Beyond Round 1: QB Joe Flacco

Every day this week, we will look past Round 1 of the upcoming NFL Draft and focus on some other prospects. The Chicago Bears could still go after a quarterback even if they re-sign Rex Grossman, so could a small-school signal-caller like Delaware's Joe Flacco be the next QB of the future?

QB Joe Flacco (6-6, 230) – Delaware

Strengths: Has prototypical size and a big frame that allows him to carry some bulk. A tremendous arm and can make all the throws at the next level. Still delivers the ball quickly despite his size, and he's shown both accuracy and touch. Has a reputation as a smart kid with a quality work ethic. Displayed good leadership and enjoyed a terrific senior year.

Weaknesses: Only runs about a 4.9 40-yard dash and is not very mobile in the pocket. Throwing mechanics and footwork still need a lot of work. Tends to force throws because of overconfidence in his arm. Not the most instinctual player in the heat of battle. Has not played in a pro-style offense and competed against questionable competition.

Projection: Second or third round.

QB Joe Flacco
Pamela Kay Schmalenberger/AP Images

Highlights: A 63.3 percent passer with a TD-to-INT ratio of 41-15 during his career. Completed 331 of 521 passes for 4,263 yards in 15 games as a senior. Topped 300 yards through the air seven times and 400 yards twice. Threw for a career-high 434 yards on 30-of-41 passing in a 59-52 win over Navy. Lost to Appalachian State 49-21 in the Division I-AA national championship game, but he did throw for 334 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Named the ECAC Player of the Year. Nominated for the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in FCS football. Second-team preseason All-American by Lindy's. Ranked the No. 10 quarterback in FCS by The Sports Network. Began his career at Pittsburgh and was a backup to Tyler Palko, now with the New Orleans Saints.

JC's Take: Flacco's name appears to be creeping up a lot of draft boards these days, and Adam Caplan,'s Senior NFL Reporter, feels that he could be a good fit in Ron Turner's system. While the Bears have already been dealing with a signal-caller who isn't very mobile in the pocket and tends to trust his arm too much (read: Rex Grossman), at least Flacco has the size to see over his offensive line and won't have passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. Based on the fact that Kyle Orton won two of his three starts to close out the 2007 season, it makes little sense to bring back Brian Griese as the No. 2 man on the depth chart. Therefore, whether or not Grossman returns, the Bears will once again be on the lookout for that proverbial quarterback of the future in April. I don't see GM Jerry Angelo spending another first-rounder on the position because there are more glaring needs right now, but a guy like Flacco could be quite intriguing with one of his two selections in Round 3.

John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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