#4, Brett Favre, QB
(6-2, 228) Southern Mississippi
General Overview: Favre, the 39-year-old veteran quarterback, enters his 19th NFL season with the Minnesota Vikings. His Wikipedia entry chronicles the details of his life, his NFL.com profile provides you with year-by-year statistics, and you can watch numerous YouTube clips to supplement your reading here.
ULTIMATE SCOUTING REPORT:
Physical Tools: Favre is well-built and strong for his size, but only slightly above-average by today's standards. He still possesses a powerful arm, with all indications being that the torn bicep tendon was repaired and successfully rehabilitated. A capable athlete - though he's not as quick, nimble, agile or athletic as he once was - he's in remarkable condition for a player his age and the number of gridiron battles he's endured.
Football Instincts: He possesses as much natural "feel" for the game as perhaps any NFL quarterback in history. Favre possesses a sixth-sense when it comes to innately knowing where his teammates are and usually what opposing defenses are trying to disguise. He's no rocket scientist, but he's football smart and very instinctive.
Character: Any off-field concerns appear to be well in his past. He's a family man with a supportive wife. He has been universally well-liked by staff, coaches and teammates throughout most of his career. He is admired and respected by opponents. At this stage of his life, there are no concerns about his off-field behavior.
Competitiveness: Without question, Favre is an unparalleled competitor. If anything, he may be too competitive for his own good. At times, his competitive nature may spill over into taking unnecessary chances on the field. It also seems to take an incredible emotional toll on him as a person, as evidenced by his condition at the end of a season and his obvious struggles with the issue of retirement.
Work Habits: It takes him longer to recover from the weekly wear and tear of the NFL, and obviously every off-season is up in the air at this stage of his life. But once he's committed to playing, he does what he needs to have himself physically and mentally prepared to play each week. He's in remarkable shape for his age.
Mechanics: Has a very quick setup and release, although his mechanics are often times far from textbook. Favre is among the most difficult in the league to sack because of his ability to unload quickly. Beyond his throwing mechanics, he is extremely adept with ball fakes and play-action fakes.
Read Defenses: Has a natural feel for the game and is extremely well-versed and comfortable with the West Coast Offense, particularly with the terminology and coaching staff the Vikings utilize, having played for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Green Bay and other colleagues and mentors of head coach Brad Childress over the course of his 16 seasons with the Packers. Like Favre said recently, he could teach this offense. He's not beyond being fooled or making mistakes with the ball, but he is also supremely capable of making a defense pay the price for loading up the box to stop the run. He will be very adept at getting the Vikings out of bad play calls at the line of scrimmage based on what the defense reveals during his pre-snap reads.
Arm Strength: Still has a very powerful arm. He can zip the ball into tight spots, throw the deep out with velocity and push the ball deep downfield, even at his current age. Worth noting is that the torn bicep created pain in his shoulder but had no bearing on his physical arm strength. He still possesses one of the strongest passing arms in the game.
Passing Skills: Displays superb accuracy to put the ball right where it needs to be and has a knack for being in uncanny sync with his receivers most of the time. Outstanding timing on crossing routes. Generally very adept at dropping the ball over defenders. He may occasionally overpower his receivers with the zip on this throws, but he generally varies the velocity of his throws according to game conditions quite well.
Mobility: Can buy time with his feet. Senses pressure instinctively within the pocket and can slide around to avoid the rush. Not a significant threat to run; always looks to dump the ball off or unload it to avoid the sack first. But he can stretch out for positive yardage in game circumstances that call for it.
Leadership: Outstanding. There's no quarterback in the league any better with the game on the line. He will win some and he will lose some, but there are few other quarterbacks you'd rather have leading your team in the two-minute drill. Favre makes everyone around him better. He oozes with intangibles, whether it's his innate understanding of the offense or his effectiveness carrying out play-action fakes. Favre has never missed a starting assignment during his entire NFL career (though perhaps he should have late last season with the Jets).
Summary: Regardless of how much Favre has left, he represented a very unique opportunity to improve the Vikings as a football team. He is indeed a perfect fit for the supporting cast in place and will make everyone around him - running backs, receivers, offensive linemen - all look better and bring out the best in his teammates. His ability to run the offense with the likes of Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin and others in the mix is as ideal a situation he has ever been in as a pro. For all the hype and criticism, this was a logical move for the Vikings to make to give them the absolute best chance of winning this season. Nobody can guarantee he will not get hurt. And certainly nobody can predict his future beyond this season, but there is no question at all that the "fit" with Minnesota is ideal for the Vikings and for Favre.