Signing Drew Brees has been the best move the Saints have made in the history of their franchise. However, although he is a stud now, he isn't getting any younger. Here are three quarterbacks that are eligible for the upcoming draft that I believe could sit behind Brees for a few seasons and then come in to start a la Favre/Rodgers.
David Fales, Senior, San Jose State
451 attempts, 327 completions, 4,193 yards, 72.5% completion rate, 33 TDs, 9 INTs
David Fales, a JUCO transfer, put himself on the map in his first season of Division I football. He is heralded as one of the most accurate passers in college football, having a 72.5% completion rating and recently winning the accuracy competition at the Manning Passing Academy. However, there are some knocks on him. One source I read said that, having stood next to him, he is probably closer to 6'1" than his roster height of 6'3". However, having done pretty well with Drew Brees, who is barely 6', I think that we Saints fans don't put too much stock in height. There are questions about his arm strength on film, although he performed well in the Manning Passing Academy in long throws, and when I watched some of his film and highlights it looked like he might stare down his intended receiver more often than he should to be productive on the next level. However, I believe this last problem is fixable if we draft him and sit him behind Brees for a couple of seasons before throwing him in the fire and seeing how well he does against NFL competition.
Casey Pachall, Senior, TCU
64 Completions, 97 Attempts, 948 yards, 66% completion rate, 10 TDs, 1 INT
Casey Pachall is the guy who took over for Andy Dalton after Dalton was picked in the second round of the NFL Draft. As a first year starter and sophomore in 2011, Pachall broke three of the school records his predecessor set: completion percentage (66.5 compared to 66.1), yards (2,291 compared to 2,857), and completions (228 compared to 222). He also was two touchdowns shy of Dalton's single season touchdown record of 29. He did all of this as a sophomore. Last year, he was poised to put up similar if not better numbers: if he had continued on the pace he was, he would have put up something along the lines of 3,081 yards, 33 TDs, and 3 interceptions. However, a DUI and failed drug test derailed his junior season, as he was suspended from the team indefinitely. However, I believe he dealt with the situation maturely by pulling himself out of school and placing himself in rehab, an action not all college football players take, even when suspended indefinitely. He has since been reinstated and is competing to start his senior season at TCU. Him missing over half a season of football, his off the field issues (which i believe are over), and having a poor game against SMU were he completed less than 40% of his passes are his main knocks on him right now. However, in his four starts last year TCU was undefeated, without him they were 3-6, and he posted very solid stats even with a poor performance against SMU.
Jamal Londry-Jackson, Senior, Appalachian State
268 completions, 406 attempts, 3,278 yards, 66% completion rating, 21 TDs, 8 INT
Jamal Londry-Jackson is the successor of Armanti Edwards, a four time All-American and two time Walter Payton Award winner Armanti Edwards, who last time I checked is with our good ol' friends the Carolina Panthers as a kick returner/wide receiver. Like Edwards, Londry-Jackson is also a dual threat quarterback, having posted 521 yards and 6 TDs off of 114 carries. Similar to Brees, he tries to spread the ball around, and is a well respected team leader on and off the field, being elected a team captain as a junior as well as giving back to the community and regularly interacting with fans on and off the field. The main knock on his game are his level of competition, as Appalachian State is an FCS school. However, he will get a chance against good competition on Nov. 9. And by good, I mean one of the best teams in the nation in Georgia. If he performs well there, then Londry-Jackson may well be the real deal. Also, he is coming off of a knee injury that required surgery during the off season, but is expected to be 100% by camp.
I know this isn't exactly the time of year for this type of post, but I just got excited anticipating this season, both for the Saints and college, and wanted to put a few names out there that might not be well known to keep an eye on. We may not even draft a quarterback this upcoming year, but I'm not really sold on Ryan Griffin as the future of the franchise, and McCown and Wallace are more stop gap backups for a season or two. Put your agreements, disagreements, or other prospects you'd like the Saints to take a look at in the comments below, and football season needs to get here faster...