Cavalcade of Whimsy: Lamar Jackson Is The Next ...? And Other NFL QB Comps

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Lamar Jackson Is The Next ...? And Other NFL QB Comps

Week 9

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Lamar Jackson Is The Next ...? And Other NFL QB Comps

Cavalcade of Whimsy: Lamar Jackson Is The Next …? And Other NFL QB Comps


Who does Lamar Jackson compare to in NFL scouting circles? The Tennessee meltdown, and more


Cavalcade of Whimsy: Oct. 24, 2017

Contact/Follow @ColFootballNews & @PeteFiutak

Sorry if this column sucks, it’s not my fault …

Tim Tebow delivered an impassioned “don’t be scared of Alabama” pregame speech, imploring that “it’s about time you had pride at … LET’S GO.”

How did the inspiration work? Nick Saban took pity on me and used the second half of the column as a light scrimmage, getting the backups some meaningful snaps.

Check out all the past Cavalcades

“Someone shows me one of their fingers and I’m supposed to feel bad? Is that the way it’s supposed to work? I mean, you could just give someone the toe, really … “

Nice job, CBS producers. Rashaan Gaulden’s two-finger salute – which at this point in our lives, considering the bar has been raised, needs to be erased from the ranks of being considered obscene – got more air-time than promos for Young Sheldon.

And when it’s finally over – whenever that is – that’s what the Butch Jones era will forever be known for.

A rude spitwad gesture at the Bama battleship.

“Damn it, this always happens. I think I’m gonna score, and then I never score. It’s not fair. We’ve traveled, um, a hundred miles ’cause we thought we were gonna score. But now it’s not gonna happen. Damn it!”

It’s happened before when Gary Danielson called a game when he was a bit under the weather, but he was a tough, tough listen on Saturday.

His analysis was top-drawer – as always – but I had to pop a Z-Pack as a preemptive strike to combat the phlegmstorm coming through the TV.

There’s a Minute Clinic in Tuscaloosa – I’ve been there.

Didn’t CBS have a Plan B – like maybe put Allie LaForce in the booth? Possibly have Brad Nessler go Vin Scully and fly solo? On the plus side, Danielson’s hacking was a decent distraction from the dud on the field.

Between Danielson’s lungs, the Gaulden digits, Nick Saban showing mercy on the Vols by pulling several key starters early in the third, and Nessler’s general grumpiness over anything that was invented after around 1967, Tennessee-Alabama was one entertainingly odd piece of sports broadcasting performance art.

Filed under Men Seeking Men …

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SUPERPOWER coming to the end of a five-year relationship seeking coach for friendship, good times, and who knows 😉 … Must love dogs who wear orange-and-white checkered vests, and must hate gators, bulldogs, and Alabama. Not asking for the world … just an occasional offensive touchdown now and then! 🙂🙂🙂🙂

And the first response on desperateteamsdesperatecoaches.com …

I’ve changed, you’ve changed, we’ve all changed, and you know I’ve got EXACTLY what you need.

I’ve hurt you before, but I’m a different man since I bolted after our year together. Remember how we almost had it all, only losing to Alabama 12-10?

Were there some rough times and bad feelings after I left? Oh yeah, but did you experience any fun this weekend? You know I did … I cranked up a 69 down here in Boca, baby. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? You need to score, and I know just what to do to get you the big O.

I want you. Deep down, you still want me. Let’s revenge-up on Bama together. All you need to do is swipe right, and once again you’ve got a one Lane highway to wonderful.

Ultimate Weapon, Part II

Who’s the biggest winner after this weekend?

Penn State? Notre Dame? Dwyane Wade – for a whole bunch of reasons?

How about Lamar Jackson and his NFL stock?

Let’s just come out and say it – Sam Darnold either 1) isn’t ready or 2) isn’t that good.

Neither is Josh Allen.

With others struggling, Jackson is looking more and more like he’s ready to rise up and become an NFL superstar, even if he doesn’t quite play the part of your typical pro passer.

But here’s been my problem over the last few years – what’s the comp?

He’s never going to be Tom Brady or Drew Brees as a gunslinger, and his running style will only work for so long at the next level. But I finally got it …

Randall Cunningham.

Unfortunately, the Pro Football Weekly Scout’s Notebook ’85, written by the late, great Joel Buchsbaum, has too generic a report on Cunningham to make any sort of a point, but they’re almost the exact same size, they’re both electric, and they’re both tall, skinny difference-makers who can/could change a franchise.

Let the NFL scouting types overanalyze and dissect every other part of the quarterbacks over the next several months. Just in terms of physical size and look, here are a few other comps …

Sam Darnold: Jay Cutler. Darnold isn’t as athletic and doesn’t have the same arm, but turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

Josh Allen: Logan Thomas. Everyone wants to throw Allen into the Cam Newton bucket when it comes to his athleticism. But he’s more like the former Virginia Tech quarterback, Thomas, who had absolutely everything you could ever want in an NFL quarterback, except for the ability to play football well.

Mason Rudolph: Ryan Leaf when it comes to size, but not attitude. They’re both 6-5 and around 235, and both thrived in pass-friendly systems that overinflated their numbers. Rudolph gets dogged for his accuracy at times, but at the time, scouts couldn’t stop gushing over Leaf – he hit 56% of his throws in his final year in the run-and-shoot.

By the way, from the PFW write-up on Leaf in the 1998 NFL Draft Preview: “Very mentally and physically tough … has developed a passion for being the best and became a film-room junkie.”

Baker Mayfield: Cade McNown. Both are around 6-1 and 210, both have/had attitude, both were legendarily competitive at the collegiate level, and both were ultra-productive. Neither has/had a huge arm, but could hit the mid-range throws, took a ton of chances that paid off, and could run when needed.

Josh Rosen: Kirk Cousins. Well aware that Rosen has the far bigger upside, don’t knock Cousins – he’s been ultra-productive over the last few years. Cousins was known for being more of a dinker and dunker – Rosen’s a gunslinger – but that was because of the Michigan State system. In the NFL, he’s currently just behind Alex Smith and Tom Brady in average yards per pass by a regular starting quarterback and is second in plays of over 40 yards.

Khalil Tate … get to know who he is

Media people. You have to all stop automatically putting a player into the Heisman category after a big game that everyone saw, especially when we all know the guy won’t win it.

Notre Dame’s Josh Adams had an amazing game against USC, running 19 times for 191 yards and three touchdowns. What’s the different between Adams hitting big home runs, and what Arizona QB Khalil Tate is doing over theist three games? You probably saw what Adams did.

But he was held to 53 yards by Georgia, and 56 by Michigan State – he’s not winning the Heisman.

Even so, he’s averaging over nine yards per carry and was around the ten mark for a stretch. It’s all leading up to the showdown against Bryce Love and Stanford to end the regular season in what should be a really, really big thing.

And Jacoby Brissett might be in the lobby

DeShone Kizer, Brett Hundley, and maybe – at least a discussion would be had – C.J. Beathard.

Who are three NFL starting quarterbacks who probably wouldn’t start for their respective college teams (Notre Dame, UCLA and Iowa) at the immediate moment.

If Drew Stanton becomes your answer, that’s a bad, bad question

Argue what you feel you need to when it comes to Colin Kaepernick, but he would absolutely be San Francisco’s starting quarterback over C.J. Beathard right now.

Would he start for Cleveland over DeShone Kizer and Cody Kessler? Duh.

Jacoby Brissett hasn’t seen a sack he didn’t like to take as Indy fades into the abyss, and even though it’s working, Kaepernick would probably be a much better fit for Minnesota than Cody Kessler.

Instead of being true playoff contenders with a guy who ended last year on a roll, Green Bay would rather go into the tank with Brett Hundley, and Denver would prefer to fade away with Trevor Siemian.

And that’s okay, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Carolina. The quarterback play you’re getting has been fantastic, too.

Of course, everyone is too scared to take Kaepernick at this point. Remember, for good and for bad, winning cures everything.

“Let the sunshine, let the sun shine in (oh, let it shine)/The sun shine in (come on, everybody just sing along)”

Well alright, UMass. Way to go, Charlotte. You finally won a game.

The Minutemen were able to do everything right this season but score more points than the other team, but that wasn’t a problem against Georgia Southern – who also hasn’t won a game.

What happens when you get blown out by a winless team? You can your coach who started 0-6 like the Eagles did – Tyson Summers was relieved of his duties.

Charlotte has been trying to rise up in the ranks since joining the FBS, but it’s been a struggle, A 25-24 win over UAB eased the pain for at least a week.

So who else is on the No Fun List?

Georgia Southern, Baylor and UTEP. Those are the three remaining 0-fers, and then there are the had-to-pay-for-it teams who had to beat an FCS team to avoid a winless start.

BYU, San Jose State, Texas State and …

“Oh Ziggy, will you ever win?”

And now, David Beaty is 3-28 as the Kansas head coach. To put this into perspective, his program has lost seven more games in his era than yards his team gained in the loss to TCU.

I started this last week, setting the over/under on points would lose the rest of the season by at +190.5.

After losing to TCU 43-0, now it’ll take Kansas State, Baylor, Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to combine to beat the Jayhawks by 148 points to hit the mark – that’s an average of only around 30 points per game.

Three of the next four games are at home. Here we go, Jayhawks. You’re not going bowling, but I’ve given you the carrot at the end of the stick.

Five Cavalcade of Whimsy footballey opinions and, like, other stuff

Five conversation starters at your next dinner party, and/or to impress that special someone at the right moment …

5. Ole Miss, you have a rare opportunity. Use it.

This is a true redshirt year for Ole Miss. There’s no bowl game, starting quarterback Shea Patterson is done for the year, and the rest of the games are for fun. Of course, head coach Matt Luke is trying to win, but why not use every moment like and advanced spring football session?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the seniors have to play just because, but if Ole Miss is doing this right, it’s playing all underclassmen the rest of the way. All that matters this year is getting better for 2019.

4. The Willie Taggart experience 

Uhhhhhh, Willie? Did QB Justin Herbert mean that much?

Oregon was rolling, the offense was fantastic, and there was even a little defense in the 4-1 start. Herbert gets hurt, Oregon loses three straight, the offense scored a grand total of 31 points in the last three games, and the Ducks probably won’t go bowling, if they don’t get Utah this week.

You have permission to break something tasteful at the way this year is going, Duck fans.

3. The Kentucky problem

Bret Bielema, Butch Jones, Barry Odom, and to a lesser extent, Jim McElwain and Kevin Sumlin, are all on hot seats. At 5-1, Kentucky head man Mark Stoops appeared to be all good. He’s even talking about how he feels bad for Jones and what he’s going through.

Uhhhhh, Mark. Watch your own back, son.

After a 45-7 loss at Mississippi State, now UK is 5-2 with Tennessee up next. If Stoops and the Cats lose to a desperate Vol team, then it all might come down to Ole Miss. With at Vanderbilt, at Georgia, and Louisville to close things out, lose to the Rebels, and there’s a solid chance UK could finish with six straight losses and no bowl.

Can’t happen?

2014, UK started out 5-1 and got blown out by LSU 41-3.  The Cats lost their next five games and missed out on a bowl, and then blew it the next year, too, losing six of the last seven to go 5-7.

2. The Sun Belt schedule

Appalachian State, Arkansas State and Troy are the three best teams in the Sun Belt. There’s no conference championship game and no divisions. And now here’s the problem.

Appalachian State doesn’t have to play either ASU or Troy, while the Red Wolves and Trojans play each other in the regular season finale.

Making this crazier, Appalachian State doesn’t have to play South Alabama, either – the Jaguars are another team tied for second. But you’ll sleep well knowing the Mountaineers have to face Georgia State, yet another team tied for second.

1. Maybe Penn State is that good

Really, AP? Michigan goes from 19th to out of the top 25 after losing to your second-best team in the country, while USC gets to hang around in the top 21?

It doesn’t matter – the real rankings come out next Tuesday when the CFP has its say – but maybe it’s possible that Michigan really is good, and Penn State really is great.

We’ll find out against Ohio State this weekend, but this isn’t the Penn State of last year that seemed to magically come up with ways to pull horseshoes out of its keister. This team is dominating games early on.

And now, Michigan is supposedly worse than Memphis, South Florida, and 11 teams ranked lower than Michigan State – the other team to beat the Wolverines.

Five Thoughts
1. Win Out, Notre Dame, And You’re In The CFP. Maybe
2. Where’s The Baker Mayfield Heisman Love?
3. What A 16-Team College Football Playoff Would Look Like
4. Really? Are LSU And Auburn Still Alive For The CFP?
5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?

This week’s reason why Nick Saban didn’t suspend me for the season opener against Florida State …

The entire Penn State crowd wore white – as did Mellish – for its white-out thingy. Like James Franklin, on Saturday night my shirt was blue.

The sure-thing, 100%, rock-solid lock, sell the house, sell the kids, no doubt about it picks of the century for this week

PICK SO FAR: 41-14 SU, 31-22-1 ATS

Yeeeeeesh. Not every week can be magical.

Fortunately, I have an ATS buffer, but how does Buffalo lose to Miami University? How did West Virginia collapse in the fourth? And what was that Kentucky?

Yeah, got Notre Dame with ease, and UCF always delivers, but 2-3 isn’t acceptable around here.

– Nebraska +6 over Purdue
– West Virginia +7.5 over Oklahoma State
– Indiana -4.5 over Maryland
– San Jose State +14 over BYU (BYU straight up)
– Cal +3.5 over Colorado
– Arizona State +3 over USC
– Utah +3.5 over Oregon

C.O.W. shameless gimmick item …

The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world

5) Overrated: Steal a base
Underrated: Steal a taco

4) Overrated: Michigan by the AP and Coaches polls that put it ahead of Michigan State
Underrated: Michigan in the latest AP and Coaches polls

3) Overrated: Sam Ehlinger being in the concussion protocol
Underrated: Not figuring out that he might have suffered a concussion during the game

2) Overrated: 2016 Lamar Jackson
Underrated: 2017 Lamar Jackson

1) Overrated: The biggest games in primetime, like last week
Underrated: The biggest games in the afternoon, like this week

Sorry if this column sucked, I wasn’t my fault …

According to Mike Leach, after beating Colorado 28-0, the column was “less pathetic” than it was after last week’s disaster.

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