FanPost

Zach Mettenberger, Scouts Views


Well just like every "FanPost" I write now days, this one will also include some point I try to make before i get to the actual topic. In this case my point is too ignore most Bleacher Report, SB Nation and ESPN (Scouts Inc.) prospect evaluations. Just like the NFL is a copy cat league, so is writing about the NFL (Even this post is going to be mostly a bunch of copy and pasting). Any google search can provide the evidence to that. Like most of you are smart enough to guess there is a hierachy to this, and it appears once the Scout Inc/ESPN crew publish their mocks and evaluations the rest follow. And Scout Inc/ESPN are terrible at it. Their QB rankings and evaluations have a history of being just absolute crap. For instance they graded Blaine Gabbert, Mark Sanchez, Brian Brohm, Geno Smith, Chad Henne, Jimmy Clausen, Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden, Josh Freeman, Christian Ponder, Tyler Wilson, Landry Jones, and even Tim freakin Tebow higher than Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson. Granted some of those QBs still have a case to make but still there grading system has shown time and time again that its flawed and very media hyped/media friendly.

To think Blaine Gabbert was graded an almost perfect score of 96? And I also recall the draft guru himself Mel Kiper mocking Jimmy Clausen as the #1 pick.. That guy is playing in Canada now. Point is ignore most articles that evaluate QBs. NFL.com has some better sources such as Mike Mayock, Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks and more. Granted they also make mistakes but they were actual long time scouts and actually breakdown tape still. I used Bucky Brooks for alot of this article even.

Now to the actual point, Zach Mettenberger has been pointed out countless times as one of the better and few fits for Minnesota in this draft so I figured I'd put out some info on him since so many people seem to let their view on him be misconstrued by writers for sites such as the ones I previously named. Now I'm not going to pretend he's going to come in and right away and blow our minds and lead us to a SB but i dont see that theres no reason to believe he can't atleast play at a level somewhere between Joe Flacco and Mike Glennon in the next season or two. Now it's easy to see why he would fit in Norv Turners system perfectly. He's a big QB 6'5 235 lbs, has an absolute cannon for an arm, shows his accuracy in vertical passes (something Christian Ponder has never been able to do), and played under Cam Cameron this last season. Infact before Cam Cameron (a student of Norv's) installed the air coryell at LSU, nobody even considered Zach Mettenbergers future in the NFL but once he did the improvements in Zach Mettenbergers game were horribly obvious. He was pretty much made for an Air Coryell offense. But like I said in the freakin' title this is a "scouts view" not mine so heres what some scouts had to say:


Bucky Brooks on Zach Mettenberger

Athletecism: Mettenberger is a traditional drop-back passer with limited mobility and movement skills. He is at his best delivering throws from a clean pocket; he lacks the elusiveness to escape pressure when protection breaks down. Although Mettenberger flashes the short-area quickness to slide, reset and deliver accurate throws, the fact that he is unable to escape heavy pressure by relying on his legs could make him a bit of a liability at the next level. Of course, Mettenberger can overcome his deficiencies by winning the pre-snap phase at the line of scrimmage, but he must be superb in that area to be effective as a pro.

(Keep in mind some of the best QBs in the NFL had the same concern and aren't mobile.. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, Nick Foles, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning)

Arm Talent: Mettenger is an A-plus arm talent with exceptional strength and range. He excels at pushing the ball down the field on vertical routes to wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Mettenberger has shown excellent accuracy and ball placement on deep throws this season, which is a testament to his vastly improved mechanics and fundamentals. Additionally, he has displayed superb timing and anticipation on short and intermediate throws. Mettenberger has consistently delivered pinpoint throws on in-breaking routes between the hashes, while also capably throwing rope-like throws on deep outs and comebacks to the boundary. Given his ability to make all of the throws required in vertical-based passing games, it is not surprising that the buzz is building about Mettenberger's potential in NFL circles.

Pocket Presence: One of the weakest parts of Mettenberger's game a season ago was his lack of pocket awareness and poise. He appeared rattled and unsettled within a collapsing pocket, which led to questionable decisions and inaccurate throws. Those miscues haunted the Tigers in 2012, but it appears they are a thing of the past based on Mettenberger's solid performance through the first quarter of the season. Mettenberger has not only stood tall in the face of the rush, but he has quickly identified the hot route or sight adjustment in the face of pressure. This is a significant development for the Tigers' standout because it showcases his courage, awareness and mastery of the offensive scheme. Moreover, it shows his maturation as a game manager and leader of the offense. With accuracy and decision making regarded as key factors in successful quarterback play, Mettenberger's dramatic improvement in those areas gives him a chance to be a franchise player at the next level.

Clutch Factor: Mettenberger owns a 14-3 record at LSU, but he has yet to deliver a big win for the Tigers against elite competition. He struggled in losses a season ago to Florida and Clemson, and didn't show exceptional poise in key moments. This year, however, Mettenberger has displayed more confidence in critical situations and impressed evaluators with his resiliency after poor plays. This was evident in the Tigers' season-opening win over TCU, where he connected on only 50 percent of his passes, but made several tight-window throws in the second half to keep the offense on schedule. Most importantly, Mettenberger never appeared rattled by his misfires and courageously attempted to make high-risk throws when the progression demanded it. This is not only encouraging, but it reveals the moxie and swagger needed to play at a high level. While Mettenberger will need to continue to display big-game ability against tough SEC competition, he has certainly piqued the interest of NFL evaluators with his confidence, poise and courage under fire this season

Conclussion: Mettenberger's emergence as a top quarterback has been one of the biggest surprises in college football this season. He has developed into a consistent playmaker under Cam Cameron, and his production is finally matching his exceptional physical tools. Additionally, he has shown the kind of leadership and moxie that scouts covet in franchise-caliber quarterbacks at the next level. Although he has a lot left to prove against a tough SEC schedule, Mettenberger has certainly put himself in a position to join the conversation as a possible early round selection in next spring's draft.

Daniel Jeremiah reached out to five NFL executives to get their opinion on who was better pro prospect Mettenberger or Murray:

Executive #1: Mettenberger, "Right now, I'll say Mettenberger. I wasn't really high on either guy coming into the season, but Mettenberger has stepped up his play. He has more ability and upside than Murray. I feel like I know exactly what Murray is, while Mettenberger is just scratching the surface."

Executive #2: Mettenberger, "Mettenberger. He's bigger, stronger and has shown the ability to make more NFL throws. He's really improved from last year. I think Murray will have a long career as a backup quarterback, but I feel like he's reached his peak."

Executive #3: "I prefer Mettenberger. He's not a great athlete, but he's doing a better job navigating inside the pocket. He can make all the throws, and his ball placement has been much better this year. (First-year LSU offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron has really helped his game. He's got the ideal arm and build for the next level."

Executive #4: "I think Mettenberger is the better player, but to be honest, I don't really believe either guy is in the top tier of quarterbacks for this upcoming class."

Executive #5: "I wish Mettenberger had the same intangibles as Murray, but I would still choose him. He has a huge arm, he's athletic inside the pocket, he's made huge strides reading coverage and his decision-making has improved."

Verdict: Zach Mettenberger received all five votes.

Conclusion: If you just looked at their career passing statistics, Aaron Murray (11,131 passing yards, 102 touchdowns) would be a slam-dunk choice over Zach Mettenberger (3,727 passing yards, 23 touchdowns). However, when it comes to quarterbacks, NFL evaluators don't put much stock in gaudy college statistics. Instead, they focus on factors like accuracy, arm strength, poise and decision-making. Also, despite the success of undersized quarterbacks such as Drew Brees and Russel Wilson, size is still very important to most evaluators.

Random quotes:

"The 6'5" 230-pound quarterback is finally coming along in 2013, with one of the main reasons being that the offense no longer views a quarterback as a unfortunate necessity, but as a weapon. In three games alone, Mettenberger's showed tremendous improvement, with a more compact throwing motion and shortened throwing base"

"Mettenberger has a cannon and is able to drive the ball down the field. When he has the time to set up, he can throw basically as far as he wants. He also demonstrates a terrific fast ball and is able to fit passes into tight windows."

"Mettenberger has shown the ability to be deadly accurate, but he runs into stretches where he has issues. Footwork tends to cause some of his problems when he is not actively working to maintain his mechanics. He will also just miss targets at times with his release point."

"Mettenberger has shown the ability to throw every throw and make every pass accurately. He is comfortable throwing to the sidelines, underneath routes, quick slants, and attacking deep down the field as well as over the middle of the field. This becomes far more problematic when he has to make those throws on the move and his accuracy drops off, but when he is able to set up and make a throw on time, he can be impressive, throw on time and put it in a great spot."

"The key for Mettenberger comes down to his footwork. In that respect, he is inconsistent and at times, he is remarkable in how well he is able to operate while at others, his feet cause him issues. The times Mettenberger has problems, he gets in his drop back and sets his feet. They do not move. He does not bounce at all and they might as well be in concrete. On the other hand, there are times when Mettenberger is impressive with his feet. He gets into his drop, is light on his feet and moves around as needed to make a good step to his target and throw the ball. Mettenberger also shows the ability to avoid pressure, step up in the pocket and make a great throw. If he can do this consistently, he can be an incredibly dangerous threat from the pocket." (Note: Footwork is one of the easiest QB problems to fix coming into the NFL)

"Mettenberger is not an elite athlete from behind the pocket, but he does have a pretty good sense of where he needs to move in the pocket and making a small move that has a big impact on the pressure. He also can escape a little bit and extend plays on occasion. Mettenberger is not a statue as some may think."

"Mettenberger is almost like Peyton Manning in the way he reacts when he is in trouble. The next sack Mettenberger manages to fight through and avoid will be his first. He goes down really easily and like Manning, feels contact or knows a big hit is coming and is looking to protect himself and find the best place to lay on the ground."

"he is definitely best suited to play in a vertical passing system. He is able to stretch the field and force defenders to cover a ton of ground, which helps open up passing lanes and create opportunities for teammates."

If the Vikings drafted Zach Mettenberger, I wouldn't celebrate like as if they just drafted Andrew Luck or even Teddy Bridgewater but I most certainly wouldn't be upset. He would be great tool to make Turners system run. Give him a year to sit behind Cassel, and continue to develop and learn more about the Vertical/Air Coryell system in place and I think he would be more than good enough to give Minnesota the passing game it needs to become a serious contender. Plus we already know he can look good in purple and gold.

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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