The Chicago Bears have made it abundantly clear that they will select a quarterback at some point in this month's NFL Draft, and general manager Jerry Angelo has said all along that he's targeted four prospects at the position.
However, one of the names apparently on that list, Colt Brennan of Hawaii, is really generating a lot of negative feedback from fans of the Midway Monsters as they look to the last weekend in April. Although he put up Tecmo Bowl-like statistics in three seasons as the starter for the Warriors and is college football's all-time leader in career touchdown passes, Brennan is regarded by many as nothing more than the product of a QB-friendly system while playing against inferior competition. Despite the pinpoint accuracy on his passes, despite his killer instinct when the game is on the line, and despite the thin line he toes between confidence and cockiness – three qualities everybody wants in a field general.
Nevertheless, the Bears spent a lot of time with Brennan in Mobile at the Senior Bowl this past January, and it appears their interest in him has only gotten stronger as the draft draws near.
"I definitely talked to somebody from Chicago," Brennan told Scout.com's Senior NFL Draft Analyst, Chris Steuber, Tuesday at Hawaii's Pro Day, "and that's a place that is a great opportunity for any quarterback. I would love to go to Chicago more than anything. That would be awesome."
QB Colt Brennan
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Brennan injured his hip during Senior Bowl preparations, and he just recently opted for surgery that could keep him out of action for two to three months – a gamble on his part just three weeks before the draft. He was obviously limited during the Senior Bowl game and hurt his stock with a poor performance, but he put on an impressive display at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and looked to be rising back up draft boards. The surgical procedure will likely send his status tumbling once again, but since the Bears are set with Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton under center for 2008, should they roll the dice with Brennan late and see if he can develop?
According to Brennan, teams didn't run for the hills after learning he was about to go under the knife, especially since he still threw the ball very well and showed excellent mobility at his Pro Day even with the bum hip affecting him to some degree.
"When I talked to coaches and scouts that approached me after my workout," he said, "I didn't get the feeling like, 'Wow, that's too bad.' I didn't sense that. I got the sense they understood why I was doing it, and I just reassured them with my performance that I can move and throw fine with the injury and that it isn't a big deal. I just want to fix this so that I'm 100 percent."
The Bears are a team with needs up and down the roster, especially on the offensive side of the ball. A quarterback of the future would be nice, but there are immediate holes to fill at running back, wide receiver, and along the O-line. Taking a higher-regarded QB prospect like Joe Flacco of Delaware in Round 2 – one way or another, he'll only be holding a clipboard as a rookie – means missing out on a ball-carrier like Tulane's Matt Forte or a pass-catcher like Louisville's Donnie Avery, two players Chicago scouts have highlighted thus far who could contribute right away.
Brennan understands why so many people doubt him, but he's answered every question with poise and knows he'll soon have his chance to prove to everyone – both experts and non-experts alike – how wrong they are.
"It seems like everyone looks at me negatively first," he admitted, "and that's all right. I just try to turn those negatives into a positive. All I need is one team to believe in me on draft day."
Could that team turn out to be the Bears? We'll just have to wait and see.
John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.