Chicago Sun-Times

Hitting the target with college quarterbacks

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College scouting director Greg Gabriel projects three or four quarterbacks will be off the board when the Bears select in the second round at No. 44.

“You can pick the names,” Gabriel said. “I’m not.”

OK. Matt Ryan is likely to be selected in the top 10 picks. You can stack up Brian Brohm, Joe Flacco and Chad Henne in any order you would like. They’re listed here alphabetically. The belief now is a team or teams may look to trade into the end of the first round to nab one or more of these passers before teams in need of a quarterback come on the clock in the second round.

Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City and Baltimore all have picks at the top of the second round and could be in the market for a young gun. That means if the Bears, Carolina or Detroit, other clubs in need of a quarterback, see a guy they want they may need to move to strike.

I read an interesting story last week about drafting quarterbacks and now I cannot find the thing anywhere. Basically, the point was that college statistics don’t lie. If a passer is accurate in college and does a good job of taking care of the ball there, he’ll play accordingly in the NFL. If a passer is inaccurate in college, he’s going to be that way in the pros. You can only improve a guy’s accuracy through mechanics so much.

I thought about the story again when offensive coordinator Ron Turner was asked what attributes he looks for in a quarterback?

“I think the No. 1 thing is decision making,” Turner said. “Obviously, they have to have the physical talent to make all the throws, but decision making, accuracy and athletic ability.”

On that note, let’s look at some of the career numbers:

Matt Ryan—Completion percentage 60.0, one pick every 36.4 attempts

Brian Brohm—Completion percentage 65.8, one pick every 49.4 attempts

Joe Flacco—Completion percentage 63.3, one pick every 62.8 attempts

Chad Henne—Completion percentage 59.7, one pick every 37.5 attempts

There is a lot more that goes into the evaluation than this, obviously. But the general point was interesting. The argument would certainly bolster a case for someone like Brohm.

When asked how many quarterbacks he expected to be taken in the first round, Gabriel replied, “At least one.”

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23 Comments

I think you are missing the clearer implication here. If you really want to package the three things Turner notes, "decision making, accuracy, and athletic ability" (the last being the most interesting to me) and add in your analysis about completion percentage translating to the NFL, two name immediately stand out, IMO:

Josh Johnson, San Diego: Completion percentage 68.0, one pick every 71 attempts

Dennis Dixon, Oregon: Completion percentage 63.9, one pick every 33.1 attempts (though much better his senior year).

I think they're targeting Johnson with one of those third round picks, after they get their OT in the first and RB in the second.

Just curious if this applies backwards, as well. For example, how was Rex's decision making back at Florida? Did he throw a lot of picks? Take a lot of sacks?

I might have to quit reading this blog. I read all these things about the Bears selecting a QB in the first round and it makes me sick. Matt Ryan would cost us too much in terms of draft picks, and Chad Henne was okay at Michigan. Was he that much better than John Navarre? I need to take a look. I am so nervous for Saturday afternoon.

Agreed with the Josh Johnson mention. Would also add Kevin O'Connell as well. I think unless Brohm is there, and JA is sold, we should wait till the late rounds.

Rex Grossman, Florida: Completion percentage 61, one pick every 30.83 attempts

Depending on your view of Grossman, this does or does not go to proof of the theory in question.

Personally, I believe we already have a compitent QB in Grossman and a qualified 2nd string in Orton. I do think that most of our offensive play at the QB position was due to the offensive line not our QB. The proof to this is that no matter who our QB was last year the stats were almost the same.

Khylek, that is a very good point about the QB stats last season. The same can be said about the running backs stats as well. Both Benson and Peterson had an average of around 3 yards per carry.

Bear fans should look at one major stat line before speaking of the QB situation in Chicago, In the same time Brett Favre was QB for the Packers, THE BEARS HAVE GONE THROUGH 16 QB's LABELED AS THE NEXT FRANCHISE GUY. The fact of the matter is that we cannot afford to miss on a guy in the 3rd, 4th, or even 5th rounds. We must address the QB situation in the late 1st or early 2nd where the major prospects live. JA must trade up from pick 44 to the early to mid 30's for a shot at Flacco, Brohm, OR Henne. Flacco or Brohm would be the smart decision here. Fact is, if we wait and miss on a guy like Josh Johnson or Andre Woodson, then we'll have gone thru 17 QB's and be right where we are now 5 sesons down the line. LET'S AVOID THAT AND DRAFT A GUY SOONER!

I was a big fan of Grossmans at florida and remember his offensive line all graduated a year ahead of him leaving him to hike the ball and then run for his life his senior year. Back then I did'nt notice a problem protecting the ball but with the bears I sometimes wonder if he has physically small hands. I too agree with dsm bear and would like them to draft a third QB with the ability to throw accuratly across his body while on the run or rolling out. These QBs are rare but i was impressed with some throws on the run flacco made in the senior bowl. I like flacco and henne but they are tabbed as big and imobile. booty is more likely to be there in the top of third and does show some mobility.

A QB Needs to be taken top of second round. We have Josh Johnson on our roster already, but he is playing under the name Kyle "lifetime backup" Orton. In fact we have had many Josh Johnsons. We absolutely HAVE TO take a QB early 2nd or late 1st.

My friendly Packer mauler, Two words for you as far as mobile QB's are conserned Kordel Stewart. Thanks for playing.
We need a guy with the arm of the likes of Jay Cutler,Ben Rothlisberger, or Carson Palmer. Again, Joe Flacco is our guy here.

Grossman came out for the Draft as a Junior. He did not play a single snap as a senior at Florida

JMS, how would a 2nd round QB this year be the answer to decades of poor QB play?? The Bears need to evaluate the position and move up in the draft to get their franchise QB whomever it is; they can't just sit and hope the guy falls into their lap and that's what they've always done. GM's have gone on record to say this is the worst crop of QB's they've seen in years, so the Bears should pass until maybe the 4th or 5th round.

Marlon, Play GM Jerry Angelo for a moment, who would you chose in this years draft, when, and why would you take them?

It's clear to me that the Bears need to put the "o" back in Chicago with some major upgrades on the offensive side of the ball.

Things that are missing from this, how many passes where thrown, average yards per pass, arm strength, foot woork(real important), inteligence, reation time, ability to read a defense, progression, system, level of compitition, supporting cast. It's the hardest position to find a franchise player at hands down. It's a weak class I wouldn't waste a pick on any one past round one if it was not a need. However it is a need, Angelo has set a strange benchmark for himself this year, he wants four starters on offense out of this class starting this year. That is next to impossible to do. He will not pick a QB he needs starters. Using two numbers to figure out who would be a good qb is insane. I can find some high school players with better numbers than those, maybe they shoud start in the NFL. The Bears are going with Rex and Orton, they are making there bed with these guys, Angelo thinks both are great players, thats all there is too it, he will find a third QB in the late rounds to fill out the position and play on the practice squad.

I'm 55 yrs old and a lifetime bears fan. Can we ONE TIME get a QB that can move his fahkapta FEET??? Dixon or SDS Johnson, NUFF SAID...

Thousand Oaks Steve: Kordell Stewart, whom the Bears only signed after they failed to land Jake Plummer or Brian Griese (the first time), whom they plugged into Jim Miller's "wait-and-gun" offense behind an offensive line that was letting just about everything run by and through.

Everyone with three digits in their I.Q. knows Kordell Stewart was thrown under the bus in Chicago. Even he knew it; that's why he embellished a minor injury, collected his paycheck, and skipped out to Baltimore so he could at least retire with his knees intact.

Dixon's got years of development ahead of him in the NFL. I'm thinking he'll be the next Seneca Wallace: a good quarterback who gets so sick of being second-string he'd play wide receiver just to get on the field. He's a good quarterback, but he's not as effective unless he's in the spread.

Johnson, however, warrants some interest. His combine performance was dismal enough that he might still be around in Round 4. He's adequately-sized and played under Jim Harbaugh; granted, he played against small schools, but so did Steve McNair. People want Johnson to switch to Wide Receiver because of his (*cough* skin color*) 40-yard dash time; he deserves a few years to try and be a QB.

Creighton was correct - JA made his bed with the QB's we have and will find a QB in later rds.
Thanks DSM on Rex stats.
I disagree that we need a 1st rd QB as a Franchise guy, their have been way too many flops on QB'S picked in first rd by all teams. (Rex was what 22 or 14 pick??)
I would like for us to get Johnson but first in this draft we need OL/RB
I would like to see what our guys can do behind a great OL. Has ANYONE noticed what the Vikes have been doing??? BEST OL/DL!!! We are in big trouble if we can't match up in the trenches, forget QB/WR/RB we need OL or Vikes will teach us a hard lesson this year

I've been looking at Josh Johnson since the East-West Game. Nabbing him with the second 3rd, or 4th round pick would be worth it. . . an inspired choice I'm not holding my breath though. It's too-outside-the box for Angelo and the Bears.

Darryl, Let me spell them out for you... Mike Tomczak, Jim Harbaugh, Peter Tom Willis, Will Furrer, Erik Kramer, Steve Walsh, Dave Krieg, Rick Mirer, Steve Stenstrom, Shane Mathews, Cade"Bust" McNown, Jim Miller, Chris Chandler, Jenry Burris, Kordel Stewart, Jonathan Quin, Craig Krenzel, Chad Huchinson, Kyle Orton, Wrecks Grossman, and Brian "not his Dad" Griesse.
The List goes on and on. What frustrates me as a life long Bears fan in my late 20's is that we can't seem to come up with the answer at QB. Until we get our answer, we'll continue to waste a perfectly good "D". So if Johnson is who you want, Johnson is who you'll get. Still love them, GO BEARS!

There are two QB's the Bears like in this draft Ryan and Flacco, niether will be a Bear. Sense I was a kid the Bears have been talking about getting a true franchise QB, heck sense most of us where kids they have been saying this. As long as they don't have to spend a high pick on him or pay him much. The reason the Bears don't have a QB is because they don't want one. I f they did they would have done something about it. Sid Luckman was our last Franchise QB Sid Freakin Luckman. He retired in 1950. So 58 years later we are still looking. It is an insult to the fans that they have not put a precedence on this position. They will never address this issue. It will always be sloppy seconds or some other teams cast off or some 5th round pick. You could bet if the guy was there for the Bears they would trade down. Angelo himself has said he does not feel the position is that important.

If the Bears are serious about landing either Flacco,Henne,or Brohm they will probably have to trade up in the late first. I don't think they will, The Bears will probably stay at #44 and take a QB if Flacco,Henne, or Brohm are there which I don't think they will be, the Bears will then take the best running back slash tackle, depending on what the Bears do at #14. Drafting a QB is an inexact science. Yeah you have to look at how accurate a specific player was in college and how many picks he has thrown. But there is one aspect that is overlooked, the individual players basic mechanics. Simple things like the center snap exchange, does the player set his feet when he throws, and the players throwing motion. Take our own Kyle Orton, his rookie season in 05 when he was forced into the starting lineup, Orton had difficulty with the center snap exchange and then setting his feet to throw. Orton needed to sit a season or two before being the starter, Orton played in the spread in which the QB is primarily in the shotgun at Purdue. I noticed the Orton of 07 is ready to start vs the 05 Orton when he was not use to being under center. I personally think Orton is going to be the Bears QB, but that is a different discussion for a different blog. My point is if the Bears want a QB that is more NFL ready they should go with Chad Henne for the simple fact of what I have been saying all along, Henne was under center a lot at Michigan vs Flacco or Brohm who were primarily in the shotgun. This does not sound like much but it makes all the difference in how ready a QB is for NFL play. I'm not saying Flacco or Brohm are not going to be good but I just think Henne is the most polished of the three. Also you have got to be able to make all the throws in Ron Turners offense, Ron loves the long ball. Any three of these guys could get the job done, although Brohm does have questionable arm strength, but what scares me away fron Brohm the most is his durability issues he had at Louisville. Flacco would be great but not fot this season, he will have the same problems that Orton had with the center snap exchange, Flacco may need a year or two to be fine tuned. This current regime does not have time to develope another QB which is why I think Chad Henne would be the best fit. I think with his arm strength that is better than Brohms and the fact that he is more NFL ready than Flacco make Henne the best choice if the Bears decide to pursue one of the three. If however the Bears go after a late round gun, they better make the right choice because like I said this current regime does not have time for a major project. Anyone chosen on the second day is usually a project although. A couple players that might not be bad for late consideration is either Tulsas Paul Smith or San Diego States Kevin O'Connell. Both players would need work but I like both of there improvement in the accuracy department and both of there ability to buy time in the pocket. Oh well can't wait till saturday GO BEARS!!

Steve, since you asked me to play GM, here goes: 1st round I trade back to 17 and pick up another 3rd rounder. At 17 I pick Williams OT; 2nd Charles RB; 3rd Moore DT; Rachal G; Avery WR; 4th Johnson QB; 5th -7th get out ouija board

Marlon, I like where your heads at, a true Bears fan, let's hope for the best come Saturday. For the record, I can tell your a true Bears ALUM..GO BEARS

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on April 23, 2008 11:30 AM.

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