By Dave Te Thomas
Remember that old Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song - If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with? Well, teams looking for a franchise quarterback are well advised to heed that warning if they do not get a chance to draft either David Carr or Joey Harrington. The talent level behind that pair drops of drastically, with many questions yet to be answered in regards to the rest of this year's quarterback crop.
After that tandem, that is where the fun or angst begins. Patrick Ramsey light it up in private workouts, yet his penchant for "happy feet" (lack of composure under pressure) and sometimes poor field decisions leaves one wondering if he is strictly a workout warrior. Fellow Louisiana native, Rohan Davey, intrigues teams with his size and athletic ability, but this is a guy that certainly needs to spend more hours in the film room than in the dining room. Can you say Tony Banks here? Former SMU product Josh McCown was a mere afterthought in the pecking order behind Harrington and Carr, but a very impressive showing at the Senior Bowl as Harrington's replacement, followed by a steller performance in the agilities at the Combines could see McCown emerge as the "third-favorite son" among general managers on draft day. Kurt Kittner had a less than desired postseason and seems to have slipped from his previous lofty perch. Some question his long ball ability and he's done nothing to squash those concerns based on his recently poor throwing performances.
Randy Fasani had agility results that rivaled McCown's at the Combines, yet his lack of leadership ability, injury problems and no "fire in the belly" makes you wonder if he is just another Stanford bust. David Garrard can rival McCown in the athletic ability department, but there are serious questions about his ability to play the long ball game with any consistency. Any scout that spent the week at the Blue-Gray Game came away knowing that neither David Neill or Greg Zolman will ever be capable of leading a pro team to the promised land.
The small colleges could be a place to unearth some decent clipboard carriers, such as J.T. O'Sullivan, Aaron Smith and Seth Buford, but all seem headed the free agent route and appear to be nothing more than developmental types at best. Brandon Doman will probably hear his name called in the later rounds, but you have to wonder if he is just nothing more than a product of a pass-happy offensive attack. Ronald Curry entered college with so much promise, but a duel career on the basketball court, injuries and an eventual sharing of playing time has all but taken the luster off what was once considered a future pro star.
THE GRADE…B…Harrington and Carr are the cream of the crop, but the talent level dips drastically after that pair. Buyer beware is the call of the day, as the rest of the league tries to sort out the next level among McCown, Ramsey, Davey and Kittner.
Cream Of The Crop
Positives: Strong, well-built athlete with good body definition (rangy)…Sets up quickly and is ready to throw in an instant…Has good mechanics and an incredibly fast release… Shows accuracy on his long tosses and has a very lively arm in the short areas…Very composed under pressure, in the Brett Favre mold…Mature and confident field leader who is well-respected by teammates and very competitive with the opposition…Tactful in his actions, but will not hesitate to "correct" a teammate when needed…Throws a catchable ball, putting impressive touch with zip to make it easy for his receivers to haul in the ball… Displays tremendous velocity with proper timing when he airs out the long bomb, getting optimum effort behind his powerful arm…Has the vision to easily pick up the stunts and scans the field well, feeling the pressure quickly to avoid the rush while maintaining his composure…Has a three-step release point and will take the sack rather than force the ball into traffic…Shows the ability to locate the secondary targets when the primary ones are covered…Very effective scrambler in the Donovan McNabb mold, but his maturity allows him to be patient as he first waits for the play to develop…Throws the ball with a tight spiral and makes proper reads when scanning downfield…Can throw off his back foot when making his drops…Sets, drifts and settles in the pocket, displaying a soft touch to feather the ball over the defender's head…Makes proper checks at the line and is very alert in avoiding the rush…Has good rotation on the ball…When sequencing through his receivers, he can drop his arm to three-quarters and zing the ball.
Negatives: While he shows accuracy on his long passes, his arm strength is adequate, as he tends to arc his deep attempts…Holds the ball too long, inviting the sack, rather than dumping it off or throwing it away…Makes proper checks, but does not have a variety of throws…Needs to improve his pass drop, as he does a lot of three-step motion and will hold the ball a little too long, taking the sack rather than throwing it away.
Has emerged as the premier quarterback in the nation…After being selected second-team All-WAC in 2000, despite working with an injury riddled offense, David has took his leader-ship skills to a higher level in 2001…He was named WAC Offensive Player of the Year and has thrown for over 300 yards in 10 of the team's 13 games…Simply put, the Heisman Trophy finalist was magnificent when Fresno State needed him most…Regarded as the finest athlete to ever quarterback for the Bulldogs, he finished his career with 7849 yards on 587 of 934 passes (62.8%) with 70 touchdowns and only 23 interceptions…Only Mark Barsotti (8093, 1988-91) and Kevin Sweeney (10,808, 1983-86) threw for more yards in Fresno State annals…His 7947 yards in total offense is topped only by Barsotti (8849) and Sweeney (10,421) on the school's all-time record chart…His pass competion percentage of 62.8 broke Billy Volek's school career-record 60.4, set from 1997-99…Considered the best athlete in the country at his position, twice earning All-American Strength Team honors by the the National Strength Coaches Association.
REMINDS YOU OF… Trent Dilfer, Seattle Seahawks. Much like Dilfer, the Fresno State product knows how to win, commands presence in the huddle and is more than capable of dishing out punishment as well as receiving it.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… The Houston organization appears set on taking Carr with the first pick, but they may have walked away more impressed with the bridesmaid, Joey Harrington, after the Combines. Look for the team to bring in a veteran, possibly Kent Graham, to hold down the fort, at least until mid-season, before the Texans toss Carr to the wolves. With a coach like Chris Palmer around, questions about his poor release point should be corrected under Palmer's guidance.
Best Of The Rest
Positives: Has the frame to carry ten more pounds of bulk with no dropoff in quickness… Moves quickly in the pocket and throws instantly at the end of his pass drop…Has a tight circle to his release, unleashing the ball quickly while maintaining focus downfield… Three-step pocket passer who hangs tough under the rush…Assertive leader with good presence under pressure…Has the mobility to escape when the pocket collapses and shows a fluid lateral movement rolling out… Makes proper reads and shows a knack for spotting his secondary targets…Shows quickness on timing patterns and is very effective at running the quarterback draw.
Negatives: Needs foot technique refinement to improve his velocity…Tends to throw into coverage as he does not always scan the field properly…His adequate footwork is evident when he attempts the short tosses, as he seems to get the ball up too high…Has to learn how to vary the speed on his long ball, as he will fire the ball too hard on occasion…Lacks touch on his soft throws and will over- throw his receivers on deep routes, at times, as he tends to rush his tosses…Has a tall, rangy, slender build with adequate muscle definition.
Few athletes in Oregon annals have exhibited the charisma of the third-year starter, instilling the belief among those around him of invincibility…Whether it be his willingness to accept the burden of the team's fate on his shoulders or the exuding of confidence he transmits to his teammates, Joey Harrington has developed into something special…He has efficiently orchestrated all the weapons around him over the course of the past two seasons to produce a 25-3 record in games he has started…Yet more impressive is his penchant for rallying the Ducks in the final stages of battle or from behind…Thirteen times he has brought his team back from a deficit or tied at the half, including ten in the fourth quarter…He also is unbeaten while at the helm in post-season play, engineering victories against Minnesota, Texas and Colorado…A certain early first round pick, he finished his career with 512 completions of 928 passes (55.2%) for 6911 yards, 59 touchdowns and only 23 interceptions in 33 games…Added 210 yards and 18 scores on 145 carries (1.4 avg)…His 7121 yards in total offense rank third in school history behind Danny O'Neill (8124, 1991-94) and Bill Musgrave (8140, 1987-90)…Only O'Neill (8301) and Musgrave (8343) have thrown for more yards in Oregon annals.
REMINDS YOU OF… Tom Brady, New England Patriots. More elusive than Brady, but despite his youth, he's very cool under pressure and rarely forces the ball into traffic. Just look at his record as a starter (25-3) and you know quality is evident.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… If the Detroit Lions want to rise from the basement, they know that a quarterback the caliber of Harrington has to be the answer. Charlie Batch proved to be a very expensive bust and Mike McMahon looks like he's nothing more than a stop-gap answer. Detroit needs to bring excitement back and who better to lead their West Coast offense than this west coast standout? Still, questions continue about his lack of arm strength.
Positives: Has good overall body structure, with solid calf definition…Effective throwing long, showing the touch to drop the ball in over defenders…Powerful in the pocket and has the ability to throw on the move…Excels at looking off defenders and throwing on time…Hits his backs in stride…Good scrambler with quick feet who senses pressure well…Very effective rifling his passes on hooks and curls…Hits his backs in stride on swing passes…Makes quick decisions, getting the ball off in a hurry…Rhythm passer with a compact throwing motion, showing quick footwork in his setup…Has a snappy release & an over-the-top delivery…Accurate in the short range passing attack and does a good job avoiding tacklers when rolling out of the pocket…Has the vision to locate receivers from the pocket or on the move…Stands strong under pressure and knows when to slide away from the rush.
Negatives: Needs to protect the ball better, as he tends to carry it near his chest and with one hand while trying to escape pressure…Sometimes will lower his elbow before unleashing the ball, taking some distance off his tosses…Has to refine his technique getting to his throwing point, as he throws off his back foot at times, losing zip on his tosses…While he has good foot speed, he lacks that second gear to consistently escape pressure…Holds the ball too long, waiting for the break upfield…Has a little bit of a high push in his delivery…Goes through progressions well, but will target his primary receivers and needs to do a better job of looking off…Hands are smaller than ideal (8 5/8-inches).
Southern Methodist transfer who emerged from the shadows as a senior…Left the SMU program to prove that he was capable of leading a strong aerial attack…Threw for 4022 yards and 24 touch- downs during his three-year career at SMU and surpassed that scoring total (32 touchdowns) in only one season with the Bearkats…For his entire career, he completed 599 of 1093 passes (54.8%) for 7503 yards and 56 touchdowns…His 3481 yards at Sam Houston State rank eighth on the school's career-record list.
REMINDS YOU OF… Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers. Alright, there is only one Brett, but look at this kid's athletic ability, his improvisational skills, the quick flick of his release and knack for rallying the team.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… No matter what others say about Ramsey or Davey, McCown is by far the best of the class behind Carr and Harrington, if only for his athletic ability. Look for this kid to go on the first day of the draft, with the Carolina Panthers a possible home.
Positives: Improving passer known for his quickness and scrambling ability…Accurate in the short range passing attack…Throws a catchable ball, showing solid mechanics and a quick, over-the-top release…Does a great job avoiding tacklers when rolling out of the pocket…Exciting player who makes things happen with his style of play…Strong, physical runner who has proved capable of buying time for his receivers with his scrambling ability…Effective throwing on the move and shows accuracy when going long…Sets up smoothly and shows good zip and velocity off both the front and back foot…His passes display nice touch and placement…Poised in the face of pressure, showing good pocket presence and mobility to step up or out as he absorbs hits and breaks tackles.
Negatives: Has a history of injury problems, brought upon by his insistence of taking the sack rather than throwing the ball away…Runs with authority, but needs to secure the ball better before turning upfield…While he shows accuracy on his deep balls, he will force the ball into traffic and makes the receivers work by coming back for the ball too often…Needs more experience and a patient tutor…His weight problems have affected his conditioning in the past…Looks heavy-footed at times…Needs to fine tune his reads and must work on lowering his delivery…Has good touch on his tosses, but lofts it too high at times…Can step out of the pocket, but is generally dragged down due to his lack of burst.
Late bloomer who made the most of his opportunity as a full-time starter for the first time in his career as a senior…The only quarterback in school history to throw for over 3000 yards in a season…He is also the only passer in LSU annals to throw for over 300 yards in three consecutive games…Despite only 12 starts, he ranks fifth in school history with 29 touchdown passes and sixth with 4415 yards passing…Completed 286 of 478 passes (59.8%), both ranking seventh on LSU's all-time record list.
REMINDS YOU OF… Tony Banks, free agent. Much like Banks, this kid has a lot of potential, a lot of athletic ability, yet does not seem to know how to put it all together. Besides, he's a Krispy Kreme franchise away from turning into an offensive lineman.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… Let me take you back a year folks, to a time when Josh Booty, yes, Josh Booty, was the Tigers' starting quarterback. Davey could not unseat a talent-less character like Booty for the starting job. I'd be very worried if my favorite team takes this guy and touts him as the franchise' s future. He holds the ball too long and his release point is too inconsistent to suit my taste.
First Day Possibilities
Positives: Well-proportioned frame with broad shoulders…Has a quick release and a live arm with excellent velocity on his deep tosses…Sets up fluidly with good balance and footwork…Poised under pressure, showing toughness stepping up in the pocket…Goes through progressions and does a nice job reading defenses…Shows power and snap in his release, delivering with proper over-the-top mechanics…Steps off his front foot and generates good ball speed, giving his receivers a chance to compete for the long ball… Throws a tight spiral with a good arc that is easy to catch…Vocal leader who commands respect from his teammates…Senses pressure well and can slide to escape from pressure…Can look off and hold the safety, placing his deep tosses over either shoulder of his receivers and away from the defender…Shows the ability to throw in either direction when on the move…Has the ability to find his secondary targets…Very accurate throwing down the middle.
Negatives: Needs to work on his footwork setting up in the pocket, as he is not always quick to reach his drop/set point…Needs to show more patience when under pressure, as he will loft the ball into traffic every now and then…Lacks a soft touch, as he puts too much power behind his short throws (they are accurate, though)…Has trouble following through with his release when forced out of the pocket…Tries to aim at the receiver's numbers, which results in a handful of dropped passes…While he can slide out of the pocket, he is not an elusive runner and will get caught quickly…Little slow-footed and runs too upright, taking unnecessary hits…Good ball handler, but is not deceptive with his fakes…Will commit to a route and throw blindly on occasion…Reads defenses well, but his overall vision is suspect…Needs good protection upfront to be effective due to a lack of escapability.
Earned one of the most prestigious awards in the nation when he was named a National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete, one of sixteen players nationwide, in 2001…Set a school record with at least one touchdown pass in 31-straight games…Completed 798 of 1355 passes (58.9%) for 9205 yards, 72 touchdowns and 51 interceptions, surpassing the old school career-records of 649 completions of 1163 passes for 8419 yards and 70 touchdowns by Shaun King (1995-98) and 41 interceptions by Terrence Jones (1985-88) and Roch Hontas (1976-79)…His 58.9 pass completion percentage is topped only by Mike McKay (59.9%, 1981-82) in Green Wave annals…His 9103 yards in total offense placed him third in school history behind King (9468) and Jones (9445).
REMINDS YOU OF… Jay Fiedler, Miami Dolphins. Like Fiedler, he's good, but never will be great. Much like Fiedler, he will frustrate his coach with his poor field decisions and penchant for throwing the ball into traffic.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… Ramsey is more than likely the next quarterback off the board after Carr and Harrington, but I have a very uneasy feeling about this guy. I like my quarterbacks a little more mobile and oh, those costly interceptions.
Positives: Durable passer with effective scrambling ability…Has good foot quickness, setting up with proper agility, base and balance…Shows a strong arm snap, releasing the ball quickly…Has solid velocity on his short tosses, displaying good hip rotation while putting a tight spiral behind his tosses…Has a good pocket presence, sensing when his protection is breaking down to step up and show patience while targeting his secondary receivers…Makes good decisions reading defenses, showing good touch to deliver a catchable ball…Has good huddle presence with cool demeanor in the pocket…Shows movement rolling out, working quickly to open throwing lanes…Hits receivers in stride, showing a good feel for routes…Sees on the move with the ability to adjust and has consistency throwing in tight spots…Knows how to look off and spot the secondary receiver…Won't beat you scrambling, but has enough elusiveness to escape…Even though he has fine athletic ability, it is his field presence and winning mentality that makes him stand out above most…Great character off the field (mother has multiple sclerosis and he travels home as much as he can to take care of her, no questions asked), the type you'd want your daughter to marry.
Negatives: Has a tendency to throw into coverage…Makes receivers work for the ball on deep routes as his passes tend to float in this area…Gets a little jumpy at times in the pocket, but can connect throwing on the move…Tends to stare down receivers a bit, but will make good decisions…Better in the short to intermediate game, as his long ball just seems to die…Throws flat-footed at times and other times, he does revert to a ¾ release, but not often.
The all-time winningest quarterback in school history (24 victories), his "never say die" attitude elevated his teammates to another level…Having taken over the starting job midway through his freshman year, Kurt became the school's career-record holder with 70 touchdown passes, topping the previous mark of 55 by Jack Trudeau (1981-85)…Gained 8722 yards on 682 of 1264 passes (54.0%)…Only Trudeau (797) completed more passes in school annals and his 1264 attempts broke Trudeau's Illin record of 1245…His 8722 yards passing was three shy of the school's all-time record of 8725 set by Trudeau…His 8880 yards in total offense broke Trudeau's old Illinois career-record of 8640.
REMINDS YOU OF… Brian Griese, Denver Broncos. Like Griese, he knows how to rally his troops, but like Griese, he does tend to spend too much time eyeing his primary targets. He is not the most physically gifted of the crop and tends to underthrow when going long.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… The Illini have developed decent college quarter- backs in their time, but much like Jeff George and Tony Eason, you have to wonder if this kid will ever pan out at the next level. While some teams still have him targeted in the first three rounds, poor postseason efforts could see him slip into the second day.
Second Day Possibilities
Positives: Big, athletic and well-proportioned…Gets back in the pocket and sets up quickly…Shows excellent foot agility in his drops…Throws the deep ball with touch and accuracy…Has an easy arm action and a quick delivery…Very poised in the pocket, sliding away from pressure to buy time for his receivers down field…Can drop the ball over the top of defenders on flare routes…Shows good touch on screens, putting power behind his tosses on slants and hitches…Spots his secondary targets when his primary one is covered…Shows the ability to throw with ease on the move…Senses pressure and maintains focus…Runs very well for a quarterback, showing a smooth change of direction.
Negatives: Not a take-charge type, lacking true leadership qualities…Carries the ball too low, which could lead to costly fumbles and slow down his delivery…Makes receivers work for the ball too much on long tosses, as he tends to put too much air behind the ball, letting it hang…Needs to work on setting his feet and stepping into his throws better… Makes questionable decisions, throwing the ball into traffic to risk an interception…Does not always square his shoulders properly when running.
Versatile athlete who has performed on special teams and tight end, in addition to inside linebacker and quarterback…Injuries set back his progress a bit as a senior, but his pure athletic skills are evident when he steps on to the football field…Started fifteen games during his career, completing 188 of 369 passes (50.9%) for 2973 yards, 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
REMINDS YOU OF… Boomer Esiason, ex-Bengal/Jet. Like Esiason, he has all of the athletic intangibles, but his leadership ability is highly suspect. He's one of the more impressive looking quarterbacks you will find, but he's a high risk passer with not much of a winning background to get excited over.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… His athletic skills are what will get him drafted, having played tight end and linebacker during his career. Yet, he's a very inconsistent thrower who is too impatient waiting for his secondary targets. His mechanics certainly need refinement, as he rarely steps into his throws. A capable backup, a possibly stop-gap, but definitely not a long-term answer for any team.
Positives: Has thick muscle development…Shows good zip getting rid of the ball…Has the upper body strength to put power behind his long ball…Throws with touch and makes proper reads and field decisions…Won't get rattled under pressure and will throw the ball away rather than force it into traffic…Has a good feel for pressure, moving around fluidly in the short area…Lets the play develop, standing tall in the pocket until he can hit his targets…Locates his secondary targets with ease…Has the strength to throw off balance.
Negatives: Has had weight problems, getting up to 260 pounds at one point…Not as nimble as one would like in a passer, as he appears to labor when flushed out of the pocket…Not a vocal field leader, but does command respect…More effective in the short area game, as his passes tend to sail high and off target when attempting to go long…His release is quick, but he holds the ball too low and tends to revert to a sidearm delivery… Fails to set his feet when there's time and shows limited escapability…Lack of long ball accuracy could be attributed to poor foot mechanics.
REMINDS YOU OF… Chris Redman, Baltimore Ravens. Strictly a pocket passer who makes good decisions, but his lack of mobility and poor set-up point will pose problems.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… Needs to keep his weight in check in order to be effective. He needs to get a better feel for his teammates' abilities, as he tends to try to carry the offense too often. He loses accuracy throwing when flushed out of the pocket and spends too much time "dining" his primary targets. Correctable? Perhaps, but there is little upside here. What you see is what you get.
Positives: Smart athlete who quickly grasps the playbook…Has good work habits, applying himself in the classroom and weight room…Sets up quickly and shows good touch and accuracy in the underneath passing game…Shows good elusiveness moving around the pocket…Has the scrambling ability to stay away from the defensive pressure.
Negatives: Very arrogant player who needs to take account when things go wrong (blames teammates for the mistakes)…Can read defenses, but tends to get "tunnel vision" and has to do a better job of spotting his secondary outlets…Does not transfer his weight properly on his feet, which causes his passes to lose accuracy…Very erratic passer when forced to throw on the move…Lacks the poise needed to control his emotions under durress…Seems to have developed "happy feet" in the pocket due to the large amount of times he's been hit…Ball protection on the move needs to be addressed, as he tends to cough up the ball…Not very efficient in spotting his receivers during their routes.
Southpaw thrower who took over the starting reigns as a freshman…Holds the school's career-records with 596 completions of 1156 passes for 7981 yards (that figure ranks ninth in Southeastern Conference annals)…Started the last 34 games…His 41 touchdown passes tied the school all-time record first set by Whit Taylor (1979-82).
REMINDS YOU OF… Alex Van Pelt, Buffalo Bills. His touch and accuracy are evident, but he tends to panic under pressure too much to be a steady starter. Yet, he has enough ability to fill in as an emergency.
GAZING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL… Late rounder whose work habits and intelligence could come in handy as a backup, but his lack of poise will prevent him from ever being a starter.
Others To Watch Out For
Positives: Lean and rangy with an athletic build…Very light on his feet, showing great downfield vision…Makes all of his throws with touch and has the arm strength to consistently air the ball out…Knows where to throw and when to run when flushed out of the pocket…Stands tall under pressure, keeping his focus when scrambling…Natural leader who controls the huddle…Throws a nice, easy pass that his receivers do not have to work for and knows how to change pace behind his tosses…Very accurate downfield, airing the ball out with power and accuracy, especially when working the sidelines…Will step up and elude the rush while maintaining focus and spotting his secondary targets… Despite his size, he is a quick scrambler who will pull up and hit his target consistently when on the roll.
Negatives: Needs to develop better ball security, as he keeps the ball too far away from his body on the move, resulting in costly fumbles…Needs to refine his release, as he drops the ball below his hips with a big circular motion…Has a sloppy sidearm delivery and while he shows patience, he tends to throw the ball into traffic…Better throwing on the move, as he will make receivers jump for the ball on post and screen patterns.
Called by the coaching staff the best passer the school has ever had, lofty praises considering that first rounder Ken O'Brien (Jets) and Kevin Daft shattered most of the school records during their eras…Completed 574 of 917 passes (62.6%) for 9115 yards, 78 touchdowns and 35 interceptions in his three years as a starter.
Positives: High percentage passer who is very poised facing the pass rush…Scans the field quickly to find his secondary receivers…Has strong legs & great balance when forced out of the pocket…Shows superb roll-&-throw skills and accuracy on his intermediate and short tosses…Delivers swing passes to his backs nicely…Patient waiting for his receivers to get open & shows the ability to run with the ball when forced out of the pocket…Fluid dropping back and poses a threat to run with his elusiveness.
Negatives: Struggles to maintain that accuracy throwing long, as the ball seems to hang…Lacks the arm strength to get the ball upfield in an instant…His lack of height poses problems scanning the field with larger defenders in the way…Has good timing and a quick release, but does not show zip behind his throws.
Late bloomer with only fifteen career starts under his belt…Emerged when coach Gary Crowton joined the program in 2001…Had only completed 52 of 96 passes for 812 yards prior to his final season, but was a weekly highlight film as a senior…Finished his career with 4354 yards, 35 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions on 313 of 504 attempts (62.1%).
Positives: Two-sport athlete (football, basketball) with compact hamstrings and good overall muscle development…Durable player who absorbs punishment well…Shows quick footwork dropping and setting up in the pocket…Has a quick release and the arm strength to throw deep…Take-charge character who works hard on the field…Has the scrambling ability to escape the pocket pressure and throw on the run.
Negatives: Forces a lot of his passes into traffic rather than tucking and running with the ball…Fails to sense pressure in the pocket and appears more comfortable throwing on the run…Has marginal accuracy, often overthrowing in both the long and short areas…Even though he is a physical runner, he lacks that sudden burst with the ball…Shows poor judgement and needs to do a better job of spotting his secondary targets…Lacks the soft touch on his passes and receivers have to extend too much to get to the deep throws… Seems zoned in on his primary target too much and displays poor timing unleashing the long bombs.
Two-way standout who also performed as the starting point guard on the school's 2000-2001 basketball team…Four-year gridiron starter who shared signal-calling duties with Darian Durrant in his final season…Holds the school's career-records with 4987 yards passing and 6236 yards in total offense…Also established team career-records for quarterbacks with 1249 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing…Finished his career with 345 completions of 695 passes (49.6%) with 28 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.
Positives: Shows good balance, setting up quickly when getting to his launch point…Has a very loose, effortless release…Displays proper throwing mechanics, gaining a tight spiral on his tosses…Has a very accurate short touch and throws the ball long with accuracy and precision…Shows a good feel for pressure stepping out of the pocket and the scrambling ability to tuck and run with the ball…Effective at timing his passes to the receiver, anticipating when to launch over the defenders into his receiver's outstretched arms…Makes proper reads and shows patience looking for his alternate receivers… Stands tall in the pocket and is always in position with his footwork to gain balance behind his throws…Comfortable under center, but also is very effective working out of the shotgun…Will throw the ball away rather than force it into traffic or get sacked…Has good body mechanics and a sharp ¾ over-the-top release…Added over 20 pounds of muscle prior to his senior season to better handle the punishment he received behind a suspect offensive line…As tough as they come, often hiding injuries from trainers to prevent him from losing playing time.
Negatives: Had leadership problems earlier in his career…Minor off-field problem resulted in a game suspension as a senior…Has the strength to get the ball upfield, but shows marginal velocity on the out routes…Calm under pressure, but does hear the "thunder" from the oncoming pass rusher and will tend to run rather than wait to get a secondary receiver open, at times…Not especially effective throwing to backside undercoverage, resulting in costly interceptions…Lack of blocking upfront has resulted in a fair amount of punishment received over the years…Needs to show better consistency in his decision-making process, but has been a victim of a lot of dropped passes by his receivers.
Moved into the starting lineup as a freshman, setting the school's career passing and total offense records by his junior campaign…Gained 11,145 yards in total offense with 10,901 aerial yards…Also holds the school career-records with 763 completions of 1374 passes… His 73 touchdown passes are topped only by Eric Beaver (78, 1983-86) in Wolf Pack annals.