Ok so I wouldn't be bothered if we draft Cam. At the end of the day I am not thrilled about any prospect, however I certainly don't think the strongest player in this draf tis a QB.
Why do I have genuine questions about Cam? Remember this is a pure analysis on Cam, not how he is in relation to others in the draft. Just because I think these thing about him, doesn't mean I think anyone else is any better.
1. Footwork - This is basically the biggest question mark surrounding his technique as a whole. His footwork during drop backs is slow and plodding, lacking much urgency. Then once in the pocket, he stands like a sprinter, rather than on his toes able to make quick changes of direction to evade the pas rush. In college he extended a lot of plays through simple upper body strength to shrug off defenders. It could translate, but look at the guys who extend the plays the best in the NFL and they have incredible footwork (including Big Ben), where they can just move inches and yet make people miss completely. The reason this is such a big issue, is simply that he has had good coaches, yet not shown any ability in this area. It really is a big deal, because footwork is the basis to start all actions he is every going to do as a quarterback
2. Accuracy - He is decent. Certainly not amazing, but not really that good either. Now consider our proposed offense. We aren't going to be manipulating matchups to get quick easy completions like the Pats, instead we are going to be asking our QB to make big throws. A lot. You can scream about his college completion rate all you want, but due to his running threat, teams almost asked him to throw. In the NFL they are going to beg him to run so they can lay some hits on him, unless he is awful at throwing
. His biggest area of concern? The intermediate routes, which are incredibly important for our offense.
3. Release - When it's good, you get a fantastic and powerful throw. When it's not good, his passes are really poor. This goes back to his footwork, as he very frequently doesn't get himself set or relies on his sheer strength when throwing. Now I know most QBs have to improvise at times with their delivery, however for Cam this is pretty common to see and it really is that much worse than his 'good' deliveries.
4. Reading Defences - QBs who are in the league for a long time are smart QBs who can read a defence before they even know what they are doing themselves. This is a completely subjective statement, but I don't see Cam currently even coming close to being proficient in this area, let alone elite. As much athletic potential gets you a good productive 3-5 years, to be productive for 5-10 years requires genuine ability to play traditional QB play. At no point this season was he asked to read complex defences. At no point did he make several reads post snap, it was all 1-2 reads. At no point did he pick up what the defence was showing, make a change pre-snap and then exploit a matchup. I am not denying he can learn these things, but he is a LOT further away than almost all QBs in this draft. The issue with not knowing it NOW, is that he will have even less time at the ext level, which will only make him rely on his instincts - which is to run.
5. Risk - Whether you put much stock in his character or not, things have played a part in the past. So that is up to you if that is significant or not. The issue is that he has to learn a lot more than most rookie QBs with regards to reading defences, he has to make a complete overhaul on his footwork, he has to work on cutting out his improvised throwing motion, he has to somehow suddenly become more accurate, he also has to avoid turning to his instinct to run when things start closing in on him. That is a lot. If he plays in his first year I think you see a similar career path to Young (not him being a headcase, purely not developing as a passer). If he sits for 1-2 years, then you can make sure those issues are completely gone before he is put in the firing line. It's important because the amount of increased pressure he will be in during games, will only make it harder to stick to his teachings rather than do what he has done his whole life.
Edited by Urrymonster, 10 March 2011 - 06:37 PM.