Mel Kiper Jr. wants to be clear about one thing: Jake Fromm's lack of great arm strength does not translate to the former Georgia quarterback not being able to play in the NFL.
Fromm was clear about one thing this week, too: He still loves hunting, and he's not letting the pressure of the upcoming NFL draft get to him.
ESPN hostess Laura Rutledge got Fromm to open up in a recent interview. It got to the point the normally buttoned up Fromm allowed himself some silly behavior.
Laura Rutledge (@LauraRutledge) March 25, 2020
It was an interesting week for Fromm. The Warner Robins product found himself at the center of a hometown controversy after a stadium workout snafu.
NFL teams probably liked Fromm's desperation to throw a football in a stadium.
Indeed, there's a lot more to Fromm than met the eye at the NFL combine.
That's why NFL draft analysts like Kiper hedge their bets where Fromm is concerned. Fromm possesses most all the desired intangibles at the quarterback position.
Kirby Smart helped him clear a final self-confidence issue this past season, as evidenced by Fromm's incredible performance against Florida.
There's an old NFL draft saying that all it takes is one team to like you, and there are a couple where Fromm looks like a natural fit in Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
But Kiper, in his most recent quarterback ratings, ranked Fromm seventh among the available signal callers in this year's draft.
"We saw evidence of a lack of big-time arm strength, which we knew was a problem at the combine, he had trouble making some of those throws that you need to make," Kiper said. "So I think right now he could end up being, if you look at the quarterbacks the way they stack up, he could be the seventh quarterback drafted, behind even Jalen Hurts from Oklahoma.
"That doesn't mean he can't play in the league, it's just his arm strength is the big question."
Hurts, Kiper indicated, could have value as a package quarterback even if he doesn't evolve into an NFL starter.
"Is he going to be Aaron Murray, is he going to be Eric Zeier, or is he going to be Andy Dalton, or is he going to be somewhere in between," Kiper said. That's the big debate in these NFL draft discussions when they are talking about these teams and the quarterbacks they're going to take in the third round, which is what I expect for Fromm, to be a third round quarterback."
Kiper debated whether Fromm should have returned for his senior season at Georgia.
"You come out, you figure you lose the two bookend tackles, Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson also came out (in the draft)," Kiper pointed out. "(But then) you think about what (George) Pickens can be as a sophomore, that's a big plus moving forward.
"Then (Dominick) Blaylock is coming off the injury, he didn't have D'Andre Swift, so there were reasons to stay, and reasons to leave," he said. "The arm strength, you would, hope would have improved a little bit when he's a senior, but like we said, he wouldn't have the offensive line he had this year in front of him, with losing the two bookends."
Regardless of what others think now or will think later Fromm has made it clear that leaving Georgia early was the right decision for him.
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