Sports Outside the Beltway

NFL Draft 2009 Round 4 #101 – Dallas Cowboys – QB Stephen McGee

The Cowboys chose Texas A&M quarterback Stephen McGee, the consensus best-available QB, with their first pick in the 4th round.  The 6’3″, 225 pounder is raw but has tremendous upside.

Obviously, this is yet another pick spent on a backup, since Tony Romo is a Pro Bowler and under a lucrative, long-term contract to start.  Still, the team needs to start grooming a backup and the 4th round means he’ll come cheap by NFL standards.

Here’s what says about him:


Few quarterbacks will ever be drafted after starting only three games their senior year, but McGee has the tools worthy of consideration. A fine Texas high school quarterback recruited by several top programs, McGee went to Texas A&M to make his own name. While his statistics under former head coach Dennis Franchione were solid enough to earn NFL attention (60 percent completion rate for 4,606 yards and a 24-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio), McGee was hardly developing into a pro-ready quarterback through Franchione’s read-option offense.

With former Green Bay head coach Mike Sherman taking over the helm in 2008, optimism was high that McGee would enjoy a big senior campaign. Then he suffered a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder early in the season, limiting him to only the three starts. A solid week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game – and this year’s weak senior class of quarterbacks – could result in McGee earning a surprisingly high grade from some teams who are willing to look past his stunted development and focus on his undeniable tools. Had an arm span of 32 inches and a hand span of 9 inches at the combine.
High School

Three-year starter at quarterback for Class 3A Burnet High School, leading his team to a combined record of 36-5 (including a 28-2 mark as a junior and senior). … Burnet appeared in the 3A state finals in 2002 and 2003. … did not throw a single interception in the 2003 regular season. … finished his career with 8,256 passing yards and a 3A state-record 101 passing touchdowns. … as a senior, McGee completed 196 of 313 passes for 3,579 yards with 47 touchdowns and three interceptions. … as a junior, he completed 155 of 276 passes for 2,841 yards and 34 touchdowns and five interceptions. … as a sophomore, he connected on 93 of 176 attempts for 1,829 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. … two-time all-state selection and three-time all-district pick. … named the 3A Offensive Most Valuable Player after his senior year. … also earned Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine Super Team second-team and Austin American-Statesman All-Centex Co-Player of the Year honors. … coached by Bob Shipley. … also played basketball and track and field. … all-district on the hardwood as a sophomore, but was injured as a junior. … advanced to the regional meet in track with the 400- and 1,600-meter relays. … an excellent student, McGee was Burnet’s No. 1-ranked student-athlete and ranked No. 9 overall in his senior class of over 250.


Positives: Legitimate NFL frame. Good toughness. Has absorbed a lot of hits throughout his career and is willing to play through pain. Legitimate arm strength. Good zip on his passes, especially on short and intermediate routes. Flashes the arm strength and trajectory for deep passes with touch over the top. Good athlete who can buy time in the pocket and also make plays as a runner in the open field. Good agility and strength for the position as a runner. Solid week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game offers hope that he can develop with time in a pro-style offense. Excellent intangibles. Natural leader who was voted permanent team captain in 2006. Twice led the Aggies to upset victories over rival Texas.

Negatives: Raw as they come. More of a thrower than a passer at this point. Inconsistent footwork and delivery. Inconsistent accuracy, mostly due to flawed technique. Still acclimating to reading a defense from a passer standpoint. Lacks patience in the pocket and will either run or force passes too often, rather than check down. Needs to be cleared medically due to the torn labrum suffered during his senior year.
Injury Report

2008: Limited to three starts due to a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. says, “McGee will be one of the most sought after quarterbacks in the country. Last season as a junior, he threw for over 2,800 yards, 34 touchdowns and only five interceptions. McGee has a strong arm, good mobilty and makes great decisions with the ball. He carries a 4.0 GPA. ”

Scouts, Inc. gives him mixed grades.

Overall Football Traits
Production 2 2004: Texas A&M red shirts McGee. 2005: McGee starts one of the eight games he appears in completing 24 of his 53 passes for a total of 283 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He rushes for a total of 235 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries. (5.5 yard avg.) 2006: McGee starts all 13 games completing 194 of his 313 passes (62-percent) for a total of 2,295 yards, 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushes for a total of 666 yards and four touchdowns on 146 carries. McGee catches one pass for a 12-yard gain and he punts twice for a total of 71 yards. He places one of those punts inside the opponent’s 20-yardline. 2007: McGee starts all 13 games completing 211 of his 364 passes (58-percent) for a total of 2,311 yards, 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He rushes for five touchdowns and a team-high 811 yards on 181 carries. (5.0 yard avg.) 2008: McGee starts three of the six games he appears in completing 56 of his 85 passes (65.9-precent) for a total of 586 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He finishes the year with -50 rushing yards on 17 carries.
Height-Weight-Speed 3 Marginal height and bulk but above-average top-end speed.
Durability 4 2007: Injures non-throwing shoulder during Alamo Bowl. 2008: Undergoes surgery on non-throwing shoulder and is held out of spring ball. Injures throwing shoulder during New Mexico game and then re-injures it against Army two weeks later.
Character 1 Great competitor and teammates rally around him. Works hard on and off the field. Voted Permanent Team Captain in 2006. One of if not the toughest quarterbacks in the nation.
Quarterback specific Traits
Game Management 3 Played in the read-option offense for the first three years of career and started just three games in head coach Mike Sherman’s pro style offense last year but has the mental toughness to make the necessary adjustments. Generates a lot of yards when after plays start to break down. Shows above-average poise in the face of pressure and isn’t afraid to take the big hit.
Accuracy 3 Mechanics need a lot of polishing, especially his footwork. Throws off his back foot sometimes and doesn’t follow through as often as he should. Also has a tendency to over-stride with his front foot, which occasionally can cause his ball to sail high. Does a decent job of changing up velocities. Throws a ‘catchable’ ball underneath. Has shown the ability to throw efficiently while on the run.
Release 3 Ball jumps off hand and can throw from different arm slots. He flashes the ability to get rid of the ball quickly on three-step drops but he has a tendency to cock the ball back and wind-up on deeper throws. Pats the ball too much.
Arm Strength 2 Underrated arm strength. Gets adequate-to-good zip on the ball when throwing the deep-out and can drive the ball downfield on vertical throws when steps into the pass.
Mobility 2 While not an elite athlete, he’s certainly one of the most mobile and experienced runners in the 2008 quarterback class. Competitive ball carrier that displays excellent vision and toughness.

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