With big-name quarterbacks such as Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota proverbially hogging a majority of the spotlight in the up-coming 2015 NFL Draft, one promising under-the-radar signal-caller to keep an eye on is former Oregon State Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion.
Mannion, a 6’6 229-pound classic drop-back pocket passer with a big arm, threw for 3,164 yards, 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions for the Beavers, a year after setting the single-season conference record for yards passing in 2013-14 with 4,662 yards.
Playing in the same conference—and state—as Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota (Oregon) and NFL prospects such as Brett Hundley (UCLA), Kevin Hogan (Stanford) and up-and-coming QB’s such as Cody Kessler (USC), Jared Goff (Cal) and Anu Solomon (Arizona), unless you have Fox Sports West or the PAC-12 Network on your cable provider, it is easy to overlook such a statuesque passer as Mannion.
Built in the mold of former Pro Bowl alum Derek Anderson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon, Mannion, thanks to his pro-style build and being under Mike Riley’s pro-style offense for four years in Corvallis, broke former Trojans star, Matt Barkley’s conference record to finish with 13,600 passing yards, 83 touchdowns and 54 interceptions.
Despite these impressive numbers, thanks to his lack of mobility, and tendency to fold in the pocket under pressure, many see him as a possible day two or three pick.
While some may point to the departure of wideout Brandin Cooks to the NFL as a reason for a lack of production his senior year at Oregon State, Mannion displayed signs of inaccuracy and velocity, before his recent pro day. For all of that, Mannion could either be drafted as a possible practice squad filler for a team looking to replace an aging franchise quarterback.
Teams such as the San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos who are facing uncertainty with Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning may be intrigued.
While he is far from a prodigy, Mannion—if drafted by the right team—could be the perfect development project for a NFL team.