02-01-2005, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
After Smith and Rodgers, quarterbacks up for grabs for NFL Draft
By MARLA RIDENOUR
Akron Beacon Journal
MOBILE, Ala. - Akron's Charlie Frye can be the third quarterback selected in the 2005 draft with a strong performance at this week's Senior Bowl.
At least that's what ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes is at stake for Frye during four days of practice and Saturday's North vs. South showdown at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Except for the order, there's no dispute over the top two - juniors Alex Smith of Utah and Aaron Rodgers of California. But Kiper said Tuesday that the No. 3 spot is up for grabs between four players competing in Mobile, Ala. - the North's Frye, Kyle Orton of Purdue and Dan Orlovsky of Connecticut and the South's Jason Campbell of Auburn.
"This is a big week for (Frye), but I don't think it's any more of a big week than it is for Jason Campbell or Kyle Orton or Dan Orlovsky," Kiper said. "Whoever's the third quarterback is a second-rounder. The fourth and fifth quarterbacks could be third-, fourth- or fifth-rounders."
Slipping that far wouldn't just be a blow to the ego, it would mean a loss of thousands of dollars.
But Kiper expects good things out of Frye here. In his Dec. 1 rankings before juniors declared, Kiper listed Frye as his top quarterback, with Campbell, Orlovsky and Orton two through four. Kiper remains a Frye fan.
"I like the way he played against some of the big-time teams on their schedule, Virginia and Penn State," Kiper said. "He hung in there, he threw a lot of short passes. He didn't have an offensive line, he didn't have skill people around him and he still put up numbers. He's got a good, quick release. He moves to the left or right. He put on weight in his career, he went from 175 to 225. I like his demeanor, I like his awareness on the field. I thought he had the skill level to play in the NFL.
"I thought if he came down here and did well, he had a chance to solidify a spot in round two. I don't know about first round; I think that's debatable."
The biggest thing Kiper said Frye must prove this week is that he can throw deep, which he started to demonstrate Tuesday morning with top-notch targets like Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield and Oklahoma's Mark Clayton.
"You can't go wrong throwing to those guys," Frye said afterward.
Frye had every reason to be nervous when he stepped onto the FieldTurf at 9:30 a.m. One side of the stadium was filled with coaches, scouts and general managers, with a scattered crowd on the other side. But Frye said he didn't see them.
"I didn't even look up there during practice," he said.
Splitting time with Orton and Orlovsky, Frye wasn't sweating much when the hour-and-a-half session ended. During one drill, he threw a pass to each side of the field, then stepped aside.
"It went a lot smoother today," Frye said. "I worked out some of the wrinkles, got a better understanding of what's going on as far as the plays. I felt a lot more comfortable out here."
There is a difference of opinion on how much one week will mean to Frye. One AFC assistant said, "If you draft players off all-star games, you're losing." But others say the Senior Bowl is more important for Frye, because he didn't play in a conference like the Big Ten or Pac-10.
"The Mid-American is a nice conference now. I don't view him the same as I would a I-AA player," Kiper said. "(North Carolina State's) Philip Rivers came down here last year and made himself a high first-round pick when it looked like he would be a late first, early second going in. Patrick Ramsey became a late first-round pick. You have had some instances where quarterbacks have helped themselves dramatically."
What Kiper looks at primarily with Frye is "how he throws and how he moves and how he makes decisions and how he reacts to these types of practices when he's thrown in there with a bunch of new guys."
"You can't overreact to this for a quarterback because his timing is going to be off," Kiper said. "But he has the skill level to play."
That was also the pronouncement of one NFC quarterbacks coach who has seen Frye for two days.
"I thought he came around today, was more consistent," the coach said. "He belongs."
I would really like to get this guy-maybe trading up into the low first/high second..
our first pick should be a defensive player..but then we couldn't go wrong getting someone to push brooks/a legitamate backup player...or in best case scenario trading brooks for some prime time talent on defense wether players or picks.