Former Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning was taken Baltimore Ravens in round 6 of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Wenning was an outstanding story of progress during his four years at Ball State. As a true freshman starter, Wenning struggled to make throws, completing just 54 percent of his passes for 1,373 yards and throwing as many interceptions (14) as touchdowns. But Wenning improved a s sophomore, completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,786 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 picks. His completion percentage rose to 65.4 percent in 2012, he came just shy of 3,100 yards and threw 24 touchdowns to 10 picks. But by far his biggest step as a QB came this past season.
Wenning threw for 4,148 yards, 35 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He increased his per throw average to 8.3 yards, showing he wasn't just completing short hook routes. His arm looked stronger, and despite his accuracy dipping a single percentage point, was clearly more accurate and placed the ball into tight spaces better as evidenced by his 5-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
He showed solid judgement, and led the Cardinals to one of their best seasons ever, coming within a blocked field goal of winning their first ever bowl game.
At the Combine, Wenning had solid measurables for a west coast/spread style quarterback. Not wowing anyone with any one characteristic, but he didn't blow anyone away with his throwing either.
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NFL COMBINE RESULTS:
WEIGHT: 218 lbs
40-YARD DASH: 5 sec
Wenning has the build of an NFL quarterback, at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds he can take the wear and tear. Being a four-year starter, there's also plenty of tape on Wenning. He's got experience under center, which is a plus compared to many QB prospects who only have a year or two and are being drafted solely off of physical potential. He's a heady player and understands offenses with a coordinator's mind. He orchestrated one of the most productive passing offenses in the FBS this past season.
His leadership skills are top notch as well. A player who leads by example, Wenning commands the huddle, and orchestrated 10 fourth-quarter comebacks during his time in Muncie, Indiana.
All of that seems to be the makings of a solid NFL quarterback. But there are flaws to Wennings game. His arm isn't extraordinary. It's average at best. His mechanics, while much more polished than say NIU's Jordan Lynch, have their kinks. His arm motion isn't fluid, and it shows in some of his throws. His footwork is solid, but he can't adjust his arm while in motion.
He's not incredibly mobile, and feels clunky when outside the pocket. His time at Ball State also saw him play almost exclusively out of the shotgun, so there's some questions about how he'll do under center. Accuracy is another knock on Wenning. He's highly efficient in short distances, but the further the field stretches, the harder it becomes for him to squeeze the ball into tight spaces. His career completion percentage of 63 percentage is pedestrian.
That said, his mechanics are fixable via solid coaching. He's dedicated, a playbook study rat, and can be a solid backup QB, and maybe develop into more in time.