Prior to the NFL Scouting Combine he was considered a developmental quarterback who was likely to be picked late on the third day of the draft. Three weeks away from the draft, however, the fast-rising prospect has made it into the rarefied air as a possible early second-round selection.
"When you just look at the number of visits he's had and number of workouts he's had, that's hard data you can tell that there's buzz and some excitement building on him," said NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah. "I think he has a very real shot of landing in the top of the second round."
Savage has had an eventful journey to the NFL, transferring from both Rutgers and Arizona after starting 10 games as a true freshman. His final season in college saw him throw for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions for Pitt as he dropped back onto NFL radars. He showed big promise in an upset win over Duke where he threw six touchdown passes but had an overall up-and-down year that saw him complete just 61 percent of his passes.
The prototypical size (6-foot-4, 228 pounds) of a dropback passer and strong arm are enough for some scouts to fall in love with him, however, despite the lack of high-quality game film.
"The arm strength is easy to notice. He's got a big arm and you see him make some drive throws you don't see other guys make," Jeremiah said. "When I watched him early in the year, he took so many sacks and I kind of worried about his ability to navigate in the pocket and get out of trouble.
"I watched some later tape on him and saw him get out of things, so I came away thinking he's OK and not quite as immobile as I first thought."
If you follow recent NFL.com mock drafts, you can see a trend forming where quarterback-needy teams are likely to take a highly rated positional player first and then come back around to grab a quarterback on the second day of the draft.
"You look at Houston, he fits with what Bill O'Brien is looking to do," Jeremiah added about Savage. "Jacksonville, we talk about Gus Bradley coming from Seattle where they had a mobile quarterback but the GM, David Caldwell, has spent time with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis and Matt Ryan in Atlanta. A pure pocket passer could be an option for them, as well."
Where in the draft will Savage land? It's anybody's guess at this point, but he clearly will wind up higher on the board than where he was slated to go a month ago.