SELECTED BY SAN DIEGO , ROUND 1, PICK 1, OVERALL PICK 1
QB | (6-3, 223, 4.8) | Fresno State | COLLEGE STATS
By Pro Football WeeklyNotes: Backed up Billy Volek in 1997 and '98 and redshirted in '99. Took over as the starter in 2000 and got much better after a very shaky debut against Ohio State, when he seemed to lose his poise and threw four interceptions and some wounded ducks. Continued to improve in '01. Won the Johnny Unitas Award, Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was a Pro Football Weekly first-team All-American in '01, when he was fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, although he played better than the four quarterbacks ahead of him in the voting. Completed 5-of-11 passes for 53 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in 1997, 22-41-228-1-1 in '98, 216-349-2,729-23-12 in 2000, when he also ran for 83 yards and four scores, and 308-476-4,299-42-7 in '01, when he ran for 90 yards and five scores. Completed 35-58-531-4-2 vs. Michigan State in the Silicon Bowl but threw two costly picks and was not as effective playing catchup late in the game as he had been in the first half.Positives: Excellent size. Good all-around athlete. Top competitor. Legitimate tough guy. Has tremendous poise. Really stands in against the rush. Well respected by his teammates and coaches. Mature and confident without being cocky. Has improved by leaps and bounds and became a franchise-type player on the college level in '01. Even in Fresno State's three losses, he put up big numbers and got his team into the endzone. Excellent passer with a very strong and generally very accurate arm. Has good timing and anticipation of receiver. Makes some incredible throws and can really thread the needle. Can throw every pass in the book and really zing the deep out. Sets up well and has a lightning-quick release. Generally throws a nice, tight spiral. Can throw the touch passes. Reads coverages and shows good judgment. During the '01 regular season had a 42-7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Played very well against teams from major conferences and in the biggest and best games on his team's schedule. Made his teammates better players and got the ball into the endzone. Had a strong practice week at the Senior Bowl.Negatives: Semi-sidearm, unusual, three-quarter throwing motion. Has a very low release point, about shoulder level. Will get balls batted down, which could be huge problem, since so many teams use so many three- and five-step drops. Is basically a line-drive passer and might be better off if he put more air under some of his throws. Is not quite as mobile as you would like and is not a super athlete and improviser. Average scambler and is no Donovan McNabb as a runner. Can be inconsistent throwing the ball. Will force some and make some bad reads. Was brought along beautifully by the Fresno State staff and has not faced a lot of adversity, so you cannot be sure how well he can handle it. Did bounce back from the Ohio State disaster in 2000. In Fresno State's two regular-season losses in '01, he was in a position to lead John Elway-type comebacks but did not do it.Summary: Has a chance to become a premier NFL quarterback if his release point does not lead to too many problems and he is brought along and utilized correctly. Could be the type of player you can build a team around if he is developed correctly.* Player biographies are provided by Pro Football Weekly.