Monday, February 25, 2013
Collin Klein sticking to NFL QB route
By David Ubben
Collin Klein's throwing motion, as anyone who has seen it can attest, is unorthodox. He can't escape those criticisms in the draft process, most notably when the Senior Bowl came and went without an invitation to the biggest pre-combine showcase for scouts. He's not packing a cannon on his shoulder, either, but his arm was good enough to win a Big 12 title.
And, Klein says, good enough to earn him a career in the NFL, too.
Entering the combine, there was plenty of talk about whether or not Klein would work out or be open to being used as a tight end or a receiver, but he worked exclusively with the passers at the Indianapolis event and struck a defiant tone to folks doubting his future as an NFL quarterback.
"I know I have the tools to do that. I know I bring a lot to a team at that position. That’s what I want to do. I’m going to pursue every door that I possibly can to play quarterback. Until every one of those is closed, I’m not really considering anything else," Klein told the Kansas City Star. "We’re going to make something happen."
Well then. I've followed Klein closely the past two seasons and his response surprises me a little bit. I respect the passion and drive to do what he wants to do and play where he wants to play, but I would have expected more of a "I'll do whatever it takes" approach from Klein, who spent 2009 playing receiver for the Wildcats as a redshirt freshman.
He told the Star that wasn't a true position change. He'd work with quarterbacks before moving to receiver or tight end briefly, depending on what was needed.
Klein was a great college player and an even better man, but I generally agree with the skepticism around Klein as an NFL quarterback. I'm sure he'll get a chance in camp with someone, but seeing him get a call as a draft pick at quarterback seems like a battle he's very unlikely to win. His arm strength leaves a lot to be desired, and his accuracy leaves even more. His legs won't be a threat at the next level, and his size will be less effective against NFL linebackers at quarterback.
He's a big athlete with a lot of toughness, and he could perhaps find a future in the league, but hard as it is to say, Klein would be well-served by showing off a little more flexibility moving forward in the draft process.