With the NCAA Football 2014 season just around the corner, the NFL is seeing smaller quarterbacks having success. What will that mean for smaller players in college football like Matt Johnson of Bowling Green?
First, let’s take a look at the NFL scouting procedures. They are all about statistics and what they call "measurable." They constructed an entire event, the NFL Combine, around what is now a televised four-day event in late February that has former college football players participating in things like the three cone drill and the shuttle run.
Then more recently, the scouts have done some rethinking about the quarterback position with the success of smaller QBs. That has caused a quandary with talent evaluators and general managers of the professional teams. Certainly they still favor the tall long-armed guy that can stand in the pocket, but then how about those smaller guys that are being very successful at the QB position in the colleges.
So with this rethinking, what effect will it have on the QB positions in the NFL related to the non-BCS school quarterbacks who happen to be smaller, like players from the MAC? Will they simply be a bi-product of the offensive system or will their skills pass on to the NFL level? Are the so called West Coast offenses just a fad in the making or will they smash out and the systems soon revert to the old school offenses the set up the pass by running the ball?
With the offense called the spread moving into the NFL, the QB position also was redefined. To implement the system, you need a QB that can avoid the rush with roll outs and movement away from the pocket. Thus, some of the teams have bigger quarterbacks that are also mobile: Cam Newton at 6’5” of the Panthers and 6’4” Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers are two examples of that. But please take note that the smaller QBs. Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have something that the taller QB’s don’t have -- a Super Bowl Ring.
Thus the rethinking of the QB position in the NFL can affect the college quarterbacks who happen to be smaller, specifically in the MAC conference. This will result in more opportunities in the NFL with more scrutiny from the NFL scouts. That may very well be why in recent years the MAC has been able to get QBs into NFL teams with a list that includes Charlie Batch, Ben Roethlisberger, Charlie Frye, Omar Jacobs, Byron Leftwich and Bruce Gradkowski to name a few. Then also too often the MAC QB’s that have had great athletic talent were forced to change positions in order to play in the NFL like two Kent State QBs in Josh Cribbs and Julian Edelman, who made a decent living playing special teams or wide receiver in the NFL.
Therefore the QB in the MAC this 2014 who could benefit most from the smaller QB attitude is Bowling Greens’ Matt Johnson who is listed at 6’ who last year as a red shirt sophomore took the starting QB starting position Bowling Greens’ 1st game and played the remaining 13 games and in the MAC Championship was named the game’s MVP as he threw 5 TD’s and compiled 393 yards passing. For the entire season he threw for some 3,467 yards and 25 TD’s and also ran for 5 TD’s.
Then this season there is more for debate regarding the small QB with Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns to see how he fits into the NFL. If he has success, it could open the door very wide for the smaller quarterback opportunities.
So sports fans who bet on college and NFL football, you many now look at the online sportbook odds and NFL draft odds in a smaller manner! Currently, the Browns' futures odds are +9050 to win the Super Bowl and +660 to win the AFC North. That could all change if Manziel is listed as the starting QB or becomes the starter later in the season.