Some of the most popular quarterbacks mentioned leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft are as follows: Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Tom Savage, Zach Mettenberger, Aaron Murray, Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron, and David Fales. But the most intriguing QB prospect, according to Greg Cosell, is a player who some don't even see as a quarterback in the NFL: Logan Thomas.
When Cosell weighs in on something, I tend to listen. I'm not saying he's always right but at least his opinion is probably what he truly believes. That's more than you can say for those who express unpopular opinions simply for the sake of generating controversy (see: Skip Bayless). Here's what Cosell had to say. I encourage you read his entire article.
Here's the reality, which to many is inconceivable given the negative perception of Thomas, and Newton's relative success in the NFL after three seasons: Thomas is further along as a natural passer than Newton was at the equivalent point in time, having played more games in college, and learning an offense with far more complexities than Newton's Auburn offense.
It's easy to say a quarterback is not ready to play in the NFL. The same could be said for every quarterback in this or any draft class, each for different reasons. The truth is few are prepared when they come out of college, regardless of collegiate production, won-lost percentage or the conference in which they played. Even the special ones like Andrew Luck have much to integrate and absorb.
Cosell isn't delusional; he fairly acknowledges Thomas's weaknesses. At the same time, he seems really high on the Virginia Tech product's upside. Cosell calls Thomas the "best thrower" in the 2014 NFL draft class. It has to be said: his physical talents are tremendous. Compare his measurements to other quarterbacks:
If you think that's something, check out how he compares to other tight ends.
(And then for no real reason other than to have a laugh, take a look at Thomas [left] compared to Eagles LB Casey Matthews [right].)
That's something, huh? Of course, it takes more than raw physical talent to be successful in the NFL. The tape Thomas has put on display doesn't seem to have impressed many teams as far as I can tell. For what it's worth (which might not be much), many draftniks have Thomas as a Day 3 pick. Then again, many last year didn't think FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel would be drafted as early as he was.
I'm sure Thomas will drafted at some point. There's just too many physical talent there to pass up. The Eagles aren't necessarily in the market for a quarterback but Thomas could be awfully intriguing for them. He would come in as a developmental project who could be worth the payoff if he ever hits his ceiling. At the worst, the Eagles could experiment with converting him to a different position (tight end?).
Depending on how the Eagles view Thomas a pro prospect, it could be either a really easy or really tough decision to make if he's on the board in later rounds. If they don't see him as a NFL passer as many do, it could be an easy call not to draft him. But if they feel they can coach up his raw talent, the risk might just be worth it.