It's odd that Wisconsin's all-time wins leader is the most-hated player in school history, huh?
Yet, Joel Stave has a pretty good shot of being drafted. He's got everything NFL teams look for in quarterbacks. He's big, white, has a decent arm and played in a pro-style offense for five years. He's got the tools that will make some NFL quarterback coach want to work with him.
If you ask some Badger fans, Stave is the worst quarterback in the history of quarterbacking and couldn't start on their local high school teams, but the truth of the matter is Stave is pretty good at a lot of aspects of playing the position.
The Whitnall High School product won 31 starts in his career, and played through three different head coaches and four offensive coordinators. His football intelligence and his experiences in multiple offense will bode well for him as NFL coaches value his mental side of the game.
Don't be surprised at all if Stave sticks in the NFL for a few years, eventually becoming a backup.
Joel Stave, QB
Hand size: 10.75"
40-yard dash: 4.80
Vertical jump: 33.5"
Broad jump: 9'7"
Pro agility: 4.33
3-cone drill: 7.29
Bench press: N/A
Strengths: Has great size for the position, has put on 17 pounds from listed weight to combine. School's leader in wins for a career. Has played in a pro-style offense. Shows good mental processing by identifying the defense pre-snap. Has a strong arm, can make all throws. Stands in the pocket, willing to stay in and take a hit to deliver the ball. Shows the ability to improvise plays within the structure of the play. Has nice ball placement up the seam and on out breaking throws. Excels in two minute situations.
Weaknesses: Will be a 24-year-old rookie. Has struggled with turnovers. His inaccuracy has been maddening over the past four seasons. He doesn't move well in the pocket, and struggles to escape the pocket. Has the tendency to run into sacks. Footwork can fall behind his progressions, leading to poor throws. Awkward-looking athletically. Tested better than he plays. Decision-making has been an issue. Has a bit of a hitch at the top of his release, allowing the defense more time to react to the throw and intercept or bat the ball down.
Overall: Despite any amount of hate toward Stave from the Badger faithful, he's likely the best pro prospect at quarterback other than the one-year rental of Russell Wilson. He's the prototypical size and played in the right offense in college. The NFL has a quarterback problem, and Stave happens to be at a position in very high demand in this age of football. He's got the raw tools: strong arm, big body, good football IQ. Joel Stave could be drafted, and I'd be pretty surprised if he, at the least, doesn't stick around on a practice squad for a couple of years. Rue the day, Badgers fans.
Projection: Round 6 or undrafted