gulls a month or two ago, so make sure you go back over to that story and give it a read for more info.
Finally, another player that Rang brought up is Minnesota's Adam Weber. Weber is a player that Field Gulls contributor and draft expert Rob Staton has linked to the Seahawks as well as a possible signing. Here's what Rang said about Weber:
"The guy that I'm actually highest on is... now, he's short, he doesn't have a great arm, but he's a player from Minnesota, Adam Weber. He was a four-year starter there. He played on some horrific football teams, Minnesota Golden Gophers, but at the same time he made a lot of plays, he's gutty. He's got some John Kitna to him. He's got some Dave Krieg Mudbone to him.
The characteristics that you're looking for, especially in undrafted free agency, you're looking for guys that will obviously be that one-in-a-million. Be that player that really has no shot, but that makes a team because he just refuses to get cut. He makes those types of plays. Adam Weber has some of those characteristics, so while he's 6'1, 210 pounds, an ok arm, a lot of the physical characteristics that you're not looking for, I still think he's a player, and he's a guy that, whether it be with the Seahawks or somewhere else, I think that he could surprise in the NFL."
All in all, very interesting stuff from Rob Rang and I'm really looking forward to seeing who the Seahawks are able to sign. If Rang is right, and the Hawks sign two UDFA QBs, it will make for an interesting battle in camp to secure a possible roster spot.
Rang followed up with his QB discussion and addressed other positions of need for the Hawks, so make sure you check out the rest of the interview yourself here and here (he talks for a good, long time and brings up some great points.)
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