Kellen has one of the most accurate arms coming out of the college game that I have seen in a long time. He is very smart and runs his college offensive system like a dangerous coral snake. At first you don't think he is doing much damage, but as the game goes on, the bite he took in the 1st quarter of his opponent's defensive coordinator seems to get worse and worse, leaving the opposing team looking for an doctor in the locker room after the game is over. Kellen is a coach on the field and a bit of a magician at times, making successful throws when most QB's will give up. He sees the whole field and he also sees what will happen before the snap of the ball. Kellen always seems to have a way out of trouble. The offense he runs is a match up spread offense, similar in a lot of aspects to what the New England Patriots are running right now. Kellen understands it and the whole idea of the offense is to look for match-ups and to get the ball out of the QB's hands as quickly as possible. Kellen does not have a strong arm, but he has the accuracy and throws with good velocity to make up for not having a strong arm. When he throws with the correct mechanics, he does have good arm strength, but make no mistake about it, Kellen is a systems QB. The most remarkable attribute Kellen possesses is his ability to adjust mentally to whatever a defensive coordinator throws at him during a game. Keep this kid in the game and he will beat you at any level. Kellen reminds me of Boomer Esiason (former QB, Bengals & Jets). Not in his size or arm strength, but in his ability find a way out of adversity during the game mentally. He is gritty and uses the players around him to his advantage to succeed. Kellen will go to his favorite receiver in crunch time when everyone knows it and still make the play. Players like Kellen & Boomer need good teams around them to succeed, but on the field have the ability to tweak and adjust plays just enough to make the difference.
Kellen has to add more bulk to his body, he has to learn to be more consistent with his mechanics when throwing the ball, but as you saw in the Senior Bowl, from the pocket and with good mechanics, his arm is not that bad. He has a tendency to want to get the ball out so quickly that his arm looks worse than it really is. He does not throw that well on the run and when he is flushed from the pocket, it bothers him until he adjusts. He doesn't like pressure, but does adjust. He does not move well in the pocket right now because he really doesn't throw much from a pocket as most of the time, the ball is out before a pocket is formed and the style of offensive line blocking is to engage right away. Kellen is also vertically challenged but I think he can overcome this with a smart offensive coordinator. The biggest issue that Kellen will have to overcome to be drafted will be the biased attitude of the NFL scouts and coaches against left handed QB's, a less than average arm, small stature. The question is, with all that against him can Kellen really be a winning QB in the NFL?
The answer to the above question is yes. The problem is Kellen will not be drafted early enough in this draft to put in a system that will minimize his negatives and maximize his positives. Kellen is the type of QB that grows on you the more he plays, but unless someone gets injured, he won't see the field. Add to that, if the system isn't his system, he won't look that good if he does hit the field. In spite of all that, I would draft him because I think he has a lot to offer even in a back up situation. I also believe that if the NFL is serious and it isn't lip service that the league is a passing league now, then the system Boise St uses at the college level will have to be used at some point at the NFL level. Having a player with Kellen's experience will be very valuable. Kellen is a playmaker. It doesn't matter if you agree with the way he makes plays, it only matters that he makes them on a consistent basis. In the red zone it will be very hard to keep him out of the end zone. He will make the franchise throw to move the chains and score TD's. It just might not be that 60yd pass from his own end zone we have all been accustomed to seeing. It will be more methodical, but just as demoralizing to a defense. The truth is, I will be surprised if Kellen is even drafted. It will be interesting to see what team he tries to make as a free agent. I can tell you this, if I'm drafting players for a team for whom I think Kellen can blend into their offense, such as the Saints, Chargers, Seahawks, Vikings, Browns, Rams, there is too much in HOW Kellen plays the game that would make me pass on him and take my chances of signing him after the draft from the rookie free agency pool. I think drafting a player like Kellen and giving him a couple of years is smart. You just never know how it will all turn out -- ask Tom Brady. They looked at his physique at the combine and most teams wrote him off in spite of what he did on the field.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Feb /12