brian-hoyer1Rookie mini-camps will be the final shot for a host of undrafted Quarterbacks who were passed over at the weekend’s draft, NFL teams filling camp lineups with invitees.

Among the bigger names to be added to this category are Brian Hoyer (Michigan State – pictured) who I believe has a real shot at a roster spot in New England, especially if Julian Edelman ends up on the practice squad early. John Parker Wilson graduated with most of the Alabama passing records, but was passed over surprisingly at the weekend, the Atlanta Falcons offering him a chance, and a realistic shot at a #3 depth position. Rudy Carpenter never lived up to his potential in the Arizona State lineup, but Dallas will work him out, whilst the man who led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the national title game only to lose his spot to a freshman – Todd Boeckman – will spend rookie mini-camp with the Bengals. Patrick Cowan was injured and never solidified his spot as the UCLA QB will head to the Crescent City of New Orleans and rounding out the notables, Hunter Cantwell of Louisville will hope to continue his aspirations in Carolina. Clemson’s Cullen Harper will try-out with Buffalo at their upcoming mini-camp, whilst the New York  Jets will give Arkansas’ Casey Dick a chance to salvage something at their camp.

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marvejgSteven Threet will make his second transfer official this week, leaving behind Michigan and the spread offense that didn’t fit his skill set, for an Arizona State program that should suit him nicely. Threet started his career at Georgia Tech and switched to his home-state Wolverines. Threet claims upon Lloyd Carr’s departure that he considered leaving then, only to give UM one more chance. After starting 8 games, Threet decided it was time to move on.

Also on the move is former Miami QB Robert Marve (pictured). Marve was a coveted recruit out of Tampa Plant HS, but didn’t really settle in with the Hurricanes. The latest odds have him heading to the Big Ten with Purdue. Both Marve and Threet will sit out 2009 regardless.

henneHe’s not even the starter yet, but the Miami Dolphins QB of the future – Chad Henne – should not feel his job is in jeopardy from Pat White. White is the gimmick QB the Dolphins are set to unleash in Wildcat fashion. No matter what spin the management or fans put on it, Henne is the future. Read here for some bulletin-board inspiration.

In 12 Months Time…

April 28, 2009

Mississippi Alabama FootballWho will be the quarterbacks we are discussing on draft day?

We have to assume that Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy will be the two big names we are debating for top billing, and rightly so if their 2008 form is replicated this year. If he continues with his promise and decides to declare, consider Jevan Snead of Ole Miss, the one time Texas Longhorn, to be in the mix for a first round grade. What about TIm Tebow? No doubt we’ll be hearing his name often. But will he be considered as a legit QB or a hybrid/athlete type? Penn State’s Daryll Clark figures to be an NFL-draftee along with Central Michigan’s Dan Le Fevour.  Alot can change between now and then. After all, this time last year we were all annointing Cullen Harper (undrafted) and Curtis Painter (6th Round) as the pro prospects to look for.

chase_danielMissouri’s Chase Daniel (Washington), Sean Glennon of Virgina Tech (Minnesota), Utah’s Sugar Bowl MVP Bryan Johnson (Green Bay) are among the undrafted quarterbacks to already be snapped up by NFL teams keen to look for a diamond in the rough at rookie camps over coming weeks.

Alabama’s John Parker Wilson, Michigan State’s Brian Hoyer, Clemson’s Cullen Harper, Louisville’s Hunter Cantwell and Chase Holbrook of new Mexico State should also have an opportunity to pursue an NFL opportunity. But limited spots mean limited shots and there is no doubt that college heroes can be NFL zeros.

grahamharrellAfter college standout Graham Harrell went undrafted over the weekend, his former coach at Texas Tech Mike Leach spoke out on his behalf, suggesting NFL evaluators do a lousy job….read more

Harrell has accepted an opportunity to earn a free agent contract with the Cleveland Browns and will attendrookie mini-camp.

john-beck-miami-dolphinsAs a draftee of the very short-lived Cam Cameron administration in Miami, John Beck had a tough life in the NFL. His short on-field experience was disastrous. His coach and drafter was booted, the new administration brought in their players. There was no room for John Beck. After spending 2008 as the 3rd stringer, the Dolphins added Pat White from West Virginia in the draft to take his spot. He is sure to get a look in a training camp somewhere and I think he will be relieved to move on. This is definitely a clear warning to draftees about how quickly your fortune can change.

ncf_w_edelman_195There aren’t many Tom Brady’s or Matt Cassel’s waiting to be uncovered in the late rounds of the draft, so in the majority, teams are looking for development prospects and particularly some depth at the position. You want a starter, you have to draft them early.

Denver, Seattle and Indianapolis look like the teams that have added players that could develop into legitimate contenders for #2 roles and potentially into serviceable starters.  Tom Brandstater (Fresno State) goes into quite a favourable situation in the Mile High City following the departure of Jay Cutler. With Chris Simms and Kyle Orton in a battle for the starting spot,  there is no clear cut #1. Brandstater has the tools and a coach with a history of developing late round picks so could be a factor in years to come.  Seattle added Rutgers passer Mike Teel, who after a slow start to his senior year, recaptured the form of his junior season and put up excellent numbers. With Hasselbeck the clear starter and Seneca Wallace not proving up to the job last year and likely to spend more time back at WR, Teel has a legit shot at starting the season as the primary backup. Indianapolis haven’t carried a top-flight backup to Peyton Manning in recent times, relying on Jim Sorgi for the limited mop-up duties offered by a regularly-fit Manning. In-state product Curtis Painter (Purdue) was considered the best senior quarterback entering the 2008 season. But as the season progressed, Painter was unable to replicate his previous year’s form, Boilermakers Coach Joe Tiller even benching him at one point. Despite this, Painter has a notable skill set and intellect to work in the scheme and could push Sorgi for the clipboard this year.

Highly-talented Rhett Bomar (Sam Houston State via Oklahoma) won’t be the main man in New York any time soon with Eli Manning at the helm, but he is an intriguing proposition and a good 5th round choice for the Giants.  The Rams, needing to develop some talent behind Marc Bulger went with a relatively unknown pick – West Texas A & M’s Keith Null in Round 6. The Patriots are the most astute talent-evaluators in the league, so they had a clear picture in mind in bringing in Julian Edelman of Kent State (pictured). It seems Edelman may be asked to use his athleticism in a Wildcats type role rather than a traditional QB, but never underestimate the hoodie and his knack for finding players.

No dice for John Parker Wilson of Alabama, Brain Hoyer of Michigan State or Graham Harrell of Texas Tech. Look for these players to be snapped up quickly in the post-draft free agent signings.

Niners Give Davis a Shot

April 26, 2009

natedavisEarly in his junior season, Nate Davis was considered a potential first-round pick. Ball State was off to an unbeaten start and their QB had the scouts’ toungues wagging.  Then at some point late in the year, particularly during post-season evaluations, it all came crumbling down.  Davis’ play suffered during late season losses, particularly during a miserable wet GMAC Bowl loss to Tulsa. Davis’ pro prospects have been waterlogged since. After throwing with a glove on throughout his collegiate career, Davis shed his glove for combine and pro-day workouts. The results weren’t great. News of a learning impairment raised a huge red flag to teams who were concerned about his ability to pick up a complicated pro offense. Some teams took him off their draft boards, but thankfullly for Davis, San Francisco didn’t. The 49ers used their fifth round selection on the talented passer who now has a chance to make an NFL roster. The Niners depth chart has no clear cut starter andthe was rumoured to be looking for help at quarterback, which makes this an interesting selection.  Perhaps one of the more NFL-ready QB prospects might have been a better fit if San Francisco were seriously trying to add competition. Either way, Nate Davis breathed a huge sigh of relief when his phone rang today.

mcgee2Dallas is the first team to look at a developmental prospect on Day 2, selecting Texas A & M QB Stephen McGee at the top of the fourth round. McGee didn’t have the season that would typically attract the scouts, but has a strong overall package that makes him an appealing choice at the right price. With Romo and Kitna to take the prime focus, McGee can spend time learning the craft and potentially have an opportunity down the road. McGee would have benefited from time under the tutelage of Mike Sherman this past season, and his NFL contacts surely helped his stock. Don’t be surprise to see this start a few QBs moving.