Posted on: April 20, 2011 5:13 pm
The buzz throughout the NFL right now is that as many as seven quarterbacks could be selected in the first two rounds.
As I've previously pointed out, the order with which those quarterbacks might go is pehaps the most interesting part of potential run on quarterbacks. There is a huge disparity among teams as to the order in which these quarterbacks will be selected.
Take Nevada's Colin Kaepernick , for example.
I've spoken with a variety of clubs who believe that Kaepernick is a second or third round talent, at best. They told me they have Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett and Christian Ponder all rated ahead of Kaepernick.
However, other sources appear to be exceptionally high on the strong-armed Nevada passer, including, according to league sources, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars appear to be particularly good fit for Kaepernick, as they have a veteran passer already in place to give him a year or more to "redshirt." The Jaguars feature David Garrard as their starter and also have veteran Luke McCown in the fold. The Jaguars have not drafted a quarterback since using their first round pick on Byron Leftwich in 2003.
The Titans, on the other hand, could be in a more desperate situation. Vince Young is almost certainly gone. Veteran Kerry Collins is an unrestricted free agent who may retire. Chris Simms is also an unrestricted free agent, leaving last year's sixth round pick, Rusty Smith, as the only passer currently on the roster.
Sources tell me each club is "very high" on Kaepernick, suggesting that either one of the two teams could use their first or second round pick on the Nevada quarterback. I'd be stunned to see Kaepernick go to Tennessee at No. 8, but Jacksonville has surprised us before in the first round and either team could do worse than to take a gamble on the athletic, strong-armed passer in the second round.
As it stands now, neither Chad Reuter nor I have Kaepernick in our current two-round mock drafts . That, however, might change.
Posted on: August 23, 2009 1:48 pm
Prior to Mark Sanchez's stunning Pro-Day performance, Kansas State junior Josh Freeman was viewed by many scouts as a better, safer prospect. Blessed with rare size and a strong arm, Freeman had earned comparisons throughout his career to other big-bodied, big-armed quarterbacks like Daunte Culpepper, Byron Leftwich and JaMarcus Russell. Freeman showed off that big arm and flashed some athleticism when visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday night.
Freeman was the team's starting quarterback out of half-time, playing the majority of the 3rd quarter against the Jaguars second and third team defense. He finished 3 of 5 for 47 yards and led Tampa to a touchdown in his initial drive. The touchdown, which came with Tampa leading 17-14, came via Freeman's legs. Taking the snap and making his progressions, Freeman sensed backside pressure. He stepped up and slid left out of pocket and recognized that the Jaguars' defense had flooded right, opening up an avenue. Freeman only showed average speed and balance when rumbling for the 28 yard score, but read the defense and his blocks accurately on the play.
Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay #5
Developing footwork from under center. Gains good depth, but still appears a bit unsure of his steps. Threw at least one pass without his feet set. Struggled, at times, with high throws downfield and to the flat as a result. Best passes came on timing routes. Hit undrafted free agent Mario Urrutia on his two most impressive passes of the night -- a deep out and a quick slant -- placing the ball accurately and swiftly on each. Good zip for the intermediate areas. Seemed meek in the huddle, but flashed good poise in the pocket, consistently stepping up as he felt it collapsing. Developing comfort and coaches' trust to audible. Went to check down options and seemed relatively comfortable reading the defense for his experience.
Posted on: April 12, 2009 8:14 pm
The first round of the draft might be getting a little clearer with the news of two interesting free agent signings Sunday.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed veteran inside linebacker Zach Thomas to a one year deal Sunday. While it is only a one year deal, the move signals to me that it is all the more unlikely the Chiefs will be drafting Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry -- at least not if they plan to play him on the inside.
Of course, I've been arguing for weeks that Curry's best fit remains outside in the 4-3 anyway...
On the other front, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran quarterback Byron Leftwich Sunday. Leftwich, who reportedly signed a two year deal, gives the Bucs four quarterbacks: Luke McCown, Brian Griese, Josh Johnson and Leftwich.
Again, the addition of an aging Leftwich will not necessarily keep the Bucs from drafting a quarterback in the first round, if, say, Kansas State's Josh Freeman, were to be available.
However, if the draft unfolds like I anticipate; with both Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez being long gone by the end of the top ten, don't be surprised if Freeman isn't taken soon afterward. Tampa head coach Raheem Morris, who was on the Kansas State staff and knows Freeman as well as any coach in the NFL, may have wanted to reunite with the young star, but in signing Leftwich, he likely is waiving the proverbial white flag in acknowledgement that there is no way Freeman will remain on the board when the Bucs pick at 19.