It didnt take long for Pat Devlin to decide to take his talents to South Beach.
One day after the NFL lockout officially ended, the undrafted University of Delaware quarterback agreed to a three-year deal with the Miami Dolphins.
Devlin, who finished with a 107.5 QB rating last season with the Blue Hens, will have a chance to compete for the third-string spot for the Dolphins.
His former coach, K.C. Keeler, feels the Downingtown product will be able to thrive with the Dolphins pointing to his intelligence as the main source.
Its going to be tough for a rookie quarterback to make a team, said Keeler. Pats unique, because Pat is so bright. It will actually play to his strength, because he will definitely be one of the smarter quarterbacks entering the league this year. I think he has the perfect niche to be a third-string quarterback to start his career off.
Devlin did have other options. According to reports, the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals showed interest. Keeler also said he spoke to others who believed the Chicago Bears were showing interest, and even offering the most money.
One has to be curious as to why Devlin turned down the Colts and the opportunity to learn under Peyton Manning, one of the NFLs elite quarterbacks.
Keeler said Devlin spoke to him weeks ago and told him the Dolphins and the Redskins had showed interest during the NFL draft, which he believes was a factor.
All the time they had, Keeler said, Devlins agent and father, Mark probably did a lot of homework on all the teams that were interested in him and for some reason it came out that Miami was going to be the best fit.
The Dolphins currently have quarterbacks Chad Henne and Tom Brandstater on their roster. Reports are surfacing that they will look to bring in another quarterback to compete with Henne for the starting position. Names like Marc Bulger and Kyle Orton continue to surface.
Devlin, who transferred from Penn State in 2008, led the Blue Hens to an 18-8 record last year and played in 35 games over the past two seasons. In his final year with Delaware, he threw for 3,032 yards and 22 touchdowns, and threw only two interceptions, while completing 68 percent of his passes.
In fact, Devlin threw only 12 interceptions during his two-year stint at Delaware. He was named the Colonial Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year, leading the Blue Hens to the Football Championship Subdivision championship game.
Protection will be a strength for him, because we put a lot of protection calls on his shoulders, said Keeler. He did a great job reading defenses, I mean, just look at his touchdown-to-interception ratio. He understands where to put the ball.
Even with all his strengths, Devlin does have room for improvement. Keeler said Devlin will be tested when he is under center, having to take three- or five-step drops, which he rarely did at Delaware, as the Blue Hens usually put him in shotgun formations.
I just think it will be about him getting stronger, being able to throw that out-route, Keeler said. Getting stronger, being able to throw that go-route. Those are going to be the type of things that he will have to continue to develop.
Those of you looking to compare Devlin to another former Blue Hen, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco dont.
I think this is the strongest tie between he and Flacco: their character, Keeler said. They were just all about winning. It was always the team first. I think thats the strongest thing that Pats going to bring, his really strong work ethic and his character.
To start his career off as a No. 3, with how intelligent he is and how patient he is, and what kind of teammate he is, I think the Dolphins will be very happy and I think Pat will grow into his role as time goes on.
Asked if he thought Devlin considered the Miami lifestyle when making his decision, Keeler laughed.
South Beach was the furthest thing on his mind, he said. I mean if you know Pat, hes probably looking at Minnesota or Green Bay because there is better hunting up there. My man loves to hunt and fish.
E-mail Jabari Young at firstname.lastname@example.org