Has a good arm and has good zip on almost all of his throws. Has a very quick release. Shows nice mobility and able to make plays with his legs when the pass breaks down. Can throw on the run and does a nice job improvising. Shows pretty good accuracy. On his deeper throws, puts some air under the ball allowing his receivers to run under it. Shows nice touch on deeper passes, particularly on fades in the endzone. Shows some ability to audible in and out of plays before the snap himself.
Has only a slight build. His work in the shotgun has limited his pocket awareness. Has a very limited feel for the pass rush and has a long clock in his head when his receivers aren't running the short, quick routes. Locks onto his receivers too much and stares them down, which allows heady defenders to jump routes. Almost never goes to a second read. Has poor footwork and mechanics in the pocket. Never takes a snap from under center. And has a tendency to fade away on throws, throwing off his back foot. Rarely sets his feet when he does throw, which hurts his accuracy and prevents him from being able to drive the ball to the sideline on the NFL-caliber throws. Too often throws are behind receivers or in the dirt for a guy that has such good accuracy on other throws. Has a tendency to make pure decisions when under duress, as he'll throw the ball up for grabs when he's being sacked. Doesn't really know how to slide or move around in the pocket to avoid the pass rush and tends to run around and throw passes across his body and into coverage. Needs to do a better job securing the football when he's moving around.
Don't be fooled by Keenum's gawdy stats, he epitomizes the spread QB that puts up ridiculous production in college, but lacks NFL-caliber skillset. An easy comparison would be to Graham Harrell. Although I think Keenum has a better arm than Harrell, he is so raw as a pocket passer like Harrell was that he isn't likely to be able to show that arm strength when he works out with NFL teams. I at least thought Harrell was a good leader and showed enough intelligence to think he had a shot at adapted to a pro-style offense. Keenum doesn't rub me that way. Keenum has a very nonchalant air about him. Houston's offense is odd watching, because Keenum will line up in the shotgun, take the snap and just kind of fling it to whomever is his first read, which is often predetermined before the snap. This means that Keenum has very poor field vision considering his experience and will have difficulty reading NFL offenses, especially as a dropback pocket passer. I guess I have to give him some credit because he runs that offense so effortlessly.
What I Want to See in 2010:
I'm not sure anything I could see this upcoming season would make me think he has a chance to impact on the next level. I guess if anything would need to be done, it would be him going to through his progressions and seeing the field better. Also improving his mechanics and footwork, as well as developing some semblance of pocket presence. If he can show improvement in those areas, then maybe I think he'll have a chance to at least compete for a clipboard-holding position on the next level. And while I try to give players the benefit of the doubt each year, for Keenum to show any serious NFL potential would require such a huge overhaul in his play, that it seems unfathomable at this point. I don't want to make it sound like he's a bad player. He's a very good college player. But the system he plays in is basically kryptonite for developing a NFL skillset.
Barring Keenum being a closeted pocket passer and going to the Senior Bowl next year and blowing folks away, I don't see him getting drafted at all. The best you could hope for is some team with an egotistical head coach rolling the dice on him in the sixth or seventh round (like Jim Zorn did with Colt Brennan). But I feel fairly confident that once NFL scouts start to talk about Keenum this Fall, you're not going to hear anybody talking about him being a draft-worthy prospect, which will be much to the chagrin of college football analysts everywhere. He'll get a shot in the pros though, as both Harrell and Chase Daniel did, I just don't think it'll come with the honor of being drafted.
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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