Will Collin Klein make it as a quarterback in the NFL? (Credit: AP Photo)
The saga of unique college quarterbacks trying to make it in the NFL continues in the 2013 draft. Tim Tebow has undergone intense scrutiny for both his on-field talents and what he brings to a team off the field. Kellen Moore put up electrifying numbers throughout his Boise State career and was the first FBS quarterback to reach 50 wins. Both are still in the NFL, listed as quarterbacks.
Now, former Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein will try to make that same leap. Regarded as a mediocre passer and a great athlete for the quarterback position, many wonder whether Klein fits as a quarterback in the NFL. Ask Klein what he thinks on the matter, and he says, according to the Denver Post, that he can definitely make it as a quarterback.
“I don’t mind that classification as long as they don’t say I can’t throw. Because that’s not true,” Klein said Friday in Centennial at the South Suburban Sports Dome, where his performance coach, Loren Landow, ran his football athletes through a mock scouting combine exercise.
Klein, 23, will certainly have a lot to show at the NFL Scouting Combine Feb. 20-26 in Indianapolis. The 6’5″, 227-pounder will have to prove to the world that he is capable of playing the quarterback position. That should be a lot easier than it would have been just a few years ago. The emergence of variations of the read-option offense in San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, and possibly Philadelphia give quarterbacks like Klein an amazing opportunity.
Given time, Klein could transform into a similar player to Jake Plummer, with whom Klein is training before the combine. Klein could easily establish himself as a more mobile pocket passer like Andrew Luck or Ryan Tannehill, but the option schemes run by Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick are also a possiblity for Klein. Should Klein not end up playing quarterback, he could look to Arkansas alum Matt Jones, who made the switch to wide receiver and got drafted in the first round by the Jaguars. Jones had a mediocre NFL career before 2008, when a promising season (he was on pace for 85 catches and over 1,000 yards) was ended after Jones was busted for felony possession of cocaine, and he never played a game after that.
Klein does have a bit of that Tebow/Jones skill set, but don’t expect Klein to reach the first round if he intends on staying a quarterback. A team could reasonably draft Klein in the fourth or fifth round of this year’s draft as a project at quarterback.
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