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Friday, April 18, 2014
Could Tom Savage fit with the Texans?

By Tania Ganguli

His name has emerged in a few places lately.

Even back to last month, Tom Savage, the Pittsburgh quarterback by way of Rutgers and Arizona, was right in the mix of those players Houston Texans coach Bill O'Brien mentioned, when he said he didn't see a huge separation between the "top three" and the rest of the field. O'Brien attended Savage's pro day.

Yesterday during a conference call, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah had this to say about Savage:

"The thing about him, I watched him early in the season, and the arm strength is easy to notice. He's got a big arm. You see him make some drive throws you don't see these other guys make, really driving deep comebacks, driving skinny posts, plenty of velocity and accuracy there."

Jeremiah had some questions about Savage's mobility, but said having watched him later in the season, Savage seemed less immobile than he had previously.

"Where he could land?" Jeremiah said. "I think he's got a very real shot of landing in the top of the second round, and those teams picking up high in the first round, if they elect to pass on quarterbacks and take some of these premier position players, which I think they'll probably a lot of them will have higher rated. Then I think there being the quarterback market in the top of the second round, you look at Houston, he kind of fits what Bill O'Brien wants to do. Jacksonville, we talked about Gus Bradley coming from Seattle where they had a mobile quarterback, but the GM Dave Caldwell has spent time with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and Matt Ryan in Atlanta, so a pure pocket passer could be an option for them, as well."

Mobility hasn't seemed to be at the top of O'Brien's quarterback wish list, though neither has arm strength. He'll take accuracy over both, and several of Savage's draft evaluations note that he's struggled with consistency in that department. Savage is smart, though, as a lot of these guys are, and has experience in a pro-style offense.

Here's what ESPN.com's NFL draft experts said about Savage:
Polished mechanics and throws with quality balance. Good rhythm and tempo with timing throws. Above-average accuracy and touch working the short-to-intermediate part of the field. Throws a catchable ball and with quality placement. Deep ball accuracy is the most glaring concern in this area. Still learning to gauge proper touch and projection. However, he has the arm strength to develop in this area.

This wouldn't be the first overall pick, but the Texans could wait until the second round for their quarterback, and the level of interest in Savage lately might indicate early second round could be an option.