Legacy Of The Bucs’ Bust-In-WaitingApril 25th, 2009
From NFL.com via NFLDraftScout.com.
Must improve his footwork. His height makes him take long strides in his drop. Fails to step into his throws or square his shoulders at times, relies on his arm strength too often. Inconsistent accuracy from the pocket and throwing on the run. Needs to anticipate downfield throws better, sometimes getting the ball to his receiver a second early or late. Prone to turnovers, makes poor decisions trying to make plays that aren’t there. Does not feel backside pressure. Lacks touch on shorter throws. Ball comes out of his hands poorly at times, negating his arm strength. Sometimes pats the ball before the throws. Loose with the ball in the pocket and as a runner. Doesn’t move the pile as you’d expect in short-yardage situations, but his height allows him to be effective.
Compares To: JASON CAMPBELL, Washington — Freeman is a bit bigger and has more bulk. Both came from programs that really did not highlight their athletic talents, but like the Redskins did with Campbell, a team will have to show patience. He has a great arm that can rival Matthew Stafford’s but has to work on his delivery and release. With such a weak draft class at this position, he could be the third quarterback chosen in the first round. If Detroit trades down from the top spot, it is because they are convinced that Freeman will be around at number 20.
Notice, there isn’t a prerequisite of a rocket arm or elite athletic ability for a quarterback to be successful in the NFL. Quarterback success is all about decision making, accuracy and timing in the pass game. Therefore, when identifying a possible number or statistic to aid in the evaluation of a college quarterback, nothing may be more helpful than considering his completion percentage. It boggles my mind to see a quarterback drafted high based on his pure physical skill set, especially when he never completed a high percentage of passes in his college career. What makes you think a QB who never completed 60 percent of his passes in college will be able to complete 60 percent of his passes in the NFL?
To add some substance to my thoughts, I want to look at every quarterback drafted in the first round from 1997-2004 who didn’t complete 60 percent of his passes during his final college season to show the alarming rate of failure.
Tier Seven (Third-Round Talents)
QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State (6-6, 248)
QB Stephen McGee, Texas A&M (6-3, 225)
RB Rashad Jennings, Liberty (6-1, 231)
WR Mike Wallace, Mississippi (6-1, 199)
WR Mohamed Massaquoi, Georgia (6-2, 210)
TE James Casey, Rice (6-3, 246)
TE Chase Coffman, Missouri (6-6, 244)
OT Xavier Fulton, Illinois (6-4, 302)
OT Gerald Cadogan, Penn State (6-5, 309)
OG Tyronne Green, Auburn (6-2, 309)
C Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas (6-4, 301)
DE Paul Kruger, Utah (6-4, 263)
DT Mitch King, Iowa (6-2, 280)
DT Fili Moala, USC (6-4, 305)
DT Alex Magee, Purdue (6-3, 298)
OLB Jason Williams, Western Illinois (6-1, 241)
CB Joe Burnett, Central Florida (5-10, 182)
CB Victor Harris, Virginia Tech (5-11, 198)
CB Gregory Toler, St Paul’s (5-11, 191)
CB Christopher Owens, San Jose State (5-10, 181)
FS Rashad Johnson, Alabama (5-11, 203)
SS Patrick Chung, Oregon (5-11, 212)
ESPN’s Merril Hoge via Twitter:
Freeman QB RAW very inconsistent not good when you want him to play in NFL!
SI.com’s Ross Tucker via Twitter:
I honestly think Freeman would have fallen to round two if it were not for Raheem Morris.
More Hoge from his blog:
Josh Freeman: Kansas ST, talk about raw, he is athletic and makes things happen when he runs but it’s not his first thought to run which makes him a gamble in the NFL but more importantly he would force things at times which could mean he was not sure of what coverage a team was in or he would single a WR out and throw the ball to him no matter what the coverage was saying. Neither one of these habits are very good. I felt his accuracy was ok and I did feel he was tough and his offensive line was not very good and they got into some games were it was a blow out. His best bet is to get drafted on a team with a great QB coach so he can spend a few years on the bench learning from his coaches and the QB’s in front of him and then will have a better chance to make an impact.