Selected at Notre Dame by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, quarterback Brady Quinn left South Bend as the most accomplished passer in Fighting Irish history and is still topped the school’s all-time list for passing yards. , completions and touchdowns.
A seven-year-old pro who spent time with six teams during his time in the league, Quinn seamlessly transitioned to broadcast after retiring from professional football, joining FOX Sports ahead of the 2014 season as a football analyst. varsity and NFL gambling on television and radio.
“I didn’t mean to do this. I studied finance and did an internship in a law firm after my first year. I was looking either for private equity or potentially becoming a lawyer if the sport didn’t work, ”Quinn told InsideHook. “I hadn’t planned any of this, but ended up getting an offer from FOX. My passion for football and my love for the people I work with really made it the second career I never intended to make.
While there are several reasons for his good fortune with FOX Sports, Quinn at least partially ties the success he had in the broadcast booth to the position he played on the soccer field.
“Playing as a quarterback in the NFL prepares you for anything in life. You are in a position of leadership, ”Quinn says. “You have to communicate, understand what your goals are, what you are trying to accomplish and how you are going to get there. When I prepare for a game, I break down the two teams like I would if I played them. I look at each defense and what they are trying to accomplish in each situation. I review each offense and determine its identity. Who are they aimed at in the key scenarios? What are the scenarios that accompany their players and coaches? What I do is a lot like what I did when I played football. Everything works hand in hand. I really don’t know if there is better preparation for any career in the world than playing the NFL quarterback.
Having played in one of college football’s most prestigious and legendary programs before moving to the NFL, Quinn is uniquely qualified to discuss what it’s like to transition that quarterback’s top prospects like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields and Zach Wilson will make it after they’re selected in the NFL Draft in April, likely up the first round.
“This year’s draft class could be fascinating because in some cases the guys haven’t played as many games this year so it’s harder to assess them,” Quinn says. “You have a number of teams in the upper half of the draft that need a quarterback, but might struggle to pull that trigger because they don’t have as much film and don’t have not had as much of an opportunity to assess what they are getting.
While there is no in-person training held at Scouting Combine 2021 this year due to COVID-19, training will take place on individual professional days on college campuses and NFL teams will be able to communicate with potential choices virtually via Zoom. While this change may have some impact, what happens at the Combine is only part of the big picture teams look at when evaluating a player they plan to draft.
“I’m going to describe it as a job interview where you are constantly monitored and evaluated throughout the process,” says Quinn. “These teams do their due diligence. They call people back from your high school to see what kind of person you were. They will talk to the janitors just to see how you have treated them. They’ll look for that stuff to try and get a sense of what kind of person you are, what kind of leader you are, and what kind of risk they are taking if they hire you.
That process has only become more rigorous in the last decade, with social media now weighing heavily in the criteria by which NFL prospects are judged.
“It’s all on social media,” Quinn says. “Before, you could kind of block out all that noise. Blocking out all the BS from someone who doesn’t really know you but says who you are as a person and also what you can’t do is the hardest part for these guys I think. It’s not about doing the Combine, the Senior Bowl, or starting your professional day. It’s that mental thing. Listen, playing position on the court will always be paramount. They don’t take a guy that they don’t feel like they can do on the pitch. But I think the other intangibles – the ability to lead, the ability to handle a complicated system, the IQ of football – become more important to a quarterback than anything else.
So which members of the Quarterbacks of 2021 have what it takes both mentally and physically? Considering Quinn’s area of expertise and what he does now for a living, we thought it would be worth asking him. Here’s what he had to say about Lawrence, Fields and some of the other best college quarterbacks we could see on the field in the NFL next season.
Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
“If you are considering a draft class like this, Trevor Lawrence is by far the most talented quarterback. He should be the first choice in the general classification. It’s a really full perspective when you look at it. There is no doubt in my mind that he ticks all the boxes. It’s Lawrence and the rest of the group.
Justin Fields, Ohio State
“Justin Fields has enormous talent. He has a strong arm and can be very precise. He’s tall, he’s athletic, and he can run. He is behaving in the right direction. The problem with Justin is that he’s just started a year and a half ago because the Big 10 season was hiatus this year. And when he played against the best opponents, he struggled. He fought against Clemson last year and against Indiana and Northwestern this year. You saw his advantage in Clemson’s game this season, but the problem is you don’t see that high level of play enough and sometimes you see that really poor performance. His biggest problem is that he has to figure out how to play at a higher level in a more consistent manner.
Zach Wilson, BYU
“Zach Wilson has had a great year this year. You could see a few flashes of what he’s capable of. He throws big. It is precise. He can throw in anticipation. He’s got arm strength and he’s athletic, but he’s played a slower program this year because BYU is independent. So you are a little worried about its transition. Will he be able to keep what we saw last year at the next level and continue to improve? “
Mac Jones, Alabama
“Don’t get me wrong, Jones is a very good player, but he’s not as physically gifted as some of the other QBs. He always ticks all those other boxes. There is nothing to worry about with him off the field. There is no worry with him about what kind of leader he is going to be. At the Senior Bowl, the coaches were thrilled that he was an alpha. He’s smart, throws anticipation, pocket-works well, and he’s precise. He’s a better athlete than you might think, but he’s just not as athletic as a Justin Fields or a Trevor Lawrence. He’s a pocket passer, and apart from the greatest of all time – Tom Brady – you don’t see a lot of quarterbacks that can’t really move and run and hurt you a bit with their legs.
Kyle Trask, Florida
“To take nothing away from what he did, but he probably had two of the best players to throw him at [wide receiver] Kadarius Toney and [tight end] Kyle Pitts this year. He’s a good player, but he just doesn’t have the type of athleticism you’re looking for. He’s been running a bit this year, but he can’t run the same way guys like [Notre Dame’s] Ian delivers and [Texas’s] Sam Ehlinger can. I love Book and Ehlinger for their originality and their ability to create with their legs while still making enough throws. It’ll be interesting to see where they go. Do you know who Trask’s body style reminds me of? I know it goes back to that time, but when I watch him throw and move and look at his build, he reminds me of Brad Johnson.
Felipe Franks, Arkansas
“He’s got a big arm and he played really well in some big moments. He doesn’t have that dynamic running ability that a lot of teams need in their quarterback now, but he’s definitely demonstrated his ability to pitch football quite well. If you’re talking about guys flying a little under the radar, this is the one that comes to mind.
This article was featured in the Internal hook bulletin. Register now.