Scout's Notebook: QB John David Booty

The Vikings moved up in Round 5 to pick perhaps the most West Coast Offense ready quarterback available in this year's draft. Find out what they saw in the USC signal-caller...

John David Booty, QB
(6023, 216, 4.86-4.97) Southern California

Notes:  Born 1/3/85, in Shreveport, La.  From the same hometown as Terry Bradshaw.  A coach's son.  His father, Johnny, played quarterback at Arkansas, Louisiana Tech and Mississippi State.  His brother, Josh, played minor league baseball for the Florida Marlins (1994-98) before returning to LSU to play quarterback (1999-2000) and with the Cleveland Browns (2002).  His brother, Abram, was a wide receiver at LSU (1997-99) and Valdosta State (2001).  As a junior quarterback in 2002 at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, he led his team to the Class 5A state title while throwing for 4,144 yards and 38 touchdowns while earning Student Sports Underclass All-American and Class 5A All-State honors.  He also led Evangel Christian to the Class 5A state title as a 2001 sophomore, passing for 4,330 yards and 50 TDs while being named a Student Sports Underclass All-American and Class 5A All-State.  As a 2000 freshman, he completed 9 of 11 passes.  In his career, he threw for 8,474 yards on 555 of 864 passing (64.2%) with 88 touchdowns and 26 interceptions.  Because Louisiana rules allow junior high students to compete on high school teams if the school is a K-12, he actually played some varsity football for Evangel Christian since the seventh grade.  Prior to his senior year, his father was fired as the quarterbacks coach at the Academy and Booty decided to bypass football that season.  Graduated a full year early from high school.

College:  Played in five games as a true freshman in 2003; completing 7 of 14 games (50.0%) for 90 yards before breaking his left wrist and missing the final two games.  Redshirted in 2004 after suffering a bruised right (throwing) elbow in fall practices.  Saw reserve duty in 10 games behind Matt Lienart (Cardinals) in 2005, completing 27 of 42 passes (64.3%) for 327 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  Missed almost all of spring practice in 2006 after undergoing surgery for a herniated disk.  Returned as the Trojans team captain to start 9 of 13 games and complete 269 of 436 (61.7%) passes for 3,347 yards, 29 TDs and 9 interceptions.  Tied a Rose Bowl record with 4 TD passes, and his 391 yards passing were the most allowed by a Michigan defense since 1999.  Started 10 games, missing three with a broken middle finger on his throwing hand, in 2007; completed 215 of 340 (63.2%) for 2,361 yards with 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and finished his college career with 3 TD passes against Illinois in their Rose Bowl victory.  His 518 career completions is fifth on the USC all-time chart.  His 6,125 career passing yards is fifth on USC's all-time list.  His 5,945 yards of total offense is sixth on USC's all-time ladder.  His 55 career touchdown passes is fourth at USC.  In his career, he threw at least one TD pass in 22 of his 23 starts, at least 2 TD passes in a game 16 times, at least 3 TDs in a game 11 times, at least 4 TDs in a game 3 times and had 200-plus passing yards in 18 games (4 times with 300-plus yards).  He was 20-3 as a starter.  As a starter against AP ranked opponents, he was 9-0 while going 185 of 292 (63.4%) for 2,267 yards (251.9 average) with 23 TDs and just 4 interceptions.  Sociology major at USC.

Workout numbers:  Ran 1.67 10-yard dash, 2.76 20-yard dash, 4.92John David Booty 40-yard dash, posted 28-inch vertical jump, 8'3" broad jump, 4.58 short shuttle time prior to the draft.  Has bench pressed 300 pounds.

Pro:  Selected by the Vikings in the fifth-round (No. 137 overall) on a pick acquired by trading up with Green Bay in exchange for a fifth-round pick (No. 150 overall; Louisville OT Breno Giacomini) and a seventh-round pick (No. 209; LSU QB Matt Flynn) in the 2008 NFL Draft.

Positives:  Very effective, efficient, accurate West Coast Offense pro-style passer.  Sound mechanics, footwork and delivery.  Quick release and seldom hold the ball too long.  Good accuracy, timing, touch and awareness.  Throws a nice, catchable ball.  Sees the field well and can spread the ball around effectively.  Pinpoint accurate with a nice, tight spiral when allowed to set.  Throws well on the move.  Fine short-to-intermediate-range passer.  Not a scrambler, but moves well within the pocket and finds the open window.  Knows how to get his playmakers the ball.  Poised in the pocket.  High football IQ with a good mind for the game.  Well-schooled and is very used to the big stage.  Has a lot of playing experience coming into the pros.  Solid field general and leader.  Well-respected by his teammates.

Negatives:  Is not a great athlete and does not have a rocket arm.  Does not throw with a lot of zip or velocity.  Only so-so throwing downfield.  Needs development seeing the entire field; will lock onto primary receiver and miss other open receivers at times.  Forces the ball into coverage and makes some questionable decisions at times.  Occasionally waits too long to throw the ball.  Isn't much threat to run with the ball.  Durability is a bit of a concern.  Had a below-average Wonderlic score.

Summary:  Makes the throws needed for Minnesota's version of the West Coast Offense with accuracy and efficiency and has a lot of experience and tradition of winning.  The Vikings would like to see Booty clearly beat out Brooks Bollinger for the No. 3 job immediately, eventually develop into a solid No. 2 quarterback, and perhaps even become a starting-caliber player in the NFL.

What they said:

"Obviously [Booty has] played in quite a few big games over the course of his career.  The thing that we liked looking at him was you could see many of the throws that we have within this offense you could see him operate and do.  That was intriguing to us.  And then also all his movement skills.  He comes from a coaching family.  Has had brothers that have played.  All those things factor in.  And then obviously his production, we felt like his value, where we got him there was too good to pass up.  - Vikings head coach Brad Childress

"He is a very smart player.  We felt he was very accurate and does a lot of the throws that we need to see on our offense.  We got to know him pretty well down at the Senior Bowl.  Coach (Kevin) Rogers, Coach (Darrell) Bevell, and Coach Childress spent a lot of time with him down there and got to get to know him a little bit as a kid.  But a couple of games you saw him in the beginning of the season where he had a very good Nebraska game but then he got the finger injury, but then you go watch the bowl game.  When Coach Childress and I sat there and watched that, it was like a 7-on-7 drill and you could see what type of player he can be when he is healthy.  Between our scouts, Scott Studwell, George Paton, and everybody up there I think we have seen about every game that he has played in over the past two years."  - Vikings VP of Player Personnel Rick Spielman

"I just think the West Coast.  I love that offense.  I love the throws that I have to make based on all of our reads, and it's really all I know.  For me it's something I really enjoy and really I think it fits my abilities very well.  I think I am very accurate and make good decisions and that is what the West Coast offense is all about."  - Booty on coming to Minnesota and playing in the West Coast Offense

"You guys are getting a really, really first-class kid.  This guy has been born and raised to be a quarterback.  He's very comfortable with the positions and the demands of it.  He's an extraordinary thrower.  He's really got tremendous natural accuracy.  He just has a natural way of moving the ball around, whether he's in the pocket or he's on the move or off play action.  He's a tremendous passer. He's going to fit beautifully.  You can't expect John to do a lot of running around; that's not his style.  He's a classic NFL pocket guy and he won't have any trouble with the system of picking things up or being able to throw the throws they want to throw."  - USC coach Pete Carroll

"Well-coached West Coast rhythm passer with enough arm and short-to-intermediate accuracy to develop into an average starter if he is surrounded by a strong supporting cast like he was throughout his college career and given a lot of predetermined reads.  Could take some time to adapt to the pro game."  - Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly

"Booty doesn't have elite arm strength or size, but moves his feet well and is accurate, making him a perfect fit for the Vikings' West Coast offense."  - ESPN.com

"The most ready-to-play quarterback on the low end." - Mike Mayock, NFL Network

"Booty is not the next ‘great' quarterback to be produced by the Trojans' factory, but is an efficient passer with good accuracy when operating in the short-to-intermediate passing range."  - NFLDraftScout.com

"Does nothing to get you real excited as a player, but is an efficient, serviceable quarterback.  Has an adequate throwing arm, was an accurate short and intermediate passer.  Can throw effectively on the move.  Good decision-maker who is getting the most out of his ability.  Football smart.  I would today view him as a backup player within the league who when called upon could potentially contribute.  Third- to fourth-round draft potential."  - Tom Marino, Scout.com

 Booty was a two-year starter with 20 starts at USC.  He's not in the class of the other USC QBs before him but a really accurate passer who knows where to go with the footballl.  He's a solid pick for the West Coast Offense - a guy who throws a lot of shallow crossing routes.  He's the kind of guy who for 2-3 years you won't have to play him and he'll learn on the scout team."  - NFL.com

"He's like Greg Maddux in the way he can put the ball in the spot it needs to be."  - USC offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Steve Sarkisian

"Good value pick here, as John David Booty slips all the way to the fifth round.  Minnesota seems content with Travaris Jackson, but don't think the fans aren't excited to see some healthy competition.  Booty will give it to him."  - FOX Sports

Other links: 
NFL.com
SI.com Video
College Bio
JohnDavidBooty.org (fansite)
SI.com photo gallery
USA Today story
YouTube videos

Other draftee profiles
Scout's Notebook:  S Tyrell Johnson

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