Okay Associated Content college football fans, I’ll admit it. I’ve got a bone to pick.
I’m sick and tired of seeing supposedly intelligent NFL general managers bypassing some of the best ‘small’ college quarterbacks in the game in favor of taller quarterbacks that supposedly have a ‘bigger upside’ pardon the pun.
Can someone please tell me why outstanding college football quarterbacks that are considered ‘small’ in stature by NFL standards, rarely get a legitimate opportunity to take their talent to the next level?
I say that the long held myth that they won’t be able to see over their behemoth offensive linemen or equally-elevated defensive linemen, is a bunch of hogwash.
Or do I need to remind every NFL general manager that height unequivocally does not guarantee success at the next level for a ‘tall’ NCAA college football quarterback.
Let me run down the list of ‘can’t-miss’ NFL quarterbacks that supposedly had the entire package – except for the brain that is.
JaMarcus Russell – The current starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and former No. 1 overall draft pick in 2007 has looked totally clueless for the entirety of his young career despite ‘ allegedly being able to throw a football 90 yards while kneeling.
Yeah, Russell’s 6-feet-6 inches and rocket gun sure mean a lot when he still doesn’t know how to go to his third receiver on any given play,
Alex Smith – The No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2005 draft stand all of 6-feet-4 inches and has about as much chance of becoming a starting NFL quarterback as a seven-year-old Pop Warner backup.
How about Tim Couch or David Carr, both NFL-sized signal-callers that flamed out faster than a smothered fire.
Heath Shuler, Andre Ware and Todd Marinovich were all also considered prototypical NFL quarterbacks – until they all washed out that it.
While I will admit that NFL players have gotten bigger, faster and stronger than at any time since its inception, I also don’t believe that ‘smaller’ NFL quarterbacks can’t make it in today’s professional game.
One of the first names of ‘short’ NFL quarterbacks that jumps out at me is current Philadelphia Eagles backup, Jeff Garcia, who, at just 6-feet-1-inch, has had to battle the height stereotype all of his career, but has succeed at the pro level nevertheless.
Or maybe I should mention that Drew Brees, arguably the best quarterback on the planet these days stands just 6-feet-tall. Were Brees coming out of college right now instead of 2001, when he was the 32nd overall pick in the second round, many NFL GM’s might pass on him simply because he’s considered so short by today’s NFL quarterbacking standards.
Throughout the years, many ‘short’ collegiate quarterbacks have gone on to have fantastic careers in the NFL, including Hall of Fame legend Fran Tarkenton who was listed at six-feet tall but still managed to throw for 47,003 yards during his 18-year career, a figure that stood as a league record for many years.
Let’s not forget former Boston College star Doug Flutie, who stood just 5-foot-9 but carved out a fantastic career in both, the NFL and CFL.
The shortest NFL quarterback of all-time, Eddie LeBaron, who stood just 5-feet-7, once dispelled the notion that short quarterbacks can’t see over their own offensive linemen, which is why I fully believe, if talented enough, even a short college football quarterback can still succeed in today’s game.