WSU QB Luke Falk has all the tools to play in the NFL, says Stanford coach David Shaw, who coached quarterbacks in the NFL before he made the jump to the college ranks

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Before he returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach, Stanford’s David Shaw was an NFL assistant from 1997-2006. Shaw coached quarterbacks with the Eagles, Raiders and Ravens, so he knows a little something about how to evaluate quarterback talent in the NFL.

That’s why his assessment of Washington State quarterback Luke Falk’s abilities is particularly noteworthy.

Days after his team lost 42-16 to WSU, Shaw was effusive in his praise of Falk, who went 30-of-41 for 357 yards, with four touchdowns and two interceptions in the Cougars’ win.

“Last year I thought he got overshadowed by other names in the conference and other names nationally, he played real well last year,” Shaw said. “But this year when you watch Luke, he’s the veteran quarterback. He’s composed, confident, accurate, he’s aggressive. He knows when to check it down and knows when to take shots down the field.”

Shaw also doesn’t seem to buy into the inevitable argument that Falk will run into come draft time, when analysts dismiss his gaudy statistics by labeling him a system quarterback because he played in the pass-heavy Air Raid.

“This guy has every tool that you’re looking for to play on Sundays,” Shaw said.  “I don’t think he’s one of those guys you say, ‘He’s a spread quarterback, you don’t know if his game is gonna translate.’ No this guy can sling it, throw it accurately, throw it on time. He’s very very good.”

Through five games this year, Falk ranks fourth nationally, averaging 370.4 passing yards per game. He’s thrown 16 touchdowns to four interceptions for a 4:1 TD/INT ratio, and he leads the country with a 74.1 completion percentage.

Asked Tuesday to identify anything he wanted Falk to build on after last week’s game, WSU football coach Mike Leach couldn’t come up with any particular area of weakness.

“I thought he played real well,” Leach said. “I don’t really have anything specific. He’s already real conscientious at improving and just getting better at everything.”

Now, some links:

— KLEW TV says WSU’s defense is ‘shining bright’ entering this weekend’s homecoming matchup against UCLA

— The Daily Evergreen thinks WSU is now in position to contend for the Pac-12 title

— UCLA’s run game is nonexistent at the halfway point of the season

— UCLA’s Jim Mora has been vague about QB Josh Rosen’s availability, but Kyle Bonagura of ESPN.com says backup QB Mike Fafaul was the QB at UCLA’s Wednesday practice.