Posted: 10:08 am Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

ESPN’s Jaworski really likes Zach Mettenberger 

By Mark Bradley

Mettenberger and Murray, back in the day. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Mettenberger and Murray, back in the day. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Zach Mettenberger had a strange collegiate career. He signed with Georgia in 2009, which only made sense: He was from nearby Oconee County and his mother worked in UGA’s football office. In the spring of 2010, there were those who believed Mettenberger outplayed fellow redshirt freshman Aaron Murray on G-Day and could have become the front-runner to fill Georgia’s quarterback vacancy. This soon became a moot point.

Mettenberger was dismissed from the team after being arrested in South Georgia while on spring break. (He would plead guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual battery.) He spent the 2010 season at a Kansas junior college. He transferred to LSU the next year but was third-string behind Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee on a team that wound up beating Georgia for the SEC championship and losing to Alabama in the BCS title tilt.

Mettenberger became the Tigers’ No. 1 quarterback in 2012 and was wildly inconsistent. He was great in a last-minute loss to Alabama, less great in other games. He was sacked six times and completed 14 passes for only 120 yards in a last-second Chick-fil-A Bowl loss to Clemson. But he was very good in 2013, and his best game came when he passes for 372 yards in an epic 44-41 loss to Georgia and Murray in Athens. (Does Mettenberger have a flair for drama or what?)

But Mettenberger tore his ACL in LSU’s regular-season finale against Arkansas, not quite a week after Murray had torn his against Kentucky. Both are now readying for the NFL draft. Which brings us, albeit in a wayfaring manner, to this:

The former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski, who now critiques quarterbacks for ESPN, believes Mettenberger is the second-best quarterback in this draft. Jaworski rates Mettenberger ahead of Johnny Manziel, who won the 2012 Heisman Trophy, and Teddy Bridgewater, who has been mentioned as a possible No. 1 pick overall. The only QB Jaworski rates ahead of Mettenberger is — no, not Aaron Murray — Blake Bortles of Central Florida.

Jaworski’s take on Mettenberger:

He’s the wild card for me in this draft. We’re going to find out at his pro day (April 9) how he is health-wise coming off of ACL surgery. But looking at the tape, I see an NFL skill set. Scott Brunner is coaching him up. Brunner is the same guy who worked with Joe Flacco coming out of college. I see very similar traits between Mettenberger and Flacco. At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, he has the size teams want. I want to see more at his pro day, but he has a big arm on tape. He can make every throw from the pocket. That said, he’s a little inconsistent and he struggles at time with his footwork.

Which only goes to show that the NFL is a vastly different realm. No one disputes that Murray was the better collegian, and he has the SEC records to prove it. But Murray was measured at 6-foot during the NFL combine. (Manziel is 5-11, FYI.) Mettenberger, as noted, is 6-5.

Owing to his size, or the lack thereof, there’s no chance Murray gets drafted in Round 1. If an NFL team shares Jaworski’s enthusiasm, there’s a chance Mettenberger, who’s not projected as a first-rounder in any mock draft I’ve seen, just might.

38 comments
Borodave
Borodave

Jaws likes Mett.  But, Gruden likes Murray.  Even? 

Dman
Dman

I liked the way Mettenburger kept getting up without assistance when those Bama guys were kicking his azz. Showed me he has guts the way he hung in there...

TU
TU

Yes, Jaworski"s assessment based on NFL measurable"s are  hard to argue. But, I wonder how they stack up on the Wonderlic?

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

That's an amazing vote


75 % Zach Mettenberger

25 % Aaron Murray


will be the better NFL Quarterback with thousands of votes.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

I said that about Zach Mettenberger 2009 when Aaron Murray was injured and Joe Cox had not only the chronic shoulder, forcing him to skip a practice every week, but also the flu taking a charter flight to Stillwater in a season Okie State did not even make the AP Poll Top 25 even with their win over flu-ridden chronic throwing shoulder Joe Cox.


Zach Mettenberger should have played in Stillwater, instead, he never got a snap.  This, I said at the time, would have put separation between Aaron Murray the anointed-one and Zach Mettenberger so that both were not in the same class.


Signing 2 that season was a big problem.  Redshirting them both so the coaching staff Mark Richt and Mike Bobo could whine to the fans how great Joe Cox would be as a 5th year Redshirt Senior 2009, just as they did in 2006 also both whining to the fans how great Joe Tereshinski III would be as our 5th year Redshirt Senior Quarterback 2006.


Now, here we go again.


2014 whining to our fan base how great Hutson Mason 5th year Redshirt Senior season will be.


No, he won't.


Déjà vu all over again.


I see super sophomore Kaylee Puailoa of our Lady Bulldogs ranked Softball team 31-5 now on the season, hit a double with 2 outs in our last at-bat to down Georgie tek again now only 19-12 on the season, too.

slydawg
slydawg

He's a 4th rounder at best.

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

Mettenberger isn't the the 2nd best in the draft, but he's miles ahead of Hurry Murray.

Dewnsav
Dewnsav

Mett is the best QB coming out of the SEC...he will make some team very happy...for a long time...go dogs

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

I'd take Aaron Murray. His defense and lack-thereof cost Georgia more "big games" than he did. Statistics don't lie. And Murray made plays in tight games under pressure.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

Aaron Murray is equal to Seattle's Russell Wilson, and taller.

tyger
tyger

Mettenberger cant get away from his own shadow...

No less NFL defenders...

His was demolished in the bowl game...


Athleticism of a pro at all...

Adamsran
Adamsran

Zach has a BIG ARM and that is the difference between the two.  I love Murray, but only see him as a very solid back-up for almost every team in the NFL.  If New Orleans drafts him - then he is perfect for that system - to sit on the bench and learn and potentially take that job when the time is right.


Pretty much every where else - Zach is a better fit.  He has the type of arm needed to zip the ball into places that 'in theory' shouldn't get there that fast.  And he has the size to take on linemen.  Yes, he needs work with moving around and foot work - but I believe he has a real shot to be a very good QB at the next level.


As for Murray.  Do not be surprised to see this young man as UGA's QB coach one day, working his way up to OC and a head coach, if not at UGA - somewhere else.  That's his true calling.



Whiznot
Whiznot

Neither has a chance to succeed in the NFL but Mettenberger is more likely to be given chances to succeed.

NCDawg
NCDawg

Zach is a prototype but he still is not the best decision maker and he is a cigar store indian in the pocket.  He crumbles under a pass rush.  Unless he has the best line in the NFL in front of him and  a killer running game to go with it, he will struggle until he can get that under control.  The day goes to the QB who can make the best and quickest decisions.  Zach still has a way to to be able to meet that criterion.

96JB
96JB

.......  STILL  take Murray at UGA  any day of the week.

GTBob
GTBob

Mettenberger is better built for the NFL and was much more consistent in big games than Murray was. That's why he will get drafted higher and have a more legitimate chance of playing at the next level.

Christ-mas
Christ-mas

There were "those who thought he outplayed" Murray that last year @ UGA?

Really...talk about stoking the fires where there is not even smoke.

If Jaworski likes a ZM, then he will love Aaron Murray all the more.

BTW...character matters...Aaron never compromised his.  That tells me all I need to know about the

two of them.  And as far as ZM's performance against UGA ("flair for the dramatic"), remind me again what defense he was going against?  One led by a DC and a defensive staff that is no longer there.  Nuff said.

And lets not forget one other aspect....who led their team down for the winning score and who got sacked several times and failed on their final possession?  One who was a statue.  Take AM not ZM Jaworski.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Mettenberger definitely has an NFL arm - so did Jeff George.  The question is whether he has an NFL head

countryboyy
countryboyy

i feel Aaron Murray is the better quarterback of the 2   

TheOldGuy
TheOldGuy

Georgia lucked out when Mettenberger left. I saw Murray keep a lot of drives alive with his running ability.. The coaching staff did not let him un a lot but when he did run he got a lot of yardage and some TD's.


I saw Mettenberger try to move around and avoid sacks and make plays and he looked like a stork trying to run. He may make it in the NFL but he better have an outstanding offensive line because when the pocket collapses he folds up.


Now let the Tech trash haters begin to clog thisUGA blog because they have no lives.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Woohoo. First again. Gonna be a great day. Good luck mettenberg but I hope Murray gets a chance and has a better career.

Whiznot
Whiznot

@TU I don't need the Wonderlic. As soon as I heard Murray say that "Richt is a great man who will help Georgia players become better businessmen, better husbands and better wives" I learned that he was an idiot. Still Murray, at his best, might be able to play 500 ball in a good NFL situation.

ThomasBrown
ThomasBrown

Does the Wonderlic ask if you're the QB and can check-out of play call at line to your number, if play is not to your number, and you're the worst athlete on the entire team averaging 1-yard per carry on 286 carries in your career - should you call your own number more than half the plays when 10 percent of your plays are Fumbles, Sacks, and Interceptions ?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Christ-mas

What a QB did in college means little to the NFL.

David Greene's UGA team beat Jay Cutler's team every time they played in college.  One of those  QBs has played in a Pro Bowl while the other never took a snap from center in an NFL game.

JSSN
JSSN

@PaulinNH  

Well, interesting question, does a team like Green Bay take a chance and try to correct him and get him through the Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady apprentice program, maybe New Orleans or Arizona?

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@TheOldGuy Ahh more UGA troll trash, This is what the headline says: ESPNs Jaworski really likes Zack  Mettenberger. Why dont you go clog a toilet hater.

BrianOlson
BrianOlson

@PaulinNH @Christ-masCollege performance is the BEST predictor of NFL performance per many experts.  It is not the only predictor, just the most accurate.

Whiznot
Whiznot

@PaulinNH @Christ-masThe problem for Greene was that he was coached by Mike Holmgren who is a complete idiot. Favoring Seneca Wallace over Greene was a massive mistake.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@JSSN

New Orleans would be an interesting one - watch Brees while learning from Payton.

JSSN
JSSN

@Whiznot @PaulinNH @Christ-mas  

Seriously, Holmgren: "a complete idiot?" 

The man made Brett Favre, Matt Hassellbeck while other people imploded coaching him! Greene never got a whiff from anyone else after KC took a try at him. John Parker Wilson and Greene, SMDH, people actually think they were capable of playing QB in the NFL!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@TheOldGuy Theres a shocker!, a redneck with outdoor plumbing in a UGA baseball cap. Do you have a UGA can opener yet.