ESPN analyst: Ryan Lindley will be an NFL starter in four years

May 4, 2012, 7:43 PM | Updated: 9:04 pm

As the saying goes, the backup quarterback is the most
popular player in the NFL. If true, what does that say
about the backup’s backup?

Ryan Lindley, whom the Cardinals selected in the sixth
round of the 2012 NFL Draft, is seeing his stock rise
without having thrown an NFL pass.

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King
said he thinks
Lindley will play by midseason, and while he wouldn’t go
that far, ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski feels like Lindley
will ultimately be an NFL starter.

“I looked at a bunch of his tapes,” Jaws told Arizona
Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo. “Now, I can put a highlight
reel together and show you 25 throws that you would say
this guy should be a first-round pick.

“Unfortunately, I could show you 25 throws where you say
he shouldn’t be drafted at all.”

And that’s just it with the 6-foot-4, 229 pound passer:
He’s got all the tools to be a real good QB, but is not
yet a real good QB.

“You could see he could make throws; he didn’t make them
consistent enough.”

Lindley finished his career at San Diego State with 90
touchdown passes against 47 interceptions, struggling with
accuracy as well as the personnel around him. He completed
just 53 percent of his passes in 2011, a key reason for
his slide in the draft.

Which is where the Cardinals come in.

Lindley won’t be expected to do anything right away, as
the team already has Kevin Kolb and John Skelton ahead of
him on the depth chart. And, he’ll stay that way, at least
for a while.

“So you get in a good situation where you can stand back
there and learn,” Jaworski said. “Throw 36,000 balls a
year at practice and training camp and the regular season,
run the scout team.

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ESPN analyst: Ryan Lindley will be an NFL starter in four years