6’4” – 215 lbs. – 4.75e
Became the first true freshman to start a season opener for the Bears, in a season in which he eventually started all twelve games; has worked as the team’s starting quarterback ever since, improving his production each year. Has prototypical height, along with a somewhat thin build which will probably force him to add bulk at the pro level. Works from the shotgun, doing a lot of his work on shorter throws; only comes under the center in goal-line situations. Plays in a programmed scheme which doesn’t ask him to go through many progressions; almost always locked in on and threw the ball to his first read. Offense relied primarily on a combination of timing routes straight down the seams, short slants, and combinations designed to get people open in the flats. Pretty good pre-snap player who can recognize coverages, although at times he’s punished for deciding upon a course of action before the play starts. Footwork on dropbacks is a mystery because of the scheme he played in, but has good pocket movement versus pressure. Will step up into the pocket to evade the rush and has enough speed to run for the first down if he’s given a clear path; pirouettes well to escape rushers and will keep his eyes downfield. Capable of rolling out to either the left or right and completing passes. Has an easy three-quarters delivery and produces a tight spiral with touch. Gets enough zip on his passes to complete throws to the boundaries and fit passes into tight windows. However, doesn’t always transfer weight effectively, negatively impacting his accuracy (even if his arm is strong enough to get the ball downfield regardless.) Even when given a clean pocket, doesn’t always put the ball in the best position to protect his receiver or facilitate yards after the catch; tends to throw just behind his receiver on many of his short routes, forcing them to come back to the ball. Inconsistent on a snap-to-snap basis; can complete beautiful throws at the intermediate level on some plays and struggle to lead a back or receiver on a flat or swing route the next. A little bit of a gambler who trusts his arm too much at times, trying to fit throws into tight coverage. Often pooch-punted the ball in fourth-and-short situations. Hasn’t been asked to work from under center or go through many progressions, so teams may be hesitant to throw him into the starting lineup immediately; however, his tape contains plenty of impressive, pro-style throws, which is expected to make him one of the top ten picks in this year’s class.
Games watched: Texas (’15), UCLA (’15), Utah (’15)