The NFL landscape is littered with successful quarterbacks who were not selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Former New England Patriots great Tom Brady is the most famous example, forging his way to a Hall of Fame career after entering the league as a sixth round afterthought. Nick Foles became a playoff hero and Super Bowl MVP despite being a 3rd round pick. Drew Lock and Garner Minshew flashed glimpses of a bright NFL future in rookie seasons as 2nd and 6th round choices. Former 4th round pick Dak Prescott is about to be one of the league’s highest paid quarterbacks with the Dallas Cowboys, while Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, and Andy Dalton have had successful careers as later round picks.
The New Orleans Saints own great Drew Brees entered the NFL as a 2nd round choice, 32nd overall, by the San Diego Chargers in the 2001 draft. With Brees now 41-Yrs old, speculation continues to surround the team about their succession plan once Brees retires. Some mock drafts have linked the Saints to quarterbacks Jordan Love or Washington’s Jacob Eason with the 24th overall pick. A developmental and athletic prospect like Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts is also a possibility that could slip into the second or third round of next month’s draft.
Nineteen years ago, Purdue’s Drew Brees fell out of the first round because of a perceived lack of arm strength and his slight stature. It was a mistake that the rest of the NFL has regretted for the last two decades. The Saints could very well find Brees’ successor without having to spend a first-round pick, and one that shares similar attributes.
Jake Fromm, University of Georgia
Fromm took control of the Georgia offense as a freshman, replacing injured starter Jacob Eason and playing well enough to force Eason to transfer to Washington. Fromm led the Bulldogs to the National Championship game in his first year, winning SEC Freshman of the Year. He consistently played well in big games throughout his Georgia career and performed well against some of the top programs in the country. He was 36-7 in his three years as starter, completing 63.3% of his passes while throwing 78 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions.
Fromm exhibits a good grasp of the game and his offensive system. He sees the whole field well and reads defenses like a seasoned pro. Fromm has good pocket presence and progresses through his reads calmly against pressure. He has a good placement and anticipation on his throws and is a gutty scrambler when necessary. Fromm’s mechanics are sound, which makes up for his lack of arm strength. He takes care of the ball well and avoids critical turnovers.
What will probably drop Jake Fromm into the second or third round are his physical measurables. He doesn’t have a powerful arm and isn’t consistent with deep ball accuracy. Fromm is on the smaller side for a quarterback at 6’2 219-Lbs (Brees is 6’0, 209) and isn’t particularly mobile. Fromm’s accuracy, ability to break down defenses, and his anticipation of routes has made him successful more than his physical attributes. Things that could make him a steal in the upcoming draft.
Nineteen years ago, 30 NFL teams made the mistake of passing on Drew Brees in the draft because of perceived physical shortcomings. Five years later, most of those teams made the same mistake when only the Saints and Miami Dolphins showed interest in Brees as a free agent. Comparing Jake Fromm to a first-ballot Hall of Famer like Brees is a stretch. But New Orleans would be wise to snatch Fromm off the draft board if he’s available in the third round or even consider moving into the second round. Doing so could net them a quarterback with the ideal skill-set for their offense, and the long-awaited successor to their legendary quarterback.
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