Meet John Skelton

Although John Skelton was a relative unknown when selected by Arizona in Round 5, his notoriety had been quietly picking up steam. Skelton boasts ideal size and arm strength but the main question remains the level of competition he faced in college. Skelton enters an opportune spot as the Cardinals are still seeking a long-term answer at quarterback. Learn more about Skelton inside.

Small-school prospects at the quarterback position were once a rare breed in the NFL. However, recent success stories have increased the confidence of teams to search for the coveted diamond in the rough. The Arizona Cardinals are hoping QB John Skelton will be the next small-school prospect to emerge from the shadows as the team is still in need of a long-term solution under center.

Skelton was a four-year starter at Fordham where he set nearly every major passing record during his career. Skelton proved to be extremely productive, throwing for at least 2,600 yards in each of his final three seasons. In total, Skelton accumulated 9,928 yards passing, 69 touchdowns and just 36 interceptions. Furthermore, Skelton displayed sufficient accuracy completing nearly 60 percent of his passes.

Along with the consistency Skelton demonstrated throughout his collegiate career, he also exhibited the ability to dominate games. During his senior season, Skelton surpassed 300 yards passing in eight of 11 games including four 400-plus yard outings. Following his final campaign with the Rams, Skelton was named a first-team All-Patriot League selection and secured numerous All-American honors.

John Skelton

Although Skelton's level of competition is lacking, his measurables alone left prospective teams salivating. Skelton (6-foot-5, 243 pounds) has prototypical size for an NFL quarterback and his arm strength is arguably greater than any other signal caller in this year's draft class. Skelton's ability to make all of the necessary throws in the professional ranks was enough for the Cardinals to trade up and secure his services.

The rise of Skelton's popularity started prior to the Combine but that popularity ran wild after a tremendous all-around performance in Indianapolis. Skelton was a top performer in four different categories including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump. His 40-yard dash time of 4.85 seconds turned the heads of several NFL scouts and executives, particularly due to Skelton's impressive stature of 240-plus pounds.

Skelton has tremendous upside but there are several areas of his game that need improved. Skelton's footwork will likely be the initial focal point for the Arizona coaching staff as will his ability to read opposing defenses. The Cardinals future at the quarterback position is still uncertain but Skelton has the luxury of learning while backing up incumbent starter Matt Leinart and second-stringer Derek Anderson.

If Skelton is able to shake the tendency of locking onto receivers while deciphering NFL defenses, his skill-set could be set to blossom. Although Skelton's learning curve will be longer than more seasoned prospects, Arizona will expect big things from him in the years to come. The Cardinals traded former starting CB Bryant McFadden back to the Pittsburgh Steelers in order to move up and draft Skelton.

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