Hello there, irritable north Florida professional football enthusiasts! My name is Steven Godfrey and I write sports words now and again for SB Nation's college football section.
If you're alarmed that my presence in your territory is any way related to Tim Tebow, please take this opportunity to sniff me with caution - Courtesy of Alfie's gracious invite, I'm here to tell you about two quarterbacks going to rookie camp with the Jaguars: Western Kentucky's Kawaun Jakes and Vanderbilt's Jordan Rodgers.
Jakes - He holds most of the records at WKU that his head coach, Willie Taggart (now at USF), had as the Hilltoppers quarterback in the early 1990s. Jakes benefited greatly from WKU's run-heavy power offense that Taggart brought from Stanford. Like the Cardinal, emphasis was placed on play-action passes to tight ends. He led the Sun Belt in pass efficiency (147.77), but that's due in part to favorable match-ups created by the offensive scheme. Running back Antonio Andrews finished the season with almost 3.000 all-purpose yards, a luxury Jakes heavily relied on. When WKU was forced to throw their way back into games, Jakes struggled.
Tight end Jack Doyle (now a UFA with the Tennessee Titans) actually made many of the line calls in WKU's multiple shift-motion looks, and Jakes couldn't find open receivers or check down against top-tier SEC defenses like LSU and Alabama. At 6-3 and 195 lbs. Jakes is an impressive athlete (he actually filled in as a practice player on WKU's basketball team this season) possessing a relatively strong arm but might struggle with a pro system.
Rodgers - He's Aaron's little brother, but at times in his two years with the Commodores, he looked a hell of lot like he was Brett Favre's kin. Rodgers is serviceably mobile in the pocket (420 rushing yards) and worked to not only evade some of the best pass-rushers in the country but also keep game-winning drives alive with his feet.
But much like a mini-Favre, he was plagued by interceptions, most notably in his junior season and in a terrible Liberty Bowl performance against Cincinnati. His deep ball has always been shaky, but given time in the pocket he's an accurate passer. With his steady development over two seasons in Franklin's offense, I'm convinced that if he had one more year of eligibility, Vanderbilt would be a 8-9 win team with Rodgers in 2013.
Of the pair, I'd pick Rodgers to make a roster. His height (a generous listing of 6-2) is no worse than a Drew Brees or Russell Wilson but he never displayed the league-level cannon arm those undersized quarterbacks use to compensate. But I can attest that he's seasoned for the life of a pro quarterback. I also covered Eli Manning throughout his college career, and the nonstop nausea of little brother comparisons from national media outlets matured Jordan much in the same way it did Eli. He models his game prep and film study after his brother and is a locker room presence (in the good way). If he finds a way to increase his downfield accuracy he could be a pleasant surprise after a year or two with a clipboard.