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Old 10-11-2013, 05:22 PM    (permalink
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Default Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh

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.

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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.

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Old 10-11-2013, 06:17 PM    (permalink
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he has the mental toughness of a 12 year old girl. That's his biggest downfall. The talent is there but he can't handle any shred of adversity or competition.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:39 PM    (permalink
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he has the mental toughness of a 12 year old girl. That's his biggest downfall. The talent is there but he can't handle any shred of adversity or competition.
Gil had been teasing this all week.
Then Thursday happened for you.
And then he announced his sleeper QB is a former Rutgers guy who left you with Nova.

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Old 10-11-2013, 07:48 PM    (permalink
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He has the physical tools but Scotty's absolutely right about his mental toughness. If things so south, he folds like a house of cards.

If he matures this year and continues to play well, he'll be an intriguing prospect in the middle rounds.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:23 PM    (permalink
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Devin Street and Tyler Boyd certainly don't hurt.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:00 PM    (permalink
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Devin Street and Tyler Boyd certainly don't hurt.
Two playmakers right there. I've seen them both "house" balls this year that had no business being TDs.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:04 PM    (permalink
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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.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:38 PM    (permalink
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This is a pretty good idea of what Savage is capable of, however...

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Old 10-11-2013, 10:57 PM    (permalink
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I would love for the Packers to draft him in the middle rounds and develop his plus tools.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:24 PM    (permalink
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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.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:26 PM    (permalink
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Virginia Tech is going to eat him up.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:28 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wright View Post
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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BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:45 PM    (permalink
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Virginia Tech is going to eat him up.
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.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:22 AM    (permalink
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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.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:39 PM    (permalink
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If lighting up Duke was all you needed to do to make the NFL, there would be about 10 "sleeper" QBs every year...
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:40 PM    (permalink
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Virginia Tech is going to eat him up.
He was already eaten up by a Virginia team that gave up 48 to Ball State
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:04 PM    (permalink
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Has 8 sacks on him ans should have been 12. They had less than 200 uards total.
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Old 02-17-2014, 12:16 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
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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.
This. What do we think of Tom Savage now? A lot of those "intangible" characteristics can be misleading. Looks great on film. Can he mature? Settle in as a pro and become a mid to late round steal?
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