Keith Wenning had a senior season to remember at Ball State. He finished the year with the majority of Ball State's passing records, and was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
He began his season with a bang. Ball State opened the year against Illinois State. Wenning opened the season by coming out firing, with 340 yards and three touchdown passes. In addition, he added two more touchdowns on the ground, as the Cardinals routed Illinois State 51-28.
Wenning's high-profile game came against the undefeated Huskies of Northern Illinois. It was a game that pitted Ball State against Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Lynch. While his team did not win, Wenning played well and kept his team in the game most of the way. It was a tie game going into the fourth quarter, before Northern Illinois scored 21 unanswered points.
Despite the loss, Wenning put up respectable numbers, completing 71 percent of his passes and throwing for 324 yards against a defense that boasts a top draft prospect in safety Jimmie Ward. The loss ended an 11-game conference winning streak for Ball State. The disappointment was evident throughout the team, because it felt as if it could compete better with the Huskies.
"We just couldn't keep the drives going," coach Pete Lembo said. "We'd move the ball, have long drives and get on their side of the field, and then the drives would just kind of stall. I think that was the (difference) from the first half to the second half."
Wenning and the team showed their resilience in their next game against Miami of Ohio. Wenning would light up the scoreboard on his senior day. He threw for 445 yards and six touchdowns while completing 81 percent of his passes.
As Packer Report reported, Wenning had a pre-draft visit with the Packers this week and could be a good target for the Packers late on Day 3 of the draft. He has above-average arm strength and his ball placement is good on a majority of the throws within the offense.
With Green Bay employing a majority of West Coast concepts under coach Mike McCarthy, perhaps the biggest thing working in Wenning's favor for the Packers is his timing. His timing at the East-West Shrine Game was noted as top notch by NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler.
After the Shrine Game, Wenning received an invitation to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. Unlike top prospects like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Wenning did throw at the Combine.
Wenning elected to throw because he is a competitive player.
"Why not? Everybody's going to be watching on this one stage, so why not?'' Wenning replied. "I'm just going to do everything I can. I'm confident what I can do. Just comparing with the best here, I feel like I'm able to make all the throws. I'm able to do what I need to do to be successful to show 32 decision-makers at the next level what I'm capable of doing.
"I'm not going to hold anything back."
Wenning's offseason performance, combined with his record-setting collegiate career, has him slated to be selected in the sixth or seventh round. However, it would not be surprising to see him vault into the fifth round, depending on how he fits a particular team's scheme or if there is a run on quarterbacks, as there always seems to be in the draft.
If the Packers were to select Wenning, they would be getting a quarterback with a skill-set ready to improve, and a competitive nature that was on full display throughout the offseason.