Searching for the next Tom Brady

Posted by Administrator On April - 9 - 2009

Talking about The Next Tom Brady is a lot harder than finding him.

Six quarterbacks drafted outside the first round have started Super Bowls in the last 10 years. Brady is one, but each of the other five was discarded by at least one team before reaching the biggest stage.

“There’s definitely a process in (developing one),” 49ers G.M. Scot McCloughan said. “I’m not saying a guy can’t come in right away and be successful, because I think for a young quarterback, success depends a lot on the personnel around them.

But there’s a learning curve, and it’s big.”

It might be unlikely that Mark Sanchez and Matthew Stafford make like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco, but the chance The Next Tom Brady is in the ‘09 class is miniscule. According to former NFL scout Russ Lande, here are three Day 2 prospects who could surprise:

Nate Davis, Ball State

Why he’ll stay on the board: He’s 6-1 and unorthodox. There are concerns about his ability to digest a pro offense after playing in a spread attack.

Why he should come off it: He has a big, accurate arm, avoids the rush and doesn’t put the ball in bad spots. Some scouts say he’s a Top 10 talent.

Draft forecast: Round 3-5.

NFL comparison: Donovan McNabb, Eagles.

Graham Harrell, Texas Tech

Why he’ll stay on the board: He has average arm strength and lacks a big frame. It’s tough to tell whether he can improve his arm strength, like Brady could and Ken Dorsey couldn’t. After playing in shotgun at Tech, he struggled with dropback footwork in workouts.

Why he should come off it: Like Brady, he is accurate and polished in the pocket and possesses every intangible such as how to attack defenses.

Draft forecast: Round 6 or 7.

NFL comparison: Sage Rosenfels, Vikings.

Drew Willy, Buffalo

Why he’ll stay on the board: He has average arm strength, an average release and is thinly built. Like Davis, he faces the “competition” knock.

Why he should come off it: He’s a gym rat with off-the-charts aptitude. Given a chance to develop physically, he could become a revelation.

Draft forecast: Undrafted free agent.

NFL comparison: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills.