The current draft experts claim that, if the Broncos draft a QB, they should draft some gunslinger like Osweiler or Lindley, primarily because they can "make all the throws" and have rocket arms. The fact that neither QB had much experience playing the position in college nor produced a lot of wins (i.e., Osweiler) doesn't seem to bother these people. Why? Because they fit the "prototype" for an NFL quarterback. Big, tall, strong, etc. For some reason their accuracy (Lindley, career 55.5% completion rate ) and ability to win games (Osweiler at 7-8) isn't held against them.
Perhaps all those prognosticators are correct. But I'd like to remind people that measurables and the ability to throw the ball hard are vastly overrated. Ryan Leaf had great measurables, and so did Todd Marinovich. However, I think that there's a better than 50-50 chance that picking Osweiler or Lindley would be a waste of a pick. In my view the most important aspects of a successful NFL QB is his intelligence, ability to read defenses, make quick decisions and accuracy.
Tom Brady is one of the best QBs in the NFL since he became a starter for the NE Patriots. He's been to five super bowls and won three, including one in his second year (and first year as a starter) when he engineered an under 2 minute 4th quarter drive to defeat The St Louis Rams and Kurt Warner (the so-called "Greatest Show on Turf). Yet when he was being evaluated for the 2000 NFL draft here is what one scouting report had to say about him:
Tom Brady Positives: Good height to see the field. Very poised and composed. Smart and alert. Can read coverages. Good accuracy and touch. Produces in big spots and in big games. Has some Brian Griese in him and is a gamer. Generally plays within himself. Team leader.
Negatives: Poor build. Very skinny and narrow. Ended the ’99 season weighing 195 pounds and still looks like a rail at 211. Looks a little frail and lacks great physical stature and strength. Can get pushed down more easily than you’d like. Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush. Lacks a really strong arm. Can’t drive the ball down the field and does not throw a really tight spiral. System-type player who can get exposed if he must ad-lib and do things on his own.
Summary: Is not what you’re looking for in terms of physical stature, strength, arm strength and mobility, but he has the intangibles and production and showed great Griese-like improvement as a senior. Could make it in the right system but will not be for everyone.
I've watched Brady numerous times over the last decade (my daughter is a Pats fan and Brady Fan girl, so I've seen a lot of Patriots' games, missing them only when they conflicted with Broncos' games). I've seen him disprove just about every negative listed by that scouting report. Yeah, he's skinny, but somehow he's managed to last, missing only the one year when his knee was cut by a KC defense lineman in the first game. He throws hard enough, but more importantly he is incredibly accurate. He dissects defenses like a surgeon. Perhaps only Peyton Manning is a better field general, and Manning doesn't have the strongest arm in the league either. Meanwhile, hard throwers abound (Janarcus Russell anyone?) who have washed out of the league because they couldn't read defenses properly or because they simply were too inaccurate. Suffice it to say that the scouting report on Brady was an epic fail.
Here's the QBs drafted ahead of Brady in 2000:
- Chad Pennington, Marshall - Drafted by the New York Jets in Round 1, Pick 18.
- Giovanni Carmazzi, Hofstra - Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in Round 3, Pick 65.
- Chris Redman, Louisville - Drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in Round 3, Pick 75.
- Tee Martin, Tennessee - Drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Round 5, Pick 163.
- Marc Bulger, West Virginia - Drafted by the New Orleans Saints in Round 6, Pick 168.
- Spergon Wynn, SW Texas State - Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in Round 6, Pick 183.
All of them are except Chris Redmond (a career backup) are now out of the league and of the six only Chad Pennington and Marc Bulger had even moderately successful careers until injuries caught up with them. Yet they were all considered better prospects by the teams drafting QBs that year than Brady.
Now let's look at a QB eligible for this draft who I believe is vastly underrated, Kellen Moore. He had a winning record of 50 and 3 over his career at Boise State, losing two of those games only when last minute drives he engineered failed because of missed FGs. His career completion percentage was 69.8 % and he threw for over 14,600 yards and 142 TDs. Every BCS team he faced he beat. A coach's son, I watched his appearance on Jon Gruden's QB Camp show and came away impressed with his knowledge of a very complex offensive system (one Gruden mentioned was more complex than any he had ever seen) and his ability to both anticipate his receivers and deliver passes accurately to them in full stride in game situations. Yet he is currently being dismissed as a legitimate QB prospect by most of the scouting reports that have been published, such as this one:
- Four-year starter with more wins than any quarterback in NCAA history
- Very smart with the football - averaged seven interceptions per year in his NCAA career (only three in 2009)
- Extremely accurate with short-area throws - completed at least 71.4 percent of his throws the last two years
- Excellent intangibles - intelligent, hard worker, well-respected, confident, son of a coach
- Uncanny awareness in the pocket
- Quality ball placement and anticipation
- Plays with heart and can will his team to wins
- Good vision when surveying the field
- Small build (6-foot, 197 pounds)
- Severely lacks arm strength - deep passes come up short, out routes are late and look like lob shots
- Poor footwork
- Very little experience coming from under center
- Lacks athleticism
- Physical tools do not translate to the pro game
Expected draft placement
Moore's diminutive size and feeble physical skill set will land him in the last day of the draft. He could be an early fourth-round selection, if all goes well, but that is a very optimistic notion. In all likelihood, he will be no better than a career backup.
Read more: http://www.kffl.com/a.php/130227/160#ixzz1t9uUXj5B
Moore shares many of the same positives as Brady: intelligent, winner, accurate thrower and "great intangibles." And like Brady he gets dinged for being too "frail," not having a strong arm, and lacking athleticism. He also gets knocked for being too short. Yet somehow he always found a way to win, including victories against Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and Georgia, among others. As for his height he measured at 6 feet, taller than Russell Wilson and the identical height as -- Drew Brees. He doesn't have Wilson's straight line 40 speed, but he was faster than Brady, and played in more games than Wilson did. Moore completed 74.3% of his passes last year and ran a far more complex offense that required him throw the ball often before his receivers came out of their breaks, something Wilson wasn't required to do.
Now Wilson did have a completion percentage of 72.8% his senior year at Wisconsin, but prior to that at NC State in his first three seasons he completed for 54.5%, 59.3%, and 58.4% respectively for a career figure of 61.25%. The fact that he threw for such a high percentage his senior year compared to his previous seasons suggests that he simply had a better team around him, including star running back Montee Ball who scored 39 TDs, and ran for nearly 2000 yards. Ball was also a good receiver catching 24 passes for 306 yds and six of his 39 TDs. Boise's star runner, Doug Martin on the other hand ran for only 1300 yds, and scored 18 total TDs. Obviously Russell Wilson benefited greatly by having a weapon like Ball far more than Kellen Moore benefited from the presence of Martin. Wilson also took advantage of that always tremendous Wisconsin offensive line. Moore's line while scrappy had far fewer future NFL players on it.
Don't get me wrong. I think Wilson is a good prospect. But if I had to draft a QB in the 2nd or later rounds I would take Moore every time. In fact I'd take him over Tannehill, Weeden, Osweiler and Lindley too. I hope the Broncos take Moore. He's smart, knows how to run an offense and is extremely accurate as a passer. Plus from what I've seen on tape he throws more than hard enough to succeed in the NFL. Whoever does take him is going to be pleasantly surprised with the quality of leadership and ability he brings to the QB position. Just like the Patriots were with Brady in 2000 when they got the steal of that draft in the 6th round.