Pros: Has a good arm with good zip on most throws. Works best on short, quick reads. Shows decent footwork in the pocket, side-stepping the pass rush. Has a good rapport with his receivers, overcoming lack of accuracy. Nice touch and shows potential as a vertical passer. Has decent mobility but not a threat to run. Can throw on the run. Works mostly out of the shotgun. When he sets his feet, his accuracy improves. Shows nice toughness and won't shy from contact and will throw a block to spring a runner.
Cons: Lacks accuracy at times and his timing seems to be off. Can be late on his throws and throws behind receivers too much. Not great on the deep ball all the time. Will have sloppy mechanics and throws off his back foot too much. Forces some passes and needs to improve decision making.
Overview: Purdue seemingly has had a nice little streak of capable NFL quarterbacks. Painter could be a continuation of that, but isn't quite up to Brees or Orton's level. But I liked him as a potential late 1st/ 2nd round prospect a year ago. At times struggled with consistency. 19-13 as starter, 59.9% completions, and 67:46 TD-INT ratio. Limited by separated shoulder as a senior and loss of favorite receiver (Dorien Bryant).
NFL Forecast: If he can sit for two or three years and learn one offense, I think he has the potential to be a starter down the road. But he's not a guy that is really going to do much early on because of his inconsistency. He needs to improve his mechanics and timing, and working in one offense for a number of years and comfortably on the sideline could help in those areas. I saw potential last year, but not so much this past year. So I'd like to believe I wasn't totally crazy a year ago and that it's still hidden in there somewhere. I don't think he'll ever be a star, but in the right situation I think he could be a decent playoff quarterback. And that situation is probably a team he's been on for a number of years and has really built up a nice rapport with some of their receivers, and they have offensive weapons around him.
ATL Forecast: Painter would be a decent option as a long-term backup for the Falcons. Not a great ﬁt in the offense, but has the skill set that is worth developing. Could work in Atlanta as the No. 3 for two or so years and then move up to the backup position. And then would be a nice insurance option down the road as a starter.
Value: Painter is a mid-round pick that is probably best drafted in the fourth or ﬁfth round.
Scouting Reports of quarterbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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