Former LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger may have had an average pro day, but considering he tore his ACL just a few months ago, it's unlikely that he hurt his draft stock. The fact that he was throwing and moving around so quickly may have actually ended up helping Mettenberger.
Mettenberger tore his ACL during a game against Arkansas at the very end of November. However, according to Albert Breer from NFL Network, Mettenberger's knee is already almost fully healed just three months after surgery.
LSU trainer Jack Marucci told me they tested QB Zach Mettenberger's surgically reconstructed knee on Friday -- It's now at 97% strength. ...— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 9, 2014
... Mettenberger is 3 months out from surgery, so obviously that's pretty good. Marucci said if there was a game this week, Mett could play.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 9, 2014
Like Johnny Manziel did in March, Mettenberger decided to put on a helmet and shoulder pads for his pro day. Not only was Mettenberger throwing the ball, but he was moving around the pocket and even throwing on the run. While the knee still may be a bit tender, his arm looked fine, as he made several deep throws, including this one below.
The pro day wasn't completely positive, however. Mettenberger missed a surprising number of throws, showing signs of fatigue during the workout. This wasn't exactly a big surprise considering Mettenberger is still trying to get back into playing shape while recovering from surgery, but it was something to note.
According to Matt Boudreaux from NBC33, one scout seemed worried that Mettenberger started to lose some zip on his passes as the workout went on.
Mettenberger looks gassed. Started on fire, lost some zip towards the back end. Scout: "it's not his knee I'm worried about, it's his arm."— Matt Boudreaux (@MattBoudreaux) April 9, 2014
Mettenberger was pretty hard on himself as well, according to ESPN's Mike Triplett.
"I wasn't too pleased with myself on some of those throws today," said Mettenberger. "But sometimes I hold myself to an almost unrealistic standard. ... All things considered, I thought I did OK, but I still have a lot of room to improve on."
In terms of his draft stock, Mettenberger should still be in good shape, and he may have even helped reassure teams that he'll be healthy in time for the regular-season opener. Right now, he's not on the same level as Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater, but Mettenberger still may very well be a second- or third-round selection.
One team that appears to be taking a very long look at Mettenberger is the Minnesota Vikings. According to Ben Goessling from ESPN, the Vikings were set to meet with Mettenberger after his pro day. The Vikings have the No. 8 pick in the first round, and they could get a quarterback with that pick or could wait to look at Mettenberger in the second round.
Word from several sources; Minnesota Vikings heavily leaning towards Zach Mettenberger/QB/LSU in 2nd, looking for LB (Khalil Mack/UB) in 1st— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) April 1, 2014
In fact, that may very well be the case. Tony Pauline from DraftInsider.net tweeted that the Vikings were reportedly interested in taking a linebacker with their first pick and then taking Mettenberger in the second.
If that ends up being the case, it wouldn't be surprising if Mettenberger became the starter in Minnesota over Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. Along with the prototypical size for a quarterback at 6'5'' and 224 pounds, Mettenberger also has one of the strongest arms in this class.
He has excellent pocket presence and can fit throws in tight windows, but the problem for Mettenberger will be how mobile he can be in the pocket after the knee injury. Fortunately, he probably won't be asked to do too much moving around, and he'd potentially have a reliable running back in Adrian Peterson behind him if he does end up going to Minnesota.
Regardless of where Mettenberger goes, his pro day showed us that he should be ready to go once the 2014 season begins. At the end of the day, that's the best news he could have given scouts as they try to figure out if they want to take a chance on him.