I wrote earlier this week that Tom Savage was unlikely to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Frankly, I admitted to being shocked when the talk of him being taken so high started to get underway. But falling out of the third round? That's not something I envisioned.
But, hey - I'm not the only one who's likely surprised he's fallen so far. To the Twitter machine.
Im expecting at least 4 QB's to go tonight. One coming from my Alma Mater. #PittPride #QB— Dan Marino (@DanMarino) May 9, 2014
FWIW, Savage also spoke indirectly about not being taken yet:
"Adversity causes some men to break... And others to break records"— Tom Savage (@TomSavage07) May 10, 2014
Now for the TL;DR version of this whole story. Savage's stock soared and if he was passed up in the first round, he was expected to be taken in the second, or certainly, the third round. But at the end of the second day of the Draft, Savage still hadn't heard his name called.
Some of that had to do with the Draft dominoes that fell when Johnny Manziel dropped and dropped (and dropped). That forced a chain reaction of sorts as quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr both fell as a result. It's also not as simple as blaming that, however. Jimmy Garoppolo from Eastern Illinois was taken before Savage by the New England Patriots and even the Houston Texans, a team reportedly interested in him, passed on him in both the second and third rounds. Part of Savage falling had to do with the Manziel debacle, but if he were truly a desired commodity, someone also would have snagged him. With all the talk about taking the best available player, if Savage was truly that, he would have been picked - plain and simple.
Really, it comes down to a matter of hype. Coming into the season, Savage was seen as one of those guys that would have been a late, or even a fringe, pick at best having done next to nothing in college, really. By the end of the season, he showed some toughness and displayed some good arm strength but he still wasn't really being viewed as a top pick. His stock seemed to rise drastically over the past few months, but the fact that he hasn't been taken yet shows that the hype machine really got out of control on this one.
All along, I'd pointed out that I found Savage's rise difficult to explain. He's got prototypical size and a strong arm, but as I've said before, the nine interceptions he threw could easily have been more like 12-14. Savage caught some breaks with balls that should have been picked during the year and also really displayed some inconsistencies. Good showings against Duke, Miami, Notre Dame, and North Carolina were somewhat balanced out by lackluster efforts against Florida State (15-28, 201 yards, two interceptions), New Mexico (13-17, 236 yards, two interceptions), and Virginia (13-31, 191 yards, two interceptions). All in all, nothing about his performances as a whole really screamed top talent.
Look, Savage will get taken on Saturday. At this rate, who knows when/where, but he will be picked up. ESPN's Mel Kiper has him as the best available quarterback on the board and one of the top ten players overall. But still, this is turning into quite the story.
But hey, things could be worse. Don't forget that he had the chance to attend the Draft in the Green Room. Sports Illustrated stated the obvious:
Good thing #Pitt QB Tom Savage declined invitation to Radio City. Still waiting to hear his name called and we're at pick No. 80— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 10, 2014
Well played, Tom.
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