Road to the Draft: Pittsburgh's Tom Savage

Road to the Draft: Pittsburgh's Tom Savage
April 22, 2014, 1:15 pm
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30 for 29: This is the fifteenth in a daily series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh
6-4, 228 pounds, 4/26/90
2013: 238 completions of 389 attempts, (61.2 percent), 2,958 yards, 21 TDs, nine INTS
2010: 43 of 83 (51.8 percent), 521 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
2009: 149 of 285 (52 percent), 2,211 yards, 14 TDs, 7 INTs
A circuitous college career after graduating from Cardinal O’Hara in Pennsylvania in 2009. Was a freshman All-American at Rutgers but after injuring his hand in his sophomore season in 2010, he was replaced in the starting lineup by Chas Dodd and never got his job back. He decided to transfer to Arizona and – per NCAA rules – was going to sit out the 2011 season. Mike Stoops, who recruited Savage to Arizona was fired. Uncomfortable with the offense of the incoming coach, Savage transferred again – this time to Pitt – costing him his 2012 season. Finally back on the field in 2013, he had a solid year. He was a team captain at Pitt.
Very good size and build with an excellent release and the arm strength to make “all the throws” (A phrase so overused it’s practically lost all meaning but in Savage’s case? Seriously. He can.) Very smart and has experience in pro-style offense. Plays with nice balance and footwork.

Hasn’t had enough reps because of his journey through college football. The decision to leave Rutgers initially was impetuous and Savage acknowledged at the NFL Combine he regrets it, saying, “I would just stay at Rutgers, be patient, and earn my job back. I got hurt. I lost my job. (Dodd) went in there and played great for the team. Coach (Schiano) went with the hot hand. I was an 18-year-old kid, bitter and ticked off. I thought I had all the answers and decided to leave. Obviously, looking back now, I could have handled it a different way. But I definitely matured from the whole process. I grew from it and I’m happy to be where I am now.” But if he ran once, a team has to be sure he won’t fold again in the face of adversity. Despite his fast rise in the draft process, he is still developmental.
My buddy Mike Reiss at has been pounding the Tom Savage Gong since the draft process began. Now, SI’s Tony Pauline says the team is calling him Tom 2 (Tom Brady being Tom 1). Would the team spend a first-round choice on Savage? The are so unpredictable in the draft, nothing can be ruled out. It would seem more ready-made players are going to be available. However, if the Patriots want to draft a backup/would-be successor to Brady and they believe Savage is their guy, they may not want to risk waiting until the third round and will have to act fast.
Savage is ticketed at the top of Round 2 by’s Daniel Jeremiah, ESPN’s Todd McShay and’s Gil Brandt.