Searching for the next Kaepernick, Flacco
January, 30, 2013
By Chris Gigley | ESPN The Magazine
USA TODAY SportsLike the two Super Bowl XLVII starters, these five QB prospects hail from non-traditional football powers.Call this year's Super Bowl the battle of the QB Davids.
Delaware alum Joe Flacco and Nevada alum Colin Kaepernick were, in college, about as far removed from the glitz and glamour of big-time football as you can imagine.
Which could bode well for the following five quarterback prospects, who all hail from non-traditional football schools.
So, if one of these 2013 NFL draft candidates start in the Super Bowl one day, remember where you heard about them first.
1. Matt Brown
Alan Look/Icon SMIBrown has a quick release.
Specs: 6-4, 238 pounds
School: Illinois State (enrollment: 20,762)
Stats: The 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference offensive player of the year led his school and his conference in passing yards (2,676), yards per game (243.3) and total offense (2,789).
Fake scout says: Brown is NFL-sized and has a quick release and good touch on short and mid-range passes. He throws an inaccurate long ball, though -- and NFL scouts and coaches dig the long ball.
Potential Super Bowl puff piece: Brown's coach at ISU, Luke Huard, helped tutor Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker at Washington. If Brown gets to the Super Bowl first, it'll sting a little for Locker.
Odds of starting in a Super Bowl: So-so. Brown's quick release will keep him out of trouble, but he'll have to be in a system that favors the short game to maximize his strengths.
2. Mitchell Gale
Specs: 6-2, 225 pounds
School: Abilene Christian (enrollment: 4,223)
Stats: The all-time leading passer in Lone Star Conference history with 12,109 career yards. Then again, it was the Lone Star Conference.
Fake scout says: Gale uses functional mobility to buy himself time or run for the first down. He has a decent arm and showed real scouts an ability to make adjustments on the fly, a handy skill for any NFL quarterback.
Potential Super Bowl puff piece: He's a trick-shot artist with the football. If the football thing doesn't work out, there are always viral videos.
Odds of playing in a Super Bowl: Better than anyone else in this group. A combination of smarts and mobility make him a candidate to lead a late rally and earn a starting job. If the team that signs him doesn't suck, he’s in good shape.
3. Brad Sorensen
Tommy LaPorte/Icon SMISorensen's strong arm is an asset.
Specs: 6-5, 225 pounds
School: Southern Utah (enrollment: 7,750)
Stats: Ranks fifth all-time among FCS quarterbacks in total passing yards (9,445), yards per game (286.2), completions per game (24.9) and attempts per game (38.0).
Fake scout says: He's Flacco-lite. Sorensen has one of the strongest arms in the draft, but also cinder-block feet. He was sacked 31 times in 2011 and 27 times last year -- in the Big Sky Conference. Not a good sign.
Potential Super Bowl puff piece: He's a mama's boy, and for a good reason. The fifth of six children, Sorensen's older brothers were receivers or tight ends in high school. His mother, however, urged Brad to try out for quarterback.
Odds of starting in a Super Bowl: Eh. Some draft boards have him going as high as the third round. If he excels in the combine, he could go higher, which gives him a better shot to start down the road.
4. James Stallons
Specs: 6-6, 210 pounds
School: Shaw University (enrollment: 2,265)
Stats: Stallons' 3,101 passing yards last year shattered the Shaw record by nearly 1,000 yards. He also led the conference with 310.1 yards per game.
Fake scout says: Stallons is a big-armed pocket passer who will have to get rid of the ball quicker if he wants to sniff any playing time at the next level.
Potential Super Bowl puff piece: Stallons is the first white quarterback in Shaw history. A transfer who started his college career at Wisconsin, Stallons says he chose the small North Carolina school because it had won four CIAA championships since 2003.
Odds of playing in a Super Bowl: Slim. Sure, he's big, but unless Stallons develops a Marino-like release or goes to a team with a stellar O-line, he's toast.
5. Nathan Stanley
AP Photo/L.G. PattersonStanley starred at SLU after transferring from Ole Miss.
Specs: 6-5, 215 pounds
School: Southeastern Louisiana (enrollment: 14,072)
Stats: In his one and only full year as a starter, Stanley threw for 1,952 yards and nine touchdowns.
Fake scout says: He earns the dreaded "project player" tag. Stanley tried to make up for lost time by playing the college all-star-game circuit, where his size and bullet-like passes impressed scouts.
Potential Super Bowl puff piece: Resilience. Stanley was a top high school recruit from Oklahoma when he committed to Ole Miss, but he played in just nine games over two seasons for the Rebels. He even had to carry a clipboard in 2011, his first year at SLU.
Odds of playing in a Super Bowl: Not great. What NFL team has time to slowly bring along a raw quarterback, no matter how talented? Remember Drew Henson, Cowboy fans? Sorry for that.