6’5” – 250 lbs. – 4.65e
Redshirted as a true freshman, then took thirty-nine snaps the following season in mop-up duty. Replaced J.T. Barrett the following season, taking over as the team’s starting quarterback for the final three games of the season and guiding the Buckeye to a national championship victory over the Ducks. Shared starting duties over what many considered to be a disappointing junior campaign. Big, thickly-built quarterback who looks more like a tight end; might benefit athletically from losing a bit of excess weight. Works out of the power spread offense, taking most of his snaps from the shotgun and not being asked to go through many progressions or anticipate throwing lanes; learning curve upon reaching the pros figures to be fairly steep. Does a lot of running, both by design (power options, etc.) or in an attempt to escape the rush. Has a good combination of power and elusiveness, although he’s not overwhelmingly fast; more of a threat to gain chunks of yardage than to break big runs. Has pretty good vision and feel for movement, maximizing his ability as a runner. Capable of absorbing hits from defenders without going down; the kind of quarterback who can break containment and extend the play while keeping his eyes downfield. However, can get into trouble by refusing to give up on a play, throwing into some tight windows when under pressure rather than getting rid of it. Tends to leave the pocket preemptively. Doesn’t always transfer his weight effectively, but will step into throws from time to time and can make all the throws regardless; might be a little bit complacent in developing his fundamentals because of his natural gifts. Throws a tight spiral from a delivery which is midway between a three-quarters delivery and an over-the-top one; nonetheless, has some passes batted down at the line of scrimmage. Ball placement is adequate, with good touch; doesn’t exactly spray the ball, but will make his receivers work for catches which are slightly high or low. Can make throws while rolling out to his right; has the arm strength to power the ball downfield without setting his feet. A prospect who might have gone higher last year when there was something of a mystique to him, but whose lack of development and limited starting experience makes him a long-term project at the pro level. Size, athletic ability, and raw arm talent are very attractive tools for teams who believe he is going to work hard enough to make the requisite mental and technical improvements. May lack the experience and floor to make it into the second day.
Games watched: Alabama (’14), Maryland (’15), Virginia Tech (’15)