Draft 2001: Quarterbacks Analysis

2001 POSITIONAL ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACKS


POSITION OVERVIEW
It would seem on the surface that the Vikings would have no interest in taking a quarterback in this year’s draft, but don’t be too stunned if the team takes a developmental project late in the draft. Unlike previous years where Dennis Green has always had a veteran QB waiting in the wings in case his starter gets injured, it appears at this time that perennial No. 3 QB Todd Bouman will be handed the backup job. While the Vikings may still wait until the summer to bring in a veteran who doesn’t hook on with another team, they may look for the project backup like Bouman was four years ago and take a QB in the late rounds on Sunday. It looks more and more that the Vikings had the right idea in drafting Daunte Culpepper, since it could be years until a QB draft as rich as the crop of 1999 comes around again.



THE BEST OF THE BEST
MICHAEL VICK, Virginia Tech, 6-0, 214 —
A third-year sophomore who bypassed his final two seasons to turn pro…As a freshman, he threw for 1,820 yards and 12 TDs, while running 108 times for 585 yards and eight TDs...Similar numbers last year, as he threw for 1,234 yards and eight touchdowns while running 104 times for 617 yards and eight TDs...Runs like a powerful RB and a rifle southpaw passing arm...Made a name for himself as a freshman leading the Hokies to the national title game and performing well vs. Florida State...Has great deep touch and can hit a receiver anywhere on the field...Runs the 40 in 4.3 and can bench press 325 pounds with a 40-inch vertical jump...Has a lot of leadership ability...Considered the best athlete to come into the NFL via the draft since Randy Moss...Is a little short for the position at 6-0...Some think he came out too early, with only two years of college experience behind him...Not mechanically sound...Did not work out at the Combine.
PROJECTION: He’s coming out a year too early, but will still be the top pick in the draft to San Diego and has the potential to be one of the great quarterbacks of the next decade plus.


DREW BREES, Purdue, 6-0, 215 —
A three-year starter who finished fourth in the Heisman balloting as a junior and third last year...Played in pro-style offense and in three years, put up some eye popping numbers — completing 984 of 1597 passes for 11,285 yards and 88 touchdowns...Has a lot of leadership ability and has much more awareness of coverages than Vick...While not tall, he has a bigger body than most quarterbacks and large hands that keep him from fumbling...Doesn’t have a strong arm, but, like former Viking Brad Johnson, he can hit a dime from inside 30 yards...The Boilermaker offense may have inflated some of his numbers to look a little too superhuman...Doesn’t have a strong arm to throw 50-60-yard bombs...Didn’t lift at the Combine but ran a 4.78 40 and had a 32-inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: He definitely should go in the first round, either in a deal where the Falcons or Cowboys trade down to the middle of the round, by Kansas City or Pittsburgh in the middle of the round or by Miami with the pick in front of Minnesota.


THE NEXT BEST THING
CHRIS WEINKE, Florida State, 6-4, 227 —
A star for Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, he played six years in the Toronto Blue Jays organization before enrolling at FSU...Three-year starter for Seminoles, he completed 623 of 1,094 passes for 9,763 yards and 77 TDs. Great TD-INT ratio, throwing 75 touchdowns as compared to just 31 interceptions...Had a span of 218 passes without an interception...Won the Heisman Trophy following the 2000 season...Prototype size for a quarterback...Worked hard to get in excellent shape in preparation for the last season and turning pro...Great work ethic...Can throw the ball with precision and accuracy...Somewhat of a glacier in the backfield...Biggest downside is that he is 29 years old, the approximate age of a seven- or eight-year veteran in the NFL...Did not work out at the Combine.
PROJECTION: If Weinke had come out following the FSU title victory in 1999, he would have likely gone well into the second day of the draft. By coming back and refining his skills during his senior year, he will now likely go in the second round and has the chance to be a solid NFL QB for the next six to eight years.


MIKE McMAHON, Rutgers, 6-2, 207 —
A fourth-year senior who saw his first starting action as a true freshman...His only full season in college was as a sophomore...As a junior, he suffered a major shoulder injury that required reconstructive surgery...Never had a great supporting cast to showcase his talents...Good size for a QB and has good running ability...Earned the respect of scouts for never getting lost on a team that was pretty horrible through his entire time with the program...Played in a pro style offense...Earned kudos for his performance at the Blue-Grey Classic...Doesn’t throw a finesse ball, perhaps because of constant pressure from opposing defenses, and unleashes almost every pass...Completed less than 50 percent of his career passes and had more interceptions than touchdowns (51-42)...Ran a 4.56 40 at the Combine and had a 37-1/2 inch vertical jump.
PROJECTION: He has taken a pounding in college, but has made it through and definitely has the toughness to be a pro, but likely won’t get drafted until the third round at the earliest.


JESSE PALMER, Florida, 6-2, 228 —
Came to Florida from Ontario, Canada...Never has been a full-time starter in college...In four years with the Gators, he started just 14 games and threw just 469 passes — half of those coming last season...Really turned heads at the Senior Bowl, showing off his cannon arm and making impressions on most coaches who saw him...Had a good teacher in former NFL QB Steve Spurrier...Tends to run hot and cold, but that could be attributed to never feeling comfortable in knowing he was going to be a starter...Ran a 4.58 40 and had a 35-1/2 inch vertical jump at the Combine.
PROJECTION: If he had played somewhere else, he would have been able to show off his ability more than he did as a part-time player at Florida. However, based on his performance at the Senior Bowl, several teams may have him tabbed as a third- or fourth-round selection.


MARCUS TUIASOSOPO, Washington, 6-1, 220 —
Was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1997 amateur baseball draft...Son of former Seattle DT Manu Tuiasosopo...When recruited out of high school, he was wanted to be used as a defensive back, but insisted on play QB...Spent two years as a backup to NFL backup QB Brock Huard...In two years as a starter, he completed 341 of 618 passes for 4,368 yards, 26 touchdowns and 22 interceptions, as well as running 264 times for 935 yards and 12 TDs...Undeniable leadership qualities...Two-time team captain...Won Rose Bowl MVP honors over more touted Drew Brees...Extremely tough and willing to take punishment...A little short for an NFL QB, but makes up for it with toughness...Doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world...Comparisons have been made with other tough-guy quarterbacks like Joe Kapp...Ran a 4.68 in the 40 and had a 35-1/2 inch vertical jump at the Combines.
PROJECTION: Likely will slip into the second day of the draft, but could be a wild card type of player who could make an impact.


JOSH BOOTY, LSU, 6-2, 222 —
Came out of high school ranked as the best quarterback in the country...Was going to play for the Tigers in 1994, but was lured away by the Florida Marlins and, while he came back to LSU in 1997, he didn’t play football until the last two seasons...In 1999, looked pretty horrible, completed just 162 of 333 passes and throwing 19 interceptions as opposed to just six touchdowns...First Team All-Southeastern Conference last year, completing 145 of 290 passes for 2,127 yards with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions...Big and strong as scouts like in QBs...Has rifle arm...A 26-year old rookie who still needs time to develop, which could turn off a lot of teams...Not mechanically sound and completed less than 50 percent of his passes in two years...Should have stayed in college and help build his resume...Ran a 4.9 40 and had a 29-1/2 inch vertical jump at the Combine.
PROJECTION: A guy some people think can become a solid NFL quarterback in the right system, age, inexperience and an erratic history don’t play in his favor, which should slide him to the second day of the draft.



KEEP AN EYE ON
Sage Rosenfels, Iowa State, 6-4, 228
Quincy Carter, Georgia, 6-2, 223
Josh Heupel, Oklahoma, 6-2, 214
David Rivers, Western Carolina, 6-3, 223
Cleo Lemon, Arkansas State, 6-2, 225
Tim Hasselbeck, Boston College, 6-1, 210
Ben Leard, Auburn, 6-3, 223
Jason McKinley, Houston, 6-2, 210
Justin Coleman, Nebraska-Kearney, 6-4, 235
A.J. Feeley, Oregon, 6-3, 220
Bart Hendricks, Boise State, 6-0, 207

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