NFL Draft Analysis: Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson Tigers

by Trent Lujin on April 1, 2009 @ 03:42:21 PDT

 


Having completed four seasons at Clemson University, quarterback Cullen Harper will enter the 2009 NFL Draft. In two years as a starter with the Tigers, Harper threw for 5,762 yards, 41 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Harper's junior year was much more productive than his senior year as he threw for 21 more touchdowns than interceptions that year. His senior year resulted in more interceptions than touchdowns, had Harper turned pro in 2008 he more than likely would have been drafted in one of the first three rounds. 

Strengths

  • Great size, measured at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds
  • Accurate, especially on the short-to-medium throws, with a nice touch on the ball
  • Intelligent
  • Decent mobility

Weaknesses

  • Lacks accuracy on the deep ball
  • Concerns about his mental toughness
  • Makes too many poor decisions
  • Lengthy delivery
  • Concerns about leadership (his handling of the Tommy Bowden firing)

Expected draft placement

Harper's inconsistent productivity in college in addition to his overall lack of experience means that he projects anywhere from a sixth- or seventh-round pick to being undrafted and invited to training camp. Clemson recently held a Pro Day, where Harper maintained the same results while slightly increasing his time in the 40-yard dash and the three-cone drill. Representatives from 25 NFL teams watched Harper; his motion was crisp and efficient. 

Teams that are looking to add depth at the quarterback position (without an immediate need) and might be tempted by the upside of Harper are: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks, but any team is a realistic bet that late in the draft. 

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About Trent Lujin

Lujin has been a KFFL contributor since 2008.

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