NFL draft: Dallas Morning News: Sizing up the quarterbacks
By Rick Gosselin
The Dallas Morning News
Spotlight on Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan
Dan LeFevour lacks the hardware that his peers in this draft class have. He doesn't have any Heisman, Maxwell, Unitas or O'Brien awards/trophies like Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy.
But that was to be expected. A quarterback can't command the spotlight at Central Michigan like he can at Florida or Texas. But he can still set records — and LeFevour owns one of the NCAA's most coveted marks.
LeFevour produced 150 touchdowns in his career — 102 passing, 47 rushing and one receiving. No quarterback in NCAA history put the ball in the end zone more often than LeFevour.
"A lot of them were cheap — sneaking in from a yard or two," LeFevour mused. "But I'll keep them. Actually, it (record) is pretty cool. That's one individual stat that may last."
LeFevour passed for 12,905 career yards. He also rushed for 2,948 yards — one more yard than Tebow. LeFevour set a school record with 47 rushing touchdowns. He also set school marks for a season with 19 rushing touchdowns in 2007 and 28 passing TDs in 2009.
LeFevour joined Vince Young as the only quarterbacks in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in a season (2007). LeFevour is the only quarterback in NCAA history to pass for 12,000 career yards and rush for 2,500.
Sam Bradford is expected to make quarterback the first overall pick of a draft for the eighth time in the last 10 years. But the position board thins out in the middle rounds. There may not be 15 quarterbacks drafted in 2010.
Rk, Player School Ht. Wt. Noteworthy
1. Sam Bradford Oklahoma 6-4 236 2008 Heisman Trophy winner
2. Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame 6-2 › 222 Only four INTs in 2009
3. Tim Tebow Florida 6-2 › 236 2007 Heisman Trophy winner
4. Colt McCoy Texas 6-1 216 Unitas Award winner
5. Dan LeFevour Central Michigan 6-3 230 Threw 1,763 career passes
6. Tony Pike Cincinnati 6-5 › 223 62.4 percent passer in 2009
7. Mike Kafka Northwestern 6-3 225 Six 300-yard games in 2009
8. Armanti Edwards Appalachian State 5-11 187 65 career rushing TDs
9. John Skelton Fordham 6-5 243 Four-year starter
10. Tim Hiller West Michigan 6-4 229 99 career TD passes
11. Zac Robinson Oklahoma State 6-2 214 1,858 career rushing yards
12. Joey Elliott Purdue 6-2 215 Two-time academic All-Big Ten
13. Jarrett Brown West Virginia 6-3 224 63.6 percent career passer
14. Jevan Snead Mississippi 6-3 219 Texas transfer
15. Sean Canfield Oregon State 6-3 › 223 67.9 percent passer in 2009
Dan Whalen, Case Western
Whalen (6-1, 190) started for four years at Case and strung together 31 consecutive regular-season victories to close his career. He passed for 9,720 career yards and 87 touchdowns and was a two-time finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy, the Division III Heisman. ,"Quarterback is one of the few positions on the field where you don't have to be a superior athlete," Whalen said. "Physically, these guys aren't monster athletes. They don't run 4.3s. But from the shoulders up, they can blow people away. I think from the shoulders up, I'm as good as anybody in the country."
Best of Texas
Colt McCoy, Texas
The Tuscola product was a rare four-time team MVP at Texas and a three-time bowl MVP (Alamo Bowl in 2006, Holiday Bowl in 2007 and Fiesta Bowl in 2008). He set an NCAA record by completing 76.7 percent of his passes in 2008, and his career 70.3 completion percentage is second in NCAA history. He threw a TD pass in 48 of his 52 career games. Draft projection: rounds 2-3.
Sam Bradford may be the most accurate passer produced by the college ranks since Peyton Manning. Bradford led the NCAA in passing efficiency in 2007 and 2008 and completed 67.1 percent of his career passes.
Bradford had streaks in his career of 22 and 21 consecutive completions. He threw an NCAA freshman-record 36 touchdown passes in 2007, then set a school record with 50 as a sophomore in 2008. A pair of shoulder injuries in 2009 denied Bradford the chance to build on all of his records at Oklahoma.
Early outs: There are only three underclassmen quarterbacks who applied for early admission to the 2010 draft, but two of them sit atop the draft board — Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame. The third is Jevan Snead of Mississippi.
Legends: Bradford (Oklahoma), Trevor Harris (Edinboro), Tim Hiller (Western Michigan), Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan), Thaddeus Lewis (Duke), Colt McCoy (Texas), Matt Nichols (Eastern Washington), Todd Reesing (Kansas), Zac Robinson (Oklahoma State), John Skelton (Fordham), Riley Skinner (Wake Forest), Rusty Smith (Florida Atlantic) and Dan Whalen (Case Western) all left campus as the all-time leading passer in school history.
Here's to the winners: McCoy is the winningest quarterback in NCAA history with 45 victories. He also became the first quarterback in history to win at least 10 games in four seasons. The winningest quarterbacks in this draft:
Quarterback School Starts Wins
Colt McCoy Texas 52 45
Armanti Edwards App St. 49 42
Dan LeFevour Cent. Mich 51 36
Tim Tebow Florida 41 35
Max Hall BYU 39 32
Dan Whalen Case Western 41 32
Riley Skinner Wake Forest 49 31
Matt Nichols East Wash 45 25
Todd Reesing Kansas 38 25
Sam Bradford Okla 31 24
Legging it out: Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards won the Payton Award as the best player in the FCS division in 2009 and argubly is one of the greatest rushing quarterbacks in college football history with 4,361 yards and 65 touchdowns. He posted two 1,000-yard rushing seasons and 19 100-yard games. Joe Webb left Alabama-Birmingham as the school's all-time leading rusher with 2,774 yards. Edwards and Webb are two of only 10 quarterbacks in NCAA history with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Ball security: Levi Brown of Troy threw 265 consecutive passes without an interception during one stretch in 2009, falling just six passes short of the NCAA record. Matt Nichols had streaks of 267 and 151 at Eastern Washington without an interception, Florida's Tim Tebow threw 203 in a row in 2009, Duke's Thaddeus Lewis threw 206 in a row in 2007-08, Tennessee's Jonathan Crompton 142 in a row in 2009 and Wake Forest's Riley Skinner 141 in a row without a pick in 2008.
Brainiac: Tim Hiller left Western Michigan with all the school's passing records. More important, he left with a degree in business sales and marketing. Hiller got an A in every class he took in high school and college for a sterling 4.0 grade-point average. "It was one of those things that I never set out to do, but after a couple of semesters of high school and college, I had achieved it," Hiller said. "If I could do it — and it was my potential — why would I settle for anything less? That became my mind-set in terms of academics. That's always taken priority for me and my family."