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Rookie appreciation: Zach Mettenberger

The former LSU star lights up UAB.

Frederick Breedon

For those that didn't read the last piece, this is a series on rookies and their best games. I have combed through the Draft Breakdown archives and found what I believe to be their most impressive games. If you have any thoughts on whether you like or dislike this series or whether you think there is a better game for these players let me know in the comments section.

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Now, UAB isn't exactly brimming with talent, but it is more about what Mettenberger does in this game rather than who he does it too. Mett goes 16 of 19 (84%) for five touchdowns and no interceptions. He also shows five things that I love to see from any QB prospect:

1. Poise in the pocket

With defenders around his ankles or coming free, he steps into his throws and delivers the ball exactly where he wants it.

2. Elusiveness

No Mettenberger isn't elusive in the traditional sense, but he can step up into the pocket or move around to get clearer throwing lanes. He also knows when to run and when to slide, which is a huge part of playing QB in today's NFL.

3. Arm Strength

Mettenberger has Flacco-like arm strength and while it isn't everything it helps when you can utilize every blade of grass on offense. This is one of the reasons why Odell Beckham was so productive, and it will be a reason that Justin Hunter is productive if they are ever on the field at the same time.

4. Touch

Two of the touchdowns in this game are especially touch throws. Both passes to the back of the endzone really speak to how well he is able to control his arm strength.

5. Intelligence

Mettenberger made a lot of smart, calculated throws that show that he understood what the defense was trying to do. He didn't always take the easiest throw, but with his talent and the talent around him, he put his accuracy and arm talent to work without really risking anything.