Pickin’ Bolts: Mettenberger Offers Chargers More Than Backup Potential

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

As has been reported here at EVT and elsewhere, the San Diego Chargers made a waiver-claim on Titans backup QB, Zach Mettenberger. The young Mettenberger hasn’t exactly succeeded with Tennessee, going 0-10 as a starter, but that isn’t to say he doesn’t have some upside either.

Mettenberger was a highly touted QB prospect coming out of high school who signed with Georgia to play football. Once arriving at Georgia, he was out drinking at a bar and got himself in trouble. There were allegations of misdemeanor sexual battery but he ended up pleading guilty to under-age drinking.

He was kicked off the team and ended up going to Butler Community College (Kansas) and then eventually staring at LSU.

While he was a sixth round draft choice in 2014 he was probably a first-to-second round talent. Getting a talent like Mettenberger with a waiver-claim is a great way to acquire talent for pennies on the dollar. The Chargers hope reuniting Mettenberger with Titans’ former head coach, and Chargers current Offensive Coordinator, Ken Whisenhunt, will be instrumental in Mettenberger’s development.

Mettenberger has a 60.3% completion percentage and a 12/14 TD/INT ratio over 14 games and two years as a backup with Tennessee. In college he had a 61.8% completion rate with a 35/15 TD/INT ratio.

If Mettenberger can learn behind Philip Rivers he has the potential to be more than just a backup.

Interestingly, the established QB easiest to compare Mettenberger to is Rivers. They’re both taller with below average mobility. The big difference, as I see it, Rivers was much more effective as a collegian. In Rivers final season he completed 72% of his passes and had 34 TDs (compared to only 7 INTs). Mettenberger’s best season (also his senior year) he completed 64.9% of his passes and tossed 22 TDs (compared to 8 INTs). The other thing one needs to note, is that Mettenberger’s LSU Tigers went 10-3 in Mettenberger’s final season whereas Rivers’ N.C. State Wolfpack went 8-5. It’s important to note (especially when evaluating QBs) how much talent a prospect had around him. Still while it’s unlikely Mettenberger will ever get to Rivers level, that’s the easy comparison…

It will be interesting to see if fans and media embrace the embattled QB and give him a second chance or if they deem his lack of success in Tennessee as big of a death knell as his crimes.

Thanks for reading.

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