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Tom Savage NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Houston Texans QB

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage lines up to throw a pass during their 17-16 win against Syracuse in an NCAA college football game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)
Heather Ainsworth
Ryan LownesFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2014

Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh (HT: 6’3⅞”, WT: 228 lbs.)

Houston Texans

Fourth Round: 135th Pick

Combine Weigh-in
HeightWeightArmHand
603722831 5/8"9 5/8"
NFL.com
Combine Workout
40-yd dash10-yd splitVertBroadThree-ConeShuttle
4.971.7227"8'9"7.334.36
NFL.com

 

Positives

  • Prototypical size for an NFL pocket passer. Looks the part at nearly 6'4", 230 pounds.
  • Very good arm strength. Can drill passes outside the numbers on a rope and is capable of pushing the ball 60 yards downfield.
  • Has the arm to squeeze the ball into tight areas, showing the necessary zip to make those throws at the next level.
  • Throws a tight spiral.
  • Played in a pro-style system in which he threw from under center and in shotgun.
  • Not a statue in the pocket. Has some functional mobility to roll out and can throw while moving to his right.
  • Team captain as a senior despite never playing a snap for Pittsburgh. Immediately earned the respect of his teammates.
  • Finds his checkdowns, which often came in handy due to the struggles of his offensive line.
  • Can keep his eyes downfield as the pocket collapses, occasionally finding an open receiver.
  • Made some big-time throws during his freshman season at Rutgers, starting 11 games for the Scarlet Knights that year.
  • Upside exists due to combination of size and arm strength. Some quarterbacks coaches could view him as an ideal candidate to mold behind an established veteran.
  • Despite missing some time as a sophomore due to a hand injury, durability should not be a concern.

 

Negatives

  • Accuracy is an issue. Ball placement is often spotty, and he has a tendency to sail passes over his receivers’ heads.
  • Lacks anticipation, is not able to throw his receivers open and has difficulty hitting them in stride. Fails to give his receivers a chance to create extra yardage after the catch.
  • Often stares down his intended target. Does not appear to process quickly.
  • Inconsistent command. Struggles at times judging when to use touch or velocity.
  • Not an efficient deep-ball thrower despite considerable arm strength.
  • Does not have a whole lot of elusiveness in the pocket and struggles at times when he is forced to improvise under duress.
  • Can be guilty of holding on to the ball for too long. Takes some bad sacks.
  • Does not easily find a rhythm.
  • Must do a better job of limiting turnovers. Like many big-armed quarterbacks, he tests traffic too frequently and can make hasty decisions under pressure.
  • Lack of starting experience in college due to transferring twice, which may have stunted his growth as a player. Was forced to sit out for two years due to NCAA guidelines.
  • Mediocre production compared to most other draft-eligible quarterbacks.

 

Collegiate Statistics
YearTeamCompAttPctYardsTDINT
2009Rutgers14928552.32,211147
2010Rutgers438351.852123
2013Pittsburgh23838961.22,958219
PittsburghPanthers.com

 

Personal Notes

  • Was named Rutgers’ Offensive MVP as a true freshman.
  • Transferred from Rutgers to Arizona in 2011.
  • Transferred from Arizona to Pittsburgh in 2012.
  • All-ACC Academic Team 2013.
  • Communications major.
  • His brother, Bryan, played quarterback at Wisconsin (2004-05) and Hofstra (2007-08).

 

Ratings Chart

nces.ed.gov

 

Overall

A quickly rising sleeper at the quarterback position, Tom Savage has the size and arm strength decision-makers often covet. He transferred twice before settling in at Pitt but was named a team captain as a senior and enjoyed a fairly productive season. While his physical tools rank among the best in the class, accuracy issues are consistently evident on tape.

At this point, it is difficult to view him as anything more than a developmental option with some untapped potential. Though he played in a West Coast Offense in college, he appears to fit well in a vertical offense that would emphasize his ability to push the ball downfield.

 

Draft Projection: Fifth Round

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