Last season at Oregon, Vernon Adams, Jr. was finishing off his collegiate career as a graduate transfer from Big Sky Conference program Eastern Washington. Adams was a successful quarterback at Eastern Washington, and rode his accomplishments at Oregon and at Eastern Washington into the draft. While Adams went undrafted and is currently playing for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL, he's the most well-known Big Sky Conference product at quarterback since Montana State University quarterback Travis Lulay signed with the Seattle Seahawks following the 2006 NFL Draft. While Adams was turning heads at Oregon, Dakota Prukop was turning heads at Montana State.
Dakota Prukop spent two seasons as a starter at Montana State, finishing his career with 5585 passing yards, 46 touchdowns, 16 intereptions, a 63.8 completion percentage, and 327 career rushing attempts for 1743 yards and 24 touchdowns. He was also recruited heavily by Alabama. For comparison, Vernon Adams started three seasons at Eastern Washington. He finished with 10,438 passing yards, 110 touchdowns, 31 interceptions, a 64.8 completion percentage, and 297 career rushing attempts for 1232 yards and 11 touchdowns. Adams was a more polished passer than Prukop, but Prukop is the better runner. Adams excelled at Oregon and found himself in draft discussions. Prukop won't be in the draft picture just based on his Montana State film, but he did a lot of things well while there. Big Sky quarterbacks just don't get a lot of professional hype. Players for schools such as Oregon generally get plenty of attention. Here are some highlights.
If Prukop is able to lock down the starting job at Oregon, he should at least find himself in discussion at the tail end of the draft. Right now there are a couple of big questions: First, how will Prukop handle the transition from Montana State to Oregon? If he can make the jump from FCS to FBS effectively, this will convince some scouts that he has the potential to contribute in the NFL as well. Second, can Prukop win in big games? Much like his predecessor at Montana State, Denarius McGhee, Prukop struggled on the big stage at times. If Prukop can win some big games at Oregon, that will further draw interest from NFL scouts.
The biggest question about Dakota Prukop is where he fits as a player in the NFL. Prukop is one of those hybrid types of guys that many teams will take a look at at the tail end of the draft and attempt to transition them from quarterback to running back or wide receiver. Prukop is athletic enough to make the switch, and that may be where his future lies in the NFL. However, with a very strong season at Oregon, he could propel himself into draft discussions at quarterback much like Vernon Adams did. He's a guy to watch heavily as fall begins, and could make a name for himself this season.--Mike B.
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