Detroit Lions undrafted free agent James Franklin is one of those unpolished quarterbacks coming out of college that could move to a different position in the NFL because of their athleticism and lack of polish at the QB position, but, like several of those QBs, Franklin has decided that he would like to stay at quarterback in the pros. The likes of Kain Colter (Minnesota Vikings) and Jordan Lynch (Chicago Bears) are set to move elsewhere with Colter seemingly locked in as a wide receiver project, but Franklin would like to remain a project at QB for this NFC North franchise.
Franklin had an excellent college career with the Missouri Tigers, carrying on the torch of the team’s spread offense left by solid Kansas City Chiefs backup Chase Daniel and former Jacksonville Jaguars bust Blaine Gabbert, who currently holds the clipboard for Colin Kaepernick on the San Francisco 49ers. While Franklin did a great job of racking up yards on the ground and through the air, the big, athletic passer doesn’t seem to have true QB traits such as sufficient accuracy or decision-making. However, the dual-threat QB is determined to stay at the position, and that determination hasn’t wavered yet.
He said, via Lions official site beat writer Tim Twentyman, “I don’t really like running. I know I did it some in college, but I like throwing the ball. I switched over to quarterback my junior year in high school. I played receiver, so it was just natural for me to run. So whenever things got a little cloudy, I’d just take off and run, but I like throwing the ball a lot better.”
Unlike Colter, Franklin has no intention of moving to wide receiver, which is a position usually suggested for fast, project QBs that are unlikely to stick at the position in the NFL. It will be interesting to see if Franklin can beat the odds, but he’s ticketed for the practice squad either way. He has experience at other positions, but there’s no doubt that he wants to move forward as a quarterback in the NFL.