In the weeks leading up to the 2008 NFL Draft (April 26-27), BR.com will offer a look into the top prospects by position. This week, quarterbacks are under center, and next up is Louisville's Brian Brohm.
Had Brian Brohm given up his final year of eligibility at Louisville before the 2007 NFL Draft, multiple analysts had him rated as the top quarterback in that class.
All the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder did as a senior was throw for a career-best 4,024 yards, with a whopping 30 touchdowns and 65 percent completion percentage. Brohm even totaled seven 300-yard passing games, besting 500 yards against Syracuse.
So why, then, are many of those same "draft experts" now knocking Brohm to the back of the first round, and possibly into the second?
For a prospect that has millions riding on every draft spot he drops, Brohm isn't letting the scuttlebutt get to him.
"There's nothing really to be worried about," he said. "I'm just going to go out there and perform. Wherever that puts me in the draft, that's where it puts me. I'm not going to worry about it. I'm not going to get stressed out about it. I'm just going to go out there and show what I've got."
Perhaps people are dwelling too much on the Cardinals' lackluster finish last year, when a Brohm-led team only finished 6-6 following a 2006 campaign that saw Louisville in the Orange Bowl - where the quarterback was voted Most Valuable Player.
The fact that Brohm took the most sacks - 24 - in his career last season and still managed to put up eye-popping numbers is somewhat overlooked. He even dealt with a coaching change when Bobby Petrino went to the Atlanta Falcons (and then unceremoniously defected to Arkansas mid-season).
The 22-year-old believes such adversity helped him mature as a player.
"I went through a lot of struggling times, dealing with a coaching change. I learned how to operate in a new system and learn a new system quickly and be pretty successful and comfortable in that system," Brohm noted. "Dealing with those struggles that I hadn't had to deal with before - I've been on successful teams my whole career - and knowing how to deal with it in the correct way will help me out in the future."
Brohm also has lots of support from his past that will help him at the next level.
Coming from a long line of Louisville footballers, his father, Oscar, played quarterback for the Cardinals from 1968-69. Brother Greg started for three seasons at wideout (1989-92) before returning to the team as Director of Football Operations in 2006.
More importantly, his brother, Jeff, was under center at the school in 1990, 1992-93, ranking among Louisville's all-time passing leaders. Jeff ended up playing seven years in the NFL, but even he came back as a Cardinals' assistant coach.
"Jeff, he's been great to me," said Brian Brohm. "He's a guy who played in the league for seven years, was teaching me the NFL thing since I was 8, 9 years old. He's had a huge influence on me. It's just great to have that kind of experience in your own family."
It is hard to tell where Brohm will go in the draft. He has experience on the field, starting 33 games in a career that closed as the Big East's all-time leader in passing yards (10,775 yards).
He has experience in his blood, with years of studying the game from family he admires.
That experience has Brohm still thinking he's the best quarterback in the draft, despite how the opinions of others have changed.
"If you're going to ask me [about the best signal-caller], I'm going say it's me," he explained. "There are a lot of opinions out there. I can't worry about the other guys."