Tom Savage   QB   Pittsburgh

TALENT BOARD ROUND 5

STRENGTHS
Tom has the prototypical NFL size and arm strength for teams in the NFL to be interested in selecting in any draft. That’s it, that’s all Tom has right now going for him. He will be excellent when he wears the red shirt in practice and workouts.

CONCERNS
Tom is very inconsistent with his mechanics, decision making abilities, pre snap reads, and accuracy under pressure. When he throws the ball deep, it loses velocity because he tries to aim the ball down the field. He struggles under pressure and lacks the instincts to slide in the pocket and extend a play. He doesn’t have the quick feet to leave the pocket and re-set up to make a pass. He can’t leave the pocket to his non-throwing arm side and make a play at all, running or passing. His leadership skills are lacking and his ability to bring a team from behind with accurate franchise throws seems non-existent. In his defense, he has not had that many snaps at the college level and he does have the size and arm strength NFL teams seem to fall in love with that sometimes makes them willing to overlook a quarterback’s negatives. Tom could “eventually” become a solid quarterback at the next level -- maybe…possibly…if all the stars are in alignment and there is no more crime in the world.

BOTTOM LINE
Doing a search because I had not seen Tom play that much except for this year at Pittsburgh, I discovered that Tom was the “Where’s Waldo” college quarterback for the last few years. After a very impressive freshman year at Rutgers, Tom discovered that Rutgers was not for him and decided to transfer to Arizona. That didn’t work out because before Tom could get on the field for Arizona they hired a coach who Tom felt did not run an offense that he could be effective in so instead of staying and learning and growing, Tom decided to move on to Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was a team with no quarterback and no challenge to him and a team that ran an offense that Tom felt he could be effective in. Are you starting to get the picture? Add to that his play on the field that was rudimentary at best and for me that adds up to a developmental quarterback you let someone else draft and then see what happens after his first contract is up. You have to ask yourself, what was the reason for transferring from Rutgers in the first place? If you lost your job because of injury, why not stay and fight for it at least for a few years? Tom Brady did, Matt Kassel did, along with many others who have become excellent players and were not starters for their college teams. Things are not perfect -- crap happens and how you react to adversity is a big part of being successful on and off the field. My theory is, if you are a “Where’s Waldo” type of quarterback at the college level, chances are you will be a “Where’s Waldo” type of player at the NFL level also. I don’t draft “Where’s Waldo” types. I let others do that until the player can find themselves and then I take a hard look at them in free agency after their first contract is up.

Drew Boylhart
APR/2014