There’s always hidden gems to be found when the NFL Draft rolls around. That’s part of the beauty of the whole process. It’s a scouts dream to find the overlooked guy that no one really pays attention to, then take him late and he eventually turns into a stud. Whether it’s someone like Tom Brady (6th round), who’s found Hall-of-Fame-caliber success, or someone like Jason Kelce (6th round), who’s merely rock solid, there’s always hidden gems. North Dakota State QB Brock Jensen could be that guy in 2014 NFL Draft.
Look at any ranking of the QBs in this draft class and you won’t find Jensen anywhere near the top. Most pundits have him ranked right around 20th, some higher, some lower. When you look at his list of accolades, you have to wonder why he’s ranked so low. 3x National Champion, threw for 8,598 yards with an impressive 72/21 TD to INT ratio and chipped in 1,240 rushing yards and 35 rushing TDs in his career. Oh yeah, he’s also 73-7 as a starter going back to high school. And he’s not even predicted to be drafted?
Someone is going to get a steal in Jensen. Flat out, plain and simple. Someone is going to get a heck of a player in this kid.
Take away his statistics on the field and look at the numbers he put up at his recent Pro Day. 6-foot 2, 225-pounds, 4.70 40-yard dash, 34-inch vertical, 9-foot 2 broad jump, 4.35 20-yard shuttle and 7.06 3-cone drill. That’s an athlete with size right there. Even if he had a noodle for an arm, that’s a good enough package of measureables to take a flyer, maybe as a tight end, H-back, OLB, special teams demon, etc.
But he doesn’t have a noodle for an arm. He put up prodigious passing numbers for a reason. No, it’s not like he was facing SEC defenses week in and week out while playing in the Missouri Valley Conference, but he still showed he was capable of making NFL throws. Just so happened he was making NFL caliber throws against lesser competition because the BCS coaches didn’t find him. Don’t blame him for their blunder.
Plus, we’ve seen him against very strong BCS-level teams. Just look back to last August when the Bison went to Manhattan Kansas to take on the immortal Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats, the defending Big 12 Champions fresh off an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl. In front of the second largest crowd ever at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium, Jensen went 21-30 with 2 TDs and a rushing TD en route to a shocking 24-21 win. Throw KSU with Minnesota and Colorado State as Div 1 FBS teams who were beaten by Jensen.
Hey, I’m not saying Jensen will necessarily be a franchise QB. But it’s not impossible, either. He’s far from a polished, finished product, and definitely needs to keep working on his accuracy. But he’s worth taking a shot on late in the draft, even if he only ever amounts to a backup. He’s a hard worker, good leader and a proven winner with a nice physical skills package. Even if he tanks in preseason, as a late round pick it’ll be minimum financial risk so you can cut him and move on.
But he deserves a shot. Which GM has the cajones to take a risk on a proven winner?