Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Assessing the Big 12's NFL QBs
By ESPN.com staff
Colleague Trent Dilfer took his turn ranking and evaluating the NFL draft's top quarterbacks, and posted his thoughts this week. You'll need ESPN Insider to see them all, but here's what he had to say about three quarterbacks who played their careers in the Big 12:
On Baylor's Robert Griffin III:
I love that he is comfortable in his own skin -- it'll help him immediately resonate with every part of the locker room. NFL offenses will be able to expand splash play potential immediately because of his physical skills and he'll be able to evolve quickly because of his cognitive skills. His floor isn't a basement because he's so talented. He'll be able to get the most out of situations with both his arm, and his legs.
On Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill:
Challenges: RG3's biggest challenge will be his learning curve in progression passing. The way Baylor's offense worked, he did none of it in college. Lower body mechanics are also something he needs to work on, but the Shanahans actually coach this as well as anybody.
The worry is that a high draft placement pushes him in too soon. He needs the Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers treatment. Although he has limited college starts, he still has very good feel for the nuance of the position. His mechanics and pocket instincts have been trained very well, allowing him to be incredibly efficient for such limited experience. He has a unique trait in that he syncs his lower body, core and arm together. This gives him a suddenness that will allow him to make plays in clutter that other can't.
On Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden:
Weeden will be 29 years old as a rookie, which many believe is a pretty significant negative. I disagree. His age (and accrued wisdom) has given him great perspective in life and as a player. Nothing is too big for Weeden and although old in age, he has plenty of time to be a good NFL QB. Think about it: who thinks of their QB on a 10-year plan? If he starts well, he can easily be solid for 7-8 years. As a player, he made huge improvements from junior to senior year, which tells me he still has tremendous room for growth. I have witnessed first-hand his growth from fundamental standpoint, as well as his thirst to learn more about defenses and offensive tactics. The offense he ran at Oklahoma State has many NFL passing concepts and he routinely made NFL throws in big moments of games.