Steadily we make our way through the undrafted rookies the Arizona Cardinals have added since the NFL Draft. We continue with a guy who will intrigue many fans, as he potentially could make the roster as the third string QB behind Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.
That guy is former Florida State and Alabama QB Jake Coker.
Coker is 6-5 and 232, and was 14-0 as a starter at Alabama in 2015, leading the Crimson Tide to the CFP National Championship. Coker completed 263-of-393 passes (66.9%) for 3,110 yards, 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season. He earned Offensive MVP honors in the Cotton Bowl (CFP Semifinal) and threw for a career-high 335 yards and two TDs in the National Championship Game win over Clemson at University of Phoenix Stadium. Coker played at Florida State from 2011-13 and backed up Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston when the Seminoles won the 2013 national title before transferring to Alabama for his final two seasons.
Physically, he matches the profile Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians likes. he has a big arm and throws the ball well down the field.
He does not throw well while on the move and he has a slow delivery and is not quick with decisions.
You could say he ran from competition. He transferred from Florida State after losing the starting job to Jameis Winston. At Alabama, he sat behind Blake Sims. He did, though, play efficiently as a starter and has his best performances under the bright lights. That could outweigh his relative lack of experience, starting only 14 games in his five-year college career.
Most of what I read expected him to be drafted, so the fact he made it to being an undrafted free agent is a surprise to many. However, Alabama quarterbacks have not yet been impact players in the NFL.
SB Nation's Alabama team site -- Roll tide Roll -- has a full profile on him.
Here is the "verdict" from his profile:
Verdict: Some players are born with "it" -- that innate ability to make game-winning plays, move the chains, and make players around them better. Others, like Coker, had to learn those skills. While not the most cerebral quarterback Alabama has ever had, Coker did eventually make the offense a believer, did make those plays, and did make the offense better and better. He was lights-out down the stretch, when it mattered most in big games, and utterly sacrificed his body when needed to. His big body, biggish arm, and fantastic pro day showing will land him on a roster. He undoubtedly needs so much more coaching, particularly in his release mechanics and making quicker decisions. But, as an emergency/3rd QB and long-term roster project, it's hard to believe that he won't be drafted. His nearest approximation in size, pocket mobility, bigger arm, and overall raw nature emerging college, Tyrod Taylor, is after all now a starter for the Buffalo Bills. The other, unfavorable comparison, is Zach Mettenberger, but we'll be optimistic homers here. Is Coker an NFL starter? Likely not. But, he can grow into a career backup, a solid option when needed, and stick around on rosters for several years. That's not a bad career for a guy who has overcome so much and waited his turn to shine.
Coker's addition to the roster makes the fourth quarter of the preseason at least intriguing. He will battle Matt Barkley for the QB3 spot. Since we have yet to see Barkley in action as a Cardinal and his previous experience playing is far less than impressive, you might think Coker has a real chance. However, Coker was never the prospect Barkley was in college, so it might be hopeless optimism.
Practice squad? Not likely. Really the only way he makes the practice squad is if the Cardinals only go with Palmer and Stanton on the active roster. There are practically no reps for a QB3, never mind a fourth QB on the roster.