Birthday: October 21, 1978
Strengths: Excellent footwork and deceptive speed make Joey Harrington very elusive (he was sacked only four times last year). He can throw the deep ball, play the underneath game, and improvise outside the pocket.
Teammates simply love Harrington because of his leadership skills and competitiveness. He’s also extremely smart, and has said in interviews that law would be his calling were it not for football. A clutch performer, Harrington’s 14-2 as a starter prior to this year and has engineered numerous come-from-behind victories…
Areas of concern: … of course, the flip-side to comebacks is that a team has to be down first, and Harrington’s done his fair share to bury the Ducks early. He’s thrown 17 interceptions the past two years, including five last season against arch-rival Oregon State, costing the Ducks a trip to the Rose Bowl.
He’s a bit impatient, but also still learning. His arm is strong, but not exceptionally so, and he’s already had elbow surgery (after his freshman year) to help alleviate pain in his bicep. His mechanics suffer somewhat from his immaturity, as he’ll sometimes throw off his back foot, across the field, etc.
And didn’t Akili Smith star at Oregon…? (OK, to be fair, so did Dan Fouts, but that was like, 1940, or something.)
Is he sponge-worthy? Harrington plays in a pro-style offense, and seems to be the experts’ choice for best quarterbacking prospect left in the wake of Vick and Henson’s departures.
Fox Sports, in their look ahead to the 2002 draft, ranks Harrington as the fifth overall prospect; The Sporting News has him 14th. CNN/SI ranks him as their third best quarterback, behind two relative question marks (Chris Simms and Carson Palmer).
Harrington is working this summer on his release, trying to make it quicker while hoping at the same time, to add some zip to his throws and work out the kinks in some mechanical flaws. Last year, he had a tendency to hold the ball too long before lofting wounded ducks (pun… somewhat intended).
But the guy is absolutely automatic with the game on the line, holding the school record for engineering the most comebacks. Thus, he (rightly) gets a lot of Brett Favre comparisons thrown his way.
Ryan’s Hope for Harrington Ryan White of the The Oregonian lends some insight into the life and times of Joey Harrington.
Joey Heisman The War Room reports on the emergence of Oregon’s Joey Harrington.
Wanna Buy a Duck? Amusing piece from ESPN The Magazine on Oregon’s Hesiman push for Joey Harrington.
Oregon’s Harrington has relative strength The Oregonian looks at growing up in a family full of quarterbacks.