STRENGTHS: Tall, strong frame and looks the part. Good downfield vision with his stature. Strong arm to plant and fire, possessing rocket arm strength and plus velocity to deliver frozen ropes. Makes throws to the opposite hash look easy and trusts his arm. Balanced with good weight distribution in his release. Stands tall in the pocket and stares down the gun barrel. Keeps his eyes elevated and downfield to deliver in the face of pressure. Quicker eyes and timing to work through his progressions and make the best read. Improved patience to check down instead of forcing it. Very good anticipation and chemistry with his targets. Not afraid to throw it away if necessary. Boosted confidence in 2013 and came through in pressure situations where he faltered in 2012. Good placement to give his targets a chance and can take some off his fastball when needed. Not the most mobile, but not a statue. Not afraid to tuck and pick up chunks of yards with his legs. Gutsy competitor and coachable. Works hard to hone his craft. Improved production as a senior and showed better command of the position.
WEAKNESSES: Has some mobility, but also heavy-footed with lethargic movements and a sluggish set-up. Room to improve his pre-snap recognition and needs to better identify pressures to quicken his physical delivery and mental process. Needs to better feel blitz and show better awareness of his surroundings. Improved decision-making and confidence, but will still make some poor decisions and stare down reads. Bad habit of predetermining throws and needs to continue to develop his diverse reads. Some base issues, getting too wide or not always properly resetting once the pocket collapses. Accuracy drops when forced from his spot. Still learning touch and when to use his change-up or drive it. Benefited from a strong offensive line and above average targets at receiver. Quiet demeanor and needs to continue and develop his vocal leadership and command of the huddle. Durability concerns after suffering a torn ACL (left knee) in Dec. 2013, which could keep him from working out for teams prior to the NFL Draft. Strong off-field character concerns after a March 2010 arrest for sexual battery and alcohol consumption ? also has a history of recreational drug use and overall immaturity, but has grown and stayed clean the past two seasons at LSU.
A top high school recruit, Mettenberger decided to stay in-state at Georgia (also where his mother works), but his stay in Athens was short lived after his March 2010 arrest. He was dismissed from the program in April after lying about the incident to Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt and given every chance to reconcile. After spending the 2011 season at Butler (Kan.) Community College, he enrolled at LSU in 2011 and became the starter the past two seasons, showing steady improvements in the Tigers? pro-style offense with each game. Mettenberger is a traditional drop-back passer with a lot of under center snaps and impressive NFL throws ? elite arm strength to drive it with ease. He isn?t a bad athlete, but his naturally slow feet are a concern, appearing clunky when trying to escape pressure and struggling to reset and deliver. Mettenberger has steadily shown an improved feel for the position with more reps and his confidence was boosted by success, but it also plummeted with mistakes. He has the NFL size and arm strength and has flashed the improved decision-making and anticipation to be a potential starter in the NFL. He is still developing and has the psyche that needs to be massaged some. The ACL injury and maturity concerns are red flags and potentially damaging to his draft stock, but his natural traits grade him as a solid day two draft pick.
12/11/2013 - 2013 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC HONORABLE MENTION: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU, 6-5, 235, Sr,...Mettenberger leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in passing efficiency at 171.4, and he also led the conference in passing yards per completion at 16.1. He ranks third in the league in passing yards with 3,082, becoming the third quarterback in LSU history to cross the 3,000-yard plateau in a season, joining Rohan Davey and JaMarcus Russell. Mettenberger finished the season 192-of-296 passing for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. - LSU football