Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Early Looks: QB Todd Boeckman (Ohio St)

There isn't as much pressure on a quarterback going into the 2008 College football season than there is on #17 Todd Boeckman of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Having just come off a season ending 38-24 loss to LSU in the BCS Championship Game last January, the 6'5 240 pound 6th year Senior QB will have to battle the pressures that come with: leading one of the top ranked teams in the nation, proving doubters wrong that he can win big games, and try to ward off newly signed Freshman sensation QB Terrelle Pryor.

Boeckman had a solid 2007 season after taking over for the departed Heisman Trophy winning QB Troy Smith; throwing for 2,379 yards, 25 TDs and amassing a QB rating of 148.95. He demonstrated the ability to manage a talented Buckeye team to an 11-1 record and a trip to the National Championship Game. Despite throwing 14 INT's (3 of which came against their only loss to Illinois), he completed 65% of his passes while making good decisions with the ball, showing excellent pocket presence, and utilizing good technique in his release motion. He can make accurate throws on the move, is calm in the pocket and can deliver the long ball.

Boeckman has experience running a Pro-Style offense at Ohio State and will have his returning top WR's in Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie back to throw the ball to. The wildcard here is how many reps will Freshman QB Terrelle Pryor get a game and how much will the Buckeyes run behind starting RB Chris Wells? Each of these could dampen Boeckman's numbers and productivity in 2008.

Looking ahead at the 2009 NFL Draft, Boeckman is probably rated as the 6th-7th best QB available (depending on Junior underclassmen) and is already 24 years old after greyshirting his Freshman year and redshirting his 2nd year. To put that in perspective, he is the same age as 4th year NFL starting QB Alex Smith (49ers) and is older than QB's Brady Quinn (Browns) 23; Matt Ryan (Falcons) 23; Joe Flacco (Ravens) 23, and JaMarcus Russell (Raiders) 22. Depending on how he does this year and in the pre-draft evaluations, expect the QB to be a 3rd-4th round pick next April.

Noteworthy Games: Sept 9th at USC, Oct 25th vs. Penn St, Nov 22nd vs. Michigan

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