Scouting the 2005 QB: Finding the next Tom Brady

NFL teams will be looking to increase the depth charts with quality backups after the past years of dwindling talent in free agency and past drafts. Many NFL coaches feel the backup must have much of the same qualities as starters.

As more starting quarterbacks find themselves on injury reports and some teams will lose QBs to free agency in March, NFL scouts will be looking for the next Tom Brady. Backup QBs will be an emphasis in this year¹s NFL draft.

Full Name: Matt Leinart   School:  USC
Ht: 6-4  Wt: 220  40: 4.81

The Good:   Athletic passer with a live arm,  and the ability to throw all the passes. Sets up with solid footwork, shows excellent vision in the pocket and quickly finds the open wide out on the field. Patient, looks off the safety and takes the safe underneath route if nothing is available down the field. Displays excellent timing, senses the rush and stands in the pocket taking a hit in order to get the pass off. Challenges the vertical game, yet rarely makes mistakes or throws poor passes. Very accurate, hits targets on the mark and receivers rarely break stride to make the reception. Poised under pressure, knows where receivers are on the field and quickly gets the ball out of his hand.  

The Bad:   Not a mobile quarterback that eludes the rush. Gathers and takes a while to get the pass released when rolling outside the pocket. Has a tendency to stare down the primary target.  

The Skinny:   After seamlessly taking over for Heisman Trophy winner and former number one pick Carson Palmer, Leinart has not missed a beat and possesses outstanding potential for the next level. Could be used in a variety of systems as he combines both athletic skills and mental intangibles to lead a franchise at the next level. Must physically mature and is a quarterback prospect best served sitting on the sidelines for a season yet a signal caller a franchise can build a team around for the next decade.

Full Name: Aaron Rodgers   School:  California
Ht: 6-1.5  Wt: 200  40: 4.75

The Good:   Fleet footed passer who makes positive plays in the pocket or on the move. Quickly sets up with solid footwork, moves around in order to find the open receiver and has an explosive release. Displays good zip on intermediate throws and leads targets with passes. Very accurate and smartly places the ball for pass catchers. Sells the ball fakes, displays the ability to elude the rush and gets rid of the ball rather then taking a sack. Shows tremendous field awareness, patience and buys as much time as possible for receivers. Slips the rush and gets outside the pocket. Goes through receiver progressions, does not rush as the pocket collapses and shows great field vision. Fleet footed and makes plays running the ball.

The Bad:   Winds-up which slows the delivery of passes. Gathers himself releasing the pass off a three-step drop. Must be more precise with the outs as the ball is late or off the mark. Seemingly has difficulty seeing over the line at times.

The Skinny:   Yet another terrific prospect being delivered by quarterback guru Jeff Tedford, Rogers looks to have the makings of an outstanding NFL-passer. Should be a perfect fit for a west coast offense, yet will also excel in other types of systems. And while he must improve his arm strength, the mental understanding of the position will help Rogers go a long way at the next level.

Full Name: Andrew Walter   School:  Arizona State
Ht: 6-5.5  Wt: 236  40: 4.91 

The Good:   Big pocket passer with excellent physical skills and the arm strength to match. Sets up to throw with solid footwork, patient and buys time for receivers. Calm as the pocket collapses around him, gets rid of the ball with a flick of his wrist and possesses a quick release. Scans the field, goes through receiver progressions and strong enough to withstand the rush. Gets the ball away with defenders draped on him. Zips the ball between defenders, leads receivers over the middle and easily drives passes down the field.

The Bad:   Changes the point of release and throws with a three quarter delivery. Has a low trajectory for a tall quarterback and occasionally whips the ball from the side. Not an elusive passer that can escape the rush. Makes questionable throws at times and occasionally puts the ball up for grabs. Has been a streaky passer and lacks precise accuracy.

The Skinny:   In the midst of a terrific senior campaign, Walter possesses the physical skills to be a starting quarterback at the next level. May finally be pulling all the pieces together and is capable of leading a team. Does have a downside but when hitting on all cylinders, another passer you can build a franchise around.

Full Name: David Greene   School:  Georgia
Ht: 6-3  Wt: 230  40: 4.93

The Good:   Productive four-year passer with an outstanding feel for the position. Sells the ball fakes, shows terrific field vision in the pocket and displays excellent timing on throws. Patient, senses pressure and always on the same page as receivers. Throws a catchable ball and does not make receivers work hard for the reception. Very accurate between the numbers, leads targets over the middle and accurately places throws. Stays with the action and does not panic if things break down. Displays zip on intermediate throws and passes with a fluid delivery.

The Bad:   Not elusive and cannot avoid the rush. Possesses marginal skills getting outside the pocket to make the pass on the move. Does not drive the deep throw or posses a big arm.  

The Skinny:   A tremendously productive collegiate passer, Green offers a lot of skills that will help him at the next level. His sense of timing, anticipation and accuracy in the short passing game makes him perfectly suited for a running offense that likes to control the ball on the ground.

Full Name: Dan Orlovsky   School:  Connecticut
Ht: 6-4.5  Wt: 230  40: 4.89

The Good:   Big strong pocket passer who possesses both the arm strength and intelligence to play at the next level. Sets up with good footwork, stands strong in the pocket and sees the field. Patient, immediately finds the open receiver on blitzes or goes through progressions, getting the ball to secondary targets if nothings available down the field. Can move outside the pocket and make the pass. Accurately places the deep outs. Does an excellent job with his reads and rarely makes poor choices. Tough and stands in the pocket until the last second. Accurate and places the ball where only his receivers can make the reception. Displays excellent timing, zips the ball over the middle or puts the air under corner patterns.  

The Bad:   Not elusive or a passer that picks up yardage with his feet. Forces the pass on occasion. Big arm yet does not drive the ball downfield.

The Skinny:   Little known until his senior campaign, Orlovsky has been one of the better quarterbacks in college football the past two years. Possesses the physical skills to play at the next level, he must now get comfortable competing at a high level of competition on a weekly basis. A solid first day pick who could move into the top 45 with solid post season showings.

Full Name: Kyle Orton   School:  Purdue
Ht: 6-4  Wt: 217  40: 5.11

The Good:   Productive signal caller that's done a tremendous job leading a passing offense in college. Patient in the pocket, buys time for receivers and goes through progressions looking the open wide out. Displays a great sense of knowing where pass catchers are on the field and takes what the defense gives him. Very accurate down the field or over the middle, hits receivers in stride or places passes in front of targets and lets them run to the ball. Scrambles in the pocket buying time and waits until last second before releasing the ball.  Zips the intermediate range throws. Does a terrific job sensing the blitz, picking up hot wide outs and not making bad decisions under pressure. Takes the safe underneath option rather than forcing the throw. Stands strong in the face of pressure.  

The Bad:   Slow setting up and releasing the ball off a three step drop. Possesses just average arm strength and lacks the quick release or ability to drive the deep throw. Could improve his overall footwork. Changes his point of release in order to get the pass off. Most snaps are taken out to of the shotgun formation and has a tendency to stray or float in the pocket when lined up behind center.

The Skinny:   Orton has done a terrific job leading Purdue's offense and taking command of the passing game. Has athletic limitations and must be schooled in the details of the pro-passing game yet a solid prospect for the next level that could flourish in a west coast offensive system.

Full Name:  Jason White   School:  Oklahoma
Ht: 6-2  Wt: 225  40: 4.91

The Good:   Intelligent passer with a good feel for the position. Quick setting up in the pocket and displays solid footwork lined up behind center. Patient, remains poised as the pocket collapses then scans the field looking for the open receiver, buying time for pass catchers. Does not make bad choices when pressured and takes a hit to get the throw off. Does a good job with reads or checks at the line of scrimmage and in total control of the situation. Works hard. Good sense of timing.

The Bad:   Possesses only average accuracy outside of 10-yards and does not have a live arm. Really does not lead receivers with throws and late on the timing passes. Not elusive or one that makes plays with his feet. Has a history of injuries which includes major knee surgery

The Skinny:   A natural leader that's done well on the college level, White's injury past and limited arm strength adds up to just marginal upside for the next level. Could be a consummate clipboard holder and a quarterback that bounces around the league for a decade.  

Full Name: Charlie Frye   School:  Akron
Ht: 6-3.5  Wt: 225  40: 4.81

The Good:   Nice sized passer with both the athleticism and intelligence to succeed at the next level. Sets up with solid footwork, scans the field and finds open wide outs. Not afraid to challenge the vertical game, yet at the same time takes the safe underneath outlet if nothings available down the field. Does a solid job with his reads and makes good decisions in the pocket.  

The Bad:   Not a mobile passer that eludes the rush. Only average accuracy and poor timing on the outs. Possesses a solid arm but by no means has a gun or the ability to drive the ball downfield.

The Skinny:   A solid collegian that's been productive four seasons running, Fry is a natural leader, that's been counted on to lead his team. Offers potential at the next level but may only flourish in a limited number of offensive systems and will need time to develop his skills.  

Full Name: Jason Campbell   School:  Auburn
Ht: 6-4  Wt: 221  40: 4.69

The Good:   Athletic passer with solid physical skills. Sized well, patient in the pocket and remains poised under pressure. Does a good job locating the open receiver on the field, works to make positive plays and relatively accurate. Throws with an over the top delivery. Passes have both speed and velocity. Pulls the ball down and takes off up the field when pressured or throws the pass away rather than forcing the pass. Sets quickly in the pocket and immediately gets the ball out of his hand.

The Bad:   Must improve his overall footwork. Not a nifty or nimble passer that consistently eludes the rush. Late on his timing, possesses only average long accuracy and does not have a true deep arm.

The Skinny:   Possessing the physical skills needed to play at the next level, Campbell is putting together a fine senior campaign and moving up draft boards. While his overall game still needs work, he offers a good amount of potential for a team willing to be patient and develop his skills.

Full Name: Charlie Whitehurst   School:  Clemson
Ht: 6-3.5  Wt: 215  40: 4.85

The Good:   Athletic quarterback with a good arm and the ability to produce when plays breakdown. Patient in the pocket, reads the defense and finds the open receiver on the field. Relatively accurate between the numbers and places passes in front of receivers, letting them run to the ball. Tough, withstands the rush and strong when he pulls the ball down and takes off up the field. Puts touch on throws when necessary or passes to the safe underneath route if nothings available. Can scramble, avoid the rush then make the throw on the move. Sells the play action pass and throws strikes down the middle of the field.

The Bad:   Must improve his footwork releasing the ball as he steps out of throws or releases the pass off his back foot. Does not do a good job sensing pressure. Must improve his overall timing, especially throwing the outs.

The Skinny:   A good athlete that makes plays with either his arm or legs, Whitehurst has consistently improved and is slowly becoming a passer rather than just a thrower on the college level. Potentially could be effective in a variety of offensive systems at the next level and though he must iron out the rough edges of his game, Whitehurst offers a lot of potential for the next level if a team is willing to be patient.

Full Name: Derek Anderson   School:  Oregon State
Ht: 6-6  Wt: 235  40: 5.01

The Good:   Nice sized pocket passer with an NFL arm. Sets up with solid footwork, finds the open wide out and does a nice job sensing the rush or seeing the blitz. Leads receivers over the middle and relatively accurate between the numbers. Puts touch on throws when required and gives receivers a chance to make the reception.

The Bad:   Starts with poor ball placement, stares down the primary target and makes questionable decisions when pressured. Does not always show great poise and throws the ball off his back foot rather than properly following-through and taking a hit.

The Skinny:   A bit of an enigma, Anderson has been a streaky quarterback with a pattern of inconsistency the past three seasons at Oregon State. Possessing the physical skills to be a player at the next level, he must improve his overall game, yet is worth the risk of a late round choice in next April's draft.

Full Name: Danny Wimprine   School:  Memphis
Ht: 6-0  Wt: 225  40: 4.93

The Good:   Intelligent passer with a good feel for the position and understanding of the game. Buys as much time for receivers as possible, scrambles around the pocket looking for open wide outs and makes good decisions. Senses pressure then steps up to avoid it, all along displaying outstanding field vision. Knows where receivers are on the field. Stands strong in the pocket and very accurate over the middle. Displays a sense of timing and leads receivers with tosses.  

The Bad:   Marginal skills avoiding the rush or throwing on the run. Lacks the big arm and not accurate down the field. Seemingly has difficulty seeing over the line at times.

The Skinny:   While he does not pass the eyeball test, Wimprine is a productive passer with solid potential for the next level. Could be an effective backup for a running offense and or potentially develop into a starter if a team is willing to develop the offense around his strengths.

Full Name: Brad Smith   School:  Missouri
Ht: 6-2  Wt: 208  40: 4.65

The Good:   Outstanding athlete that beats opponents with his arm or legs. Quickly sets up in the pocket with good footwork, sells the ball fakes and always keeps the defense on their toes. Possesses a live arm and zips the ball downfield with a flick of his wrist. Can thread a needle and has no problem making the throw on the move. Buys time for receivers scrambling around the backfield and displays good footwork carrying the ball.

The Bad:   Must be more patient in pocket as he is very quick to run with the ball. Makes questionable throws at times, stares down the primary targets and does not do a god job reading the defense. Must improve his long accuracy and general sense of timing.

The Skinny:   A tremendous athlete, Smith must now learn to become a passer rather than just a thrower on the college level. Easily beats opponents with natural abilities, yet must round out his entire game and learn to play within the game to reach his potential for the next level.

Scout NFL Network Top Stories