The world is high on Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Tom Savage.
It started a few weeks ago when ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay projected Savage would be selected with the first pick of the second round in his mock draft (Insider subscription required). Then NFL.com’s Gil Brandt predicted Savage would be taken in the first half of the second round. Brandt also ranked him among the top 50 players in the draft as his sixth quarterback overall.
Meanwhile, Peter King of MMQB.com reported that Savage has visited with more than 20 teams during the draft process. King feels Savage’s arm is the reason for the buzz.
According to King, “Savage is popular because he’s got an above-average NFL arm right now—some are calling it the best in the draft—and showed well over the last half of last season with a bad offensive line at Pitt.”
More recently, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah reported that he too thinks Savage could land “atop the second round,” and DraftInsider.com’s Tony Pauline capped off the insanity by saying the New England Patriots are “incredibly high” on Savage and that some in the organization are calling him “Tom #2.”
Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst told the Pittsburgh Press-Gazette, “I think a lot of the buzz that comes before he wasn’t as much a part of because he hadn’t played for two years,” Chryst said. “I think what he did in the season, the combine, individual workouts, it’s been great to see. Hopefully everyone is right and his stock is rising.”
Clearly, at least in terms of media buzz, Savage’s star is rising. The NFL does love a big arm, and he has that. He played reasonably well at Pitt later in the season, but he left Arizona when the scheme changed and Rutgers when the competition at quarterback got hot. He tried to return to Rutgers, but as Tom Luicci of NJ.com reported, the NCAA told him he’d have to sit a year.
He was recently invited to the NFL draft but declined the invite.
Not long ago, the constant school switching was a big knock on him, but that arm—oh, that arm—has at least analysts seeing stars.