Draft Analysis: Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville Cardinals
by Bryce McRae
on March 16, 2008 @ 15:31:03
After two great seasons at the University of Louisville (and one not-so-great season), quarterback Brian Brohm would not have been faulted for entering the 2007 NFL Draft. However, Louisville had gone 12-1 in his junior season, which included a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. The success he had in that campaign led Brohm to return to Louisville for his senior season in hopes of winning a national championship.
Things, however, did not go as planned for Brohm and the Cardinals. Head coach Bobby Petrino skipped out on the team and made the jump to the Atlanta Falcons. This created a difficult situation as the team struggled to build upon their 2007 season. They looked good for their first two games, putting up a combined 131 points, but things went south quickly. Losing three of the next four games knocked them out of consideration for a BCS Bowl game, and they continued to falter down the stretch. They finished the season 6-6 and did not play in a bowl game. It was not the kind of year Brohm envisioned when he returned for his senior year.
Brohm's numbers in his final season were still good. He finished the year throwing for 4,024 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Those were significant improvements off his junior year when he threw for 3,049 yards and just 16 touchdowns. Brohm also continued to show off his accurate arm, completing 65.1 percent of his passes. He should enter this year's draft as one of the top quarterbacks on the board.
While last year might have hurt Brohm's draft stock, it taught him a few lessons on overcoming adversity. His coach abandoned the team to take a job (which he then abandoned after only 13 games), and Brohm did not have the greatest year. He was sacked 24 times, seven times more than his previous season high, and he also threw a career-high 12 interceptions. Despite a lack of protection upfront, Brohm still had a solid season and one can wonder where the team would have been without him.
Brohm has also grown up surrounded by the game of football. His older brother, Jeff, is currently an assistant coach with the Cardinals and was in the NFL from 1994-2000. Thirteen years Brian's elder, Jeff has been helping the younger Brohm through his high school and collegiate career. This also speaks to Brohm's great off-the-field work ethic.
Some scouts don't believe Brohm is a great leader because he is not very vocal; however, Brohm believes he is a more lead-by-example type player, preferring to work out and study film rather than getting on players. This type of work ethic should help at the next level, especially if he joins a team that already has an established quarterback.
Brohm also has decent size for his position. Standing at 6-foot-2 7/8, he is almost at the prototypical height you want for a quarterback. He also weighs 230 pounds, which means teams won't have to work on his weight as much as they would with such prospects as University of Hawaii's quarterback Colt Brennan.
Brohm showed he was an exceptionally accurate thrower at the collegiate level. In his four seasons with Louisville, Brohm's lowest completion percentage was 63.6 percent, which came in 2006. In his other seasons Brohm had a 67.3 completion percentage (2004), a 68.8 completion percentage (2005) and a 65.1 completion percentage (2008). At the NFL level, he would likely work best in offenses that call for the quarterback to complete mostly intermediate throws rather than a lot of deep balls.
Brohn has dealt with some injury problems during his career. Jan. 2007, Brohm underwent surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. He also missed almost three full games in 2006 due to a thumb injury. Finally, he suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament injury in the 10th game of the 2005 season. While he might have gone injury-free during his final season with Louisville, injuries in each of his other three seasons have some questioning his durability.
Another negative is Brohm's decision-making. He tends to lock on to the first target he has, which will allow NFL defensive backs to jump on his throws. He threw a career-high 12 interceptions last year and will need to cut down on his interceptions if he is to be the accurate pocket passer that many see him as being at the next level.
Brohm is also not the quickest quarterback in the draft. He fits more the conventional pocket passer mold rather than a mobile quarterback. He has shown he can throw on the run but does not possess the speed to get away from defensive players that often. This could also be a problem with his durability questions as he will take more than his fair share of hits while hanging onto the ball.
Expected Draft Placement
While some grade Brohm as a first-round pick, we feel that isn't very accurate. He has too many major question marks and durability issues to burn a first-round selection on. Most team's don't need a quarterback badly enough to spend a first-round pick on in this draft, and his question marks likely will land him in the middle of the second round. He could go as high as the eighth pick of the second round to the Baltimore Ravens (39th overall).
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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