Monday, May 12, 2014
Could Cornell QB make Falcons?
By Vaughn McClure
The Atlanta Falcons haven't officially put out their list of signed undrafted free agents, but plenty of names of signed players circulated immediately after the draft.
One of those names is Cornell quarterback Jeff Mathews, a player the school's website dedicated a page to in order to send him off on his NFL journey.
The 6-foot-4, 229-Mathews completed 901 of 1,447 passes for 11,284 yards and 72 touchdowns with 42 interceptions in 38 games at Cornell. He was the 2011 Ivy League Player of the Year and the most prolific passer in Ivy League history.
The Falcons decided not to draft a quarterback this season behind Matt Ryan, but Mathews essentially was their late-round pick. Backup Dominique Davis and Sean Renfree, last year's seventh-round pick from Duke, are the quarterbacks currently on the roster. Renfree was on injured reserve last season with a shoulder injury.
General manager Thomas Dimitroff talked Saturday about not drafting a quarterback this year, although it was evident he already had Mathews in mind.
"Obviously we drafted last year, which was important for us," Dimitroff said. "We like were our quarterback situation is as far as the developmental side. We'll always look at that. I don't necessarily buy into the philosophy that you have to take a quarterback every draft. I think it's from year to year and from situation to situation. ...We will have to add one quarterback to our group to come in and be there for camp."
Mathews is known for his strong, accurate arm but doesn't have much athleticism. Footwork also is an issue he has to overcome, according to scouting reports. He'll have the chance to show off his skills when the Falcons begin their rookie minicamp Friday.
It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Falcons add a veteran quarterback at some point.