Undrafted Quarterbacks to Watch: Chiefs, Jaguars, Raiders, Vikings and More
We spent all last week evaluating the players that were drafted, but there are so many players in the NFL that went undrafted that it’d be foolish not to look at the undrafted players that still have a chance to make it. We’ll start with the quarterbacks, where Tony Romo and Warren Moon are the poster boys for undrafted players. Here’s a look at some of the undrafted quarterbacks that still have a chance to find a home in the NFL.
Tyler Bray – It’s rare that the most talented quarterback in a draft class goes undrafted, but all 32 teams had good reason for passing on Bray, who clearly should have stayed at Tennessee for his senior season, despite a coaching change in Knoxville. Bray has the size and arm strength that NFL teams love, and he’s great at throwing the ball deep, but there are still questions regarding his leadership abilities and his dedication. After going undrafted, Bray signed with Kansas City, which is actually a good situation for him.
Andy Reid has taken far less talented quarterbacks, like A.J. Feely and Kevin Kolb, worked with them and given them a chance to play in the NFL, so he’s definitely a guy that can help to develop Bray. If Bray can improve his work ethic and learn a few things from Reid, then a couple years from now he could be in position to take over for Alex Smith in Kansas City. He has all the talent in the world, but he needs to get it together above the shoulders if he wants to have a career in the NFL.
Matt Scott – Scott going undrafted was a bit of a surprise, as most had him as one of the 10 best quarterbacks available. Nevertheless, he signed with the Jaguars, which may end up being a better outcome for him than getting drafted by someone else. With Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne as the only other quarterbacks on Jacksonville’s roster heading into the draft, Scott could have a realistic chance to compete to be the starter or backup right away. He has the mobility that NFL teams are beginning to covet and his arm is strong enough to hold up in the league. He has the skills, and in Jacksonville he’ll have the opportunity, and so Scott has as good a chance as any undrafted quarterback in this year’s class to make it in the league.
Jordan Rodgers – Like Scott, Rodgers signed with Jacksonville after the draft, which means he’ll have a fair shot to compete to be the starter or the backup for the 2013 season. He doesn’t have as much talent as his brother, but he has enough arm strength and mobility to draw interest from NFL teams, as will the fact that his brother was a late bloomer, and Jordan could be as well. He was also a key part of Vanderbilt’s miraculous resurrection over the past two years, and that shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s smart, knows how to play the position, and won’t be intimidated by NFL defenses, and that’ll be enough to keep giving him chances in the NFL, even if his first shot with the Jaguars doesn’t work out.
James Vandenberg – The former Iowa quarterback has the skills to hang around the league awhile and carve out a niche for himself as a NFL backup. Vandenberg is a consistent thrower that can make quick decisions and move the ball down field when he gets in a rhythm. He signed with the Vikings, which is a team he might be able to stick with, despite the presence of Matt Cassell and Joe Webb as backups. He won’t impress anybody too much, but he also won’t drive coaches crazy with horrible decision-making and wild inconsistency, and that steadiness could help Vandenberg keep a job in the NFL for several years.
Collin Klein – If Tim Tebow can have success in the NFL, albeit for a brief period of time, why can’t Klein as well? He’s a great athlete and a powerful runner that is also capable of making quality throws in the right situations. If he’s not as stubborn as Tebow, he could consider changing positions and find a team that’s willing to use him as a running back, fullback, and quarterback, and get creative with ways to use him. He was a Heisman finalist, so he can play the game; it’s just a matter of finding the best way to utilize him. He signed with the Raiders, which may not be the best organization for him to go to, but then again, Oakland may be desperate enough to give him a shot at playing quarterback.