Do Not Pick Josh Freeman
April 08, 2009 at 10:22am by Scott • 10 Comments »
Quarterback Josh Freeman (Kansas State) is coming to Tampa Bay for a visit next week and I’m hearing more and more buzz in the Tampa media about how Freeman is a favorite to go to the Bucs at #19. I’m not going to link to all of the articles that mention it because I’m incredibly lazy, but trust me.
In any other year Freeman would easily be a second round pick, possibly a third. Physically, he is what you want: 6-6, 250 with a huge arm. He’s also said to have a high football intelligence, but that didn’t translate into great decision-making in college. He was inconsistent, was not all that accurate with his throws, has questionable footwork and crumbled in the face of strong pass-rushers. He telegraphs his throws and hasn’t shown a consistent ability to read defenses, choosing to hold the ball and wait for a clear window instead of trusting his arm and anticipating the break.
He is being compared to JaMarcus Russell and Daunte Culpepper for his size and arm strength. This is supposed to be a good thing? Oakland cut ties with Culpepper to draft Russell, and now they brought in Jeff Garcia because maybe Russell still isn’t ready for the big time. In that way, Freeman is also a lot like Russell. He could have used an extra year in college to work on his mechanics and gain another year of experience to help slow the game down. I don’t blame him for coming out in his junior year for this quarterback-starved draft. He’ll go higher than he would have next year, that’s for sure. But in terms of value, his stock is way overinflated. At #19, I don’t want a developmental project with a big upside that may or may not ever materialize. One statistic that comes up this time of year is that underclassmen quarterbacks drafted in the first round are usually busts. Ben Roethlisberger is the big exception with Aaron Rodgers also having some success. See if you can think of another before you get to Drew Bledsoe in 1993.
For some reason, the Tribune insisted on quoting Mel Kiper in the article.
“Right now the big question is who’s going to be the heir apparent to Luke McCown? Who is Luke McCown going to be the bridge to?,” ESPN draft analyst Mek Kiper Jr. said in a previous interview.
I think Luke should just change his name. People hear “McCown” and immediately think stopgap or backup. Jesus, McCown is going to be 28 when the season starts. He could legitimately play for the Bucs for six or seven years before you would have to start thinking about who the heir apparent is going to be. HE HASN’T OPENED UP A SEASON AS A STARTER YET and Kiper is already looking to replace him? McCown is just as good an athlete as Freeman is — maybe even a better overall athlete. I’m not sure who would win in a long ball competition, but I know McCown can throw it as far as it needs to go, and he’s had some NFL experience to build on. It’s a mistake to dismiss him so quickly. God, I really hope he gets a chance to start and win some games. I’ll pull every single derogatory quote I can find about McCown and demand that the authors post retractions and admit that they’re jackasses.
If this were some quarterback-rich draft that only comes along once every 20 years, then you could make the argument that you could get a great value for a quarterback and would be stupid to pass one up regardless of who you’ve already got on your roster. For the nine-millionth time, this isn’t one of those drafts.