Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Should Junior QB's Jump To NFL This Year

With Sam Bradford's season-ending shoulder injury and Tim Tebow's question marks as a future pro, the field of draftable QB's in 2010 isn't quite the stellar group that it had looked like it was going to be. Mark Sanchez took advantage of the smaller group of elite throwers this past draft and parlayed that into a starting opportunity with the Jets.
The NFL's coming labor dispute and uncapped season is thought to be driving anybody with potential into the draft, including Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame. He is having a heck of an exciting year with plenty of late game fun, most of the time on the winning side. I would think the Bradford situation would drive him onto the pro level, but I have questions about his throwing motion translating in the NFL. His motion reminds a bit of Colt Brennan, who lit up all the NCAA records while at Hawaii, but has yet to make it onto the playing field with the Redskins. Brennan's side-armed throws and balance that seems to fall back too often was exploited in his Sugar Bowl game with Georgia. Clausen has similar issues and while he makes plenty of good throws, when the pressure is on, he "sits down" on his delivery and it is also side-armed and circular (his non-throwing hand actually wraps around his back after throwing). The USC loss came down to a goal-line series in which these mechanics let him and his team down.
He probably will make the jump and probably should make the jump for financial reasons, but should work to get his balance on top of his front foot after release of the ball, if he wants to succeed in the NFL.

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