Playbook: Seahawks should build around QB Jackson

In our first look into the Seahawks’ offseason, we focused on a few teams needs, including running back, defensive end and linebacker.

But for every team, the biggest question always revolves around the quarterback.

Tarvaris Jackson has yet to solidify himself as the quarterback of even the foreseeable future. In fact, several mock drafts have the Seahawks reaching for Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill with the 12th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

When we look at Tannehill, it’s hard to be convinced that he is worth such a high selection, especially on a team that could do much more to solidify itself around Jackson first and then decide whether he needs to be replaced. Tannehill comes from a college spread offense, and at that has a limited number of snaps as a QB (he was a wide receiver earlier in his career).

On the other hand, after studying Jackson on tape, we found more blame with his receiving corps and offensive line than with the quarterback himself.

The Seahawks invested in receivers last year, adding Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin. But those moves, while improvements, did little to add speed to Jackson’s arsenal. They might be better off focusing their attention on adding a deep threat, such as Harry Douglas, Eddie Royal or Josh Morgan, through free agency.

Seattle’s young offensive line didn’t help Jackson out, either, allowing 50 sacks. James Carpenter and John Moffitt will be more experienced in their second seasons, but an interior veteran guard like Evan Mathis could shore up the inside and give Jackson more time to find a receiver who can stretch the field.

While Tannehill, who is athletic and has above-average arm strength, is an intriguing prospect, the Seahawks could spend their first-round pick on a running back, defensive lineman or linebacker and hope a passer like Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins or Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden is available in the second or third rounds. Both are more experienced than Tannehill, and Cousins hails from a more pro-style offense.

Either way, if the Seahawks intend to use a rookie quarterback next season – and it isn’t Andrew Luck – they probably aren’t planning on competing in the NFC West. We don’t see why they wouldn’t take a chance at the playoffs with Jackson at the helm for at least one more season.

“Playbook” — the ultimate football Xs and Os show — aired Thursday and Friday on NFL Network during the season. Check the NFL Network broadcast schedule for further details. Follow “Playbook” on Twitter @NFLN_Playbook.

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