Possibility at 17: Josh Freeman

As we head for the Draft, Gang Green Nation will take a look at some potential picks for the team. Today we will profile Josh Freeman, a quarterback from Kansas State University.

What NFL Draft Countdown thinks:

Strengths:
Outstanding height and bulk...Above average athleticism...Has a very strong arm and can make all the throws...Mobile enough to buy time in the pocket and make plays with his feet...Is very difficult to bring down...Can throw on the run...Good deep ball...Played in a pro style offense...Tough...Durable...Coachable with a good work ethic...Team player and leader...Has a lot of experience...Still has loads of potential.

Weaknesses:
Streaky and will run hot and cold...Forces things and makes some bad decisions...Inconsistent mechanics...Not overly accurate...Marginal touch, timing and anticipation...Doesn't read defenses well...Will stare down his targets and hesitate...Too much confidence in his arm...Must continue to improve his footwork...Struggled versus elite competition.

What SB Nation's Mocking the Draft thinks:

Strengths: Incredible arm strength. Can make just about any deep throw. Puts a nice touch on passes and knows when to take some heat off throws. Great size and can take a hit. Never had the best offensive line protecting him and was pressured frequently. Showed during his junior season that he can be mobile rushing for 14 touchdowns. Cut down on his interceptions ever season but still needs to improve his decision making. Played in a pro-style offense, albeit mostly from the shotgun.

 

Weaknesses: Not quite ready to be a starting NFL quarterback because of his lack of technique and proper footwork. Rarely steps into his throws. Holds the ball too low when he drops back which nullifies any kind of quick release he would have. Deep accuracy is somewhat questionable. Took the majority of his snaps from the shotgun. Struggles when he has to throw on the move.

What I think:

Freeman has all of the traits scouts love (big arm, height, athleticism). The problem is these attributes are accessories, not what makes a great quarterback. Playing in a pro system is certainly a plus for him as is his excellent touch. However, Freeman is a project. His mechanics need to be reworked. His accuracy and decision making are suspect. If he puts it all togther, he will be all world, but that will take a lot of work. He essentially needs to learn a lot of the basic elements of his position over again.

If the Jets take Freeman early, it will indicate they want him to be the guy of the future. Since there is a hole at the position, the man of the future with the big contract will have to start almost right off the bat. He will have to adjust to the NFL as he is receiving a crash course in quarterback play. Freeman will probably revert to his old mechanical tendencies facing the speed and complexity of pro defenses for the first time.

In the end, the Jets cannot commit the most important position on the field for the next few years to a guy with so much developing to do. I would not want to see Freeman in the first round. He was not even among the top half of quarterbacks in his own conference. If it happens for him, it might take a time sitting and learning the position and the pro game without the burden of game pressure. He would be much more palatable after round one with a more modest deal. He would just be another horse in this year's quarterback derby and could sit with no pressure to develop at his own pace if he is not ready.

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