Quarterbacks always make headlines, no matter where they’re selected in the NFL draft.
So it stands to reason, there will be plenty of attention on Texas’ Sam Ehlinger after the decorated passer went in the sixth round Saturday – with the 218th overall pick – to the Indianapolis Colts.
A four-year starter for the Longhorns, Ehlinger passed for 11,436 yards and 94 touchdowns while rushing for 1,907 yards and 33 more scores. He was the second-team All-Big 12 quarterback in 2020 and a team captain for his final two seasons in Austin, Texas.
That came out during a brief introductory video conference call when Ehlinger repeatedly said he’s only here to help the team.
“Obviously, going into my rookie year, there’s going to be a lot of learning curves,” he said. “And getting great coaching and learning as much as possible is my main objective and doing whatever it takes to help the team be successful. At the end of the day, I’m gonna do whatever it takes to make everybody in the organization better, and kind of that’s my objective.”
Initially, that will likely include competing with 2020 fourth-round pick Jacob Eason for the backup role behind Carson Wentz. Ehlinger has some familiarity with Eason from various quarterback camps, and he admires Wentz’s personal approach – including his Audience of One Foundation.
“Obviously, both great quarterbacks but great people as well,” Ehlinger said. “I really appreciate the way Carson carries himself and has kind of trademarked the Audience of One deal. That’s something I’ve tried to follow as well.”
If things go well and Ehlinger settles into a roster spot, he could perhaps develop into a role similar to Taysom Hill with the New Orleans Saints – a strong-armed athlete who can play in certain situations to keep defenses off balance.
It’s not anything that’s been discussed with the quarterback yet. He understands there’s a lot of work to do for a sixth-round quarterback to carve out a significant role in the NFL, but he’s looking forward to the challenge.
“I think adversity creates endurance, endurance creates character and character creates hope,” Ehlinger said. “And that’s something that I’ve built myself on. Whatever that adversity may be, I’m ready for it. And I think my mentality going into it is just trying to make the team better, whatever that looks like. I know it might not be a starting position right away.
“But I understand that this is gonna be my job now, and I’m ready to complete my job to the utmost ability and helping the team in whatever way possible to win. That’s the ultimate goal at the end of the day. This isn’t an individual sport. This is a team sport, and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win.”