When the Cardinals took John Skelton in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Fordham not much was known about him. Most Cardinal fans did not even know there was a college named Fordham in existence. Obviously, the Cardinals knew about him and saw something that made them draft the 6'5 quarterback out of El Paso, Texas.
When Skelton left Fordham he held school career records in: total offense, passing yards, touchdown passes and pass completions. However, that was at an FCS level school, now Skelton, in his second season, is still adjusting to the caliber of competition he faces week in and week out.
"I think whenever you make the transition from Fordham to the NFL there's a change in the type of athletes that you're playing with," said head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "You get into a mindset that if they bring the free safety, I can roll away from it and make this throw. In the NFL, it's a little bit different. The athletes are different."
Skelton's completion percentage has jumped from 47.6% last year to 54.9% this year. Although that is still not an ideal number Whisenhunt sees improvement from the second year QB.
"John (Skelton) obviously as the ability to make some big plays in this league, and he has the physical talents to play the position. As he gets more reps, as he gets older and the mental part of it catches up, he's going to be a very good quarterback," said Whisenhunt.
Part of that mental part of the game is knowing when to get rid of the ball and not taking negative plays. "You never want to give up a negative play or give up a play that doesn't net anything. Often you just have to cut your losses and move on to the next play," said Skelton.
Skelton will need to cut down on his turnovers (14) if he hopes to stay a starting quarterback in the NFL. Skelton can see his improvement in his mental game compared to last season.
"I think I've made a significant jump with understanding our offense, understanding schemes on defense, what defenses are trying to accomplish. I can definitely feel a difference from last year to this year," said Skelton.