Charlie Whitehurst, QB, Clemson Tigers
by Adam Barricklow
on April 26, 2006 @ 16:00:00
Heading into the 2004 NCAA football season, Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst was considered one of the top quarterback prospects. It was not surprising considering that Whitehurst was coming off a season in which he completed over 60 percent of his passes, threw for over 3,500 yards and 21 touchdowns. Instead of 2004 cementing Whitehurst's status as a "can't miss" NFL prospect, the season did nothing but raise questions for Clemson fans and NFL scouts. To be fair to Whitehurst, he did not receive much help in 2004, playing behind a poor offensive line. Whitehurst was also able to rebound this past season, despite failing to duplicate his 2003 numbers. However, he was able to show that he does possess skills that could translate to success in the NFL.
It did not take long for Whitehurst to grab the attention of Clemson fans. In his first start as a redshirt freshman, Whitehurst threw for 420 yards and four touchdowns in a 34-31 win over Duke. Over the past three years, Whitehurst has been selected for the All-ACC team twice and holds virtually all major passing records at Clemson including completions (817), passing yards (9,665) and passing touchdowns (49).
Table: Charlie Whitehurst - Career Statistics (2002-05)
Whitehurst has all the physical skills needed to succeed at the NFL level. At 6-foot-4, 223 pounds, he has good size to go along with a strong arm that allows him to make all the throws needed with zip and accuracy. He is a smart quarterback who is good at reading defenses and finding the open man. He rarely forces a pass into coverage that prevents him making big mistakes.
Whitehurst is very accurate on short routes and has displayed good touch on the deep ones as well. One benefit that Whitehurst has going for him that few prospects have is his father, David Whitehurst, who played seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers. While Charlie does not remember his father as a player, it certainly does not hurt to have a family member with first-hand experience in what it takes to be an NFL quarterback.
Despite his 40-yard time, Whitehurst does not display the foot quickness to avoid sacks and scramble from the pocket. Whitehurst also struggles against the blitz, where his poor footwork often results in him not striding into his throws or throwing flat-footed limiting his arm strength and accuracy.
Whitehurst needs to read defenses more quickly, take fewer risks and become less erratic. His deep passes tend to get away from him, so it is possible with more coaching he could develop into a quality pro.
Whitehurst is not viewed as the type of quarterback that a team is going to build its franchise around and is projected to be taken somewhere around the third or fourth round.
Teams that have shown an interest in Whitehurst include the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings. Wherever Whitehurst ends up, it will be important for him to work with a good quarterbacks coach to improve his footwork, as he likely is a year or two away from being ready to make much of a contribution to any NFL team.
About Adam Barricklow
Adam Barricklow is based out of Central Ohio and has been a KFFL Contributor since 2003. Adam has been playing Fantasy Football since 1996 and has been addicted since day one. Adam plays in various leagues, running one of them and uses his experience and knowledge to create reports that are able to help the fantasy player look at every perspective.
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