Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote recently about the struggle for NFL teams to separate the wheat from the chaff among college quarterbacks. There's more information available to teams now than ever, and still, until they embarrass a team on a Sunday afternoon, no one can tell David Klingler from Dan Marino.
One NFL team thinks they have it figured out, though. Could there be one simple trait that can identify a quarterback who can't lead men? Could it be as simple as judging a quarterback ... by the color of his hair?
Via Peter King, here's the scouting report on TCU quarterback Andy Dalton:
When you talk to teams with big interest in Dalton—Cincinnati, San Francisco, Tennessee, Minnesota, Indianapolis (coach Jim Caldwell, coordinator Clyde Christensen and G.M. Chris Polian flew to Fort Worth to work him out)—you hear about his aptitude and experience. Dalton had 49 starts at TCU and may be able to adapt to a new offense quickly—important in a year when teams will have to get new players ready on the fly if the work stoppage stretches through the summer.
At least one team is thinking not just about Dalton's brains but also about what's on top of them. "Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who's really done well?" a coach asked one reporter last week. "It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We've wondered."
So here we are in 2011, and NFL teams are taking scouting tips from Eric Cartman (naughty language at that link).
If you'd like to do your own research on whether or not Dalton's fire-red dome covering prevents him from being as awesome as dark-haired angels like Derek Anderson and Trent Edwards, you could read this. It's either a column about Dalton's superior work ethic, attitude and ability ... or a pointed example of typical media ginger-apologist propaganda.
The draft is just a week away. Will Dalton be just another orange-locked flameout (no pun intended) like Todd Marinovich? Or can he be the ginger Jackie Robinson that the football world so desperately needs?