I was just watching a Xavier Rhodes (CB) compilation just now to get a feel for his game (quick summary- he's really good). I was only about 3 plays in though before the opposing QB from South Florida caught my attention and started to steal the show. A QB by the name of BJ Daniels.
Right away, I noticed that this is a bulky quarterback, built for running. He was a strictly read option QB that sold play action very well and had maybe the best on-field mobility in this draft, not just really fast, but shifty and instinctive. He also displayed a pretty big arm with good throwing mechanics and above average footwork.
Since I had no idea who he was, I assumed he wasn't in this draft. But as it turns out he is- and nobody is talking about him.
Now, there are reasons- great reasons- why he's not expected to be drafted.
First, he's short. He's listed at 6'1" some places, 6'0" at others, and even 5'11" in a few spots. I can believe it, since he has that squatty kind of "muscle hamster" type build that Russell Wilson has and for which Doug Martin got his nickname. However tall he is, he's a ripped 218 pounds, and other than an ankle injury that cost him a couple games at the end of his final season, he's been injury free despite his run heavy style.
As a four year starter, his career completion rate is just 57.3%. That's disappointingly low, and low completion percentage is one of the more potent negative indicators for a QB prospect. Consider this though- and this might blow your mind- Russell Wilson's career completion rate in 3 years at NC State? 57.8%. When Wilson went to a real offense at Wisconsin, his completion rate skyrocketed to 72.8%. His completion rate with the Seahawks was 64.1%.
What little I can find of Daniels, he looks accurate. Could his completion rate be down thanks to a weak supporting cast, similar to Wilson at NC State?
Daniels has a decent career YPA of 7.4 but just a tepid 52-39 TD-INT ratio. That ratio is partially explainable though- as Daniels has 25 rushing touchdowns.
I'm not saying that Daniels is a surefire star, but I like him a lot. If nothing else he impressed me in limited looks and I don't know if I've ever seen a projected UDFA QB with a more impressive highlight reel than this one. His style strikes me as a bit of a blend between Russell Wilson and Cam Newton, though obviously with less mental talent than Wilson and less physical talent than Newton. USF fans speak very highly of Daniels not only as a quarterback, but as a leader and hard worker and I can't help but wonder if good coaching and a great supporting cast might show him to be a hidden gem in this draft.