Sean Renfree has established himself as an intriguing quarterback prospect during his time at Duke. Where could head coach David Cutcliffe’s latest signal-calling product wind up in the NFL Draft?
Renfree might’ve hurt his stock a little by not participating in the NFL Combine (a result of a shoulder injury sustained in the final minute of the Belk Bowl), but NFL scouts view the 6’3, 219 lb quarterback as an intriguing prospect for numerous reasons.
First, any quarterback prospect that played under Cutcliffe will be intriguing. NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning are both a result of his tutelage, and the only other Duke quarterback to come out of his system, Thaddeus Lewis, has proved himself as a worthy backup during his time with the St Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns. Second, he boasts a very attractive skill set for the NFL level. He possesses a strong and accurate arm, making him a threat to extend the field and pick apart a defense with short, methodical passes. His adequate footwork and slightly above-average athleticism allow him to extend plays in the pocket or run for the first down when pressured, and he has the size of an NFL quarterback. Renfree isn’t a perfect quarterback, as he did struggle with decision-making at times, occasionally making unwise throws that led to easy interceptions.
Considering this, most teams are looking at Renfree as their potential backup QB, with most experts having him going in the sixth or seventh round. Which teams make the most sense?
The first one to come to mind is the Kansas City Chiefs. They just brought in Alex Smith, but have nothing in terms of a reliable backup after the release of Matt Cassel. Chase Daniel is average, at best, and I don’t see him progressing much further as a quarterback in the NFL. Renfree is someone who could step in and learn under Smith, a veteran quarterback who has been to both rock bottom and the ceiling during his time in the NFL, with the latter occurring much more recently. Renfree would likely start out as the third-string quarterback, barring a complete domination/flop in the pre-season, which is just about where one should expect a late-round quarterback to start out.
Other teams I could see picking up Renfree are:
- The Denver Broncos: The Cutcliffe ties between Manning and Renfree intrigue me, and the Broncos don’t have much in terms of a backup quarterback
- The New Orleans Saints: Backup QB Chase Daniel is now a Kansas City Chief, and the Saints are probably looking for another young guy to groom under Brees for the next two to four seasons
- The Arizona Cardinals: a team in desperate search of a quarterback to produce, the Cardinals probably wouldn’t look to Renfree to be a starter, because that would be ridiculous, but the new regime may be interested in bringing in a young quarterback to build up over the next couple seasons.
- Nearly every other team: honestly, I can see most teams in the NFL lining up to take a late-round QB. They’re low-risk and there is always the chance you could pick yourself up a Tom Brady (although you’re probably better off winning the lottery). Obviously, the teams I listed above make the most sense, but don’t be surprised if a random swoops in and picks him out of sheer intrigue.