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NFL Draft Analysis - QB Andy Dalton

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NFL Draft Analysis - QB Andy Dalton

Things I learned last week:

  • Cutting QB highlights takes twice as long as any other offensive 'skill' position.
  • Editing at midnight only leads to slipped audio tracks.
  • There's a lot of 'middle ground' among the quarterback class.

The fact is, even the best of this group - arguably Newton/Gabbert/Ponder depending on preference - is less polished than I'd like if I were to own a high draft pick and need a quarterback.

We can talk Newton/Gabbert upside, but the truth is even if you love one of those two or Ponder (who is considered more pro ready) it's not a great class.

Normally a guy like TCU's Andy Dalton is the perfect guy to target from late Day 2 onward. While a bit limited physically, Dalton's a very smart guy who sees the field well and makes consistent good choices.

I think he'd be a very good backup from the get go and with some work, could be a  solid starter. I'd take him anywhere from late third onward.

It looks like he'll go in the second (maybe sooner), and I think that's a bit risky, depending on situation.

If he goes to a team who can sit him a year, it's early but he probably won't be rushed into a starter's slot. If he goes to a team with a deep QB need, he could end up in the lineup too soon which would be detrimental to his development.

In the video I mention the Packers as a very good - arguably ideal - landing spot.  I think the offense they run and the staff they have would be a great place for Dalton to learn and grow as a quarterback.

On top of that he'd be behind Aaron Rodgers, a guy who has seen it all at this point, and a guy who isn't missing too many games.

There has been some talk about trading Matt Flynn sometime soon to maximize value on a guy who perhaps the team might not want to invest a lot of money in.

Dalton could learn behind Rodgers (and if they don't trade him immediately, Flynn) and develop into a good enough quarterback to net Green Bay some trade value down the line.

Mike Lombardi has said a few times 'you always want to be developing your next quarterback' and while Rodgers isn't going anywhere, the truth is that the Packers always should be developing the 'next guy' - if just for trade value.

Think of what the Patriots got for Matt Cassel. Or the Falcons for Matt Schaub (maybe it's a Matt thing. That would make Matt Flynn next up!).

Maybe Dalton doesn't become starter for the Pack, but he would serve as protection for Rodgers and potential trade bait down the road.

Again, I think we're going to see a desperate team (could be Buffalo, could be Cincy, could be Jacksonville) grab him before the middle of the second.

But if he dropped enough, and the value was there, he'd make a good Packer.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (10) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackersRS's picture

Interesting. If the guy can't thread the needle, he'll never be elite in the NFL. Brady doesn't have a big arm, but he can absolutely place those curl routes.

Are you gonna do an evaluation of Ponder? I really thought he was the best QB in this draft, but after watching that NFLNetwork program with Mariucci, I saw him bicker at Gabbert, kind of in a childish manner, trying to bring him down to make him look good. I really didn't like that, didn't like his body language, and as with Clausen last year, I'm questioning his leadership. What do you think?

andrewgarda's picture

Yeah I don't know he'll ever be elite but he could be good enough to start and be effective. He'll never be Rodgers/Brady/Manning IMO, but he'll be better than some of the guys starting in the league now - or at least he COULD be.

I haven't seen the exchange with Ponder and Gabbert - do you know if it's up at I'd be curious to see it as I hadn't heard anything bad about Ponder's 'tude - this time last year you were hearing a bit about Clausen (although it wasn't until the Draft itself that I heard how bad he'd been).

I am thinking about Ponder - I like his skills a lot. So he's on my list - we'll see if I get to him.

PackersRS's picture

Here you go:

Right off the bat, he takes a shot, saying that Blaine "ran that shotgun an awful lot", almost pointing out that he came out of a pro-style offense and should be considered higher.

It's not much, but I also thought Clausen's problems weren't much last year. Clausen could still prove he's an NFL QB, but so far no good.

andrewgarda's picture

Yeahhhhh, I don't know. I mean sure, it could be taken the wrong way but I thought Blaine was a little sarcastic back - I mean not in a bad way, but more in a 'give as good as I get' way. It's hard to say because we don't know how well they might know each other at this point in the process.

It is a bit of an eyebrow raiser. I heard more about Clausen this time of year. I have heard a few comments about 'being the best in the class' from Ponder - is it confident or cocky? Or both? Or is it arrogance, by all accounts Clausen's issue.

Might be worth me asking around... thanks for hooking me up with the link...

MarkinMadison's picture

"Thompson thought he drafted a future left tackle last year, but Bryan Bulaga wound up a better fit on the right side because he lacks prototypical arm length for a left tackle."

Forgive me for jumping the gun, but I can't believe Silverstein wrote this garbage. Bulaga ended up at RT because Clifton had an unexpectedly good year, and because Tauscher was hurt. Bulaga may or may not be the LT of the future, but I don't think his "arm length" had jack to do with what happened in 2010.

andrewgarda's picture

People LOVE to focus on OLine 'arm length' and while it can be a factor, I think it';s overblown and Bulaga proves it as well as anyone else. I agree with you - I can imagine WHY Silverstein wrote what he did, but I disagree. And I;m not even a packers guy LOL.

Mind you, now Nate Solder (Colorado) is getting flack in some circles for being too tall with arms that are too long.

Can't win for losing.

PackersRS's picture

Completely agree on the arm lenght issue with both of you.

While I think it does affect in blocking, it's not a major issue. Ability to bend in the knees and good feet are much more important. And Bulaga has both.

What worries me about Bulaga is that he has struggles with versatile pass rushers, that can both bull rush and pass rush. He tends to "cheat" once he sees a trait, but if the guy changes, he has struggled to adapt.

That being said, he's a 20 year old rookie, and he has played failry well in a Super Bowl against one of the league's best pass rushers.

Bulaga might not turn out to be an all-pro tackle, but from what I've seen, I think we're set at one of the tackles for the next 15 years.

andrewgarda's picture

That - and AND - he looks and sounds like Seth Rogen. So you have that going for you. Which is nice.

PackersRS's picture

You mean he looks and sounds funny without doing anything actually funny...

If only he could grow a sweet jewfro...

FootballGods's picture

For the record, if we draft Brooks Reed and DeMarco Murray, I don't care what we do for the rest of the draft... Murray could go in the slot, even more than Nance, and even catch a pass! Imagine.. Or.. trade our one, two, and Kampman's fourth to get Vonny!! (Slightly unlikely)

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