2014 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper projects Tom Savage as third-round pick

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

We've been talking a little about Pitt quarterback Tom Savage lately. Aaron Donald is getting all the attention as the expected first-round pick, but Devin Street and Savage should be getting a fair amount of recognition, too.

Savage, with one of the strongest arms in the draft, perhaps, could be gaining steam. While it's no guarantee that he gets selected, personally, I think he has too much potential to be warrant being drafted. Where he goes is anyone's guess, but I do expect him to be taken.

ESPN's Mel Kiper also thinks Savage will be picked. Not only that, but he expects Savage to leap off the board earlier than most:

Another interesting late-round quarterback pick is Pitt's Tom Savage, whom Kiper selected at No. 88 in the third round to the Cincinnati Bengals:

"Savage has starting upside, and he's among the strongest arms in the draft," Kiper wrote. "He was beaten up behind bad blocking at Pitt, but is the kind of upside this roster could use behind Andy Dalton."

Kiper isn't overstating the hits Savage took last season. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Savage was under duress on 28 percent of his dropbacks, the highest percentage of any QB prospect. As a result, Savage was sacked an FBS-high 43 times last season.

The third round seems a little high to me. Savage does have the strong arm and as Kiper points out, did take quite a beating last year. His resilience is intriguing, but I'm still not sure there's enough potential for him to go so quickly.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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