Chuckie Keeton leads the way as the quarterback for the Utah State Aggies, but he’ll need to improve his game if he wants to be looked at as a top QB leading into the 2015 NFL Draft next spring.
The Tennessee Volunteers stifled Keeton and the Aggie offense last Sunday night, allowing just 144 yards through the air and notching two interceptions in their big 38-7 home win at Neyland Stadium.
Keeton came into the season viewed as one of the top quarterback options heading into his Senior season, but his stock (and Heisman hope) is in serious question after struggling against the Vols. He completed the game with just 144 yards and a completion percentage of 51.4% (18-35). In his three years before this season, Keeton racked up a completion percentage near 66%.
The odds weren’t in his favor, however – the Vols knew they needed a win in front of their home crowd, and the rather young Tennessee defensive unit came out with more passion than the Aggies have seen in an opponent in a long time. Led by senior LB A.J Johnson (another top draft prospect), the home team was in control from the first snap. They forced Keeton to make poor decisions on the fly and ultimately make him uncomfortable all night long.
Here are my prospect notes on Keeton heading into the rest of the year:
Just 6’2″ but plays bigger on the field – plays fiery with passion evident – strong arm – a completely dominant 2014 would huge for draft stock – ACL injury from 2013 may be a concern – Tennessee game showed several flaws in game – currently projects as a mid-round pick but could fall down to the undrafted range if season turns out like Tajh Boyd’s 2013.
Keeton is in the middle of a very interesting 2014 class, as there are several Senior signal-callers that are in similar range. Guys like Sean Mannion and Bryce Petty come to mind, and they’ll be battling with Keeton for position on big boards.
Before that grouping, we have several redshirt-Juniors such as Connor Cook and Kevin Hogan. At the moment, they sit ahead of the Keeton’s of the world.
Keeton (and the entire Aggie offense, for that matter) can’t afford any more showings like Sunday’s game. Coming into this season, his stock was rising higher than most. After this bad road loss however, it might be time for a little panic mode to kick in for Keeton and his draft hopes.