After finishing third in the 2012 Heisman Trophy balloting, Kansas State’s Collin Klein was only invited to the 2013 NFL Draft Combine as a tight end prospect. Confident in his abilities at the position he starred at as a collegian, Klein declined the invitation.
It was a bold move, and it actually had not paid off, at first. Not only was Klein not drafted at all, but he wasn’t even signed to any team as an undrafted free agent — he was invited to the Houston Texans’ rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis only.
However, from the way Houston coach Gary Kubiak is talking about it, Klein made the right decision in sticking to his guns and remaining under center, rather than on the line of scrimmage.
“I tell you what, it was impressive,” Kubiak said about Klein’s weekend performance. “I’m fixing to go up and have a long talk with him. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but to watch how far the guy came in two and a half days; (he) really played probably his best day out here today. He’s found a way his whole career, and he’s probably going to find a way this time, too.”
Most scouts and executives thought Klein’s decision to skip the Combine was s selfish move. Presumably, Kubiak will be picking his brain regarding exactly that. His Texans currently have four quarterbacks on the roster as Matt Schaub is entrenched at starter, followed by experienced backup TJ Yates and then Stephen McGee and hometown hero Case Keenum (who set collegiate passing records while at the University of Houston).
Coud Klein’s efforts wind up squeezing one of those backups off the roster?
“He’s got a ton (of talent),” Kubiak said. “For what he did in college and what Jake (Plummer) has been doing with him, he’s come a long way, as far as working under center and stuff. The arm strength is there. The delivery is a little different but you work with that. But his instincts as a football player you can’t coach; the way he just takes off and stuff like that.”
Everyone knows Klein can run; that’s why most league decision-makers saw him as a tight end or H-back — in very much the same way most NFL insiders currently view Tim Tebow.
At the moment, the former Florida Gators superstar finds himself out of a job, but Klein may just find himself on the inside, looking out.
“Like I said, we’re fixing to sit down and have a good long talk, he and I, but I think this kid’s going to beat the bushes and he’s going to figure out a way,” Kubiak said. “I’m very impressed with him.”
Stay tuned, Wildcats fans.