The Tennessee Titans have drafted quarterback Zach Mettenberger with the 178th pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. Mettenberger is coming off a torn ACL suffered last December that has hampered his ability to show off for scouts. The injury has made him something of a risky pick with potentially high payoff in the NFL relative to his draft position. His film suggests he could be pretty darn good.
SB Nation's Dan Kadar took a look at Mettenberger at the end April, and described him succinctly:
For fans of classic big-bodied pocket passers, Mettenberger should be your guy in this year's draft. He has the arm strength to make difficult throws look easy and can deliver throws deep down the field. But his delivery needs hastening and he's not particularly mobile.
Unfortunately for Mettenberger, those concerns about his mobility were present even before he injured his knee. He looked good at his pro day, dropping back quickly and stepping into throws, but in a league increasingly enamored with dual-threat quarterbacks, the ability to drop back and throw may not be enough.
Thankfully, Mettenberger's arm is plenty good. After transferring to LSU in 2011, he took over the starting gig in 2012 and threw for 2,609 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions to help lead the Tigers to a 10-3 record. Then he improved significantly in his 2013 campaign, passing for 3,082 passing yards and 22 touchdowns to eight interceptions.
No, the numbers don't jump off the page like those of SEC-mate Johnny Manziel, but Mettenberger has the benefit of having developed in a pro-style system. LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron spent 14 seasons in the pros before joining LSU's staff last year.
Mettenberger had a tumultuous beginning to his college career that included him getting kicked off the team at Georgia before going to Butler Community College prior to transferring to LSU. The worrisome past didn't seem to haunt him during the draft process, however. Mettenberger entered the draft rated as the No. 55 overall player on SB Nation's big board, and the fifth-best quarterback.
Weight: 224 pounds
Mettenberger did not get to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine due to the knee injury he sustained in his final regular-season game at LSU. He underwent surgery for a torn ACL shortly after the game, but he was ready to throw for LSU's pro day in April.