Former Indianapolis Colts GM, Bill Polian, is likely best known for drafting Peyton Manning number one in 1998. Which only makes this statement all the more noteworthy.
Polian told ESPN’s NFL insiders on Monday that he projects former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to be a first round pick in this year’s NFL draft.
Garoppolo threw for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns last season on his way to winning Walter Payton award for the most outstanding offensive player in the FCS. He also impressed with performances in the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl.
According to USA Today, Polian was most impressed by Garoppolo’s throwing at the combine. Rotoworld says the former OVC star has been praised for his footwork and release, but faces major questions about his arm strength.
The OVC has had four first-round picks in the past, including Super Bowl winning quarterback Phil Simms. But they haven’t had a quarterback picked in any round of the draft since Middle Tennessee State quarterback Jonathan Quinn, who was picked in the third round.
The first round of the NFL Draft is May 8th.