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The Eagles signed two undrafted free agents from the university of Purdue. QB Joey Elliot and cornerback David Pender. So we reached out to our Purdue blog Hammer and Rails for an in depth scouting report on these two. He also compared Elliot to another Big 10 QB who the Eagles drafted this year, Northwestern's Mike Kafka.
Elliott - Elliott was a three year backup to current Colts backup Curtis Painter before starting as a fifth year senior this past year. in 2008 when Painter was a senior Elliott enter the game at Northwestern because Painter was struggling mightily, unfortunately for him, Elliott barely last two series before a nasty hit separated his shoulder and forced him to miss the rest of the year. Based on his performance this past season, I think he would have been a better option than Painter over the previous three seasons. Painter put up big numbers, but was never able to win a big game in three and a half years as a starter. Elliott's biggest accomplishment in his only season as a starter was the upset over Ohio State and becoming the first Purdue quarterback since 1966 to win at Michigan Stadium.
Elliott may not have the best physical tools, but he is a smart quarterback and a natural leader. When he was finally able to play, he improved greatly as the season went on. he finished this past year as one of the best quarterbacks in the Big Ten. Purdue was the only Big Ten team to beat Ohio State and if not for a pair of defensive scores, they would have beaten Pac-10 champ Oregon at Oregon. Purdue starter 1-5, but that was mostly due to a series of horrible mistakes that cost them at least four games. Had Purdue as a team cut down on those, they would have been an 8 or 9 win team and Elliott would have received a lot more attention.
Pender - With David Pender you are getting a speedy, experienced player. Pender came on the scene in 2006 when we had absolutely no experience in our secondary. He played in all 51 games during his career. he has good size for a corner at 6'1", but he never had a ton of interceptions for us. He was more of a cover and pass break up guy. For the past two years he has been on of the conference's best cover corners and he started all 24 games. He was one of our most athletic players and that allowed him to defend most of the top receivers we played. he was never a total shutdown guy, but he was a serviceable defensive back that could play all over the field. His most memorable play came as a freshman against Minnesota in 2006. The Gophers threw a fade to 6'5" receiver Ernie Wheelright, but Pender leaped to break the pass up and tip it to a teammate for an interception in the end zone. That is a great example of his athleticism.
Mike Kafka - I am not sure of what I can add about him. In the last two games he played against Purdue he lead Northwestern to wins. In 2008 Purdue played probably played its worst game since 1996 in an awful loss up in Evanston. This past season Northwestern won in West Lafayette, but six Purdue turnovers greatly helped the Wildcats. Three of those turnovers were fumbles in the last two minutes of the first half that led to 13 points.
Kafka did have a talent that seemed to carry over from most Northwestern quarterbacks. he had the innate ability to pull over miraculous wins when northwestern had no business winning. In a 2008 game at Minnesota he had an incredible rushing day as an impromptu starter. He never put up huge passing numbers, but he was a smart player that made very few mistakes. he should provide a very interesting matchup with Elliott for the #3 job in Philly. Kafka is a good runner, while Elliott is more of your traditional pocket passer. Elliott did have a good presence of knowing when to tuck and run though. he wasn't as good as Drew Brees (850 yards rushing for us in 2000) at doing so, but he was at least a threat with his mobility.
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