In a year where the top two quarterbacks in the NFL Draft are more or less set in stone, the pool gets a little more shallow after round two.
One QB that stands out, however, is Ball State QB Nate Davis, who is leaving school a year early to head to the NFL.
As a resident of Muncie and a Ball State fan, I've heard plenty of rumors about the fate of Nate Davis on the football field. I was at the game against Northern Illinois last year, where he was scouted by Bill Polian. I've seen scouts from several organizations go crazy over this him.
So...what teams are interested? Who would be a good fit for Davis? Let's dive in, shall we?
Indianapolis Colts - One of the most persistent rumors I've heard is that Nate Davis could go to the Colts.
Personally, I think this is just wishful thinking from area fans.
The Colts have bigger worries on offense, especially if they can't get center Jeff Saturday squared away. Their first few picks will probably be a center and a wide receiver, to replace Saturday and Marvin Harrison.
By the time they're in a position to draft a backup QB (you can dream on if you think Davis would get the start over Peyton Manning), Davis will be off the board.
Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings would be a good fit for Davis, I think. However, I don't think they're particularly likely to pursue him.
While I'm sure they'd love to have a QB like Davis on their depth chart, the Vikings are a solid QB away from contending for a Super Bowl title. Davis is talented, but he's what one would call a "project" quarterback.
The Vikings are more likely to fill their gap with an experienced starter through free agency or a trade than roll the dice with Davis.
Kansas City Chiefs - This seems like the best fit for Davis.
Kansas City runs a spread offense, similar to the one Davis ran in college, but a little more "extreme" of a spread.
Kansas City is also a rebuilding franchise. If Davis comes in and it takes him a few years to adjust, it doesn't really matter, because they're rebuilding. But if he comes in and has a Ben Roethlisberger or Matt Ryan sort of year, the Chiefs brass look like geniuses.
KC scouts are reportedly high on Davis—according to Scout.com, they worked with him individually at the Combine.
There's just one snag in this plan. The Chiefs have the third pick in the draft this year, and I don't see St. Louis taking a QB with the second pick, so Kansas City has a great shot at drafting Mark Sanchez. If that happens, Davis is off their radar entirely.
New England Patriots - I've heard a lot of talk about what the Patriots are planning to do with now-franchised QB Matt Cassel.
Most are predicting that they'll draft a backup and trade Cassel to a team in need of a QB (I'm looking at you, Minnesota) on draft day. If that happens early enough, Nate Davis could easily be Tom Brady's new backup.
Being that I hate the Patriots with every fiber of my being, I'd prefer to not think about this nightmare scenario.
Carolina Panthers - This is where I think Davis will end up.
Let's look at things rationally: Jake Delhomme is a QB that is best characterized as good, but not good enough. He's always able to connect with Steve Smith, but that's basically his limit.
The Panthers sure missed him two years ago when they had to trot out such misfits as David Carr, Vinny Testaverde and Matt Moore. However, after the stinkbomb that was the Panthers postseason this year, I think Delhomme's days are numbered.
This would be an ideal situation for everyone involved. Delhomme is a competent enough QB to keep the Panthers competitive, and it would give Davis the opportunity to sit on the bench and adjust to the NFL for a few years before taking over as the starter.
Delhomme would likely be able to land another starting job, and Davis would be a nearly finished product by the time he took his first snaps. If I had to make a bet, Carolina is where I would say Davis will land.
So, there you have it. Five teams that could draft Ball State QB Nate Davis. In due time, we'll know for sure.
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