LOUISVILLE KY - OCTOBER 15: Adam Froman #9 of the Louisville Cardinals throws a pass during the Big East Conference game against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on October 15 2010 in Louisville Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
We talked about Adam Froman quite a bit before the draft (and after) and I have to admit I was surprised to see him go undrafted. He possesses many of the physical tools you really look for at the position - 6'4, 220, 4.5/4.6 speed, decent arm strength, but fell because he was a JUCO transfer that has only about one full year of D-1 experience. He was derailed by injuries his senior season but is a guy that will definitely get signed by somebody once the lockout is lifted.
Froman flew under the radar mostly until just before the draft, and I remember seeing him mentioned by Doug Farrar on several occasions, most specifically in relation to a mock draft he conducted where he had the Hawks picking the Louisville QB in the later rounds. Farrar is the definition of an NFL Coverage Renaissance Man - he does print, radio, podcasts, blogging, you name it, with gigs at Yahoo, SportspressNW, Football Outsiders, The Washington Post, and a few other outlets I'm probably forgetting so he's a guy whose opinion I respect.
He actually got a chance to talk with Froman the other day and it was a really good interview - if you get the chance to listen to it you'll have a hard time not coming out impressed with the guy. He's well spoken, you can tell he's got a lot of confidence, and you can also tell he's got a lot of fire - there's almost this palpable bitterness there that makes you think he's looking to prove teams wrong for not selecting him and he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen.
According to the interview, Froman got calls from Miami, San Francisco, and Atlanta during the draft and with each call he assumed that he was going to be getting good news that he was being selected. However, he was let down each time with false hopes as he was informed that he was still an interest, but not their pick. The day ended without another call as I guess no teams were completely sold on his abilities.
For what it's worth, Doug Farrar is sold. Chatting with him yesterday on Twitter, Farrar had this to say:
Froman would be a good developmental fit in any offense with route complexity, a little vertical, mobility needed. SEA? Why not? What pops off the tape when I watch him is his open-field speed (dare I say it? Lockeresque) and intermediate arm. About one full year of D-1 starting experience. Late-season injury just blew his chances apart. Tape tells the tale. I'm sold. Plus, he went from pro-style to spread in 2009-10. So, he's been through the dryer a few times.
When I replied that John Schneider actually mentioned the Seahawks have a specific UDFA QB in mind and Froman might be that guy, Doug replied, "That was my immediate thought."
He then sent me a link to a highlight reel of Froman's Louisville career with the caveat "Not a huge believer in YouTube as definitive, but this is worth checking out" and he is right.
Doug put together a scouting report for Froman pre-draft that was actually never published anywhere and he was nice enough to allow me to print it here. Here's what Farrar had to say:
Scouting Report: QB Adam Froman, Louisville
6-foot-4, 220 pounds/40 Yrd Dash: 4.54/20 Yrd Dash: 2.64/10 Yrd Dash: 1.59/Vertical Jump: 30 1/2/ Broad Jump: 09'04"/20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.16/3-Cone Drill: 6.80
Accuracy: Good accuracy on the move - will make throws on the run, downfield, against his body, into tight coverage. Will occasionally throw balls with too much flutter, allowing defensive backs to swoop in and deflect or intercept. Better-than-average ability to drop it in the bucket downfield over defenders.
Arm strength: Doesn't have a rocket arm but can make all the necessary NFL throws - intermediate stick routes to the sideline, slants and posts over the middle, timing routes of various distances. Can zip the 9-route with the receiver in stride and looks comfortable doing that you sense the film isn't showing fluke plays. Doesn't throw deep on a rope, however, and he will struggle to make throws in tight windows. Deep balls will sail at times.
Setup/release: Has a compact motion, though the ball comes out a bit lower than the traditional/ideal overhead slot. Made the typical one-step-drop throws in a spread, but also completed enough downfield passes under center. Sets his feet fairly consistently, though he could be trained to drive the ball better because he regresses to throwing off his back foot.
Reading defenses: A work in progress here as in many areas. Froman came to Louisville in 2009 after a stint at Santa Rosa (Ca.) Junior College. Played in a pro-style offense for the Cardinals in 2009, then became the starter in 2010 when the team's new spread offense was jump-started by Froman's mobility. So, he has seen a lot of different defenses, but may not yet have the exposure needed to pick them apart. Tends to telegraph his reads, but will occasionally look off the safety and keep the corner in place.
On the move: Surprisingly gangly in the pocket for such a mobile guy - not a natural in-the-pocket mover. Very dangerous runner on designed plays such as read-option runs - he's agile, has a good second gear in space, and can fit in tight gaps to blast through for extra yards. Impressive juke moves for a taller player. Good at extending the play out of pressure with short and intermediate option throws.
Intangibles: Suffered a thigh injury in 2010 that caused him to miss his final five games. Still learning the functional passing game; ran a Wing-T offense in high school and was not heavily recruited as a result. Has had three different offensive coordinators in his last three years; could see surprising improvement in his mechanics in the right pro environment. Film junkie who scored a 39 on his Wonderlic. Schematically versatile quarterback who has played pro-style/play action, option, spread, and pistol - sometimes all in the same game. No known character flaws.
Pro Comparison: Tony Pike, Carolina Panthers - Froman is much faster than Pike on the ground, but both players were late bloomers who impressed in shotgun and under center. Where Froman intrigues is that he's done enough in limited action in enough different systems to have people wondering just how much he could accomplish if allowed to learn and grow in a consistent system that fits his talent. A vertical West Coast Offense would be a good fit in time; Froman runs rollout pass option enough, and can make enough throws, to eventually be that kind of quarterback. Kevin Kolb might be the upside.
Here are some key things that I pick out from Doug's scouting report. First, the measurables - a 4.5 40 with a 4.16 20 yard shuttle indicate he's very fast but also very agile. Compare his short shuttle time to that of Jake Locker, who ran it in 4.12. The short shuttle is a good indicator of agility and change of direction athleticism and can set a player apart from a long-striding pure runner. We know he can move.
The second thing that popped out to me was his experience in many different offenses throughout his career. He ran a Wing-T in high school. In JC, he ran a pro-style offense. At Louisville, he ran a spread. He's got the terminology and concepts from three totally different offensive philosophies on his resume, and that could be valuable for him catching on with a team, especially considering the lockout shortened offseason we're stuck in.
Farrar notes that he'd be best in a vertical West Coast Offense - something that figures to have similar concepts to what the Hawks want to run in 2011. No known character flaws. Film junkie that scored 39 on the Wonderlic. Upside is Kevin Kolb. Won't cost a 2012 first round pick. Well, I'm sold too.