NFL Draft: 3 QBs With Upsides Come off Board in 5th Round

Mark ScacewaterAnalyst IApril 27, 2008

A couple of quarterbacks selected today could be surprisingly solid additions to their respective ball clubs. Here's a look at several notable QBs selected on the draft's second day.

New York Jets - Erik Ainge, QB, Tennessee Sr.

5th Round, Pick 27

Analysis: Ainge is a strong-armed seasoned veteran among college quarterbacks. A partial four-year starter at Tennessee, Erik is actually a slightly better long-term prospect than the last Jets QB selection, Oregon's Kellen Clemens.

Ainge started the season as a first-rounder, but baffling concerns were raised and Ainge slipped all the way to the end of the fifth. Don't be surprised, Jets fans, if Ainge beats out both Pennington and Clemens by the 2010 season. He's a qualified NFL backup immediately who, if he improves on the intangibles, will soon be a starter.


Pittsburgh Steelers - Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon, Sr.

5th Round, Pick 21

Analysis: Dixon was easily on his way to the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the national title game before that fateful slip against Arizona State.

As we watched from the stands, 57,000 fans in Autzen Stadium breathed a sigh of relief as he quickly hopped off and jogged off the field. Unfortunately, an ACL tear would derail the Ducks’ season and his personal goals.

Hard work, an intensive underwater workout regiment, and perseverance have allowed Dixon to surprisingly be drafted earlier than some projected. I like the pick, and maybe the Steelers see Dixon in the mold of Kordell Stewart, aka Slash.

I do not believe Dixon will be a wideout, but will compete for the backup job in Pittsburgh. I don't think he will ever be a starter, but definitely a wonderful backup. Excellent value pick for the Steelers.


Minnesota Vikings - John David Booty, QB, USC, Sr.

5th Round, Pick 2

Analysis: Booty lacks the height of an NFL starter, but the QB situation is sooo bad in Minnesota that Booty, like Ainge, may find himself starting before he knows it.

When the Vikings surprisingly selected Alabama State's Tavaris Jackson, not many believed he had the tools to be a NFL starter. Booty, on the other hand, grew up in a great high school AND college system, is a veteran of the game, and throws the ball around good enough to open holes for Adrian Peterson.

Booty is not a sexy pick, but a solidly spectacular grab in the fifth round.