Comparing the college careers of Georgia’s Aaron Murray and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger is a rather one-sided debate with Murray just eclipsing 100 career touchdowns and Mettenberger with less than 75% of the career production of his former roommate, but who will be the better NFL quarterback?
NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah who used to be a professional scout with the Baltimore Ravens asked this very question to five NFL executives and the results of his question are bound to raise a few eyebrows in Baton Rouge, Athens and around NFl draft circles.
All five executives polled preferred the 6-5, 230-pound LSU quarterback to the ultra-productive, yet diminutive Murray.
Here are some of the responses:
“Right now, I’ll say Mettenberger. I wasn’t really high on either guy coming into the season, but Mettenberger has stepped up his play. He has more ability and upside than Murray. I feel like I know exactly what Murray is, while Mettenberger is just scratching the surface.”
That notion form this executive seemed to be the prevailing narrative when discussing the two quarterbacks. Murray is the finished product with limited upside. You know what you’re getting Murray—which could be a very quality backup for a long time—but likely not an above-average starting quarterback.
It wasn’t all effusive praise for Mettenberger as these two executives would tell Jeremiah:
“I think Mettenberger is the better player, but to be honest, I don’t really believe either guy is in the top tier of quarterbacks for this upcoming class.”
I interpreted that to mean Mettenberger is a solid day two prospect or maybe even at the top of round four and Murray is more of a safe third day pick.
“I wish Mettenberger had the same intangibles as Murray, but I would still choose him. He has a huge arm, he’s athletic inside the pocket, he’s made huge strides reading coverage and his decision-making has improved.”
Mettenberger will be questioned about his past which led him to being kicked off the team at Georgia after pleading guilty to misdemeanor sexual battery before landing at junior college and subsequently LSU. Character is as important as ever before in the NFL, so NFL scouts and GM’s will want to look into his past and his current behavior to know what they’re investing in.
Murray is the epitome of a team leader and his intangibles are as great as any quarterback entering the draft this year, but his physical tools aren’t on par with Mettenberger. If you could combine the two, you’re looking at a future first round pick.
This game will be an opportunity to make a big statement not only for the rest of the college football season but for the countless NFL scouts who will be on hand watching the game filled with future NFL draft picks.