PDA

View Full Version : Young's stock dropping in draft?


Mr. Laz
02-22-2006, 03:04 PM
Posted on Wed, Feb. 22, 2006
Young suffers by comparison to Vick

By PAUL DOMOWITCH
pdomo@aol.com

Five years ago, the Atlanta Falcons made one of the boldest moves in their history, swapping three draft picks and a player to the San Diego Chargers for the top pick in the 2001 draft. They used it to select quarterback Michael Vick.

The Falcons knew Vick had thrown fewer than 400 passes at Virginia Tech. They knew he had a strong but wildly inaccurate arm. And they knew it was going to be a painfully slow process educating him on the complexities of NFL coverage schemes.

But they were seduced by his incredible athleticism and felt his speed and Houdini-like elusiveness would be ample-enough offensive ammunition while they waited for him to develop as a quarterback.
Five years later, the Falcons still are waiting for Vick to develop. Five years later, he still is averaging more yards running the football (6.9) than throwing it (6.7). Five years later, he has yet to complete better than 56.4 percent of his passes in a season, or throw more than 16 touchdowns.

And now, along comes Vince Young, and a lot of NFL scouts and draft analysts are wondering whether the University of Texas quarterback is deja Vick.

The predraft evaluation of Young will begin in earnest tomorrow when he and more than 300 other top draft prospects descend on Indianapolis for the league's annual scouting combine.
Scouts are saying many of the same things about Young they were saying about Vick 5 years ago: off-the-charts athleticism; jaw-dropping running ability that helped him rack up 3,136 rushing yards at Texas, including 200 of his 467 yards in the Longhorns' 41-38 Rose Bowl win over USC. But the $10 million or $20 million question is can he cut it as an NFL passer?

Like Vick when he came out, Young, an early-entry junior, still is very raw. He averaged only seven more pass attempts per game (19.4) than rush attempts (12.4) during his career at Texas. Coach Mack Brown's option offense was a poor preparatory course for what is awaiting Young at the next level.

"If you accept the principle that to be successful at a high level in the NFL you need a quarterback who can be an effective passer rather than a runner, then you've got to look at [Young] and ask yourself, 'Is he ever going to be anything more than a glorified Michael Vick?' '' said Mike Mayock, chief draft analyst for the NFL Network.
"There definitely is some worry because of [Vick's struggles],'' said an AFC player personnel man for a team with a top-10 pick in April's draft. "If Young had come out a year or 2 earlier when Vick was the hottest thing since sliced bread, [the comparison to Vick] would've been a good thing for him. But now, it's a negative.''

Vick finished 25th in the league in passer rating (73.1), 29th in completion percentage (.553), 26th in yards per attempt (6.23) and 25th in interception rate (3.4 percent) last season. In a recent interview with a reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Vick admitted to being "a little lost right now'' in the Falcons' offense.
Even though he played in 15 more games and threw 358 more passes at Texas than Vick did at Virginia Tech before coming out, there is universal agreement among scouts and analysts that Young would have been better served staying in Austin for his final year of eligibility.
"I'd feel a lot better if he had stayed in college another year,'' said ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski. "I would love to evaluate him with another year of [college] seasoning under his belt.

"When I look at Vince, this guy is an absolutely phenomenal collegiate quarterback. Maybe as good as I've seen play the position at the collegiate level. But his style doesn't project for success in the NFL. To be successful and consistent over the long term in the NFL, you've got to be able to throw the football accurately and you've got to be mechanically and fundamentally sound. I don't see that in him right now.''

During his three seasons at Texas, Young made steady improvement as a passer. Both his completion percentage and his touchdown-to-interception ratio got better each year. He's a little more accurate than Vick was coming out of college, but his arm isn't nearly as strong. He also has a funky sidearm delivery that negates his 6-5 height. While the team that drafts him can correct that, scouts weren't thrilled recently when Young was quoted as saying he doesn't plan to change his mechanics or his delivery when he gets to the NFL. His decision not to throw at the combine also has caused some consternation among teams.

"I think that's an absolutely huge mistake on his part,'' Jaworski said. "That would scare me if I'm a GM or a personnel guy. The first thing I would wonder is, what's he afraid of?''

Said the NFL Network's Mayock: "I'm seeing more and more people who are sitting there and getting nervous about whether or not they can invest that kind of [high] draft pick and those kind of [signing bonus] dollars against the unknown of what he can become as a passer.''

All of that said, even Young's harshest critics are fairly certain he'll end up being a top-five selection. He and USC's Matt Leinart are expected to be the first two quarterbacks taken.

"In today's game, there's such a dearth of good quarterbacks,'' Jaworski said. "I think there will be a team that will say, 'Hey, he's got tremendous God-given talent. We've got a good coaching staff. We can work with him and make him a star.''

Said an NFC pro personnel man: "There'd be a much bigger comfort level with Young if he had played in a pro-style offense. But guys come out of different settings and do fine. If he convinces people in the interviews and the testing that he's smart enough, that won't scare people. They'll figure they can help him figure it out as he goes along. They'll give him a lot of blackboard work, a lot of video work before the draft.''

Mayock believes the adjustment from a college option offense to the NFL is going to be extremely difficult for Young, just like it was and still is for Vick.

"The most disturbing thing I read was a quote from Mack Brown where he said when he finally stopped trying to push multiple reads on [Young], that's when his natural athletic ability came out,'' he said. "In other words, Mack Brown stopped coaching the kid, and that's when he became a better player. And while that's probably true, it would scare the heck out of me if I'm an NFL head coach or offensive coordinator. Because I'm going to demand that he learn his progressions and go through them. Because that's how he's going to get me to a Super Bowl. That's how he's going to become a better quarterback.''
It's easier to teach some guys that than others. Steve Young learned. Donovan McNabb learned. Vick hasn't. Still takes off at the first sign of trouble, real or imagined. The next time he looks for his fourth read will be the first.

Only time will tell whether Young will learn. He ran the ball a lot more at Texas than Vick did at Virginia Tech. Rushed for 1,000 yards in each of his last two seasons.

"Like most kids with a run-first mentality, when that internal clock goes off in the pocket, whether the pocket has broken down or not, he's looking to get out of the gate,'' Mayock said. "He did better as the season progressed. He completed 75 percent of his passes in the USC game.

"But when I saw a talented defense like Ohio State rush him the way I think you have to rush him, where you're not flying up the field and creating lanes for him to run, where you're just trying to keep four, five people in front of him at all times, he was extremely frustrated. I can show you plays on tape in that game where the pocket is totally intact and he's pulled the ball down and is looking to get out because his internal clock said it's time to go.''

While Young won't throw or work out at the combine, he will interview with clubs, which will give them some sense of how big a project he's going to be.

"The personal interviews will go a long way in helping teams make an evaluation on him as far as whether he's going to be receptive to coaching and things like that,'' Jaworski said.
"When these coaches put him on the [black] board and start asking him to start drawing coverages and where would he throw the ball, that's when they'll find a lot out about how much knowledge he has of the game.''

email this print this

Dunit35
02-22-2006, 03:08 PM
I think he is a better passer than Vick. But Young is stupid enough to not throw for teams in the combine. I doubt his stock will drop any.

Count Alex's Losses
02-22-2006, 03:57 PM
Man I saw Young throw a perfect corner route off his back foot, 25 yards away from the endzone. It was on NFL Network the other day.

He's amazing. Someone is going to get a stud QB.

Mecca
02-22-2006, 04:02 PM
You guys missed that college football skills competition I'm guessing. Young's throws were terrible and horribly offline. He's not throwing at the combine because he tried to make those throws in that competition and bombed all of them.

Vince Young is a talented guy but he's a major project. Footwork, throwing motion, arm strength all of those things are in serious question with him.

HolmeZz
02-22-2006, 04:42 PM
He's falling because, as time's elapsed since the Rose Bowl, people are actually looking at him as a QB prospect and not the God he looked like against USC. As a QB prospect, he was terribly overrated after the Rose Bowl.