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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Scouts high on former SEC QBs By Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com Len Pasquarelli Archive Evaluating the quarterback class in the 2005 NFL draft has become a little like watching a NASCAR event, a race in which the leaders have separated themselves ...

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Old 03-29-2005, 11:10 AM   #1
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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

Scouts high on former SEC QBs By Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
Len Pasquarelli Archive

Evaluating the quarterback class in the 2005 NFL draft has become a little like watching a NASCAR event, a race in which the leaders have separated themselves from most of the competitors, and the more compelling jockeying for position is deeper in the pack.


Barring an upset, either Aaron Rodgers of the University of California or Utah's Alex Smith will be the first quarterback selected on April 23, and one of the young passers will likely be the top prospect chosen overall. Reading between the lines, it appears that San Francisco 49ers rookie coach Mike Nolan, whose team holds the first choice, is warming to Rodgers, although a lot can change in the next five weeks.


When it comes to the battle for the No. 3 quarterback spot behind Rodgers and Smith, however, the prospects are still "swappin' paint," to use an old racing term. Certainly the competition heated up this week when Auburn's Jason Campbell and David Greene of Georgia auditioned for scouts during their schools' "pro day" sessions.


Neither of the former SEC stars figures to squeeze into the first round, but both likely will be off the board no later than the middle of the second stanza. And right now, with the pecking order still a function of personal preference, the Campbell-Greene competition for the third quarterback slot is about as pitched as the longtime Auburn-Georgia rivalry.


"It's sort of a 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' thing right now," said one personnel chief who attended Campbell's workout on Monday and then Greene's throwing session the following day. "From an athletic standpoint, Campbell is probably the superior guy, but might need a little more hands-on [tutoring]. Greene is probably more polished, but isn't as big or athletic and doesn't have quite as big an arm. But the guy is a winner and you can see that he gets it. Our team likes them both. I don't think you could go wrong with either of them."


Another quarterback who could join the battle for the third perch on the draft totem, Charlie Frye of Akron, had a superb Senior Bowl performance but won't work out for scouts until April 1. Andrew Walter of Arizona State, still rehabilitating from December shoulder surgery, might not be able to throw until next month. And Purdue's Kyle Orton has only minimally recovered from a disastrous 2004 senior season.


Campbell and Greene, on the other hand, have done everything asked of them to this point in the draft analysis process. And both prospects possess strong résumés, with 90 starts between them, and having performed admirably and posting winning records in the SEC crucible.


"Really, the thing that probably bothered me the most," acknowledged Campbell after an excellent Monday workout, "was that I played and won in the toughest conference in the country, led an undefeated team last season, and there were people who still seemed to have questions about me. That's hard to accept. Hopefully, I've addressed whatever their concerns were, and put their doubts to rest. I don't know what more I can do, really."


Truth be told, Campbell, a steady performer his first two seasons but a guy who made a quantum leap in terms of overall grasp of the position in the past two years, has already been a pleasant surprise for scouts. At 6-feet-4 3/4 and 227 pounds, he still moves well, and he posted 40-yard times in the 4.69-4.75 range on Monday and had a vertical jump of 38 inches.


From a demeanor standpoint, Campbell might not appear quite as fiery as Greene, but teammates insist there is a raw emotion simmering not too far below the surface. While he has a yes-sir/no-sir kind of makeup, Campbell is definitely a leader, a bright youngster who overcame the handicap of playing for four different offensive coordinators, and in four disparate systems, over the course of his career.


It was under the tutelage of Al Borges, who installed a West Coast-style offense in '04, that Campbell really blossomed. He completed 69.6 percent of his attempts last season, threw for a career-high 2,700 yards, and registered 20 touchdown passes while throwing just seven interceptions. Even before Borges' arrival, though, Campbell was deceptively accurate, completing more than 60 percent of his passes every season.


A notable statistic: While Campbell isn't considered as accurate or fine-tuned as Greene, his worst season in terms of completion percentage (61.8 in 2003) is better than the best completion mark (60.3 in '03) that the former Georgia star posted as a four-year starter.


On Monday morning, standing at midfield, Campbell lofted several 60-yard bombs while flat-footed, a feat that did not escape the notice of the scouts assembled at Auburn.


"He is a kid whose stock definitely rose [Monday]," saidAtlanta Falcons quarterback coach Mike Johnson.


One day later, throwing into a gusty crosswind that swirled through Athens, Ga., Greene made his case for the No. 3 spot, and also made it well.

“ It's sort of a 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' thing right now. From an athletic standpoint, Campbell is probably the superior guy, but might need a little more hands-on (tutoring). Greene is probably more polished, but isn't as big or athletic and doesn't have quite as big an arm.�
—A personnel chief who attended each of the workouts

Throwing to wide receivers Fred Gibson and Reggie Brown, the latter of whom rates as a first-round possibility, Greene started his workout a bit unevenly. On some of the fine-touch throws, he was a hair off at the outset, but then quickly found a rhythm and began to rifle the ball with great accuracy. Certainly the four-year starter demonstrated that he has more than sufficient arm strength, particularly on the inside throws, for the next level.

More than satisfied with the 4.78 time he posted at the Indianapolis combine last month -- his quickness, or perceived lack thereof, had been one of the major question marks about Greene -- he did not run again. Greene did, though, show good movement on the half-roll and full-rollout drills. And, as usual, he exuded confidence and football savvy.


Notable about Greene is that he finished his estimable career at Georgia as the winningest quarterback in Division I history, a factoid with which the scouts are eminently familiar. He has presence not only in the pocket, but certainly in the huddle as well, and enjoyed the kind of coaching stability Campbell did not have.


There is a calm about Greene that scouts seem to find captivating.


Said one NFC scout, who allowed that his team would like a shot at Greene in the second round: "You feel like, if you put him in a game, he's not going to [embarrass] himself. He has been well-coached and he knows the game. You feel like he's in command."


That sense, that Greene might be more ready to play but that Campbell has the better long-term upside, is one shared by a lot of scouts.


But as far as a discernable consensus on the battle for the No. 3 quarterback slot? Well, pretty much that there is no true consensus at all yet. Of five scouts surveyed over two days, three gave Campbell the edge and two preferred Greene. There are several more laps to be contested, however, and the race likely will remain a close one.



Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here .


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Old 03-29-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

but what do you think the general expectation is? many do have him as the #3 qb pick. to me that means low first to upper half of second round. would be no surprise to be gone by saints #40. i don\'t love him. too much of the great athlete wonder if he has the leadership intangibles type to me. (sounds too familiar) he wasn\'t that good before his sr yr either.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:27 AM   #3
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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

my personal opinion-cambell will be one of the biggest busts of the draft-think akiilli smith or heath schuler....

I think cambell is a nice guy, and a good guy...I think there was a reason why he took four years to figure things out and only did so after the offense was significantly dumbed down for him.

that said-I have been wrong before..specifically about two quarterbacks-1. steve mcnair-who I didn\'t think had an arm, though I knew he could lead an offense, and 2. peyton manning-who I thought was way to skinny and immobile.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:36 AM   #4
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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

where do I think he\'ll go: I don\'t know-Green bay would be smart to grab him-he could sit and learn..unless green bay wants to win now and takes defense

the niners might take him esp. if they don\'t go qb in the first.

I could see the browns snaging him..tennessee or oakland might as well though I don\'t really see oakland beasue they are trying to win now..

so cleveland/tennessee/49ers in the second and green bay in the first..

long shot-denver or new jersey in the first.

greene-I din\'t even know he was in contention for the third qb.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:58 AM   #5
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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

yew, on greene fo sho.

wish we could hear saints interested in andrew walter. his injury thing is nothing longterm. i think he will be a willis mcgahee score for whoever takes him.
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Old 03-29-2005, 12:01 PM   #6
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why I think Cambell will go earlier than expected

yew, on greene fo sho.

wish we could hear saints interested in andrew walter. his injury thing is nothing longterm. i think he will be a willis mcgahee score for whoever takes him.
agreed..the same with burnett-who is dropping cause of his knee but I think will be pretty good..another is the OT from bama..can\'t remember his name right now though. there are a few others...
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