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Old 03-10-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
montrose
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Default Josh Freeman on the rise, challenging Sanchez as No. 2 QB in draft

Freeman on rise, challenging Sanchez as No. 2 quarterback in draft
March 9, 2009
By Rob Rang

Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman is skyrocketing up draft boards and has overtaken Southern California's Mark Sanchez on some teams' boards, NFLDraftScout.com has learned.

The 6-foot-6, 248-pound Freeman might be the finest all-around athlete among the 2009 quarterback class. His combination of size, arm strength and mobility has drawn comparisons to Daunte Culpepper, Jason Campbell and JaMarcus Russell. Some have even characterized Freeman's ability to step up in the pocket and complete throws with defenders grasping him to two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.

While he lacks Sanchez's high-profile status, scouts rank Freeman higher in nearly every physical characteristic and acknowledge he has nearly twice as many career starts (32) as the former Trojan (17).

As one front-office executive told me, "You can't help wondering what he [Freeman] could have done with the help the USC kid [Sanchez] had at his disposal. Sure, he had the receiver [Jordy Nelson in 2007, now with Green Bay], but other that, he hasn't had a lot of help in that offense."

"That offense" is one of the concerns scouts have with Freeman, as his success came out of the spread and against questionable Big 12 defenses. Still, scouts simply feel that Freeman's rare combination of size, arm strength and mobility gives him a higher upside than Sanchez.

Some scouts even feel Freeman has a higher ceiling than Georgia's Matt Stafford, considered the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick by Detroit. As much physical potential and experience as Stafford has, the SEC star can fall in love with his own arm strength and force passes into coverage.

With film study showing holes for each quarterback, Freeman is generating momentum among scouts who argue that if you are going to invest millions in a passer, why not invest it in the player with the greatest collection of tools? Freeman clearly needs seasoning; he doesn't read defenses as well as Stafford or Sanchez, but that can be coached.

Freeman is creating such a buzz that teams are already jockeying for position to hold private workouts. The Jacksonville Jaguars have scheduled a workout, and have taken up so much time with Freeman that other teams are complaining. Several teams have already scheduled workouts, with many more expected to contact his representatives following Freeman's Pro Day on March 12. The New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans have all displayed extra interest in Freeman.

Sanchez has scheduled workouts with the Jets and Colts, and has the luxury of knowing that every team in the league will be represented April 1 at USC's Pro Day.

Freeman's career statistics aren't eye-popping. He started 32 of the 35 games he played for the Wildcats and left as the school's all-time passing leader with 8,078 yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of only 44-34. However, his improvement each year is intriguing. Each of his last three seasons, his touchdown passes increased (from 6 to 18 to 20) while his interceptions dropped (15-11-8).

Freeman's mobility is an integral component of scouts' interest, too. He rushed for 14 touchdowns last year, operating as a bullish short-yardage threat.

Sanchez's numbers and his experience in a pro-style offense won't be overlooked. Despite starting 15 fewer games than Freeman, Sanchez threw for nearly as many touchdowns (41) compared to considerably fewer interceptions (16) in his career. One of the primary concerns scouts have with Freeman -- his struggles with anticipation -- ranks as one Sanchez's greatest strengths and a reason why some teams view him as the more pro-ready passer despite his relative lack of experience.

More pro-ready or not, there are always teams willing to invest high-pick dollars on a big, strong-armed quarterback. That big, strong-armed quarterback this year is Freeman. How high he ends up on draft day remains to be seen, but scouting circles are buzzing that Freeman could be selected before Sanchez in the first round.

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/11475528
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:14 PM   #2
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Wouldn't that be interesting if SF took Freeman and Sanchez was still sitting there at 12? I'll bet this place would meltdown during the wait for the pick.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Wouldn't that be interesting if SF took Freeman and Sanchez was still sitting there at 12? I'll bet this place would meltdown during the wait for the pick.
Its looking more and more like @12 might just be a really great place to be! EITHER of these QBs are still there and TB, NYJ could come calling.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:41 PM   #4
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Its looking more and more like @12 might just be a really great place to be! EITHER of these QBs are still there and TB, NYJ could come calling.
Or Carolina.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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Or Carolina.
YES! RISE FREEMAN!! RISE!!!
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:53 PM   #6
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I'd love to see us drop back and grab an extra pick. Unless of course one of the target guys is there. We shall see. How many days until the draft??!! the wait sucks
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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Freeman is tough, but he lacks clear decision-making. He's about as ready for the NFL as Terry Pierce (another K-State football player who foolishly decided to leave school early).
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:18 PM   #8
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Or Carolina.
And what would they offer?

Peppers and 2010 first?
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:51 PM   #9
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I am not sold on Freeman, he is a poor mans version of Jamarcus Russel. He has some good measurables in terms of arm strength and decent accuracy, but mentally I don't think he is NFL material. I think he will look a lot like Byron Leftwich, confused and slow.

Of the 3 QBs who could go in the 1st I think Sanchez is the only one who has a decent shot at succeeding if he gets to sit for a year or two while he works on his game. Freeman just seems like he will never really get it and Stafford is going to be a victim of his own inaccuracy and the great players he had surrounding him at Georgia.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalorado View Post
Its looking more and more like @12 might just be a really great place to be! EITHER of these QBs are still there and TB, NYJ could come calling.
It might very well happen that both Stafford and Sanchez might fall to #12. If that happens, it will be very interesting. First, many teams might jump. But on the other hand, if they fell to #12, why won't they continue to fall to #17, 18, or 19.

The Matt Cassel trade could have changed the entire first round dynamic.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:12 PM   #11
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YES! RISE FREEMAN!! RISE!!!
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #12
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If a team can afford to take Freeman and have him sit on the bench for 2 years learning, then it might be worth it. I don't see him being anything special though.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #13
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And what would they offer?

Peppers and 2010 first?
Possibly. Peppers value will be at it's highest draft day and if they really like one of the QB's, he's a great chip to have in making a move.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:25 PM   #14
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I think Josh Freeman is being overrated right now.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:37 PM   #15
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I think Josh Freeman is being overrated right now.
That's what always happens to QBs. As the draft approaches, they rise up on all the boards (especially if they look good at the combine). Then, on draft weekend, everybody's shaking their heads saying, "Why is this guy still on the board in the fourth round?"
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