Mike McCarthy: Looking for a QB to develop? What about Brock Jensen?


North Dakota State Bison quarterback Brock Jensen looks to pass during the first quarter against the New Hampshire Wildcats at FargoDome. Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

While Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy sits in Lucas Oil Stadium watching the best of the best at every position, we all know that some of the most interesting scouting work comes from those players who don’t get invited to the NFL Combine and those who might not even get drafted – a player like Brock Jensen.

Who? You might ask?

Yeah, Brock Jensen.

They are by far the best stories, especially when they come in at the quarterback position.

There have been plenty of examples of the undrafted going on to make it big in the NFL

Wes Welker

Kurt Warner

Arian Foster

Antonio Gates

Jeff Saturday

David Akers

John Randle

Tony Romo

And how about this short list: Dick “Night Train” Lane; Nate Newton; Tramon Williams; Willie Wood; Adam Vinatieri; Jim Burt; James Harrison; Drew Pearson; Mick Tinglehoff; Herman Edwards; and Jim Zorn

These are only a sampling …

So while McCarthy and Ted Thompson watch those invited to the underwear tryouts, there are surely prospects out there across the country working out on their own and hoping somebody notices them.

One of those players – a quarterback at that – is one who grew up right under their nose and showed great promise the past few years at North Dakota State – Brock Jensen.

The Waupaca, Wisconsin, native has all the physical attributes: 6-3, 225 pounds, and while he doesn’t come from one of those football factory schools and didn’t play against the top players in the nation, we all know that isn’t always the deciding factor when determining success at the next level.

Here’s just some of his accomplishments that were listed on the North Dakota State home page:

* 2013 College Football Performance.com Quarterback Watch List
* 2012 NCAA FCS National Championship MVP
* 2012 College Sporting News FCS Playoff MVP
* 2012 All-Missouri Valley Football Conference Second Team
* 2012 MVFC Offensive Player of the Week
* 2011, 2012  College Football Performance.com Weekly H.M. (5x)
* MVFC Honor Roll
* 2011 All-MVFC H.M.
* 2011 College Sports Madness.com MVFC Player of the Week
* Missouri Valley Football Conference Honor Roll

North Dakota State Bison quarterback Brock Jensen runs in the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter of the game against the Towson Tigers at Toyota Stadium. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The following are his career highlights from NDS:

Tough competitor, who has compiled 32-5 record as a starter over past three seasons (14-1, 14-1, 4-3) … On College Football Performance.com‘s FCS Quarterback Watch List … Has strong arm and good running skills … Setting sights on several of the program’s all-time records and ranks No. 2 in passing yards (5,805), completions (485) an pass attempts (795) … Third all-time in total offense (1,047 plays for 6,566 yards) … Strong knowledge of NDSU’s West Coast offense … 2012 SEASON (JUNIOR): Capped off junior season by leading NDSU to its second straight NCAA FCS championship and earned MVP honors in the process … Rushed eight times for 44 yards and career-high three TDs in 39-13 win over Sam Houston State (1-5-13) … Scored the game-winning TD with 3:05 remaining in the fourth quarter in 23-20 FCS semifinal win over Georgia Southern (12-14-12) … Started all 15 games for second straight season … Completed 207 of 338 passes for 2,331 yards, 17 TDs and eight interceptions … Had three 200+ passing games and eight in his career — including completing 22 of 31 attempts for a career best 243 yards in 33-21 win at Northern Iowa (9-29-12) … Rushed 111 times for 357 yards and 12 TDs … Had career long rush of 56 yards in 20-17 win over South Dakota State (11-10-12) … Named to the all-Missouri Valley Football Conference second team … Earned MVFC Offensive Player of the Week honors … Named to MVFC Honor Roll … 2011 SEASON (SOPHOMORE): Passed for one touchdown and ran for another in NCAA FCS championship game win over Sam Houston State (1-7-12) … Started all 15 games … Set school record with 142 pass attempts without an interception … Set school single-game record with 15 completions in a row vs. Missouri State (10-15-11) and with consecutive completions with 19 straight including Southern Illinois game the previous week … Completed 219 of 326 passes for school record 2,524 yards with 144 touchdowns and only four interceptions … Completed 67.2 percent of his passes and had 143.9 pass efficiency rating to rank 23rd nationally … Completed career-high 22 of 25 passes for 204 yards and one TD in win UNI (10-29-11) … Had three 200+ passing games … Had a season long 67-yard TD strike to Warren Holloway vs. Lafayette (9-3-11) … Matched a career-high with three touchdown passes vs. Missouri State (10-15-11) … Rushed 73 times for 173 yards and nine touchdowns … Scored pair of rushing TDs twice, vs. Lehigh (12-10-11) and at South Dakota State (10-22-11) … Rushed six times for a career-high 94 yards in NCAA FCS semifinal win over Georgia

Brock Jensen

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Southern (12-17-11) despite suffering from the flu … That effort included career best 55-yard TD run down the left sideline … 2010 SEASON (FRESHMAN):  Started in seven of nine games played … Completed 59 of 131 passes for 950 yards, seven TDs and two interceptions … Rushed 68 times for 231 yards and four TDs … Set school playoff record with 229 yards passing in win over Robert Morris (11-27-10) including a season long 61-yard pass to D.J. McNorton … One of two games over 200-yards passing  … Completed a season-high 12 of 27 passes for 239 yards vs. Western Illinois (10-2-10) … Also rushed 13 times for 69 yards, including a season long 42 yard run … Came off the bench for first action against Morgan State, completing 8 of 17 passes for 117 yards and three TDs … Also had 13 carries for 57 yards …

There are several quarterbacks out there who are considered “sleepers.” Guys like Zach Mettenberger of LSU; David Fales of San Jose State; Marcus Mariota of Oregon; Tom Savage of Pitt; or even Adam Kennedy of Arkansas State.

Those guys will all most likely find an NFL team through the Draft. In fact Mettenberger, Fales, Mariota and Savage might be mid- to late-round selections.

A guy like Jensen, if he’s noticed at all, will most likely have his shot as an undrafted free agent.

Maybe I’m a bit biased in rooting for Jensen, but as a home state boy, I can’t help but hope somebody notices him.

Heck, it might as well be Mike McCarthy and the Packers.

Hey Mike, are you listening?