Sometimes, digging through closets and drawers in the vain hope of finding that thing you know you have, but can't remember where you put, yields a gold mine of goodies. In conducting such a search last evening, I happened upon some rare treats: high school prom mementos, a sweet plastic hatchet, my first iPod, a Beast action figure, and the 2008 version of the Sporting News' NFL Draft preview.
The last item in particular caught my attention. Lo and behold, I flipped directly to the quarterback rankings, and who should I find at the top of the list but current Buffalo Bills signal-caller Brian Brohm.
The War Room scouts at the Sporting News are notorious for being bold in their rankings. This is, after all, the same outfit that named Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton the second-best QB available this year (after Oklahoma's Sam Bradford), and a second-round prospect to boot. Former NFL scout Russ Lande heads up the effort, and he's already admitted that he's "whiffed" on his Brohm evaluation to date. Clearly: Brohm was cut by the team that drafted him, has appeared in one regular season game, and sports a career QB rating of 43.2. Meanwhile, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco have a combined three playoff appearances, and Chad Henne could soon join them there.
Still, Brohm is - at least for now - considered a serious contender for the Bills' starting QB job next season, as he has the benefit of an open competition with a new, unbiased regime. I thought it'd be interesting to take a look back at Brohm's Sporting News evaluation this morning; it's certainly an interesting, if thus far wholly inaccurate, read.
1. Brian Brohm > Louisville
6-4 | 226 | 4.95
Final Grade: 8.4
NFL comparison: Peyton Manning, Colts
Arm strength: Makes all the throws with zip and accuracy, but lacks a true rocket arm. His footwork, delivery and release are efficient, making his arm look stronger than it really is. Cannot make great downfield throws when unable to stride into them. Grade: 8.5
Accuracy/delivery: Has a compact and efficient release and consistently gets rid of the ball quickly. Sometimes gets deliberate when throwing, leading to defenders closing in and breaking up passes. Is accurate on throws all over the field. Grade: 8.5
Field vision: Has great field vision, identifying coverages and making correct decisions. Doesn't get fooled by defensive schemes and switches, getting the ball to the right man. Grade: 8.5
Running ability: Shows great, quick footwork to slide and move well in the pocket to avoid pressure. Lacks the ability to tuck the ball and run to make big plays. Grade: 6.5
Intangibles: Comes from a football family; his father and two older brothers are coaches. Clearly has the work ethic, intelligence and feel that is rare for a college quarterback. Grade: 8.0
Bottom line: Considering that Brohm is the son of a coach and his brothers coached him at Louisville, it is no surprise that he has great footwork and technique. He typically makes great decisions, although Brohm forced throws as a senior while trying to carry the offense. In addition to his strong, accurate arm, he has both the mental and athletic acumen to become a terrific starting quarterback early in his NFL career.