The 2013 late round quarterback class

April 10th, 2013 | Written by Kip Earlywine

Most quarterbacks strive for a rifle arm. Colby Cameron prefers a sidearm.

(Note:  Prepare yourselves for the tallest article in Seahawks Draft Blog history.)

Previously I had highlighted Seattle’s quarterback options in free agency and the options in rounds 2-4 of the NFL draft.  Today, I’ll cover some of the more likely late round options.  I was actually going to write this post almost a week ago, but I’ve had horrific computer problems and didn’t fully recover until a couple days back.  It ended up being a useful setback though, because now I can cover the late rounds in light of the Brady Quinn signing, which I believe sheds some light on Seattle’s intentions.

Yesterday, I wrote an article that spoke in favor of reacquiring Tarvaris Jackson.  What I didn’t write- and should have- was that Seattle obviously wouldn’t trade for Jackson before the draft.  When John Schneider specifically talked about not having his hands tied with a backup quarterback signing before the draft, that would obviously preclude a trade for T-jack.  Trading anything for a quarterback with Jackson’s experience and connections would essentially cement him as the #2 quarterback the moment the deal was made.

Brady Quinn couldn’t illustrate the idea of a non-committal signing better.  What I think Seattle wants is a robust August competition that results in either Josh Portis or a 2013 draft pick stepping up to earn the #2 job.  Brady Quinn gives the team not only a low cost option, but he’s not exactly a tough hurdle to clear either.  Josh Portis and the assumed 4th quarterback from the draft could enter the preseason with real hope of earning a #2 job, and that wouldn’t be as true with a former Seahawks starter like Tarvaris Jackson in tow.  Even in a worst case scenario where all three quarterbacks struggle enough to worry the brass, they could always see who’s available after the final cuts at the end of the preseason.  I have to admit, there is a lot of wisdom to this approach, so long as this process doesn’t result in Brady Quinn being named the #2 without showing massive strides in the preseason.  And even then, the odds of that move hurting the team aren’t that high.

As far as who that drafted quarterback will be, I do think Seattle prefers a mobile quarterback, but I don’t think they’d rule out players with average mobility that show good instincts (Tyler Wilson, etc).  With that said, here are some of the prospects that I think could make some sense from Seattle’s point of view:

Note: Given that these are late round or undrafted players, there typically isn’t enough material that is easily available to make a legitimate scouting report.  Please treat these evaluations as first impressions, not as a final word.

Ryan Katz, San Diego State

Once the starting quarterback at Oregon State, Katz transferred to San Diego State for the 2012 season.  Katz is no stranger to injury (wrist, ankle) and it caused him to miss the team’s final five games and most of a sixth.  His entire career he’s been a wild up and down performer, and at 6’1″ 210 he’s a pretty good bet to go undrafted.

That said, I must confess I see more “Russell Wilson” in Katz’s game than any other 2013 quarterback.  The way he runs, the way he sells fakes, the way he checks reads, the arm strength, it’s all remarkably Wilson like.  The big difference between the two is consistency and intangibles (not that Katz lacks them, but Wilson’s intangibles are not of this earth).  On tape, Russell Wilson was Mr. Perfect.  Katz has his share of flaws.

If Seattle wants a backup that resembles Wilson’s skillset, Katz would be a great choice.  He’s hardly a lock to pan out, but the skills are there.  He just needs to harness consistency, and learn how to stay healthy.

Colby Cameron, Louisiana Tech

Cameron is one of the more likely options for Seattle.  He has plus mobility and solid arm talent despite his inconsistent delivery that can go full sidearm.  Cameron is only 6’2″.  You couple that with a low release point and you have a recipe for batted passes.  Ryan Tannehill has a similar problem, but that doesn’t mean pure talent can’t overcome this drawback.

I’ve talked about Cameron before.  There are things I like, but they are outweighed by my concerns over his mechanics, accuracy, and skinny frame.  I wouldn’t hate the pick if it happened, but I’d stay away, personally.

Casey Brockman, Murray State

A favorite of a certain reader here, Brockman impresses with a well rounded skillset.  His overall game reminds me some of Kirk Cousins (though at a much lower level of competition).

Kirk Cousins, Ricky Stanzi, Matt Flynn, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson all come from the “Matt Hasselbeck category” of quarterbacks.  Most of them won’t wow you with their arm or their forty times, but they can surprise you with their mobility, intelligence, and expertise within a timing offense.  Brockman may not be a read option prospect, but he would be a good fit for a West Coast Offense, which Seattle runs.

Ryan Griffin, Tulane

Highlight package caveat.  Career best game caveat.

That said, Griffin looks pretty interesting to me as a likely undrafted player.   His athleticism and arm strength are just average- but look at that touch on his throws- he throws the most catchable looking ball in this draft.  I’d really like to see him more, because based on this his accuracy looks pretty good too.  He reminds me a bit of Christian Ponder.  Both are touch throwers more than a fireballers, and both languish with a low career YPA.  Basically, Griffin looks like a low floor / low ceiling type, which could make him a good long term backup in a possession oriented offense.

Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State

Undersized at just 6’1″, 202 pounds, Aplin is very unlikely to be drafted.  That said, Aplin might be the best pure point guard at quarterback in this draft- he’d fit our offense like a dream.  Aplin has good mechanics, a very quick release, a strong arm, and plus mobility.  He didn’t play at a high level of competition, but consider his stat line this past season:

68% completion rate, 8.23 YPA, 24 TD, 4 INT.

He has 1778 rushing yards and 32 rushing touchdowns over his career.  Playing for Arkansas State, two of his three losses last season were at Oregon and at Nebraska.  Against Oregon he had 304 yards and 3 touchdowns against one pick.   He also won his final 8 games in a row.  He has never missed a game from injury (shocking considering he’s had 468 career rush attempts at weighs just 202 pounds).

I think we might have something here.

Sean Renfree, Duke

Renfree appears to have a strong arm, but a bit like Griffin, he opts for touch over zip on most of his passes.  He’s a career 64.7% passer, including a completion rate of 67.3% last season. That would certainly hint at him having terrific accuracy.  With average at best athleticism and a tendency to stay inside the tackles, Renfree profiles as a classic pocket quarterback in the NFL.

Also like Griffin, Renfree has a low career YPA.  He’s also got an uninspiring touchdown to interception ratio, poor footwork and a tendency to throw flat-footed.  I love touch quarterbacks with accuracy, but that appears to be all Renfree has to offer.

Clay Belton, Findlay

There isn’t a ton of stuff out there on Belton (#13 in the video), but if nothing else he’s got the size, athleticism, and arm that could interest Seattle as his upside is very high for a potential undrafted quarterback.  As I’ve mentioned before, Seattle wants to turn their backup quarterback spot into a future trade chip, so swinging on a toolsy option like Belton could make sense for Seattle.

Dayne Crist, Kansas

Mobile and possessing a strong arm with great touch, Crist is a developmental prospect worth keeping an eye on.  He has many problems though, most conspicuously his struggles with accuracy, particularly deep accuracy.  I think quarterbacks with mobility plus arm talent will interest Seattle the most, so he could be a player they go after depending on how things go down.

Seth Doege, Texas Tech

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOwMPJmdnLA

Texas Tech hasn’t exactly had the greatest track record with quarterbacks in the NFL despite having several prolific college passers, but I must confess, watching Doege is just plain fun.  He reminds me of Case Keenum from last year  in many ways:  same size, same exaggerated offense, same sneaky mobility, same strong intangibles, same dead on comparison to Jeff Garcia.

I was a fan of Keenum’s last year in what was a stellar group of 6’1″ quarterbacks.  Of that group, only one (Chandler Harnish) was drafted, but Austin Davis made the Rams’ roster, GJ Kinne was picked up by the Eagles in February and Case Keenum is on the Texans’ practice squad.  I expect that Doege will make a roster somewhere.  Depending on who’s available, I’d love to give Doege a look in our style of offense.

Nathan Stanley, Southeastern Louisiana

Stanley only threw 57 career passes before 2012, and his 2012 season isn’t even listed at sites like ESPN or sports-reference.com.  So I’m not quite sure what to make of him.

That said, he’s big (6’5″, 220), is very athletic, and can throw the pigskin through a brick wall.  Like Belton, Stanley is a swing for the fences type with terrific physical potential.

Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt

You may have heard that Jordan Rodgers is the brother of megastar quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  What I think interests me more is that Rodgers played for Vanderbilt, a doormat team in the SEC.  It’s quite the difference in competition when considering how the late round quarterback class is dominated by small school players.

I like Rodgers quite a bit, but I don’t think comparisons to his brother help him.  The only similarities the two share are the quick pace at which they play and the “body language” they give off when scanning the field on the move.  Jordan Rodgers can’t match his brother’s arm strength and mobility though.  While he’s (generously) listed at 6’2″, the same height as his brother, he’s only 202 pounds, which could be reason for durability concern in the NFL.

Rodgers did have a very strong senior season, completing 59.9% of his passes for 8.0 yards per attempt with 15 touchdowns against just 5 interceptions.  And remember, he did that in the SEC.

(And while it has nothing to do with my evaluation, NFL.com had a fun little segment with Jordan Rodgers and Mike Glennon that you can see here.)

BJ Daniels

I’ve already written an entire article expressing my support for BJ Daniels in Seattle’s style of offense.

Others worth mentioning:

Landry Jones won’t be a Seahawk (lacks athleticism), but he will be a big name late round option.

Tyler Bray gives me strong Andy Dalton vibes- but I should also say upfront that I was lukewarm at best on Dalton before the 2011 draft.  Bray is not athletic in the slightest and doesn’t really fit what Seattle appears to be searching for.

Collin Klein has an amazingly underpowered arm.  I’m less of an arm strength nut than most evaluators would be, but he’s clearly below any kind of sane minimum standard.  I think he can improve with coaching, as he doesn’t step into his throws very well and improving in that area would boost the zip on his throws.  It would not shock me if Seattle drafted Klein late.  He has the kind of “tilt the field” intangibles that John Schneider likes, he’s highly mobile, he’s durable, and he’s not a terrible quarterback, he’s just extremely weak armed.

Zac Dysert has his fans- I’m not one of them.  His game reminds me a lot of John Skelton’s.  I wouldn’t rule out Seattle drafting him since he’s resilient in the pocket (meaning that like Skelton and Big Ben, he can make strong throws while being sacked).  His mobility is just average, but his arm strength is legitimately impressive.  The one really good thing about Dysert- if Pete can make him look good in our offense, I could see Seattle getting a nice draft pick for him in a trade down the road.  Teams are already salivating over his arm talent.

Jeff Tuel has average mobility, a below average arm, and never completely nailed down the starting job during his time at Washington State- a team that was one of the very weakest among the BCS conferences during his time there.  I’m a big Pac-12 fan and I’ve seen a lot of WSU football.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game of his where I thought “NFL future.”   As a Huskies fan, I remember rooting for a very similar quarterback in a very similar situation many years ago:  Carl Bonnell.  Bonnell showed enticing ability at times, but was highly inconsistent and ended up being a forgotten man by the end.  I could see the Seahawks inviting Tuel in as a 5th quarterback during undrafted free agency just because of the Pac-12 connections, but I’d be stunned if they drafted him.

Brad Sorensen is sometimes talked about as a draftable prospect, but based on what I’ve seen, I’d pass.  His footwork and accuracy are awful, he’s nothing special physically and he played for a tiny school.  I don’t get it.

There are of course many more quarterbacks that I won’t mention here (I’ve gone down NFL Draft Scout’s entire list of 43 quarterbacks).  Of the remaining options I am either unable to find enough material to form an opinion or felt they were not worth discussing.

Overall thoughts and a preliminary attempt at a ranking

After going over this quarterback group, it’s not as weak in the late rounds as I initially thought.  Katz, Cameron, Aplin, Belton, Crist, Doege, Stanley, Rodgers, Daniels, and Klein all have the mobility necessary for the read option and/or a point guard at quarterback type role.

If I had to attempt a ranking of my favorites from this group (meaning that guys like Matt Barkley or Tyler Wilson are excluded), I think I’d go with the list below for the moment.  Remember, I don’t have enough material to scout these players to my own standards, so writing this list feels a bit like giving draft grades the day after.  Take it more as a form of entertainment than the final word:

#1.  Ryan Aplin: The more I see, the more I learn about him, the more I like him.

#2.  Seth Doege: I’m not sure why I have Doege this high.  Probably because I’ve always been a big fan of Jeff Garcia, particularly because Garcia was very good when placed in offenses just like the one Seattle currently runs.   Doege’s big ugly whip-action windup does scare me, but he seems to compensate for it with outstanding arm speed.  It may not look pretty, but his release time is just fine.

#3.  BJ Daniels: Daniels is the most extreme read option quarterback of this group.  I don’t think he’d pan out just anywhere, but in Seattle’s offense I could see our coaching staff emphasizing his strengths while minimizing his weaknesses.  I’d take him any day of the week and twice on Sundays over Collin Klein.

#4.  Jordan Rodgers: If there’s a saying I live by- it’s never underestimate a cerebral quarterback.  Rodgers shows NFL level awareness and plays at a very fast pace.  That he played an entire season in the SEC with just 5 picks should get him drafted.

#5.  Ryan Katz: Inconsistent, injury prone, and undersized, but he has “Russell Wilson” type moments, and that makes me think he could be worth a look.

I’d be happy with any of those five in the late rounds.  As for rounding out a top 10 of this late round group:

#6.  Nathan Stanley: I don’t profess to be an expert on him, but his tools are jaw dropping for a likely to be undrafted player.

#7.  Clay Belton: Like Stanley, Belton has excellent physical talent.

#8.  Casey Brockman: Of all the game manager types listed in this article, Brockman’s tape shines the best and reveals the fewest flaws.

#9. Colby Cameron: I’m not a big fan of Cameron’s, but other teams will remember the hype Cameron had pre-draft and that will help his trade stock if Seattle turns him into a good quarterback.

#10.  Collin Klein: Something tells me that Seattle could make the Collin Klein experiment work.  Obviously, there are many quarterbacks I’d rather have.  Klein would be an adventure.  Maybe the good kind.  Maybe the bad kind.  Just as a fan, I think I’d rather have an interesting, enigmatic backup than a blase clipboard holder.  Wouldn’t want all the winning of football games to make life dull.

28 Responses to “The 2013 late round quarterback class”

  1. Trudy Beekman says:

    I don’t see how Aplin goes undrafted, specifically because of RW. His height will be less of a sticking point, and his mobility will be a big plus. He has a cannon and his stat-line at least would indicate that he is careful with the ball. The difference between he and a lot of these QB’s is that he is a throw-first guy that ran either by design or improvising maybe 8-10 times a game. ESPN’s career stats for him show a nice progression from his Freshman to Senior years.

    http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/384784/ryan-aplin

  2. Leonard says:

    This is awesome. All of this video and breakdown in one spot is great. After watching a few Aplin games I think you are spot on in your assessment. The only thing I’d add is when his coaches were asked who the toughest kid on the team was, they all said Aplin. It was a pretty good team this year too. Helton and Brockman are new to me and I can’t remember anything about Katz so I am going to check those guys out for sure.
    I do think you are off about Tuel though. I recently rewatched his tape from before the new coaching staff and he was really good. His mobility and athleticism was well above average. He routinely bought several seconds scrambling in and out of trouble all while keeping his eyes down field. Pretty much all of his timed drills would be near the top of this QB class including a 4.60 forty. His arm strength was adequate but he was very good at putting the ball where his reciever had a chance to make the catch. I think him not being a full time starter had more to do with injuries and not meshing with the new coach and his offense than his talent. I’d have him in the top 5 of your list and I’m a UW grad.
    Again, thanks so much for all the great work you do here and especially for this.

  3. oz says:

    I love watching tape of BJ Daniels. Reminds me so much of RW. Stanley is interesting. I’ll have to watch more tape on Aplin seeing as you have him rated so high. Good work Rob.

  4. Colin says:

    This sucks not having a 1st round pick. We’re left talking about late round QB’s who won’t amount to sheeit in Seattle… blah. We gotta start talking about the round 2 pick.

    • Maz says:

      Well, if Barkley, Nassib, or Manuel were last to #56, there would be something to talk about. Not happening though.

      There has been a whole lot of chatter on this site about our second round pick. It’s just not very realistic, that we draft a QB that will make more money than RW, unless someone where to have a Aaron Rodgers like fall, in the second round.

    • Nate says:

      Just think of Percy as our 1st round, that’s how I cheer myself up ;-) What ever happened to the Matt Scott workout, thought he was supposed to come in, haven’t heard anything? Funny thought I just had, what if Brady Q. was the worst at the tryout. They picked him up knowing he would be both the cheapest and an easy hurdle for Portis and or draft pick to truly be backup?

      • Reports were that Matt Scott had a highly impressive workout for Seattle. I’m sure he’s way up there on Seattle’s radar, the only question is how soon would they draft him.

  5. James says:

    Nice work, Kip….this is such a great site! I am going to stick with your original guy, Daniels. I like his tape the best, most like RW. Of course, we have no clue whether these guys are making the correct read, what their intangibles are, etc. Just based on the ability to run the offense and make strong throws, I rank them: 1) Daniels, 2) Doege, and then 3) Applin. I don’t care as much for Applin’s release, he pushes the ball from his shoulder, rather than flicking it with his wrist, always a sign to me that the guy is not going to be able to make all the NFL throws.

    Can’t wait to see this draft, with John having less pressure to fill needs and more freedom to find the best players. His R2 and R3 picks will give us great insight into his thinking, before he starts filling holes and adding depth in the mid-rounds.

    • Turp says:

      I think you are under estimating Aplin’s release a bit. He’s able to change arm angles in the face of pressure to get throws out there. Reminds me of Stafford in that way. Not a bad attribute to have.

  6. Craig says:

    I think Jeff Tuel is being criminally underrated. Average athleticism is definitely wrong. 4.6 40 and a 32″ vertical are impressive numbers for a QB. To truly evaluate Tuel you have to look away from this past year where he was learning a new offense that he was not really a good fit for with the Air Raid. Also one must take into account that I believe he was sacked more than any other QB in the nation during his tenure at WSU which 1) leads to injuries 2) makes his composer and will to win more impressive. It is difficult to have good timing and accuracy while getting sacked, 28, 48, 8 and 35 times (2009-2012) and yet he completed 58%, 59%, 64%, 63% (2009-2012) of his passes. Tack on that he played with zero NFL talent except for Marquess Wilson and realistically bottom level talent of the PAC 12, I think he out performed what most QBs would have done in the same situation. The guy has all the intangibles and was put through difficult tests at WSU and yet never gave up. He has the tools.

    • Maz says:

      Nice Job Kip! Really liked this article, been waiting for you to post it. Thanks.

      Have to agree with Craig for a moment. Why no mention of Jeff Tuel? I would like to know your detailed opinion of him. I happen to really like Tuel in the 7th round. Craig mentions some of his skill set above. He has been making a rise and has caught the attention of Bill Belichick and Co. He has worked out for NE and BUF. He has a good arm, and is able to throw the deep ball accurately. Marques Wilson was a superstar with him delivering the ball. I think losing M. Wilson this season hurt his stats, as well as a porous offensive line. He did play for the Cougs, so that could be a downfall locally for some. What I like most about Tuel is his calmness in the pocket. He really is able to keep his eyes downfield under pressure. He is able to scramble to buy time, like RW. He is probably more athletic than he has tested out at, but displayed above average athleticism at the QB position.

      • bobk3333 says:

        I like Tuel’s tools, but he looked horrible this past season – really, really horrible. It could have been because of the new coach, so it’s worth keeping an open mind on him.

        They can probably get Tuel, along with receiver Brandon Kaufman as undrafted free agents, but if the Hawks see something in him, 7th round would not be too much of a stretch.

        The guy from WSU I really like is Marquise Wilson.

      • I’m probably being too hard on him, it’s just that he reminds me so much of Carl Bonnell. I was a big fan of Bonnell in the mid 2000s because he flashed good ability, but he eventually turned into a pile of crap.

        There are good things I can say about Tuel, but the whole is less than the sum of all parts with him. He was never a QB that struck fear into the hearts of opposing teams. I know injuries factored a little, but WSU has been on a QB carousel the last couple years and if that isn’t damning for a QB, I don’t know what would be.

  7. williambryan says:

    I’m surprised how much Rodgers looks like his older brother. Obviously not quite the physical specimen, maybe not as strong armed, but I think he could be a very successful backup in this league. He just pulled even with BJ Daniels as my preferred QB from this draft.

  8. David says:

    As a TTU fan, I never saw Doege as an NFL talent. Other Tech QBs have had far better skills. Wish him the best, though. He’s had a rough road injury-wise.

    • Leonard says:

      I watched the East-West Shrine game last night on YouTube and Doege looked really bad. Right after the announcers tried to talk up his arm strength he bounced a ten yard out route about three yards in front of the reciever with zero pressure. He did get a little better but really didn’t look like more than a practice squad guy. He still looked better than Klein though. The Kansas State coach did a great job getting the most out of that kid. It was an all star game so I guess I shouldn’t put too much stock in it.

    • Yeah, I can see what you mean regarding “skills”, namely his mechanics. I really wish there was more to evaluate him on.

  9. [...] the way, if you missed it earlier Kip wrote a fantastic piece on the late round quarterback options for Seattle. Make sure you check it [...]

  10. bobk3333 says:

    Don’t be too shocked if the Seahawks pick up another veteran.

    Quinn is more of a body to fill in during OTAs and other practices. There is no commitment to him and not much cost. He doesn’t get paid any of his salary until the real season if he is still on the roster, although he will get a relatively minimal per diem during training camps.

    I still like Nick Foles, if the Hawks can swing a deal for him. There is a good chance that the Eagles will trade Nick Foles, especially if they draft a quarterback to go along with Michael Vick and Darron Thomas. Nick Foles would be perfect, better than anyone they could draft.

    Nick Foles is not a runner, but I don’t agree that they necessarily want to obtain a running quarterback. It’s a factor, but it is a “nice to have.” By far the most important factor (along with salary) is getting someone who has the best chance of winning if Russell Wilson goes down and Nick Foles is the best alternative for that.

    Also, Tim Tebow is still in play.

    The Jets still want to get something for him versus having to cut him. Other teams, of course, would much prefer for him to be cut so they can get him for free.

    If you were a team, like the Seahawks, who want the Jets to cut Tebow, would you:
    a) public acknowledge your interest in him, or
    b) pretend that you are not interested, even to the extent of planting a story in the local paper that you are not interested?

    So, there is a game being played with a lot of teams, including the Seahawks, publicly saying they are not interested, when usually they are more tight-lipped about these things.

    • Leonard says:

      I think that a big part of finding a back up QB that gives the team the best chance at wining is finding someone with a similar skill set as the starter. Most offenses are built around the starting QB. The plays that they run and the players surrounding him have all been picked to optimize his game strengths. I don’t think Foles skill set fits with this offense as he is more of a stationary pocket passer. That would probably be the only reason for the Eagles to get rid of him too. I think they are looking for someone who is better at play action fakes, roll outs and improvisation. Being able to run the read option would be a big plus too. It really put defenses on there heals last year.

  11. Jeff says:

    No to Katz, he absolutely lacks the intangibles. All the talent in the world, no intangibles at all. None, zip, nada. Don’t want him anywhere near Seattle. Teammates at OSU basically revolted, its the real reason he lost his job and transferred. Behind the scenes he was a nightmare.

    • Miles says:

      I thought Ryan Katz’ tape was pretty interesting. The thing is he’s still a young kid, and no one’s expecting him to come in and be vocal in the lockerroom. Our backup can be an understudy.

      I like his mobility and appreciate his Russell-ness. I think he would be a solid 7th-round addition. But I think the bigger story for the Seahawks is his teammate, Brice Butler. The Hawks had him in for a visit and has that guy improved his stock or what? Ran a 4.36 at his pro day and had a 39″ vertical. There’s no objective tape of him online but here’s this highlight video (below) that definitely shows his ability to go over the top of a defense, and also to go up for a ball. I seriously think the Hawks will draft this guy, hopefully with a 7th round pick but probably earlier. With the kind of performances he’s putting in I don’t think he’s going to last too late.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lc7Lrts-lB4

      • Jeff says:

        Disagree on Katz, back up or not a QB needs to have the ability to command the respect of his team. Physically Katz has all the tools but he isn’t someone you want leading your team, even as a back up. Take someone else.

        And I was a huge Katz defender for far too long….even after the Sac State debacle that cost him his job at OSU…

  12. Michael (CLT) says:

    Thumbs up for Mr. Rodgers. The Florida D he was playing against was top 5.

  13. ivotuk says:

    Wow, that is a hell of a lot of work Kip! Thanks for putting that all together. I loved watching BJ Daniels and think he would make an excellent back up for Russell. He takes snaps from center too which is a plus.

    You were right, Doege is a lot of fun to watch. He made some pretty throws in to small windows. I’ll bet he is better than Graham Harrell.

    I have to play devil’s advocate with Aplin though, I don’t like him at all. I watched that twice and saw a few decent plays but hated the rest of it.

    For example, at 0:25 he almost threw a pick. His fakes are terrible, he hops in the air, turning 90 degrees and squats. Sometimes he turns 90 degrees and bows to the running back, what is that about? It should be obvious to the defense from that kind of movement that it is going to be a throwing play.

    On the read-option where it’s going to be a run, he does a pretty decent fake hand-off, but the pass-fake is a dead give away. At 1:15 he does that squat/bow fake hand-off again then proceeds to throw the ball slightly behind his receiver. A little out front and that might have been a TD.

    That team can’t pull of a screen play to save it’s life, I don’t know who that is on but my guess is there is a “tell” and the defense knows when it’s coming.

    At 2:13 that could have been a pick as he threw slightly behind his player.

    2:45 this is a little nit-picky but his receiver was wide open and had to slow down for the ball. If you watch the replay at 3:03, that ball was a dirt diving, dying duck. Quuaaaccckkkk!

    I gotta give him credit at 3:35 for eluding the rushers and getting rid of the ball. It had the chance of being caught by his receiver or intercepted. Risky, but gutsy play.

    4:25 that could have been picked off. I wonder what Milliner or Poyer would have done there? Probably had an INT for TD. This is where level of competition worries me.

    5:45 a heads up play when things start to break down, he keeps his eyes downfield and makes a nice completion. Follows that up with a nice rushing TD. Kid has his moments.

    I really don’t like Aplin and I especially don’t like the offense he plays in but maybe that’s what suits him best. When I watch Aplin play, I am reminded of Brock Osweiller, in Kellen Clemens body.

  14. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Super post Kip. I really enjoyed it.

    This “certain reader” also appreciates the inclusion of Brockman in your write up, though it’s ironic to me in that he’s not so much my favorite, but the favorite of my friend who’s a Murray St. alum. All last season he kept chewing my ear off about how Brockman would be the next RW. I hadn’t seen any game film at that time, so I just assumed he meant that Brockman was a true read-option QB. And when you teased us with your “discovery” of a sleeper r-o QB a few weeks back, my mind went straight to Brockman. I probably should’ve done some homework first because I agree with you that he doesn’t play r-o. However, I do think he’s a point guard type QB in that he finds a way to get the ball to the player who can make the play (with good accuracy and decent arm strenght/throwing mechanics), and he has the foot speed to tuck it and run (take it to the hoop) it if need be. What impressed me the most, however, is his patience with the pass, and how you can see him checking through his options before making his throw. Definitely among the best game manager QBs this season.

    With respect to your favorite, Ryan Alpin, I have to disagree with you respectfully. I more or less agree with ivotuk above in that I came away from his film totally unimpressed. Granted, that is only 1 game; nonetheless, aside from a few decent throws, I thought his accuracy and timing were dismal. He never put the ball out ahead of his target so the WR could run into the pass – he had 1 (maybe 2) throws that were directly to the WR, but he never led his target. Usually his throws were slightly short and slightly behind (or worse), at best forcing the WR to make the adjustment, or at worst giving the defender an opportunity to make a play on the ball. It didn’t hurt AK St. all that much against FIU, but I’m sure it would be much worse against a BCS team, let alone an abject disaster in the NFL. He also doesn’t seem to be any good at reading defenses (too many throws into double coverage and/or failure to see the second defender in position to intercept), and I didn’t see him check through his receiving options before passing. He does have good mobility however.

    In the end, I still like BJ Daniels as a Day 3/UDFA acquisition.