The Football Educator just recently provided early insight into Marcus Mariota of Oregon and Blake Bortles of Central Florida. Introducing Zach Mettenberger of LSU. Draftniks should take notice of the 6’5″ 230 lb, red shirt senior. Mettenberger has quietly led the undefeated Tigers to wins over TCU and Auburn, with a big showdown against #9 Georgia this weekend (9/28/13). The spread or read option quarterback is all the rage at the collegiate and professional levels, but the classic pro style, pocket thrower won’t become extinct in the National Football League anytime soon.
Big, strong armed quarterbacks are still an asset for general managers and coaches looking to build a talented roster around their ability to consistently distribute the ball. Mettenberger is throwing completions at 65%, with 10 TD’s and just 1 interception. His 11.3 per attempt is currently 4th in the nation, just behind UCF’s Bortles. Here’s an early breakdown of the LSU signal caller from Justis Mosqueda of OptimumScouting.com and Adrian Ahufinger over at DraftBreakdown.com (video highlights).
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The Football Educator
2014 NFL DRAFT: BELIEVE THE HYPE AROUND ZACH METTENBERGER
By Justis Mosqueda – OptimumScouting.com
Coaching changes going into a quarterback’s senior year could lead to exposure of traits the former system covered up. Among many examples in the past, it seems like San Jose State’s David Fales is a victim of such occurrence in 2013. Fales currently has a 60% completion percentage (12.5% lower than 2012) and averages 5.88 yards-per-attempt (3.42 yards lower than 2012). Unlike Fales, though, Zach Mettenberger, LSU’s redshirt-senior quarterback, seems to have bucked the trend and improved tremendously over the off-season, since Cam Cameron’s taken over the Tiger offense.
On the professional level, as an offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron was able to mold Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, and Joe Flacco into the talents they are today. In Drew Brees’s first three years with the Chargers, he threw for 29 touchdowns and 31 interceptions, and was replaced by Doug Flutie to end the 2003 season. With the drafting of Philip Rivers, both Brees and the rookie worked closely with Cameron, leading to a combined 74 touchdowns and 32 interceptions over the next three seasons. After leaving San Diego for the Miami head coaching gig in 2007, he returned to an NFL offensive coordinator position in 2008, this time with the Baltimore Ravens.
Working with Joe Flacco, a now 120.6-million-dollar-man, from the start of his career was valuable for the Super Bowl MVP. Flacco, who many compare to Mettenberger, had a 102 touchdown to 56 interception ratio in seasons when Cameron was on the staff. In 2013, though, Flacco’s started off slow, which is the polar opposite of how you’d describe LSU’s passing offense this season.
Zach Mettenberger originally started off his college career at Georgia, where he was battling for a starting job with Aaron Murray. Before the competition was finished, though, Mettenberger was forced to leave the program due to a violation of team rules, and ended up playing a season in junior college, which he parlayed into an LSU scholarship.
Mettenberger arrived to Baton Rouge in 2011, when Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson were the starting quarterbacks, and the Tigers’ offensive running game and defense lead them to an SEC Championship and a national title birth. In 2012, Mettenberger became the starter, with Lee and Jefferson both graduating out of the program, but the LSU offense was still much more focused on running the ball, than allowing Mettenberger to hold the reins. In total, Zach Mettenberger took only 41 red zone snaps where he was either passing or had the option to run, the lowest for any of the major senior quarterback prospects.