Backup Plan: Chargers Meet with QB at Combine

With only one draft pick in the first four rounds, the Chargers are shopping veterans to recoup some draft-day booty. One veteran on the block is QB Charlie Whitehurst and the Bolts are scouting his potential replacement. San Diego scouts met with one quarterback at the Combine who could come onboard as a late-round pick or undrafted free agent.

Sam Keller of Nebraska was tapped for a meeting with the Chargers in Indy. While Keller is nursing a shoulder injury, the Chargers still see a promising and accurate arm that is ready to be guided.

After being demoted from his starting role in 2006, Keller transferred from Arizona State to the Huskers for his senior year. Even though his injury caused him to miss his last three games with the Huskers, he still passed for 2,422 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Keller's 6'3", 228-pound frame points to the prototypical size for an NFL quarterback. He has the pedigree, as well, that is sure to get noticed. Both his father and his uncle played at Michigan and his dad was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.

Keller has enough mobility and body control to throw the ball on the run and reset to throw an accurate pass on the scramble. He can put air under his throws and pack a smooth, mean package in a quick and steady offense.

Keller is a development player and the Bolts see his capacity to sharpen his footwork and increase his arm strength. While he placed seventh among his position at the Combine in the 20-yard shuttle (4.35), his 4.9-second 40-yard dash time proves he athletic enough to handle the position.

Keller shows impressive athleticism and field awareness. His striking football intelligence and tough skin make him a desirable and quality back-up who could fit perfectly into the Bolts scheme.

While Keller isn't expected to be picked until the sixth round at the earliest, the Chargers see him as pure refuge. While Charlie Whitehurst currently holds the No. 3 slot on the roster behind Philip Rivers and Billy Volek, the Bolts eye Whitehurst as a viable trading chip in their efforts to recover draft picks.

Whitehurst would be a dynamite addition to the Baltimore Ravens, Miami Dolphins or the Chicago Bears. While these teams all have starting quarterbacks, they all also have a dire need for a reliable and experienced backup.

The Chargers see Keller as a secure quarterback who will around in the later rounds, and his athleticism and football intelligence force the Bolts to consider this option heavily as he could be molded into desirable presence on the depth chart.


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