Almost every year, there’s one small-school quarterback that stands above the rest and pushes some of the mid-round FBS passers for their right to hear their names called on draft day. In the 2013 NFL Draft, that quarterback is Southern Utah’s Brad Sorensen.
Sorensen’s college football career started at BYU, where he spent his time watching from the sidelines. After some issues with the coaching staff, he decided to try his luck at the FCS level, eventually transferring to Southern Utah knowing that he would receive significantly more playing time with the Thunderbirds.
Upon arrival, Sorensen instantly became an impact player for Southern Utah. But what exactly made him special you ask? I’ll break it down for you.
The first thing that stands out with Sorensen is arm strength. The Thunderbirds quarterback throws balls like they were shot out of a cannon, which allows him to fit them into tight spaces and make sideline passes with ease. Even when on the move, Sorensen does a terrific job of using his strong arm to move the chains. The only downside to this is that his overconfidence in his arm strength brings him to occasionally throw into coverage, which often ends in a turnover. That’s the type of flaw that can be coached, though.
On top of his strong arm, Sorensen also brings solid accuracy to the table. Throughout his career with the Thunderbirds, Sorensen completed 65.6 percent of his passes. As mentioned earlier, he does have a tendency to force throws due to his overconfidence. However, he also has the smarts and football IQ that allow him to put the ball where it needs to be when it needs to be there.
What really helps Sorensen succeed as a passer, though, is his outstanding field vision. Whether he’s under pressure or on the run, his eyes are always down the field and looking for the available receiver. He does a great job of looking to his secondary targets and, after using his commendable footwork, finds receivers who have opened up deep down the field.
Although he isn’t a consistent dual-threat quarterback, Sorensen possesses the athleticism to make defenses pay when a lane opens up. He has outstanding speed and size for the position, and does a great job of picking up yards on the ground when he does decide to pull it down. Don’t expect him to lead a read option offense anytime soon, but the ability to move the chains with his feet is present.
During his time at Southern Utah, Sorensen played behind an offensive line that was average at best. The pocket collapsed consistently, yet he managed to use his tremendous vision and pocket awareness to extend plays. Time and time again, he bailed out his offense with clutch plays despite the defense bearing down on him. If he could do that with an average supporting cast, imagine what he could do with an NFL-caliber offense to work with.
Like all small-school prospects, the fact that all of his significant college experience came against lesser talent is a concern. Still, it’s promising to see that a player like Sorensen was a big fish in a small pond. His teams never won championships, but he helped Southern Utah become competitive and looked great doing it. Sorensen’s 61 touchdowns to 27 interceptions despite so-so blocking (sacked 98 times in three years) and a lackluster running game are evidence to that.
Especially with this subpar 2013 quarterback class, Sorensen has the opportunity to elevate his stock significantly with strong pre-draft workouts. He might not be Geno Smith or Tyler Wilson, but he’s a mid-round talent who has the potential to develop into a starting-caliber NFL quarterback.