Spartan Nation NFL Draft Scouting Report # 6 - Quarterbacks
Written by Courtney Wills
Matt Leinart is one of three top ranked quarterbacks to enter the 2006 NFL Draft this year. Over the last four years at the University of Southern California, Leinart has thoroughly impressed many NFL scouts and produced great results, winning both two National Championships and the ultimate college playerâ€™s goal, a Heisman Trophy. From 2003 to 2005, Leinart has averaged between a 63 to 65 completions percentages and has accumulated over 10,000 passing yards for a total of 99 touchdowns.
Leinart is a 6-4 foot, 224 pound quarterback who has great accuracy and touch when throwing the ball to his receivers down the field. Leinart is able to read his defenses well when pressured in tight situations. Due to the fact that Leinart is a tall and athletic player, he is able to see over many offensive lines allowing him to get the ball deep without having to wind up.
Overall, Leinart is a solid and smart quarterback who will make good decisions in the pros. â€œHeâ€™s an accurate passer with a smooth delivery and good leadership skills,â€ says one AFC scout. If Leinart can continue to improve his sidestep mobility within the pass rush and develop more arm strength, Leinart will surely be a threat to reckon within the NFL. Leinart is predicted to be the first quarterback to be selected within the draft.
The second of three quarterbacks hoping to start their careers in this yearâ€™s NFL Draft is all-star Texas quarterback, Vince Young. Along with Leinart, Young is another National Championship recipient who beat the Trojans in this yearâ€™s Rose Bowl. Young, a 6-5 foot and 230 pound quarterback, has great size, arm strength, and outstanding speed to become a strong power force within the NFL. Young is big, strong and built like a rock says one scout in The Sporting News draft analysis.
Due to his lightning speed, scouts say that he will always be a threat when he decides to run. Young excels at avoiding rushes and breaking â€œwould-be tacklesâ€ when he is being pressured from the opponentâ€™s defensive. Young is the first NCAA player to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season, along with 16 touchdowns.
While Young may be incredibly quick, he has to develop better throwing mechanics and a release point. Analysts say that Youngâ€™s sidearm delivery may lead to passes being batted down in the NFL. If Young can implement the some of things that Titans quarterback, Steve McNair has taught this off-season, Young will be one step closer in impressing his future team. â€œI think that heâ€™s smart enough and has leadership skills, but he appears to be the kind of guy who needs to be broken of a lot of bad throwing habits,â€ says one NFC Scout. Analysts are predicting that Young will do well if selected by the Texans, Saints, Jets, or Cardinals.
Jay Cutler has not won a National Championship. Jay Cutler has not even been nominated for the Heisman Trophy. So why should we care about this Vanderbilt quarterback? Well, within the last four years at Vanderbilt, Cutler has amassed over 8,600 passing yards and has thrown for 59 touchdowns. Analysts from Pro Football Weekly say that Cutler â€œunderstands his offense like a coach and showed great poise in two-minute situations, leading the Commodores to a last-minute win over Tennessee in his final game.â€
Even though, Cutler a 6-2 foot, 219 pound quarterback, may be the shortest and skinniest of the three top quarterbacks, Cutler by far might be the strongest quarterback due to the fact that he can bench press as many as 400 pounds. Cutler is a smart and accurate passer who has great timing when throwing between defenders. He has great awareness within the pocket allowing him to be quick when blitzes occur. Analysts from The Sporting News say, â€œCutler shows the leadership to win the respect of teammates and motivate around him. He shows passion for the game; finds ways to win.â€
Many scouts are comparing Cutler to Green Bay Packers quarterback, Brett Favre, due to the fact that Cutler and Favre share the same size and cares more about winning than how he looks doing it. The Sporting News also says that Cutler is a true gunslinger with a cowboyâ€™s toughness. If Cutler can refine his mechanics and step into his passes more, Cutler will be a great asset to any team that he selects him.