It has been amusing watch Tom Savage work his way up the draft charts. From mid-third round to top of the third. To somewhere in the second round, up to the top of the second. Now he is — at least in the rumors and chatter — to be heading into the first round.
How hot is he? Late last week Savage’s agent, Neil Schwartz, had to tell two teams who wanted to set up a visit or meeting with the quarterback that he didn’t have any time left to do so. “There are literally no days left on his calendar for him to go see any other teams,” Schwartz said Saturday. The deadline for teams to host players or work them out is April 27, and by then Savage is scheduled to have either worked out for or had visits with 24 or 25 teams. That’s an amazing number of workouts and/or meetings … and when I say meetings with teams, I mean time with either the GM, coach, offensive coordinator or two or three of those. … Amazing to think a player so itinerant and with so little college success could be leap-frogging A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. But there’s a good chance Savage will.
The reasons are understandable.
Savage, physically, is a prototypical NFL QB. Or at least what the traditional NFL QB has been. He is tall. Strong. Big arm. Able to take hits. Not really mobile, but not a statue either.
Teams that took a closer look at Savage’s game tape also saw the offensive line he was behind this past year. One that got worse in the season as the injuries mounted. Yet Savage stayed in and took hits and kept playing. The issue of his poor line play has led to amusing arguments between Rutgers and Pitt fans over which team gave Savage less protection. I actually have to give the edge to Rutgers on this. The O-line for that team when Savage was there was a wreck from start to finish.
Another reason for the climb in the draft charts is actually touched on by the very next part of the Peter King post.
I’ve heard that at least four quarterback-needy teams—Houston (first pick), Jacksonville (3), Cleveland (4) and Oakland (5)—are strongly considering passing on quarterbacks with their first picks and waiting until their second or third selections. Simple reason: They’re not in love with any of the quarterbacks, and there are too many other good players who are surer things than a quarterback you have sincere doubts about. For that reason, there could be more quarterbacks taken in round two than round one.
The top-three QBs are still Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel. But the doubts, whispers and negatives about them have crept in slowly but surely.
They are all going in the first round, and the other thing to remember is that there is plenty of crap being flung around by NFL people in attempts to hide who they really want and to try and push that player’s draft stock down to where they can get him. To that end, some other players get built up in the process.
Predictably there has been the backlash. Some of it good natured. Some of it has been more in the sniping nature. Mostly from other college football fans who don’t like not seeing their guy getting the same love. Especially from partisan Louisville fans annoyed that Bridgewater has been taking nothing but hits to his game since declaring.
Don’t worry. There’s still three more weeks to the draft. Plenty of time for Savage to start falling back in the draft spots as teams pick him apart.