Six Senior Bowl QBs in six days: Andy Dalton

The Vikings are resolute in their need to address the quarterback position. Coaches will begin evaluating draftable QBs next week at the Senior Bowl practices. Here is a look at one of the six attending, TCU's Andy Dalton.

Editor's note: will be evaluating the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks at practices next week and conducting interviews with them during the week. This is a statistical look at the first of them leading up to the Senior Bowl.

He isn't the tallest quarterback, but tall enough. He isn't the fastest either, but fast enough.

In a league finding ways to use quarterbacks in different ways and always pointing to Drew Brees as the champion of the short-man quarterback competition, Texas Christian's Andy Dalton might be the next to test just how much progress the league has made in valuing production over measurables.

Dalton is the 6-2, 220-pounder who might be too short or might be too slow/immobile to become a draft pick in the first round or two. Or Dalton might be productive enough that even if he does slip to the middle rounds of April's NFL draft, he could be another cautionary tale about putting too much stock in height or hundredths of a second in a 40-yard dash that quarterbacks rarely use in game situations.

Dalton will get his chance to display his skills in front of the NFL scouts next week at the Senior Bowl, a showcase of many of the top seniors hoping to increase their draft stock. He is one of six quarterbacks currently on the Senior Bowl roster.

Dalton didn't always have the biggest numbers in 2010, but he proved to be an efficient winner. His Horned Frogs went 12-1 in his junior season, and as a senior he led TCU to an undefeated season while smashing Sammy Baugh's school record for wins by a starting quarterback. By the time Dalton was done at TCU, he had 42 wins against only seven losses.

He capped his career with a highly efficient showing against Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. No staggering numbers, just whatever it took for the win. He completed 15 of 23 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also finished as the Horned Frogs' leading rushing – he is effective if unspectacular in that regard – and added a rushing touchdown. His rushing and passing combined to make up 247 of TCU's 301 yards.

In addition to being named the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year the last two seasons, Dalton was a 2010 finalist for the Manning Award and Johnny Unitas Award and a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award and Davey O'Brien Award. He was ninth in Heisman Trophy voting.

Dalton had an impressive showing in his senior season, completing 66.1 percent of his passes for 2,857 yards, 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions. After the Horned Frogs beat Wisconsin 21-19 in the Rose Bowl, Dalton was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the game.

In 2009, he was the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was a first-team all-conference pick. He ranked eighth in passing efficiency (151.83 by college ratings) and had only a 2.4 interception percentage, throwing 23 touchdowns and only eighth inceptions while passing for 2,756 yards.

As a sophomore, Dalton passed for 2,242 yards in 11 games, garnering 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. As a freshman, he attempted a career-high 371 passes and completed a career-high 222 of them (he had 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions).

Over the course of his four-year career, his passing touchdowns and passing efficiency went up every year, and he averaged just over six interceptions in each of his last three seasons.

When the draft starts on April 28, Dalton won't be the tallest or fastest quarterback, but his production and experience should speak loudly for him.

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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