6-4/240 Ohio State
Pros: Has good size and a strong arm. Shows nice ability to throw either deep or short. Has lots of physical toughness, and will stand in there and take hits.
Cons: Erratic and struggles when pressured. Shows poor mental toughness as his play declines sharply when he’s pressured. Lacks pocket presence, taking a lot more hits than is necessary. Accuracy and touch can be erratic at times. Forces too many passes and makes too many mental mistakes.
Overview: Boeckman’s poor mental toughness contributed greatly to the struggles of Ohio State in big games in 2007. Frankly, you could say they won in spite of him in some of those games. He’s a competent college quarterback that was benched this past year after a poor start for freshman sensation Terrell Pryor. He still was the guy the Buckeyes coaches turned to when they needed to air out the ball. There was some adjustment for him as he took to being the backup.
NFL Forecast: Has no starting potential whatsoever. Just doesn’t have the mental toughness to handle being an NFL starter. But what he does have in spades is physical toughness. I was really impressed with how he stood and took shot after shot from the USC defense this past year. And he’s the type of player that could endear himself to a coach or coordinator because of that and get multiple opportunities to stick as a backup. Best thing for him is if he gets the opportunity to sit and learn one system for a few years before asked to contribute. In that way, I’d liken him similar to a player like Todd Collins. I could see him having a long tenure as an NFL backup, despite the fact that he’s really not that talented.
ATL Forecast: Boeckman could be a long-term option as Matt Ryan’s backup, but it’s doubtful that he would do anything initially to unseat Shockley or Redman from the starting job. He’s a similar player to Redman but because of his youth and the fact that he didn’t accomplish a lot at OSU, he wouldn’t get the beneﬁt of the doubt that some young QBs get, making it very hard for him to stick on this roster initially. The only hope would be to put him on the practice squad for a year and hope he learns Mularkey’s offense quickly. But more than likely, he’d be “one and done” in reference to how many summers he would spend with the Falcons if they picked him up.
Value: Don’t draft him, please don’t. But if I was a team that maybe already had three quarterbacks pretty much set on the roster and was just looking for a practice squad guy to develop for a year or two, I might think of signing Boeckman as an undrafted free agent. Otherwise, I’d hope he could stick one of the lesser leagues and get some needed development there.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.