John Beck: Our Franchise QB

Everyone wanted Miami to select Brady Quinn and let him be this team's franchise quarterback. They didn't. Everyone thought that the Dolphins missed their opportunity to get their franchise QB, the piece of the puzzle this team has missed since Dan Marino retired. They didn't.

Instead, the drafted exactly who they wanted to be this team's franchise quarterback. He didn't play at an over-hyped college and didn't get overhyped himself by the media leading up to the draft. And we, as Dolphin fans, should be happy about that. GM Randy Mueller:

"I would cringe whenever I turned on a TV and saw Beck being mentioned. I didn't want anyone talking about him at all. I didn't want any team to know what we thought of him and another team maybe taking him."

This could explain why the Dolphins, while trading text messages with John Beck towards the mid to late 1st round, were also looking to trade up in the draft to select Beck. It's been reported that Mueller tried as many as 3 times to move up into the late 1st round to secure Beck but with no luck.

However, luck was shining on the Dolphins on that fateful Saturday. When Miami's 2nd round pick (#40 overall) came up, their man was still on the board. John Beck was selected as the Miami Dolphins' franchise quarterback. Like many of you, I questioned the decision. However, after reading up on him and listening to him talk, I don't see how you can not be a huge John Beck fan already!

So let's talk a little bit about him, shall we? Here's part of the scouting report on Beck from NFL.com:

Very intelligent player who has no problem executing a complicated game plan ... Student of the game who breaks down opposing film and does a good job of making adjustments on the field ... Plays through pain and shows very good poise in the pocket and confidence in his protection, as it is rare to see him bolt too early, as he will stand tall and take some shots under pressure ... Has good throwing mechanics and sets his feet with agility and solid base ... Even with just average timed speed, his feet appear light when forced to move out of the pocket ... In 2006, he received much better pocket protection, allowing him to take his time making reads to locate secondary targets ... Displays awareness to anticipate when the receiver is coming out of the breaks ... With his three-quarters delivery and natural hands, Beck is very effective at getting the ball out quickly ... Shows very good arm whip to get the ball out in time to hit the receivers coming out of their breaks ... In the short-to-intermediate area, Beck's tosses show good zip and velocity.

Of course, everyone wants to talk about how he doesn't have good arm strength. And even though it says right in the above scouting report that "Beck's tosses show good zip," people still question him. And you can tell this gets under hi skin. The media has been continually asking him about it. And his response is usually along the lines of, "You can call up my receivers at BYU and ask them about my arm strength." He says that he could "gun it in there" anytime he wants but that he was taught if you don't have to gun it, then don't. It's easier to catch and more accurate if you don't throw rockets when you don't have to. There are also reports that he as thrown the ball from the 45 yard line from his knees through the uprights. Sounds good to me. But if you want facts to back this up, here you go. First, at the combine, John Beck's ball speed was a tremendous 61.1 mph, according to this USA Today article. That was second best among all QBs who threw at the Combine (Russell and Quinn did not throw). Compare that to Drew Stanton's 55.7 or Trent Edwards' 55.2. Oh, and last year when Jay Cutler "wowed" everybody with his arm, he threw it just over 60 mph. Beck out-gunned Cutler. If that isn't enough, I offer you this video:

So, case closed on that arm strength issue that so many people want to talk about.

Next, people criticize the fact that he didn't play elite competition at BYU. It's true that he didn't play elite competition all the time, but he did have many big games against very good teams. Here are a few of them over the past 2 seasons at BYU. I chose to look at 3 games in each season. In 2005, he played at Notre Dame (end of season rank #9 in AP and #11 in Coaches), home against TCU (end of season rank #11 in AP and #9 in Coaches), and their Bowl Game against Cal (ranked #25 in both polls). In 2006, BYU played at TCU, whose defense was ranked in the top 10 in the country. Oh, and in that game, Beck played with 2 sprained ankles that both had to be taped up. See the video below to watch highlights from that game. BYU also played at Boston College (finished season ranked #20 in both polls) and a Bowl Game against Oregon. Here are his stats in these games:

Note: QB Rating is using NFL Formula, not NCAA
Game Result Comp. Att. Pct. Yds TDs INTs Rating Rush TDs
2005 vs TCU L 51-50 (OT) 30 51 58.8 517 5 2 109.7 0
2005 at ND L 49-23 26 45 57.8 317 2 2 75.9 1
2005 vs Cal L 35-28 35 53 66 352 3 2 87.9 0
2006 at BC L 30-23 (OT) 38 59 64.4 436 1 2 78.1 1
2006 at TCU* W 31-17 23 37 62.2 321 3 0 117.1 0
2006 vs Ore W 38-8 28 46 60.9 375 2 2 83.2 1
Total 6 games 180 291 61.9 386 ypg 16 10 90.8 3

Here's the 2006 video of BYU vs TCU with Beck playing with 2 sprained, taped ankles:

And if you still need more convincing that Beck really does have the makings of a franchise quarterback, all you need to do is listen to him talk. The following is a transcript from the end of an interview Beck did with Joe Rose of 790 The Ticket on Monday morning after being drafted. You can listen to the whole thing at their website, but here's the very end:

Beck: They gave me the playbook yesterday and on the flight home I already started memorizing it, preparing myself because, hey, Thursday they fly me in and Friday practice starts. So I want to make the most out of every opportunity I have and I want to prepare myself the best I can. I'm stepping into something that's going to be different from where I came from because the NFL level is different. I want to be like a sponge, soak up everything I possibly can. I also want to be as tough as I possibly can and just go out there and compete.

I also made a comment yesterday about Dan Marino; how I can remember as a kid and through junior high watching him play; seeing a fire in his eyes. That fire was just a competitor wanting to win more than anything. And when I put that Dolphins uniform on, I want to have that fire in my eyes. I'm going to do anything I can to find a way to win.

Rose: Wow, I'll tell you, I'll play with you right now. Let's go out there and line up, kid. I'm ready to go. Hey, I promise you, John, I will never call you at home again and thank you so much for being with us this morning.

Beck: It was my pleasure. And you know what? If you do need to call me, go ahead and give me a call. I'm a Dolphin.

I can't wait to see this guy in action. Something tells me that Cameron and Mueller found a special player who is going to give us Dolphin fans something to cheer about for a long time!!

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