Auburn's Quarterback Question

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Auburn's Quarterback Question

All of us Auburn fans loved watching our quarterbacks tear apart opposing defenses last year, right? 

Ok, maybe not. 

Perhaps we could call it a work in progress.  So, who do you think will lead the offense this year under coach Malzahn?  Well, here are our options...

Kodi Burns:

He's got a pretty good arm, and is a patient passer, sometimes too patient.  He seems to lock into a receiver and too often overlook the wide-open man.  He has stunned many with his ability to keep a play alive, and avoid the sack.  He has had the most opportunities to prove himself as a quarterback, just hasn't given Auburn fans enough to be proud of. 

The thing I think he most needs to improve is being able to read the defense.  I see him too often looking surprised in the pocket.  He'll try to escape the pocket and scramble or force a poor throw.  People have commented on his lack of learning the playbook, but that will come with time. 

He really needs to become more patient in the pocket, his running ability will a great asset to the new Auburn offense.  Under coach Malzahn, who mentored current USC quarterback Mitch Mustain, we can expect a lot of improvement out of him this spring.  Malzahn also likes to have a mobile quarterback in his "fast-paced" system, so I'd say Kodi's stock is still pretty valuable.

Chris Todd:

It's really hard for me to tell with Chris.  I really like his decision making ability, when Auburn fans weren't chanting "Kodi!"  Regardless, he's one of the more accurate throwers on the team and he's got the second most experience at the position. 

Unfortunately, he had to have shoulder surgery a few months ago and is still recovering.  He may not be able to participate in spring training.  What I'd really like to see with Todd, is to not get "shaken-up" in a game.  When he get's into a good rhythm, he looks very good. 

When the game isn't going his way, he starts losing that good decision making trait and starts throwing interceptions and wild passes.  The problem is, Todd is not the most versatile of players. 

Malzahn seems to be looking for a mobile quarterback, one trait which Todd just doesn't have.  I don't think he'll have as much time to prove himself this off-season, due to the surgery, but who knows.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him walk out at Jordan-Hare and take the first snap.

Barrett Trotter:

Barrett was red-shirted last year.  On the plus side, I believe Trotter played out of the spread in high school.  He doesn't have any size advantage or the Kodi Burns' arm, but he does seem to be able to read the defense.  One of the keys to Malzahn's offense, is the ability to sell the play-fake, or "play action." 

At least in high school, Trotter was good at this.  He is a mobile quarterback, in that he can hurt a defense with his legs.  I haven't seen him play, so I can't really say what I'd like to see him improve on. 

Also, his lack of experience is going to hurt his chances of becoming the starting quarterback.  But, I'd expect to see him taking snaps in low pressure situations this season. 

Neil Caudle:

Caudle is the perfect quarterback for Malzahn's spread system.  He has an excellent arm, very collected in the pocket, can hurt a defense with his legs, possibly the most accurate of passers on the team, and he is a winner. 

How in the world Auburn landed this kid is beyond me.  I think he will be on his junior (red-shirt) year this season, but I am not sure. 

Unfortunately, Caudle has suffered two ACL injuries in the last four years.  I really don't see how he couldn't have made a full recovery by now, or why Tuberville hardly played him.  Regardless, look for this guy to get some serious playing time this year.  He's my pick, for now.

Tyrik Rollison:

Sorry Auburn fans who love seeing amazing playmakers light up the scoreboards.  As amazing as Tyrik's statistics are, he's having trouble academically. 

College football, is still "college." 

You've got to make the grades to make the games.  Rollison is a stellar athlete and quarterback, but he probably will not be enrolled at Auburn this fall.  If somehow he does, it is likely he will still be red-shirted for his freshman year. 

Tyrik is a true play-maker, like Caudle and Burns, but he probably will not make it onto the team.  We'll see, I guess.  I'm hoping for the best, but do not count on him being able to get the starting position this year.

Clint Moseley:

Clint is a smart kid and good athlete.  From what I've seen him do in high school, he wins.  This kid is a winner with a lot of heart.  I don't think he's seen anything that could resemble an SEC defense. 

He really needs a year to be prepped for college.  I think he's got a lot of potential, but needs time to see what college ball is like.  I'm absolutely positive that he will be red-shirted this season, and probably won't start next year either.  But, eventually this kid is going to be on the field.  Whether it will be under center or not, is still a good question.  Time will tell, but he's not going to start this year.

Summary:

All of these guys should really improve under coach Malzahn.  As a high school ball coach, he knows how to relate to kids, and has produced such players as Mitch Mustain and Damian Williams.  Auburn fans have reason to be excited about the new staff and the coming years.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed the read.  Please give me some feedback and let me know what you guys think of Auburn's predicament.  War Eagle!

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