Before the 2013 season, a few folks' dark horse to be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the 2014 NFL Draft was San Jose State's David Fales. Coming off an 11-2 2012 season in which he led the nation in completion percentage, Fales had plenty of eyes on him as he continued to put up big passing numbers during the year.
Fales' stock dipped a little as the season went on, but while he's not considered a first- or second-round pick at this point, he is factoring into the conversation for teams looking at a quarterback in the middle rounds.
"I think you're talking about that third-round area, and there's a legitimate case you can make for David Fales to go right there," NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on NFL Network's "Path to the Draft." "Rhythm, timing, accuracy -- he has those things."
Fales (6-foot-2, 212 pounds) has taken every opportunity to showcase himself in front of scouts over the past few weeks and had a big opportunity on Wednesday during San Jose State's pro day. Trying to prove he has the necessary arm strength to be an NFL starter, Fales looked sharp in hitting receivers during his 53-throw workout.
As with a majority of players who aren't considered elite talents, where they go in the draft matters as much as when they go in determining how much success they'll have in the NFL.
"We saw at the Senior Bowl that the weather wasn't great, the wind was howling and he struggled in those conditions," Jeremiah said of Fales. "The Cleveland Browns, a team in the AFC North, maybe not a good fit. I look at a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars. If they elect to pass on a quarterback early on, in that third round I think David Fales makes a lot of sense for them."
The Jaguars not only need a quarterback of the future but a few players to fill out the roster with the recent trade of Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers. Fales could be a guy that a team falls in love with and has to get in the third round but fellow analyst Charles Davis believes a team could wait a bit longer to snag the signal-caller in such a deep draft.
"I'll be the contrarian. I think he goes on the third day," Davis said. "Matt Barkley ended up going in the fourth round. Ryan Nassib... went in the fourth round. When I see guys like that go in the fourth round, I think to myself, David Fales, I like him, but I think more so in the fourth through seven rounds."
Who knows where the former San Jose State quarterback winds up but it's pretty clear from a talent standpoint that he's got a chance in the right situation and plenty of interest from NFL teams.