BIRDLAND – There is a debate raging about who is the best small-college quarterback prospect.
Most have anointed Delaware’s Pat Devlin as the best prospect from a non-Bowl Championship Series school.
The three candidates in the upcoming draft are Devlin, Midwestern State’s Zack Eskridge and Josh Portis, who finished his career at California (Pa.).
All three started their careers at major schools. Devlin (6-foot-3, 222 pounds) started at Penn State, Eskridge (6-4, 226) at Texas Christian and Portis (6-4, 208) played at Florida and Maryland.
Eskridge (6,953) passed for more yards than Portis (6,071) and Devlin (5,696) at their respective small schools.
Devlin had the best completion percentage at 66.1 percent at Delware. Eskridge completed 65.7 percent of his passes at Midwestern and Portis completed 57.7 percent at California, Pa.
Portis threw 69 touchdown passes, while Eskridge threw 64 and Devlin 38.
Also, Eskridge leads the group in pass attempts, completions, quarterback rating, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and total touchdowns.
“For the last four years I have spent time working with Zack
Eskridge,” said Jerry Rhome, the former NFL quarterback coach and coordinator. “I think that he is an excellent NFL
QB Prospect. He has the size, arm strength, quickness and intelligence. Zack has all the tools that the NFL is looking for in a QB.”
With one of their three seventh round picks, the Falcons will likely try to find a quarterback to develop. The prospect must be capable of beating out John Parker Wilson and then have enough talent to ascend to the No. 2 spot as Chris Redman will be in the last year of his contract next season.
2011 NFL DRAFT ORDER FOR THE ATLANTA FALCONS
27. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
59. Atlanta Falcons
91. Atlanta Falcons
124. Atlanta Falcons
158. Atlanta Falcons
192. Atlanta Falcons
209. Atlanta Falcons (from Detroit in the Chris Houston trade)
228. Atlanta Falcons
229. Atlanta Falcons (from New England in the Quinn Ojinnaka trade)
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog