If not for Johnny Manziel, Kansas State Wildcats QB Collin Klein could have been the Heisman Trophy winner. Klein dominated in his senior season for the Wildcats, leading the team to an 11-2 and finishing 3rd in the Heisman vote. He dominated as a dual-threat QB combining for 39 touchdowns, 23 of those coming on the ground. Klein will try to make his way into the NFL as a QB, but if he wants to make it on a roster, he will have to be committed to learning a new position.
6′ 5″ 226 lbs.
When scouting Collin Klein, not one positive thing will come from his passing ability. He was relied upon more as a runner in college, and that will even more of the same in the NFL. While I can’t imagine the idea of Klein as an NFL QB, there are some things I like from him as a runner. Once he decides to run he doesn’t just burst through the hole, he takes time to read the defense and let his blockers get set up before he breaks for open space. While many runners like to just create plays by themselves, Klein does an excellent job at letting everything develop. He waits until just the right time then follows his block until he is free, where he does the rest of the work.
Klein has great size, and he uses it well in short-yardage situations. Klein has the power to fight and push his way for the extra yards, especially near the goal line. He shows nice vision in deciding which hole to run through, and that helped him become the lead man for Kansas State last season when they needed a few yards. An NFL team could bring him on as a running back and turn him into a short yardage running back.
One other thing that I love about Klein is his dedication to the game and his ability to lead his teammates. Klein commanded the huddle, making sure his teammates knew the play and helped teach the underclassmen different things about the game. When he was helping his teammates, Klein was working to improve his abilities and studying film. He has committed himself to doing whatever it takes to be an NFL QB, but once he realizes he has to switch positions, I know he will work everyday to be the best player he can be.
It was a different experience to watch Klein play and scouting him. It only takes a few games to realize he is not an NFL quarterback and even with some progression, would never be more than a 3rd stringer. I will start with his arm strength, or lack thereof. When asked to throw a deep ball Klein can put some yards on it, but his receiver won’t be able to catch it. Klein worked with short passes in college, a system that was far more fitting for his skills and even then he was bad. Klein’s accuracy varied from drive to drive, when he didn’t hit his receiver he would either overthrow him or under-throw him. He also has a terrible delivery, as a friend made an accurate description of dart throwing. If an NFL team were to even consider working with Klein to become a better quarterback, they would have to change nearly everything about him. While he is willing to put the work in and wants to do whatever it takes, coaches won’t want to waste their time. Klein just isn’t fit to be an NFL quarterback, he will have to play elsewhere.
I have already ruled out Collin Klein as a quarterback, it doesn’t matter how many times I watch him, he just isn’t right for the position. The problem coaches will run into is where exactly Klein can play on their offense. He was an excellent runner in college using the read option and draw plays, but opposing defenses plan differently for running backs and quarterbacks. Even when he was running over defenses, his 4.78 at the NFL Combine didn’t help his stock. Klein has sneaky speed, but will be far less effective at the next level. Others have speculated a team may move him to receiver or tight end. Klein has some experience catching the football, in his four year career, he racked up 6 receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown. He has the size and strength to be a tight end, but he would be in for a tough transition. There is no doubt he will find his way on to an NFL team, but we still don’t know where he can play well.
Despite what he did in college, I don’t think Collin Klein will hear his name called. He has some tools a team could work with to make him a receiver or running back, but it would be in a limited role either way. He was a great college player and if given the chance could do a few things, but I think he will have to sign as an undrafted free agent. I expect him to come on as a practice squad player, and maybe make a roster on special teams and a project receiver/running back.
Collin Klein Highlights: