What To Expect From Hudson Card

Image via SI.com

Hudson Card was officially named The Longhorns starting Quarterback Saturday afternoon. I predicted Hudson Card would win the starting quarterback job earlier this month, here. Casey Thompson and Card were neck and neck throughout the entire off-season. I expect Casey to explore the transfer portal this week or at the end of the 2021 season. I believe Thompson would be a good starting Quarterback for most Power-5 schools. No matter what he decides or where he goes, Thompson was loyal to The Longhorns while sitting behind Sam Ehlinger and we should all be rooting for him to succeed. Now back to Hudson Card, what should we be expecting of him this season? How will Sarkisian’s offense look with Card leading the way? Grab your favorite beer, cocktail, or a cup of coffee and let’s dive into those questions now!

How Will Coach Sarkisian’s Offense Look?

Coach Sark runs a lot of RPO’s (Run-Pass-Option plays). Giving the quarterback the decision on whether to hand the ball off or sling it to his receiver on the play. This tests the decision making ability for the starting quarterback. Hudson Card must have impressed Coach Sark with his decision making in the spring game, scrimmages, and practice. Sarkisian also believes in running a lot of routes that keep the receivers moving. For example: slants, posts, crossing routes, GO routes, etc. These types of routes test the quarterback’s accuracy by forcing him to lead the receiver into open space. This gives a lot of room for yards after the catch for the receivers. Sarkisian tends to shy away from hook routes and comebacks, where the receiver is either stopping or coming back to the quarterback. These routes do not allow for many YAC (Yards After Catch) opportunities.

Hudson Card’s decision making and accuracy are going to be the most important tools for success in Sarkisian’s offense. However, Card’s ability to create plays outside of structure is paramount. The Longhorns’ offensive-line is still a huge question mark, especially in pass protection. Card was a wide receiver in high school before converting to quarterback and has the athleticism to make plays outside of the pocket. Card also has shown solid playmaking ability when rolling out of a messy pocket, keeping his eyes downfield and hitting a receiver quickly and accurately for positive yards.

How Sarkisian Will Use Texas’ Weapons With Hudson Card

Looking at the skill positions Texas has, we can take an educational guess on how Sarkisian will use those pieces. Jordan Whittington, Xavier Worthy, and even Keilan Robinson will serve as great yards after the catch threats. Joshua Moore and Troy Omeire will give Card big targets in the red zone and in the intermediate part of the football field. Kelvontay Dixon and Marcus Washington can open up the offense with their vertical speed and deep-threat abilities. Cade Brewer and Jared Wiley will be blocking in the run game and releasing up the seams in the pass game. Bijan Robinson will be the focal point. In important games I could see Robinson getting 20-30 touches. Roschon Johnson will provide relief for Bijan. This Sarkisian offense has been made to “plug-in” any quarterback and allow his playmakers to help him succeed. Hudson Card is going to reap all of the benefits from this scheme, as Tua Tagoviola and Mac Jones did at Alabama.

What Should We Expect From Hudson Card?

A season stat line that would inspire hope for Texas Longhorns Fans, in my opinion, would be something as follows: 3,000+ yards passing, 30+ Total Touchdowns, with less than 10 turnovers. Turnovers and touchdowns will be the biggest indicators on how Card’s season had gone. His yards will be dictated by how often Bijan Robinson and company break off big gains on the ground rather than through the air. We should also all expect Hudson Card to start off slow in the first quarter of the season. A first time starter, Card will have a lot to learn and Texas does not have an easy schedule to start the season. As long as we don’t see obvious mistakes in the final four games of the season, Longhorns Faithful should be optimistic on Hudson’s future.

As mentioned above, Card has obviously shown Coach Sarkisian enough as a decision maker to be chosen as The Longhorns QB1. Card also is in a favorable offense with plenty of talent, most notably Bijan Robinson. Card will act as more of a “Field General”. He will be dishing out the ball to his playmakers and letting them do the work, to begin the season. As Coach Sark develops Card we should see this offense expand. If Card excels, we might see Card turn into a legitimate Heisman dark-horse himself for the 2022 season. Sarkisian has proven he can develop quarterbacks and has produced two top-15 picks in his last two seasons with Alabama. Card’s floor is seemingly a good floor general who will put the ball in his playmaker’s hands on time. Hudson’s ceiling seems to be a Heisman Finalist and high draft pick whenever he decides to take the leap to the NFL.

Closing

I believe Hudson Card was the correct choice, regardless of if Casey Thompson transfers out of Austin this season or not. Hudson has all of the natural tools to become a legitimate conference-winning quarterback. With the right development, Hudson Card could be the highest drafted quarterback out of Texas since Vince Young in 2006. Card’s improvement will also showcase how good Sarkisian is at developing quarterbacks. Arch Manning is the heir to the Manning Family Dynasty and I believe he is going to closely follow how Sarkisian does in his first year as Texas’ head coach. If Hudson Card flourishes and shows vast improvement from the beginning of the season to the end, Arch Manning will take note of it. Beyond Arch Manning though, Sarkisian’s billing as a “Quarterback Whisper” will help in recruiting for every young high school quarterback who is picking between Texas and other powerhouse programs like Oklahoma, Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia. A lot rides on Hudson Card, more than just Texas’ 2021 football season.

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Broncos Name Teddy Bridgewater Starting QB

(AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

The quarterback competition in Denver is over – Teddy Bridgewater was named the Broncos’ starting quarterback. Head Coach Vic Fangio announced to the team this morning that Bridgewater would be the first-string quarterback to start the year. This ends the quarterback competition that started back in April when the Broncos traded a sixth-round pick for Teddy Bridgewater.

Bridgewater will be the fourteenth different starting quarterback for the Broncos since 2011. He will have the benefit of working with the best offensive line the Broncos have had in at least five seasons according to Garett Bolles. Teddy will also work with a loaded receiving core and a defense that, by all accounts, will be at least top ten in the league. This will certainly be the most talented team that Bridgewater has started full-time for in his eight-year career.

What does this mean for Drew Lock?

Drew Lock will certainly be a valuable backup for the Broncos. In the NFL, having a solid backup quarterback is extremely helpful – just ask the 2019 Philadelphia Eagles.

As far as the future of the third-year quarterback, that is yet to be determined. If the coaches decided to start Bridgewater over Drew Lock, that means that Lock most likely did not progress the way they wanted him to. Essentially, his chances of being a part of the Broncos future is now close to zero. If the Broncos had any hope that he could be the future franchise quarterback, then they would have started him this year. This is most likely the end of the road for Lock in a Broncos uniform.

What does it mean for the future of the Broncos?

With Teddy Bridgewater on a one-year deal currently and Drew Lock not progressing enough to be the franchise quarterback going forward, the Broncos are without a future quarterback again. Thus, the QB carousel in Denver continues.

It is possible that Bridgewater plays well enough this season and gets rewarded a contract for the future with the Broncos. However, any Broncos fan knows how giving an average journeyman QB a sizable contract works out (see Joe Flacco and Case Keenum).

Sure, it would be great if the Broncos make the playoffs this year with Teddy Bridgewater and maybe even win a game or two in those playoffs, but in the long-term Teddy Bridgewater is just a bridge quarterback. There is a reason the Saints, Jets and Panthers let Teddy go and that the Broncos only had to trade a sixth-round pick for the veteran QB.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is this: the Broncos coaches think that for this season Teddy Bridgewater gives the Broncos the best chance to win. It will certainly be exciting watching the Broncos compete in 2021 and win games with Bridgewater as the Broncos starting quarterback. However, there are still question marks for the future of the QB position now that Lock is out of the picture. We will have to hope that GM George Paton has a plan at the quarterback position for 2022 and beyond, but in the meantime all of Broncos Country will be rooting for Teddy Bridgewater to succeed.

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Solutions to the Falcons Backup Quarterback Problem

The Atlanta Falcons have an interesting situation going on inside their Quarterback room; they have an experienced starter in Matt Ryan, they have a career backup in AJ McCarron, and they signed Undrafted Free Agent Feleipe Franks to be their 3rd string project Quarterback. It sounds like a normal situation, but neither McCarron or Franks have proven that they can be the number two quarterback behind the Falcons legendary number 2.

Can Feleipe Franks' legs carry him closer to backup quarterback job?

In today’s NFL the backup quarterback is slowly becoming a somewhat premium position. You want a quarterback that could step in and fill in for you and your team in a pinch if anything were to happen to your franchise guy. Sometimes that backup role is filled by a former starter who might have just lost his ability, sometimes it is filled by a project quarterback who the team hopes will develop into something worthwhile, and other times it is filled by a career clipboard holder who knows the ins and outs of the offense and can run it at a serviceable level. Let’s take a look at some guys the Falcons could target to solidify the question mark holding the clipboard.

Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen is a former first round pick who many touted as the safest QB selection in 2018 NFL Draft, myself included in that. Rosen was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals old regime who quickly moved on from him as they drafted Kyler Murray in 2019. Rosen then went to the Dolphins where we struggled to earn reps against Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Why am I talking about a bust being able to help solidify the Falcons QB room? Well when Rosen declared for the NFL Draft, he was talked about being one of the smartest QB’s in the classes and was constantly compared to Falcons great Matt Ryan. Adding Rosen to the QB room in an offense that has similarities to his current one in San Francisco could make for a smooth transition into our QB competition while providing the opportunity to be mentored by Matt Ryan.

Then when you factor the Niners drafting Trey Lance while still having Jimmy Garoppolo on roster, it looks like Rosen is on the outside looking in once again. Rosen looks like a current long shot to make the Niners roster, which could be a nice bargain bin find for the Falcons.

Robert Griffin III

If the Falcons wanted to go the route of adding a more seasoned veteran to sit behind Ryan, they could very easily go the route of former Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. The former second over pick by Washington has had some injury concerns derail what looked to be a promising NFL career. RG3 got let go from Washington in 2015 and has floated around the league signing with the Browns and the Ravens.

RG3 falls into the category of guys who were former starters and lost the ability to be a starter. He has experience in multiple offenses and has some significant game experience the question with him, is how can his body hold up, and can he still play at a high enough level to warrant a roster spot.

If the Falcons felt that RG3 could be a serviceable backup for the team, he would be a decent scheme fit with the offense that Arthur Smith will be implementing.

Logan Woodside/Matt Barkley

I doubt Tennessee keeps both of these Quarterback’s on roster. Woodside looked very good against the Falcons defense the other night going 10-15 for 84 yards and a touchdown. Woodside gives us a younger signal caller who could potentially develop into a career QB2 or for our team.

Matt Barkley is the flip side of this providing a career backup who could step in during a pinch. Barkley has had that role most of his NFL career in Philly and Buffalo and now Tennessee. For context Barkley went 5/8 for 54 yards with a touchdown against our Atlanta defense.

I will say that neither of these options is super appealing, but both should be looked at as options to beat out AJ McCarron for the job. Barkley will be similar to Chase Daniel/Colt McCoy in the sense of providing quality veteran depth who could also feature as a future mentor. While Woodside gives a more of a long-term solution to the backup QB issue.

Whichever Bills Quarterback Gets Cut

The Bills have Jake Fromm, Mitch Trubisky, and Davis Webb all competing for the number 2 and 3 slots behind Josh Allen. All three of these Quarterbacks have the potential to be cut with Trubisky being the least likely. Which leaves the roster bubble names as Davis Webb and Jake Fromm. UGA fans should be pretty familiar with Jake Fromm who was a starter for the Bulldogs for a few seasons.

He is a typical game manager who may not be head and shoulders over McCarron, but he is an upgrade. He is a limited athlete who uses his IQ and intangibles to lead the offense. He makes safe conservative passes to chip away at the defense. What makes Fromm appealing is that Arthur Smith’s offense would be a play to Fromm’s strengths as a passer and as a quarterback.

Davis Webb is very very similar to Jake Fromm, just more experience as a clipboard holder. Very similar as a passer, Webb is more accuracy and a limited athlete. So no matter which Buffalo cuts, if either, we would be adding a safe conservative passer who doesn’t have any athletic ability to take over games. But both are fairly smart passers who are safe with the ball.

Kurt Benkert

Will this happen? Probably not. There is a strong chance that the Packers run with 3 quarterbacks so he might not even be available. But if Kurt Benkert were to become available the Falcons need to make the call. Benkert has become one of the league’s favorite backups due to his Video Game streaming and his fun personality.

Kurt Benkert was a Falcon for the past couple of seasons competing for a roster spot. He is a more athletic passer than some of the other names on the list and would be a nice scheme fit for the Arthur Smith offense with his ability to be more mobile like what Smith had with Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee with his ability to escape and expand the pocket with his legs. Benkert also has a very solid arm to pair with his mobility.

What makes Benkert so appealing is that he is familiar with the Falcons organization with being here from 2019-2020. However that is also part of the reason it’s so tricky to potentially bring back Benkert. It’s an entirely different regime who decided he was expendable when they took over. Which is part of the issue in our backup Quarterback hunt. However if there was even a shot to bring Benkert back into Atlanta, the Falcons should jump on it.

Gardner Minshew II

This is my dream scenario out of this list. But it is also probably the least likely to happen. Minshew is currently “battling” for the number 1 job in Jacksonville. I use the term battling loosely due to Trevor Lawrence being drafted 1st overall in the most recent draft class.

In this hypothetical situation we will say Minshew loses the battle for the sake of the discussion, which is what will probably happen. But, Minshew is a 25 year old QB who has starting experience in both 2019 and 2020, compiling a stat line of: 5530 yards, 37 TD’s, 11 INT’s, completion percentage of 62.9% and a QBR of 93.1 through 20 career starts. Which is very solid for what he had to work with in Jacksonville during his time there.

Minshew is an accurate passer who has the confidence and swagger to lead the offense in a pinch or for a stretch of games. He has the gunslinger mentality to match his mullet which could add some personality to to the Falcons locker room. I personally would just love to see the personality switch from Ryan to Minshew if they ever rotate during games. But that’s just more of a pipe dream than anything.

Minshew could potentially give the Falcons a way to move on from Matt Ryan at the end of his tenure while providing competent Quarterback to replace him with, without having to give up major capital. The biggest issue with Minshew is we aren’t quite sure if Jacksonville will even want to sell on him because they may want him to help mentor Trevor Lawrence. And at that same time, if they wanted to sell we aren’t sure what pick they would want. I’ll play it safe and assume the Jags would want a day 2 pick for a 25 year old QB who could be a starter.

Which of these Quarterbacks do you think would be the best addition to Atlanta’s locker room to backup Matty Ice? Did I forget a name you wanted? Do you have any criticism or comments? Well let us know @falcons_atb on Twitter!

The Early Bird List

These articles will focus on bringing NFL fans who do not follow the draft closely the names of prospects for the 2022 NFL draft to keep an eye on. The first position we will focus on is quarterbacks. Note that these lists are in alphabetical order; not rankings.

Quarterbacks:

Sam Howell: Well built QB who had a really good 2020 season. Talented, but made questionable decisions at times. Could be one of the top QB’s drafted. Question is did all his weapons make him look better than he really is?

Phil Jurkovec: A little bit of a sleeper. He has some upside. Needs to play better overall. He could really move up with a big 2021 season.

Michael Penix Jr: Big sleeper from Indiana. He has all the physical talent to be a high pick. Injuries and inconsistencies have held him back.

Spencer Rattler: Probably the #1 quarterback heading into the season. Benched early in the season in 2020, but took off after that. five star recruit coming out of high school. He has a big upside. Only a redshirt Sophmore with just one year of starting experience.

Desmond Ridder: Tall but also athletic. Good production. But there is a lot of extreme views on him. People either love him or hate him. Accuracy issues.

Kedon Slovis: Similar in a long line of other SC quarterbacks. Smart, efficient, good in the pocket, good accuracy. But lacks much talent and upside. Reminds me of Ty Detmer.

Carson Strong: Big strong armed QB who some actually see as the #1 quarterback going into the 2021 season. Still not as well known as Rattler, Howell, and the others. Two year starter who made a big jump in 2020 after a ho hum 2019. He should be one of the top quarterbacks.

Malik Willis: He plays at small school Liberty, but was a transfer from Auburn. Uber athletic with a big arm. Only a one year starter so far at a small school playing against lower level competition. He still has a lot of technique issues and inconsistencies he needs work on. His draft stock is very volatile.

Who doesn’t love a QB competition?

Texas has lost their locker room leader and star quarterback to the NFL when Sam Ehlinger was selected in the 6th round, 218th overall, last April by the Indianapolis Colts. Ehlinger was everything you wanted in a Longhorn Quarterback: tough, kind, smart and a natural born leader. No, Sam Ehlinger was not perfect. He had some issues throwing with consistency at times and some may argue he tucked the ball away and ran too often or missed open receivers, but Ehlinger was the best quarterback Texas fans have seen since Colt McCoy. Replacing him as a locker room leader and one-man offense is going to be a tall task. Luckily for Casey Thompson and Hudson Card, Bijan Robinson is now a full-time starter at running back to ease the transition. But who will be the quarterback putting the ball in his hands 20-30 times a game? Grab yourself a beer, cocktail, or cup of coffee and let’s talk it out.

The Case for Casey Thompson

Casey Thompson was a four-star dual threat quarterback out of Newcastle, Oklahoma. Casey was the #14 ranked Dual-Threat Quarterback in his recruiting cycle and had a composite rating of .9021 (according to 247sports). Son of Charles Thompson (former Oklahoma Sooners quarterback), Casey committed to The Forty Acres on April 13th, 2017. Thompson sat behind Sam Ehlinger for three seasons (one as a redshirted year). Casey Thompson has a total of 29 pass attempts in his collegiate career, 10 of them coming against Colorado in the second half of the Alamo Bowl. Casey completed 8/10 passes for 170 yards and 4 touchdowns, a very impressive game after coming in for relief after Sam Ehlinger was injured in the first half. Thompson flashed accuracy, poise, athleticism, and leadership during the Alamo Bowl and during the 2021 Spring Game.

The Case for Hudson Card

Hudson Card was a high four star recruit out of Lake Travis in Austin, Texas. Card was the #2 ranked Dual-Threat Quarterback in his recruiting cycle and had a composite rating of .9721(according to 247sports). Card enrolled at Texas January 21st, 2020. Hudson Card played sparingly behind Ehlinger and Thompson, only having three pass attempts last season, all coming in the Alamo Bowl against Colorado. Card did pick up a redshirt so still has four years of college eligibility available to him. Card coming out of High School was clearly more polished and physically gifted than Casey Thompson and their recruiting composite scores reflect that. Card was also impressive during the spring game for the most part. He showed flashes of throwing with anticipation and rolling out and placing the ball on the receivers numbers. Card also does a solid job working within the pocket, not bailing too quickly even during scrimmage where he has no chance to break out of a “sack”. Card has a quick release and the arm talent to throw darts with enough juice to get to the receivers in a hurry, Cards team struggled with drops all game which was discouraging, but says more about the Texas Receiving Corps than Card’s ability to quarterback an offense.

Who Has The Edge?

Currently, I believe Casey Thompson has the edge over Hudson Card because of his experience (although it isn’t a lot more than Card’s) and vocal leadership qualities. Sarkisian has talked about how Casey Thompson has been impressive with his vocal leadership, something Hudson Card is rumored to lack at the moment. Hudson Card has to show that he has become a vocal leader on this team during fall practices if he wants to start Week 1 against Louisiana – Lafayette. I suspect Sark will hold out as late as possible to name a starter to keep Casey and Hudson from jumping into the transfer portal. The race may be tight enough where Sarkisian actually doesn’t even know who the starter will be until a week or two before Week 1.

Who I Want To Start

Obviously, I want the best man for the job to start and I trust Steve Sarkisian’s judgement from inside the building above my own. BUT, if all things were equal and Casey Thompson and Hudson Card were neck and neck with each other for the starting job I would prefer to see Hudson Card be the starter. Card has more physical talent with his arm strength, quick release, and accuracy outside of the pocket than Casey Thompson does (although maybe not by much) and is younger with more potential and upside. The real deal breaker for me though is that he has two more years of eligibility than Thompson does. The worst case scenario for Texas is if Thompson is named the starter and Hudson Card decides to enter the transfer portal, putting a lot of pressure on Sarkisian and the Texas Staff to make sure they have their next quarterback in waiting for the 2023 season. Maalik Murphy is a great recruit with even more potential than Hudson Card, but if Card was the starter Texas would have some leeway with Murphy’s development.

Thank you for reading this article and be sure to check me out on Twitter @ryfootballscout and make sure to be following us: @longhorns_atb. We are doing a giveaway for two free tickets to Texas’ Week 1 game against Louisiana Lafayette! Check out our Twitter page for more details on how to enter the raffle! Thanks again, Peace!

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