Tracking the Draft Prospects: Quarterback

mascho

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Time to replace that JAG who the Pats send out under center each Sunday.
 
Heh.
 
Joking aside, I'm including this position in our series for two reasons:  One, I like taking about QB play, and two, I'm gonna convince someone out there that if he's available in the fourth or fifth round, AJ McCarron makes sense.
 

Super Nomario

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Mallett's also in the last year of his contract, so taking a flyer on a QB (especially in the fourth round or later) makes quite a bit of sense.
 
EDIT: we should probably have a RB one, too. Currently Brandon Bolden is the only RB under contract for 2015.
 

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mascho said:
Time to replace that JAG who the Pats send out under center each Sunday.
 
Heh.
 
Joking aside, I'm including this position in our series for two reasons:  One, I like taking about QB play, and two, I'm gonna convince someone out there that if he's available in the fourth or fifth round, AJ McCarron makes sense.
Keep in mind we kept 4 quarterbacks the year Brady was a rookie.  We haven't kept more than 2 in some time (too lazy to do actual research).  But my point is this, Brady was seen as someone worth developing, a very green college senior in terms of physical maturity.  They invested time in him and it worked.  He's not a physical freak by any means, but he's not the scrawny kid who got photo'd at the combine either.
 
I just don't see it with McCarron.  He's been a serviceable guy for a team that doesn't rely on the pass and who throws a bunch of screens. If we waste a draft pick on him and carry him as a third QB (only way to take that chance), we're wasting a roster spot on a guy I never want to see take a snap in a real game. 
 
Find me someone else, lets talk about another guy.
 

mascho

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I'll work on the McCarron non-believers later.  For now, a dark horse QB:  Jeff Mathews, Cornell.
 
Yale game clips from last year:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA_jPt0WBWc
 
Looking for more film on him.  Mathews also had a solid week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game.  Didn't put up huge numbers in the game, and everyone was raving about Eastern Illinois's Jimmy Garoppolo.  But Mathews is worth a look.  
 

jsinger121

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PaulinMyrBch said:
Keep in mind we kept 4 quarterbacks the year Brady was a rookie.  We haven't kept more than 2 in some time (too lazy to do actual research).  But my point is this, Brady was seen as someone worth developing, a very green college senior in terms of physical maturity.  They invested time in him and it worked.  He's not a physical freak by any means, but he's not the scrawny kid who got photo'd at the combine either.
 
I just don't see it with McCarron.  He's been a serviceable guy for a team that doesn't rely on the pass and who throws a bunch of screens. If we waste a draft pick on him and carry him as a third QB (only way to take that chance), we're wasting a roster spot on a guy I never want to see take a snap in a real game. 
 
Find me someone else, lets talk about another guy.
 
Sounds like another guy I know when he came out in 2000 from Michigan. He was pretty serviceable too and won for Michigan. I think he turned out pretty good in the NFL. What's his name again?
 

Super Nomario

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jsinger121 said:
 
Sounds like another guy I know when he came out in 2000 from Michigan. He was pretty serviceable too and won for Michigan. I think he turned out pretty good in the NFL. What's his name again?
If every guy that met this description turned out to be Tom Brady, there would be like 50 Tom Bradys in the NFL.
 

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mascho said:
For now, a dark horse QB:  Jeff Mathews, Cornell.
 
Yale game clips from last year:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA_jPt0WBWc
 
Looking for more film on him.  Mathews also had a solid week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game.  Didn't put up huge numbers in the game...
Yeah, well, it's only Yale. 
 
I've heard plenty about Matthews' rep, but in the two games I saw him play against Harvard the last couple of years he didn't show much except for garbage time.  I mean, it's all impossible to tell with the modest level of his teammates (much less competition) but he didn't hardly dominate the Ivies like Fitzy did a few years back.
 
Edit:  Again, I have read that he has lit it up at all the QB camps.  But doesn't his release look kind of low?
 

mascho

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The release point is a little low at times, but he changes arm angles to avoid pressure.  The release is also pretty good IMO (some think it is average at best but I think it is better than that).  That throw he makes at about the 3:00 mark, the corner route to the back of the end zone?  That's a high quality throw.  
 

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I'm probably going to get shit for this and I doubt i need to post his credentials but what about Tajh Boyd? 23 years old, and from what I saw he has loads of talent he just needs to work on his instincts. A couple years under Brady could be huge for this kid. I saw that the Raiders are eyeing him. That would probably ruin his career...
 

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mascho said:
The release point is a little low at times, but he changes arm angles to avoid pressure.  The release is also pretty good IMO (some think it is average at best but I think it is better than that).  That throw he makes at about the 3:00 mark, the corner route to the back of the end zone?  That's a high quality throw.  
 
I was just thinking this when watching his highlights - doesn't get his elbow up and seems to almost throw from 3/4.
 

mascho

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Eck'sSneakyCheese said:
I'm probably going to get shit for this and I doubt i need to post his credentials but what about Tajh Boyd? 23 years old, and from what I saw he has loads of talent he just needs to work on his instincts. A couple years under Brady could be huge for this kid. I saw that the Raiders are eyeing him. That would probably ruin his career...
 
Won't get shit from me.  I like Boyd and think he might be a good developmental target.  Only knock on him is his height.  Listed at 6' 1".  Doesn't fit well for what the Patriots do now, but that could change.
 

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With BB placing such a high value on ball security, I cant imagine Boyd being anywhere on his radar. He has an arm and can certainly run, but his propensity to make boneheaded mistakes seems quite high. Im not sure playing at a level that is faster will allow him to improve, even with good coaching.

I know BB does like to find marginal matchup differences and exploit them, but I am not sure I see BB getting away from the more traditional pocket passer type QB either. IIRC, he called the wildcat / pistol stuff gimmicky.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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McBride11 said:
With BB placing such a high value on ball security, I cant imagine Boyd being anywhere on his radar. He has an arm and can certainly run, but his propensity to make boneheaded mistakes seems quite high. Im not sure playing at a level that is faster will allow him to improve, even with good coaching.

I know BB does like to find marginal matchup differences and exploit them, but I am not sure I see BB getting away from the more traditional pocket passer type QB either. IIRC, he called the wildcat / pistol stuff gimmicky.
 
I don't think guys that can throw in the pocket AND extend plays with their mobility is gimmicky. It seems to be the way that the position is headed. I agree that his decision making right now is sub par but he seems like a smart kid and if he's willing to learn, BB and Brady could help him develop into something special.
 

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I've got Clemson season tickets. Love Boyd as a Tiger, but I'm ready to see him go. Throws what we in Death Valley affectionately refer to as the "Colorblind INT", which means once a game he puts it in the belly of a safety or LB.  Even though he has won a few big games the last couple of years, I've seen him wilt on the same stage enough to hope he's the QB of division rival.
 

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Bryn Renner from UNC strikes me as one of the most undervalued players in the draft. He's a pocket passer from a pro style(ish) offense with a live arm. I know Mayock really liked him and considered him a first round prospect coming into the year. He ended up hurting his shoulder this year and he just kind of got lost in the shuffle as a result. His 40 isn't going to impress anyone, but he throws a nice ball. Definitely a guy I'd like to see the Pats grab later in the draft.
 

mascho

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Watching Garoppolo, Derek Carr and David Fales work out in practice, and it illustrates just how tough it is to evaluate a college QB and translate/predict NFL success.  The Jags' QB coach is working on their alignment and "cheat step," basically working on how they line up under center and drop their left foot back to ease the escape from the center, and "cheat step" towards the center with their right foot at the snap to avoid a fumble.  A lot of these QBs run primarily shotgun-based offenses and have to "re-learn" lining up under center, traditional dropbacks, executing play-fakes when starting under center, etc.  
 

axx

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PaulinMyrBch said:
If we waste a draft pick on him and carry him as a third QB (only way to take that chance), we're wasting a roster spot on a guy I never want to see take a snap in a real game.
I'm pretty much there with Mallett. It's time for somebody else. The Pats just have to figure out who they like the most out of the second tier guys.
 

rodderick

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Okay, I don't know shit about quarterback mechanics, fundamentals, or any of that, and I also don't follow college football, so take my opinion with a tablespoon of salt. That being said, I've watched game videos of a bunch of this draft's quarterbacks, and I have to say the one guy who stood out to me as "wow, I could totally see this kid running the Pats offense" was Mettenberger. 
 

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mascho said:
Weigh-in day for the QBs.
 
@AdamSchefter[background=#f5f8fa]: [/background]
MANZIEL[background=#f5f8fa] – 5’11 and ¾, 207 with 9 7/8 hands. BRIDGEWATER – 6’2 1/8, 214 with 9 ¼ hands. BORTLES – 6’5, 232 with 9 3/8 hands[/background]

The headline number there is probably Manziel being under six feet but my guess is that at least some NFL front offices are going to be more concerned by Bridgewater and Bortles having relatively small hands.
 

DJnVa

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From an article on Manziel:
 


A man in demand these days, Manziel says he's turned to three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady for advice during the pre-draft process.
 
"For him to reach back out to me after I sent a text message to him was extremely cool," Manziel said of their communication. "[It was] kind of a really funny conversation at first, [then we] worked our way into a more serious conversation."
 
http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2014/story/_/id/10496614/johnny-manziel-speaks-nfl-scouting-combine
 

DJnVa

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While Polian did say this, he said he's actually a second round talent that some team will trade up for because no other QB slipped.
 

mpx42

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Jerry Angelo
7 minutes ago


The trade I’d love to see happen is with Nick Foles. I’d like the Eagles to shop him to any of the teams with a top 4 pick and also get a second-round pick next year. Heck, if they wanted him, I’d throw in Matt Barkley too. You can have a manager hold the clipboard. 
If you’re the Eagles, you have to be thinking this: Not since Norm Van Brocklin (if you don’t know who he is, just ask Sal Pal) has a player played the position with as much swagger as Johnny Football. 

You got the most exciting coach in all of college football to be your head coach, now you match him up with the most exciting quarterback in college football to run the most exciting offense in football, the one you brought Chip Kelly in to run. 

Can you imagine having defenses trying to defend Johnny Manziel and LeSean McCoy in the same backfield? While having wide receiver DeSean Jackson and a healthy Jeremy Maclin on the outside? No Mas! 

Kelly did a great job of adjusting his offense to fit around Foles. But let’s be honest, watching Foles perform must have him yawning when he puts the flip card over his mouth to call in plays. 

Kelly loves to tell people how resilient they are, and they’ll play anybody, anywhere and any time. I think it’s great mantra. Now you have a guy in Manziel that lets you smile when you say it. 

There is nothing wrong with having a run and gun, fun offense that will be as unpredictable as Manziel and Kelly or Kelly and Manziel (will let them work that one out). You can call it ‘stars and stripes,’ because of the fireworks that are going to go off after every score. 

Rarely do stars align. Make this happen Philly! You’ll have the rest of the league signing Hotel California.
 
Exhibit 1.0: Why Jerry Angelo is a former GM.
 

mascho

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I thought this was a great write-up on McCarron, better than I ever could have done.
 


Could McCarron be pushed up to the top of the second round or even into the late first given the demand at the position? That’s possible, as quarterbacks tend to rise up the board.However, I see the quarterback carrying an early third-round grade at this point of the draft process. McCarron should fall into that second tier of prospects at the position (Jimmy Garoppolo, Zach Mettenberger, etc.). And if he can develop within the right scheme, McCarron has the ability to transition into a starter at the NFL level.
 

mascho

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Per McShay and Jaws, he disappointed with some of his throws. Shit the bed would be overstating it but now he has stuff to clean up.
 

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Mayock -- workout average at best: did not drive the ball; was not accurate. Don't want to kill the kill the kid; J. Russell had best workout I have ever seen. But still a red flag.

Mayock had him ranked as 1 QB. Will see Bortles and Manziel and then revisit all rankings.
 

mascho

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Not making a Brady comparison, just using a picture of AJ incase people didn't want to click on the link.  Couldn't find a photo of him shopped into a Pats jersey so I used that.  Image changed.  
 

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Mascho can I offer you the same bet re: AJ that I offered Baka on Garo? $50 to the JF he never makes a pro bowl.
 

SMU_Sox

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It's absolutely nothing personal either i just don't think he'll ever amount to anything. And this isn't because I lost some money on their bowl game this year in which he looked terrible. Just curious if you saw him against OU.
 

mascho

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SMU_Sox said:
It's absolutely nothing personal either i just don't think he'll ever amount to anything. And this isn't because I lost some money on their bowl game this year in which he looked terrible. Just curious if you saw him against OU.
 
Never thought it was anything personal.
 
I'm by no means an Alabama fan but I've watched way, way more Alabama football than I'd care to admit.  I DVR'd their past two spring games and studied A.J. in each.  I've watched probably 75% of his snaps while in college, including the OU bowl game.
 
One of the more impressive things I've seen from him is in a game, he threw a pretty bad pick.  Was livid on the sidelines, and when he got the ball back executed a perfect two-minute drill and got Alabama in position for a FG right before the half.  Immediately drove that INT out of his mind.  
 
The knock on him is that he is a "game-manager."  I hate that term, but fine.  Apply it to A.J.  Don't most QBs start that way when they get to the next level and begin starting games?  Offenses are simplified for them, they are given fewer reads, tasked to do less and less, and allowed to rely on the rest of the offense and the running game.  Do I think A.J. can step into, say, Cleveland and start winning games on Day One?  No.  But what I like about the Patriots and A.J. as a potential marriage is that he will be allowed to come, learn a system, learn from one of the great ones, and continue to grow like he did while in college.
 
I have spoken often of A.J.'s performance in the game this year against Auburn.  Saban put that game on A.J.'s shoulders and he delivered.  If it were not for one freak play we're likely sitting here debating whether A.J. is the greatest college QB of all time after winning a third National Championship.  Saban trusted A.J. his senior year in ways he never did.  He had shed the f'ing "game manager" slur and became the QB Saban trusted to sling it when all the chips were on the table.  
 
http://www.cbssports.com/video/player/embed?args=pcid%3D77176387825%26tc%3D21%26resizable%3Dtrue%26autoplay%3Dtrue
 
I honestly thought he won the Heisman at that moment.  And that was just one of countless throws he made late in that game.  
 
As far as the Oklahoma game, he was 19 of 30 for a career high 387, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.  Not that QB rating is the "be all and end all," but his QB rating for that game was 180.4.  
 
And for the notion earlier that he "throws a lot of screens." This is an article from February of last year that is worth a read.  Again, it doesn't have his Senior Year stats incorporated (I'm looking for an updated chart), but A.J.'s pass attempts either behind or within 4 yards of the LOS are right there with everyone else.  But look at his completion rate down the field.  
 
And look at that completion rate down the field again.
 
I know I'm not going to convince people on this, and that's fine.  It's been a while since I bought into a QB like this, and I may very well be wrong.  If and when I am, I'll deserve all the shit I get.  But I'll put my opinions out there now and not shy away from them.
 
Oh, and that game I was talking about earlier? When A.J. threw a pick, was livid, and responded?  That was an Alabama spring game.  
 
That's the kind of QB I want.   
 

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Manziel is coming to Foxboro... for a visit. 
 
@jeffphowe Johnny Manziel is in Foxboro and set to visit the Patriots, per source. First reported by @RapSheet.
@AlbertBreer It's interesting, b/c in addition to Manziel, the Patriots visited with Blake Bortles while checking out UCF prospects in Orlando last week.
@cpriceNFL  4m Just an aside on that Manziel note--#Patriots play 4 of top 10 teams in this year's draft. They could face him in '14. #advancescouting
 

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SeoulSoxFan said:
 
Manziel is coming to Foxboro... for a visit. 
 
@jeffphowe Johnny Manziel is in Foxboro and set to visit the Patriots, per source. First reported by @RapSheet.
@AlbertBreer It's interesting, b/c in addition to Manziel, the Patriots visited with Blake Bortles while checking out UCF prospects in Orlando last week.
@cpriceNFL  4m Just an aside on that Manziel note--#Patriots play 4 of top 10 teams in this year's draft. They could face him in '14. #advancescouting
 
I wonder if all of these visits by player who will no doubt be gone by the time we pick (not just today's news), is a sign that the pats may want to trade up?
 

mpx42

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It's advance scouting. Christopher Price gets it exactly right. They always like to work out the quarterback prospects, especially in Mallett's last season. I hope to God they don't trade up for a quarterback.
 

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It's just advance scouting as Chris Price says.  There's obviously no way they draft a QB in the first round and they do play a lot of teams that might have either Bortles or Manziel.  They'll get to see how he makes his throws, what his mind is like in the classroom, and an overall feel of how he might pan out.  
 
Also, they could be doing this just in case either of those guys fall in the draft and a team like, say, Houston(providing they draft Clowney #1) to trade back into the 1st round.
 

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Just downloaded and started reading Waldman's RSP ... he is not a McCarron fan. He rates him like borderline draftable in every category. He likes Brynn Renner (UNC) and David Fales (SJSU). He hates Garoppolo. If you want to know why ... buy the freaking thing already!
 
To whit on McCarron, Waldman grades every QB in a number of categories on a scale from Star -> Starter -> Committee -> Reserve -> Free Agent -> Deficient. McCarron is Committee, Reserve, or Free Agent in every category except Durability.
 

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mpx42 said:
It's advance scouting. Christopher Price gets it exactly right. They always like to work out the quarterback prospects, especially in Mallett's last season. I hope to God they don't trade up for a quarterback.
 
 
RedOctober3829 said:
It's just advance scouting as Chris Price says.  There's obviously no way they draft a QB in the first round and they do play a lot of teams that might have either Bortles or Manziel.  They'll get to see how he makes his throws, what his mind is like in the classroom, and an overall feel of how he might pan out.  
 
Also, they could be doing this just in case either of those guys fall in the draft and a team like, say, Houston(providing they draft Clowney #1) to trade back into the 1st round.
Isn't this like the 5th or 6th prospect (not just QB's) that they have had visit (starting at the combine) that have no chance of falling to us though?
 

DJnVa

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RedOctober3829 said:
It's just advance scouting as Chris Price says.  There's obviously no way they draft a QB in the first round and they do play a lot of teams that might have either Bortles or Manziel.  They'll get to see how he makes his throws, what his mind is like in the classroom, and an overall feel of how he might pan out.  
 
Also, they could be doing this just in case either of those guys fall in the draft and a team like, say, Houston(providing they draft Clowney #1) to trade back into the 1st round.
 
NFL Network was taking this a bit more seriously, discussing the Pats actually having interest in him, whether as a trade-possibility or because he plummets in the draft.
 

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soxhop411 said:
 
Isn't this like the 5th or 6th prospect (not just QB's) that they have had visit (starting at the combine) that have no chance of falling to us though?
They do this every year. Last year they met with Ziggy Ansah, Tavon Austin, and Dion Jordan, among others. Nothing to see here.
 

DJnVa

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RedOctober3829 said:
Don't forget: they could also use this visit to further their understanding of the spread offense and also to gather further evidence on his teammate Mike Evans.
 
I mean, I guess, but I'm sure BB knows more about the spread in general than Manziel, unless he wants the nuances of the A&M offense.