Penn State Senior
PROS: Has a tall, thin build. Has good speed, and shows the burst and smoothness as a runner to think he can challenge defenses downfield. Has nice hands and adjusts to throw. Tough to tackle after the catch at times because of his size. Can make the catch in traffic over the middle. Gives good effort as a blocker. Able to get the seal on the linebacker on the second level. Better working as an H-back. Shows pop as an inline blocker and able to hold his own against some defensive ends.
CONS: Makes some body catches. Needs to get a better release off the line because he can be a second or two late reacting to the snap. This also hurts him as an inline blcoker. Needs to polish up his route-running, as he'll just settle for posting up defenders over the middle rather than getting open.
OVERVIEW: Quarless is a talented tight end that has the potential to be a solid dual threat at the next level, just needs more polish. He spent years in Paterno's doghouse, until he emerged this past season to have a strong year with 41 catches, 536 yards (13.1 avg) and 3 scores. Good showing considering in the three previous years he combined for 46 -610-13-2.-5. Had several off-field issues while at Penn State which contributed to his doghouse days. Suspended 2 games in '07 for underage drinking. Suspended another game in '08 when police found marijuana in his apartment, and also got busted for DUI during the previous spring. He split time with Shuler, working often as an H-back, but as a senior, he played most downs.
NFL FORECAST: Quarless has potential, but the character issues are concerning. If he has shown maturity and has grown up since his pretty stupid mistakes, then I wouldn't have an issue drafting him. He has talent, showed it this past year, so you hope this is a stepping stone to more consistency. In a way, I'm sort of reminded of Martrez Milner, although I don't think Quarless has the questionable hands of Milner. But he could be one of those players that fails to live up to his physical tools. I think Quarless will work best immediately as a tall, H-back for a passing team as he develops more as a blocker. He has potential to be a solid every down tight end, but it wouldn't surprise me if he struggles to get off the bench. And that will be because of the issues of character and work ethic. He won't ever be a star tight end, but has starting potential and can be a guy that can give a team 30-40 receptions a starter. His value will eventually come because of his blocking, if he can make the improvements there to become a good blocker, then he can stick in this league for a long time. If he doesn't, then he might be gone by the time his rookie contract expires.
ATL FORECAST: Quarless has talent to develop for the Falcons, although I'm not sure he would pass their filter due to his past run-ins with the law. Although that would depend highly on how much (if any) maturity he's shown in the past year. But given that he became a more consistent option on the field, then I can see that he has matured some. He could be a starter for the Falcons as a replacement for Gonzalez and be an effective starter. But I don't see him living up to his athletic potential as a receiver, and again would be a guy that can catch up to 40 passes as a starter. But he could have a hard time sticking initially in Atlanta because his blocking needs more polished, and until Gonzalez retires, he probably won't play much over Peelle and Zinger. And even when Gonzalez retires, he's probably not going to be ready to be a reliable starter in the next year or two, so it's very possible that someone else passes him in the meantime. He's a talent worth developing, just don't think there's a high probability of him developing here in Atlanta, at least not as an impact player until maybe three or four years down the road.
VALUE: He is a nice middle round pick. For a team late on the run of tight ends in the earlier rounds, it wouldn't be too much of a reach to take him late in the fourth because of his upside. But he's more in line with the talent that should be drafted in the fifth round or early sixth.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BODY CONTROL: 3.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.