April 30, 2012

The Draft Day Fall Of Kellen Moore

     I tuned into the coverage of Day 3 of the NFL Draft on Saturday, mostly to see where and when Kellen Moore would get drafted.  For those who don't know, Kellen Moore started for 4 years as quarterback of the Boise State Broncos, an FBS powerhouse that plays in a weak conference.  During that time, he led his team to 50 wins and only 3 losses, with some of those wins coming against really good competition.  Even more impressively, Moore recorded a career passing efficiency rating of 169.0, good for 3rd in the FBS since 2000.  But because of the usual issues (lack of size, athleticism, and "arm talent"), Moore was expected to be picked in the 5th or 6th round.
     Near the beginning of the fifth round, ESPN showed a segment featuring Jon Gruden and Kellen Moore.  In the piece, they discussed some ridiculously accurate throws Moore made at Boise State, including one where he threw the ball before the receiver was even on the screen, and it hit him perfectly in stride.  Following the segment, the analysts came on screen and discussed Moore's penchant for understanding offensive concepts and his accurate throwing.  Of course, this was followed by their saying that he won't be successful because he just doesn't have the throwing strength or "arm talent" he needs and he can't "make all the throws".

     To me, this all sounded very familiar.  In the ESPN film The Brady Six, Tom Brady's college success and Draft day slide are highlighted.  Many of the same things were said about him.  It was obvious that he understood the quarterback position and played it well in college, but his lack of athleticism and arm strength dropped him all the way to the 6th round.  Brady did have the luxury of being 6'4" instead of Moore's 6'0", and Brady did play in a better conference.  But Brady didn't put come close to putting up the awesome stats that Moore did.

     Round 5 ended and Round 6 began.  At this point it seemed like Moore wouldn't get picked, only because no quarterback had been drafted for 82 straight picks.  Then came the Cardinals picking Ryan Lindley, a quarterback from San Diego State who, against competition similar to Moore's, managed a mere 128.8 passing efficiency rating.  But, he is 6'4", thus making him more draftable.

     The end of Round 6 and the beginning of Round 7 brought a bevvy of strange picks.  A tackle from Western Oregon.  The second best Robert Griffin from Baylor.  A safety from Ohio State that had only been a part of 3 plays from scrimmage.  Yet nobody had room on their team for the winningest quarterback in FBS history.

     The low point of the Draft was Pick 243.  The Green Bay Packers took B.J. Coleman, a quarterback who had transferred from Tennessee to Chattanooga in the FCS.  A quarterback with what the analysts described as the most "jacked up" mechanics they've ever seen.  Did I mention he's 6'3"?  I know the Packers wanted another seventh-round quarterback project to replace Matt Flynn (who was really more of a Kellen Moore type in college), but there's no excuse for overthinking it that much.  Having Kellen Moore studying under Aaron Rodgers would have been a fantastic move.

     Finally, it was time for Mr. Irrelevant, Pick 253, the final pick in the Draft.  The founder came out to announce the winner of the award, and you could overhear his assistant telling him what to say:  "Chandler Harnish, quarterback, Northern Illinois".  Mel Kiper says, "Are you kidding me?"  I say, "Are you kidding me?"  Harnish played against the same level of competition Moore did, and amassed only a 145.1 efficiency rating.  However, being 6'2" and having rushed for almost 3,000 yards at Northern Illinois, Harnish got the nod over Moore.

     One of the most productive quarterbacks in college football history was not considered good enough for any of the 32 NFL teams to draft.  And this isn't a Case Keenum/Graham Harrell situation, where the quarterback is only productive because he plays in a spread offense and throws 50 times a game.  Kellen Moore never threw more than 440 times in a season.  Heck, Boise State's running back was drafted in the first round.  So why did 253 picks pass without Moore being chosen?  He was great in college, and he's going to be productive in the pros.  More productive than Ryan Lindley.  More productive than B.J. Coleman.  More productive than Chandler Harnish.  It'll be a lot of fun to watch this story unfold.


  1. Nice Article man, I'm glad that he signed with the Lions though!

  2. This is great, I am glad I am not the only person writing about the injustice of Kellen Moore.