The one and only Gil Brandt with an interesting take on Pittsburgh QB Tom Savage.
I remember being impressed with Savage as a freshman at Rutgers. Saw one game early this season and there were a lot of positives but plenty of negatives as well. I am waiting to check in again later in the reason once he's had a chance to shake off all the rust. I have a late round draftable grade on Savage at this point but I think the middle rounds is a distinct possibility.
Tom Savage: The Best QB Prospect You've Never Heard Of
By Gil Brandt
NFL Media Senior Analyst Updated: Oct. 11, 2013 at 01:22 p.m.
Pittsburgh's Tom Savage caught Gil Brandt's attention with his six-TD performance against Duke on Sept. 21.
By now, most college football observers know this is a special season when it comes to quarterbacks that have the talent to play in the NFL. In the season's opening week, I watched one of those quarterbacks, Jameis Winston, make his much-anticipated college debut and lead his Florida State team to an easy victory over Pittsburgh. The Seminoles were clearly the better team, and Winston was the game's star. But I wanted to see Pitt again because I was intrigued by its quarterback, a player I'd never really heard about before.
A few weeks later, I watched this quarterback throw for six touchdowns while completing 23 of 33 passes for 424 yards against Duke. He showed that he could make every throw, connecting on deep passes, crossing routes, throwing out to the sideline, and checking it down to a running back. Perhaps most impressive, he was able to perfectly lead his receivers so they didn't have to slow down to make a reception.
Watching this game, the quarterback, Tom Savage, reminded me a lot of a player I had the privilege to scout and eventually draft back in the 1980s -- Troy Aikman.
Now, Aikman is a Hall of Fame quarterback who won three Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys; Savage entered his senior season with barely more than a dozen starts under his belt at the collegiate level. The similarities I see between the two aren't so much in their results as they are in the way the QBs carry themselves on the field. Physically, when I see Savage, he reminds me of Aikman. He is well built at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. He has a very strong arm and above-average accuracy on his throws. He is more of a pocket passer than someone who will beat you with his legs. Not a lot of prospects have the combination of size, arm strength, and passing ability that I see in Savage.
When I update my Hot 100 senior prospects next week, Savage will be on the list. And from the little I've seen of him, he has the chance to ascend into my top 50.
So why isn't anyone talking about Savage? Much of the reason might be that, entering the 2013 season, he hadn't taken a snap since 2010 and simply fell off the map. After starting as a true freshman at Rutgers in 2009, winning eight games and garnering team offensive MVP honors, he was injured early in 2010 and decided to transfer to Arizona. He sat out the 2011 season because of the NCAA's transfer rules, then transferred to Pittsburgh and sat out the 2012 season.
Because of the missed time, Savage enters Saturday's game against Virginia Tech with just 20 starts. Typically, you'd like for a college quarterback to have about 30 starts, giving him time to improve his ability to read defenses on the field rather than on a chalkboard or on tape.
Time will tell if Savage continues to progress, but through six weeks, he has come out of nowhere to emerge as a prospect to watch and is the player who's excited me the most this season.
Could he be another Ryan Tannehill, the Texas A&M quarterback who went from a prospect no one talked about to the eighth overall draft pick in 2012? I was higher on Tannehill than I am on Savage, but it's a similar situation in that Savage is an unheralded QB who has a chance to take off. And I do think that Savage has the ability and the upside to become a top-50 pick.
I've actually thought he's looked OK in some of the games I've caught. His tools are pretty decent too...but it's a very long road for him. I would bring him in as a priority free agent or something contingent upon his performance in post-season events(Senior Bowl is waay too crowded at quarterback this year, he'll have to do it elsewhere), but I'm not sure he's draftable at this point. May be by the end of the season with some more strong tape, but there's just not going to be a whole ton of film on him.
There's just a lot of guys you can make a case for as far as Senior quarterbacks go this year. I've got Mettenberger ahead of the pack right now for a fair margin, but I think that there's a lot less separation between guys that a lot of people realize. Savage well could be regarded more highly than some people think among certain teams.
I think most quarterbacks struggle under pressure.
I think the question with Savage is will he get better at handling it with more experience.
It's important to remember that he doesn't even have two full seasons under his belt.
When I'm talking pressure I don't mean a blitz or bad game. I mean that when he sniffed even the slightest competition from Chas Dodd he threw an absolute hissy fit and transferred out. It's more about his off the field toughness than anything.
Could he have matured? Sure. But that year and a half at Rutgers, once the rocky road came about, there was nothing but awful reports about his attitude.
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Originally Posted by PalmerToCJ
BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.
Ehhh - they got some solid DBs (Fuller is beastly plus they have another Fuller or two....basically the whole Fuller clan has gone to Vtech) but I expect him to make some plays on this defense with the weapons he has on offense.
Sig by the King BK
Fear the Spear - Winston Era has begun....
"I wasn't going to lose to Miami, no matter what," Freeman said. "It means a lot to go out there and beat them. Every time I get a chance, I want to destroy them."
Ha we'll see. We have more than the Fuller brothers. If any of our DBs will be a 1st round pick it's likely our other true freshman, Brandon Facyson, who has 4 interceptions on the year. 6'2" and his ability to break on the ball is outstanding. Great ball skills.
__________________ Virginia Tech.
ACC Champions 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010