QB Survivor 2023: An unprecedented draft competition to become the Seahawks QBOTF!
Outwit, Outplay, Outpass--I NEED YOU TO CHOOSE THE LAST FOUR!
The Seattle Seahawks may or may not draft a quarterback of the future (QBOTF) in 2023. But I believe that they will have the means, the motivation, and the support of most Seahawks fans to do something next year that has only happened TWICE in franchise history: Draft a quarterback in the first round.
This will be a MONUMENTAL MOMENT in Seahawks franchise history and while I know that many of you often wait until after the season to even begin thinking about those decisions (which I don’t fault you for!), Seaside Joe is BEGGING YOU to consider participating in what I know will be the greatest reality newsletter quarterback draft competition that the internet has ever seen!!!
One last question: Did you make a pot of coffee yet? If not, consider getting your ‘ffeine drip going because it’s time to find out which quarterback eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft is going to OUTWIT, OUTPLAY, and OUT-PASS the competition to become the Seahawks QBOTF! QB Survivor 2023 begins…NOW!
*theme music*—”Ohhh oooohhh wei-a-wei-a-wei-ahhh-ahh-ahh Ahh-oooh-ah-ooh-ah-ooh-ah-ah dum dum DOM DOM doom doom durm durm, dom-dom doom-doom doom-doom, oh-ah-ohhhhhhh oooh-ahhhhh!”
Hi, I’m Joe Probst and I’ll be your guide through a quarterback newsletter competition unlike anything that blogs have ever seen.
What is QB Survivor?
Every year, many dozens of NFL Draft hopefuls at the quarterback position begin their college seasons with a dream. By the end of the year, only a handful will have realistic hope alive that one day soon they could be the next Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts, or Jacob Eason. Some will be drafted high, some will be drafted low, and most won’t be drafted at all.
QB Survivor is a weekly elimination competition to cut 38 quarterbacks down to ONE perfect prospect for the Seattle Seahawks!!!
Set like Survivor, a reality competition show that I have watched every episode of since its inception in 2000, we start with four tribes of six quarterbacks, separated by different traits, characteristics, and cliches.
That’s 24 NFL Draft hopefuls. I need your help to get from 38 to 24!
Last year, I ranked the top-10 QB prospects each week and there was a lot of volatility over the course of the season because prospects tend to regularly play themselves into and out of consideration as a legitimate NFL hopeful.
This year, I open up those discussion to the entire Seaside Joe community and whether you know who these names are or not—You WILL know who they are if you keep tracking QB Survivor alongside us this season and into next year. You will not only get to know the players, just like a reality show you will get to know the PERSON underneath the helmet, which is the most important trait in any football prospect.
Even if you’re like “Nah, no, I don’t know nothin’ about no college players!” I implore you to consider participating anyway. This is for the SEAHAWKS!
How do I play/participate?
I have already chosen the first 20 prospects who will be on the QB Survivor 2023 cast list and I will reveal them shortly. Soon, you will help me decide on the last four quarterbacks to get NFL Draft consideration! As the competition goes on, these prospects will have those unfortunate games and moments that put their torches in jeopardy and they will be sent to TRIBAL COUNCIL, where we will decide who is voted off of the island INTO THE PORTAL.
HIDDEN IMMUNITY IDOLS
Survivor wouldn’t be Survivor without hidden immunity idols! I will be randomly sending out hidden immunity idols to Regular Joes subscribers and YOU WILL HAVE THE POWER TO SAVE A QUARTERBACK FROM BEING VOTED OFF OF THE ISLAND! When a QB is sent to Tribal Council and is voted Into the Portal, you can use your idol to save him!
If you end up with a Hidden Immunity Idol to save your favorite QB prospect, you better choose wisely!
How do I join Regular Joes?
I’m glad you asked! You do not have to be a Regular Joe to participate, only to receive a Hidden Immunity Idol. You don’t have to decide now, Immunity Idols will go out throughout the competition.
“Okay, fine, I’m in. How do we start?”
Today’s article is about voting in the last four hopefuls!
Based on my experience of tracking these NFL Draft quarterback hopefuls for the last two years, I have already selected 20 names worthy of the competition. This should not really be controversial because 20 is more than enough and all of the “elite” prospects are on that list, plus quite a few who have a lot of work to do to get draft consideration.
However, at this time last year, Kenny Pickett was a long shot to be drafted. He ended up as the only first round pick in the class. Others, like Spencer Rattler, Sam Howell, and Carson Strong, saw their stock fall considerably. We are only three games into the 2022 college season and a lot will change over the next three months—which is why we’re playing QB Survivor!
Here it is, finally, the first 20 quarterback prospects in history to compete in QB Survivor! Come on in, guys!
(First name alphabetical order)
Anthony Richardson, Florida
Bryce Young, Alabama
Cameron Ward, Washington State
Chance Nolan, Oregon State
C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
Devin Leary, NC State
Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
K.J. Jefferson, Arkansas
Jaren Hall, BYU
Michael Penix, Jr., Washington
Payton Thorne, Michigan State
Phil Jurkovec, Boston College
Sam Hartman, Wake Forest
Tanner McKee, Stanford
Tyler Van Dyke, Miami
Will Levis, Kentucky
Will Rogers, Mississippi State
If any part of you is like, “Oh WHAT??? You put (HIM) in but didn’t put (HIM) in?!?” then great—that’s what today is for! I have 18 more names but I only have four more slots left to play QB Survivor.
If you feel like you already know your stuff, then you can VOTE NOW! I will not be posting results until the end of the week because I want to give everybody a chance to read and respond.
However, for most of us, I’m sure we don’t know who those 18 quarterbacks are and that is a lot of information to consider. That’s why I’ve compiled all the information you need to know, highlights, background, and monikers that will give you REASONS TO ROOT for whoever it is that you want to root for!
Is that pot of ‘ffiene ready for you, fiend? Good! Because it’s time to get to know your last 18 hopefuls. Is it possible that one of these 18 quarterbacks will be suiting up for the Seattle Seahawks in 2023? These are your underdogs, your last ones invited to the combine, your “borrowing shoes at someone else’s pro day” type of quarterback prospects. And maybe, just maybe, your next Seahawks QBOTF.
One last thing: QB Survivor wants as many Seahawks fans in on this action as possible—so please consider SHARING this either directly with a friend or widely on social media.
Now onto the 18… Who will be your FINAL FOUR???
The Last 18 Hopefuls
Jake Haener, Fresno State - “The kid who won’t quit”
Hometown: Danville, CA
Size: 6’1, 195 lbs
Fun Fact: Mom Julie Haener is a Fox news anchor in San Francisco
A three-star recruit in 2017, Haener committed to Chris Petersen at the University of Washington. Haener wasn’t beating out any Jakes at UW, Browning or Eason, and transferred to Fresno State. Starting six games in 2020, Haener threw 14 touchdowns, five interceptions, and rushed for three scores. Put himself into draft—and Heisman—conversation with five-game start in 2021, including 18 total touchdowns and win over UCLA. Then Haener was sent to tribal council. with four interceptions against Hawaii.
Haener might already have made the cast but a high ankle sprain suffered against USC in Week 3 will cost him valuable performance opportunities.
Stetson Bennett, Georgia — “The ultimate under-Dawg”
Hometown: Blackshear, GA
Size: 5’11, 190 lbs
Fun Fact: If Justin Fields didn’t transfer to Ohio State, Bennett would’ve never made it back to the University of Georgia
Bennett is a 2017 walk-on who transferred out of and then back to Georgia, starting and winning the national championship in his fifth college season. Though the Bulldogs are all about their defense, Bennett had 877 passing yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions over the SEC Championship and two College Football Playoff games. But could a 5’11 former walk-on who is already 24 really find himself getting drafted?
Spencer Rattler, South Carolina - “All hype, no stripes”
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Size: 6’1, 200 lbs
Fun Fact: Starred in Netflix’s “QB1: Beyond the Lights” while still in high school
I really hate to sound so harsh with Rattler, it’s not actually about him. It’s about the number one problem facing people who share opinions about draft prospects based more on fame than game. Rattler was the top-ranked recruit a few years ago but he’s not even one of the top-50 starting quarterbacks in college football. People need to know that. Had the world at his fingertips at Oklahoma, then lost the starting job in 2021 to true freshman Caleb Williams. Transferred to South Carolina and is off to a rough start.
D.J. Uiagalelei, Clemson - “The heir un-apparent”
Hometown: Bellflower, CA
Size: 6’4, 235 lbs
The top-ranked quarterback in the 2020 class, Uiagalelei ‘(oo-ee-ANH-gah-leh-lay) is one of these prospects who scouts have been watching since middle school. Following Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence at Clemson, Uiagalelei threw for 781 yards and four touchdowns in two games as a true freshman, also rushing for two touchdowns. After Lawrence went to the NFL, Uiagalelei crashed harder than Rattler: 55% completions, 6.0 Y/A, 9 TD, 10 INT in 13 games. Zach Wilson, Joe Burrow are examples of underwhelming quarterbacks prior to senior season breakouts and Uiagalelei is still just a junior in his second campaign as a starter. But it’s somewhat of a miracle that he’s held onto the starting role at a top-five program.
J.T. Daniels, West Virginia - “The Transfer God”
Hometown: Santa Ana, CA
Size: 6’2, 205 lbs
Fun Fact: At his third program in four years
The starting quarterback at legendary Mater Dei High School as a freshman, Daniels was the number one overall recruit in the 2018 class and chose to play for Clay Helton at USC. Started as a true freshman, throwing 14 TD, 10 INT in 11 games, but tore his ACL in the 2019 season opener. Backup Kedon Slovis played well enough for Helton to name him as the new starter and Daniels transferred to Georgia to compete against Bennett, among others. Initially finished third in the competition until injuries opened door for four starts, with Daniels throwing 10 touchdowns, two interceptions. Rotated in and out with Bennett during Georgia’s national championship season, ultimately losing out and again transferring. Daniels is off to a mediocre start at West Virginia.
Tanner Mordecai, SMU - “Never Rattle’d”
Hometown: Waco, TX
Size: 6’3, 215 lbs
Fun Fact: Knows how to make hot chicken sandwiches
A four-star recruit in 2018, Mordecai first backed up Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts, then was tasked with beating out Spencer Rattler for Oklahoma’s starting role in 2020—with no Sooners fans rooting for him. They wanted the five-star guy! Mordecai transferred to SMU and threw 39 touchdowns with 12 interceptions during his first season in 2021. He has 10 touchdowns in three games, but seven of those came against North Texas and Lamar.
Bo Nix, Oregon - “In search of believers”
Hometown: Arkadelphia, AR
Size: 6’2, 210 lbs
Fun Fact: Wife is named Izzy Smoke
Bo Nix, a fringe five-star recruit in 2019, made a name for himself by leading Auburn to a win over Oregon in his debut as a true freshman starter. Three years later, Nix was starting for the Ducks and losing to Georgia for the fourth time in his career. I almost called him “Tim Tebow lite” not only because of a physical comparison as a dual-threat without a great arm, but also due to how divisive he has been in his career. He has die-hard fans, he has people who laugh at him. The whole spectrum. Does he have enough fans to be voted into the QB Survivor cast though?
Malik Cunningham, Louisville - “The disservice of comparisons”
Hometown: Montgomery, AL
Size: 6’1, 190 lbs
Fun Fact: Full name is Micale Malik Cunningham, briefly changing to Micale in 2019.
As a four-star dual-threat QB recruit in 2017, Cunningham chose Louisville in an attempt to follow 2016 Heisman winner Lamar Jackson at quarterback. He’s got guts. Jackson rushed for almost 3,200 yards and 39 touchdowns in his final two seasons, finishing third in Heisman voting in 2017. Cunningham found out quick that he’s not Lamar, losing a competition to Jawon Pass in 2018. But he’s now in his fourth year as the starter (his sixth as a college player) and he rushed for 1,031 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021. He already has two 100-yard rushing games in his first three starts of 2022, but hasn’t been successful as a passer.
Jayden Daniels, LSU - “The redemption story”
Hometown: San Bernardino, CA
Size: 6’3, 200 lbs
Fun Fact: Mom says Arizona State “waited for him to fail”
Herm Edwards was the first coach Division-I coach to get the axe this year. I wonder how Jayden Daniels feels about that. One of the top-ranked dual threat QBs in 2019, Daniels had 17 TD, 2 INT as a true freshman at Arizona State. He never played that well again, throwing 10 TD, 10 INT in 13 games for the Sun Devils last season under Edwards, but also rushing for 710 yards. He transferred to LSU, winning a competition after Myles Brennan chose to retire from football. Now he’s hoping to pull a Joe Burrow out of his opportunity.
Brennan Armstrong, Virginia - “The arm is strong, but is it smart?”
Hometown: Shelby, OH
Size: 6’2, 215 lbs
Fun Fact: Last name means “Strong Arm” in English
Armstrong was a three-star “dual threat QB” coming out of high school in 2018. He followed current L.A. Rams backup Bryce Perkins at Virginia, taking over the reins in 2020 and throwing 18 TDs, 11 INTs, also rushing for 552 yards. The left-hander topped that with 31 TD, 10 INT and nine rushing scores over 11 starts last season, but he chose to return for a fifth campaign instead of testing the NFL Draft. That tells me he wasn’t getting many suitors and he’s been mediocre to start 2022. He can whip it though.
Cameron Rising, Utah - “The hair apparent”
Hometown: Newbury Park, CA
Size: 6’1, 235
Fun Fact: “Enjoys eating sushi and hamger a lot” (not a direct quote by Rising, but I like it)
Not to be rude, but there’s just something so “George Costanza” about Rising when watching him on film. It doesn’t seem like QBs are supposed to be that stocky and thick-framed, even though pictures of him as a highly-touted recruit would suggest he was once quite wiry. Rising chose to attend Texas, then transferred to Utah after one season. He finally became a starter in 2021, throwing 20 TD, 5 INT, and rushing for 500 yards—something Costanza would have never done.
Kedon Slovis, Pitt - “A career stuck in reverse”
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
Size: 6’3, 215 lbs
If you played Slovis’s career in reverse, he might be a first round lock. Instead, the case is that Slovis had a stellar freshman season at USC (30 TD, 9 INT) but has consistently been going backwards, eventually transferring to replace Kenny Pickett at Pitt after he had lost every opportunity with the Trojans. Slovis was injured just before halftime in Week 2 and has yet to return. Freshman Nate Yarnell might not give back the job.
Doug Brumfield, UNLV - “The shot in the dark”
Hometown: Gardena, CA
Size: 6’5, 213 lbs
Fun Fact: Has under 2,000 Twitter followers
If you’re looking for a long shot, here you go. Brumfield wasn’t highly recruited, redshirted as a freshman in 2020, then played in only three games last year because of injuries. He has only 145 career pass attempts, most of those coming this season, but he’s another left-hander to enter the picture recently: 7 TD, 1 INT, 120 rushing yards in his first three starts. There’s little reason to expect Brumfield to raise his stock enough to become a 2023 draft prospect, but he’s worth a mention.
Taulia Tagovailoa, Maryland - “There’s Tua’f us?”
Hometown: ‘Ewa Beach, HI
Size: 5’11, 200 lbs
Fun Fact: Backed up brother Tua at Alabama
As you’d expect, people were hopeful that Taulia would be an even better prospect than his brother Tua, and he was ranked as a top-five QB prospect in the 2019 class. He literally followed his brother when Tua went to Alabama and became one of the top high school players in the state, eventually choosing to play for the Crimson Tide. But Alabama had a stacked room, including Mac Jones and Bryce Young, so Taulia transferred to Maryland and started 13 games last season, throwing 26 TD, 11 INT (five interceptions against Iowa). A strong senior season would put Taulia back in the draft conversation and no, it wouldn’t hurt if Tua kept playing well for the Dolphins.
Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State - “The late entry”
Hometown: Denton, TX
Size: 6’2, 220 lbs
Fun Fact: Mr. Texas Football Player of the Year in 2017
If you didn’t know any better, you would think Sanders is definitely an NFL draft prospect. A highly-regarded recruit, the Big-12 freshman of the year in 2019, a respected veteran starter and leader, a dual threat with decent stats. He’s sort of this year’s Desmond Ridder, except he’s not anywhere near the top of any draft lists like Ridder was. He also threw seven interceptions in two games against Baylor in 2021.
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota - “If Jason Witten was a college QB and at his present age”
Age: 23 (but looks a lot older)
Hometown: Hazard, KY
Size: 6’2, 215 lbs
Fun Fact: Likes to go fishing, play golf, and spend times with loved ones, according to Wikipedia
Was going to go to Western Michigan to play for P.J. Fleck, but committed to Minnesota after Fleck took the job there instead. Redshirting in 2017, Morgan is in his sixth season with the Gophers, his fifth as the starter. He broke out for 30 TD passes in 2019, but has only 21 TD passes and 15 INTs in his last 23 starts. Still, Morgan feels like that type of prospect who goes undrafted, catches on with a practice squad, and keeps hanging on for dear life until one day you turn around and he’s Dan Orlovsky. “How did Dan Orlovsky get here???”
Chase Brice, Appalachian State - “Sun Belt salvation”
Hometown: Grayson, GA
Size: 6’3, 230
Fun Fact: Played a small part in Clemson’s 2019 national championship run
A quarterback from a town called “Grayson” who hopes to unseat Grayson McCall as the two-time defending Sun Belt champion this year. Brice made a lot of sporadic appearances as Trevor Lawrence’s backup from 2018-2019, but transferred to Duke when it became apparent he wasn’t going to take over. He threw a lot of interceptions during his one season there, so he adjusted the competition by transferring to App State in 2021. Brice had 27 TD, 11 INT last season, then like a true Blue Devil had 361 yards and six touchdowns in a Week 1 game against North Carolina. The next week, App State pulled a top-10 upset by defeating Texas A&M. It would be shocking to see an Appalachian State quarterback get drafted early, however it wasn’t that long ago that some people felt he had that kind of ceiling.
Aidan O’Connell, Purdue - “The baby face Boilermaker”
Hometown: Lincolnshire, IL
Size: 6’3, 210 lbs (210? Really?)
Fun Fact: Chose Purdue over…Wheaton College
O’Connell played one season of high school football and chose to walk-on at Purdue to try his hand at Division-I quarterbacking. His place on this list is quite unlikely, but O’Connell worked his way into a starting role by 2019 and completed 72% of his passes with 28 TD, 11 INT, and 8.4 Y/A in 2021. He is off to a decent start this season, but racked up stats against Indiana State. He’s got a mustache.
Those are your 18 candidates looking to fill only FOUR spots! You must vote!
They still didn’t make the cut but not forgotten: Graham Mertz, Wisconsin; Collin Schlee, Kent State; Hunter Dekkers, Iowa State; Matt McDonald, Bowling Green State; Davis Brin, Tulsa; Garrett Shrader, Syracuse; Jeff Sims, Georgia Tech; Haynes King, Texas A&M; Hudson Card, Texas; Clayton Tune, Houston
Want to add a name? Tell me below!
Next time on QB Survivor…Getting to know your 24 contestants!