Mailbag: Seahawks and Sanchez revisited

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Will from Washington, D.C., writes: Hey Mike, I was wondering since a lot of people consider this year's class of quarterback to be not as great as others, and most have a possibility to be a bust, would it perhaps be better for the Seahawks to draft an OT in the first round, and then take Josh Freeman in the second?

I believe what draws people to Sanchez over Freeman is the fact that Sanchez was made to look alot better then he actually is by the fact that he was surrounded by tons of talent in USC, whereas Freeman wasn't. What are your thoughts about this?

Mike Sando: I do think Sanchez benefits from the perceived lack of quality depth at quarterback this year. This Seattle team probably isn't going to win playoff games in the short term with anyone other than a healthy Matt Hasselbeck under center.

Every team needs to prepare for the future, but the Seahawks need to prepare for 2009. This team won four games last season. The fourth player chosen needs to help the team now. Another down season would signify the start of a trend, not tough luck.

I do see the other side. I do think Seattle needs to at least consider a quarterback at No. 4, if available. How many times does Seattle expect to draft this early? Might as well take a quarterback now while you have the chance to get a highly rated one.

It's a tempting thought, but I'm not convinced it's the most likely option.

Aaron from Orange, N.J., writes via Facebook: any possibility the rams take a QB at #2? I doubt it because of bulgers huge contract. but the people at espn seem to think its a real possibility. for the first time in a while i trust the rams front office, but i dont think that a QB is anywhere close to a possibility. what do you think?

Mike Sando: Jeremy Green of Scouts Inc. did say he thought the Rams would have draft Matthew Stafford if available. I don't see it unless we can determine two things with high degrees of certainly:

1. Stafford will become a star.

2. Bulger is finished.

There's no way we can know that first one with certainty, as history reminds us. Does the Rams' new staff really know enough about Marc Bulger to write him off only two years into a massive contract? And can the Rams afford to make that decision at the expense of addressing obvious needs elsewhere on the roster? I do not think so.

Kegan from Chapel Hill writes: Mike, In looking through some of the newer mock drafts out there I have seen some that have B.J. Raji falling to 12 while the 49ers are taking a lesser player. I know Aubrayo Franklin has played well at the nose tackle spot but neither him nor Isaac Sopoaga is really a true nose tackle. Assuming Raji is the best player available when the 49ers are making their pick, would they not take him? He is a fantastic player and would give the 49ers a true NT. Thanks

Mike Sando: Your reasoning seems sound to me. I do think they would consider him.

Ryan from Lynchburg, Va., writes: I just saw McShay's updated mock draft and it has the 49ers drafting Sanchez. Please reassure me that the 49ers will not be stupid again and use their first round pick on another QB. We have so many other needs, like drafting to protect the QB we have.

Plus, I have never been a fan of picking first round QBs. The majority of the good QBs were not first rounders; they were late and sat a few seasons LEARNING b/c there wasn't any pressure to play them b/c of the contract. ie Steve Young sat behind Montana learning. And it seems Hill is right on track.

Mike Sando: The 49ers' experience with Alex Smith does seem likely to give the 49ers at least some reservations about betting on another rookie quarterback.

Grizzzzly from parts unknown writes via Twitter: Agreed [about your view of 49ers record]. What record do you believe will claim the NFC West title?

Mike Sando: Let's go with 9-7 until these teams answer some serious questions. Seattle's season hinges on getting key players healthy. The Cardinals have to prove they can handle success, sustain a running game and handle having targets on their backs. The 49ers have to settle on a quarterback and learn a new offense (again). The Rams need to keep rebuilding.

Kevin from Turnersville, N.J. writes: Hey Sando, I live in South Jersey, which is also considered Eagles territory so I'm aware of the kind of fans they have out here. Now that the schedule has been released, I can focus on buying tickets for when the 49ers come into town. They haven't been here since the '03 season and they may not be here for a while after that so I'm not missing this game for the world. Haha, so what do you think I should wear? Should I go to the game in 49ers get-up and risk it all, or should I go and cheer for the Niners in my head secretly? If you didn't know, the Eagles are one of the only sports venues that have a jail cell and courtroom inside the stadium...for obvious reasons, ha, what do you think?

Mike Sando: I do not want to be responsible for your demise, Kevin. Wear your 49ers jersey under your jacket so you can get a feel for the situation. Proceed with extreme caution.

Steven from Tampa writes: Seahawks fan here. With the Chiefs signing Zach Thomas recently, it would appear unlikely for them to draft Aaron Curry. The Chiefs now have Mike Vrabel, Zach Thomas and Derrick Johnson. I think Seattle has a great chance of taking Curry to fill the void of Julian Peterson.

There might not be a consensus best overall player in this draft but the Seahawks will be happy to take Curry if he falls to them. Also, on another note, with Gregg Knapp as offensive coordinator and the concept to run the ball more, is it safe to say Julius Jones could reach 1,000 yards rushing? Also, what will we
expect Hasselbeck's numbers to look like? Will his numbers resemble Chad Pennigtons with all the running we will do?

Mike Sando: Jones could certainly top 1,000 yards this season, though we need to see how Seattle addresses that position in the draft. I could see the Seahawks taking a back in the first few rounds. Hasselbeck's completion percentage should go up with T.J. Houshmandzadeh on the team. I think his numbers will improve. Houshmandzadeh and John Carlson should help in the red zone.

Mitchell from Seattle writes: Hey Mike, I think there is a little bit of an overreaction to the Hawks schedule. Yes there are no prime-time games, but after last season they deserved none. It was not fun to watch even as a Hawks fan, so why would the whole nation want to watch?

As far as 10 O'clock PDT games are concerned, the year after going to the super bowl the Hawks had 6 of them. So even when they had respect, the schedulers still gave them plenty of early games. I couldn't find the times of the games from their super bowl season it would be interesting to see how many 10 PDT games they had. I think that this schedule is perfect for them so show if they are a contender or pretender. What are your thoughts on this?

Mike Sando: The Seahawks lost all six early games in 2003 by a combined 67 points. They went 10-0 in games that kicked off later than 10 a.m. PT. They haven't liked the 10 a.m. starts ever since.

Seattle went 2-3 in early games during its 2005 Super Bowl season, including a loss to Green Bay in the final regular-season game as the Seahawks rested starters.

Seattle had a 5-4 record in early games over the 2006 and 2007 seasons. During the same period, the team's record was 2-5 in road games that kicked off later than 10 a.m. PT.

Most of the Seahawks' success in early games has come at the Rams' expense.

Zander from Los Angeles writes: I was reading over some of your comments on rookie pay. Why doesn't the NFL adopt the NBA pay scale? It's one of the few things the NBA does MUCH better than the NFL. You have a set number based on the position you are drafted. The selling point to the vets is, if you know exactly what you're going to be paying to a rookie, you will know how much you have to spend and that frees up a ton of cap room for more free agents or larger paydays for vets.

In my opinion, the fact that they haven't done this drastically lessens my opinion of the NFL. As much as I love it, the more I have to hear rookies whine about pay and miss camp, the more I long for the NBA style, where the contract is written up the day they get drafted for a set amount. How is this a bad idea? Goodell needs to sit with the new NFLPA guy and get it done

Mike Sando: The agents have a stake in these rookie negotiations as well. If the contracts are all set, then why should an agent get his 3 percent? Who are the agents? They are part of the NFLPA. A thought.

Rick from Salt Lake City writes: Hey Sando, read you everyday & love your insight. If the Seahawks were to take a Left Tackle & Walt can give another couple of years, which top left tackle would be the most suited to either move inside to guard or to the right side while Walt finishes out? Are any of these guys considered versatile or are they all Left outside guys only? thanks

Mike Sando: You're welcome. I just don't see asking the fourth pick in the draft to play guard. Sounds more like something a team would do after trading back. That is me talking off the top of my head, not a reflection of what the Seahawks might be thinking. Of the top two tackles, Jason Smith seems to be the one with the temperament to play guard. It's not a very exciting way to show off your top-five draft choice, however.