It's probably fair to say that we all hope Tom Brandstater never plays significant snaps in a meaningful game for the Colts now or at any point in the near future. While I am sure he is a good guy who works hard and offers some good things as a young quarterback, the fact is the Colts have this dude named Peyton Manning playing quarterback for them right now. According to most people, he's pretty good.
Brandstater was acquired off waivers by the Colts yesterday after the team that drafted him in 2008, the Denver Broncos, dumped him. Brandstater was selected in the 6th Round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Fresno State and many Broncos fans were hopeful coach Josh McDaniels could possibly transform him into a new Tom Brady, who himself was a 6th Round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately for Brandstater, McD fell in love with the McHype associated with Tim Tebow, who Denver drafted in the first round this year. With Denver's roster already containing Kyle Orton and the newly-acquired Brady Quinn, Brandstater was expendable.
Brandstater's new team, the Colts, already has a back-up they feel pretty comfortable with in Curtis Painter. Painter, like Brandstater, was a 6th Rounder in the 2009 NFL Draft. Does Brandstater have a realistic chance to hold a spot on the Colts active roster? We discuss after the jump.
Mocking Dan at MTD offered this scouting report on Brandstater last year:
Brandstater certainly looks the part. He's tall with a solid frame and knows how to adjust pre-snap. Unlike most current college quarterbacks, he goes through his progressions nicely and often looks to the second and third receiver. Protects his receivers by placing the ball in stride. Very good timing on his throws. Throwing mechanics are sound and consistent. Excellent on short and intermediate routes. According to reports, Brandstater was the most impressive quarterback throwing at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Brandstater's negatives are his mobility and his tendency to let his passes sail. When I watched some footage on the kid, the sailing passes was one of the first things I noticed:
I won't lie to you and tell you I'm some kind of wizard at determining what is or isn't good about a quarterback, but I know what "zip on the football" is supposed to look like when a QB throws a pass. with Brandstater, I don't see that "zip."
With Painter, I do.
Unlike Jim Sorgi, whose noodle arm really limited his effectiveness as a quarterback in the Colts offense, Painter has the ability to make the 15-yard out throw. He can also get the ball down the field, allowing his receivers to make stretch things and make plays.
If the Colts opt to go with three quarterbacks in 2010, which is what they did in 2009, then Brandstater has a shot at making this roster. If the Colts go to two QBs, then Brandstater might need to find his third team in two seasons.
The positive for Brandstater is that regardless of whether he makes this team or not, he's been presented with an excellent opportunity to learn from some great teachers. I personally am not sold on Josh McDaniels as some kind of offensive wizard, or anything. However, the Colts have people like Tom Moore, Frank Reich, and Jim Caldwell. All have extensive experience teaching young quarterbacks how to improve their games at the NFL level.
One interesting note for this year's pre-season is that with the Colts being so deep at wide receiver, quarterbacks like Painter and Brandstater might actually have some good players to throw the ball to during the third and fourth quarters of several exhibition games.