Category: Quarterback

QB Will Grier, West Virginia

6’3” – 217 lbs. – 4.84
Originally attended Florida, redshirting in his first season, then split time with Treon Harris the following year, finishing with 1,204 yards, ten touchdowns, and three interceptions (65.8%, 7.5 YPA); won the starting job, but ended up being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs. Transferred to West Virginia and sat out the 2016 season, then stepped into the starting lineup for the Mountaineers, posting 3,490-34-12 (64.4%, 9.0 YPA), then went 3,864-37-8 (67.0%, 9.7) in his senior season. Smaller quarterback who lined up in the shotgun and ran an offense predicated upon quick, predetermined throws out of spread formations. Throws from a wide base, although he doesn’t always transfer weight effectively to the front foot before getting the ball out, leading to underthrown passes. Going to be making a big adjustment at the pro level in terms of working from under center; even taking snaps from the shotgun, rarely made more than a three-step drop, primarily just setting up his base and getting the ball out. What he puts on tape with regard to footwork on drops looks good. Light on his feet. Has good pocket presence, climbing the pocket against outside pressure instead of rolling out. Able to slip through some would-be tacklers and extend the play, keeping his eyes downfield. Gets the ball out quickly, both because of his quick delivery and because he was playing in an offense which emphasized getting the ball out quickly to a specific target. Has a high release point but can modify his release and drop down if needed. Most of his throws come within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. Rhythm-based passer with pretty good ball placement to all levels of the field when operating with a clean pocket; accuracy suffers if he’s asked to make throws on the run or doesn’t step into his throws. Keeps the ball in a spiral with an appropriate amount of touch; very catchable balls. However, arm strength is just adequate. Might struggle to thread the needle into tight coverage, and his deep balls tend to be anticipatory throws downfield. Wasn’t really asked to rifle many passes outside the hashes. Reportedly struggled to throw in windy conditions at the Senior Bowl. A pretty accurate passer with a quick release; was asked to execute a brilliantly-designed offense predicated on short rhythm throws over the middle and shots lobbed down the sidelines, but who lacks ideal size and arm strength and will have a big adjustment to make at the pro level. Second-day candidate.

QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo*

6’7” – 249 lbs. – 4.59
Redshirted, then started nine games the following season, throwing for 1,772 yards, nine touchdowns, ad nine interceptions (53.1%, 5.7 YPA), adding 399 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Went 2,096-12-3 (60.3%, 8.8) the following year with another 197-4 rushing, then 3,131-28-12 (55.3%, 7.7) with 161-7 rushing as a junior before declaring for the draft. At 6’7”, 245, will be one of the biggest pro quarterbacks in recent memory. Took snaps out of the shotgun in an offense predicted on run-pass options, with a lot of his throws being quick releases on slants and other patterns of that nature; however, was also asked to make plenty of pro-style throws to the outside and further downfield. Although he didn’t play from under center, did take some drops out of the shotgun and appears to have solid footwork. Usually able to step into a clean pocket with effective weight transfer and drive his throws. Prefers to throw from the pocket but is capable of rolling out to his right in order to extend the play and completing passes on the run; solid ability to improvise and keep his eyes downfield against pressure. Has plenty of raw arm strength. Able to fit the ball into tight windows or complete passes downfield and toward the boundaries; offense involves a high ratio of pro-style throws beyond ten yards from the line of scrimmage. Very good velocity on his balls. Demonstrates the ability to look off safeties before making his throws, although the majority of his passes are predetermined reads. Has a tendency to stare down targets, a flaw which is compounded by an elongated delivery which could allow pro defensive backs to get the jump on his throws. Doesn’t always recognize coverages and ends up attempting some risky throws. Needs to learn when to throw the ball away instead of trying to fit throws into tight windows. Ball placement is a little bit inconsistent; tends to miss high/long, putting too much on his passes. Only completed over 60% of his passes in one season, although some of that has to do with being asked to throw downfield regularly. An intriguing prospect who combines excellent size, a cannon of an arm, and the athleticism to escape the pocket and pick up yardage with his feet, but who struggled with accuracy and decision-making in college. Might be more of a mid-round developmental prospect.

QB Trace McSorley, Penn St.

6’0” – 202 lbs. – 4.57
Threw forty passes as a freshman and has been starting ever since. Threw for 3,614 yards, 29 touchdowns, and eight interceptions as a sophomore (57.9%, 9.3 YPA), then totaled 3,570-28-10 (66.5%, 8.4) as a junior. Production really suffered this past season and was only able to manage 2,530-18-7 (53.2%, 7.0). Undersized quarterback on the fringe of what’s acceptable at the pro level. Played in an offense which had him working out of the shotgun, doing a lot of work in the quick passing game, often off of play-action or out of package plays. Didn’t drop more than three steps often but fundamentals on short drops look sound. Has a quick release and is capable of dropping his arm angle to complete passes. Good athlete who’s light on his feet and has some escapability. Received quite a few carries on designed runs and can scramble for first downs when he finds an open lane, although he takes some big hits especially given his small frame; tough player but needs to do a better job of protecting his body. Mostly a dink-and-dunk passer in college who completed a lot of screens and short throws (especially slants); would attempt some passes toward the sidelines, but didn’t test defenses downfield very often and may not have the velocity to fit the ball into tight windows. Decision-making can be questionable, but some of his interceptions are just bad throws rather than bad decisions. Struggled with accuracy this past year, with his completion percentage dropping by 13.3%; appears to be a problem with weight transfer, which may in turn have been affected by a foot injury he played through. Doesn’t step into throws consistently and a lot of his passes consequently end up short of his receiver; tends to rely on torque in the upper body to generate power. Sprays the ball high/wide as he tries to test defenses downfield. Lacks composure in the pocket against pressure and eats a lot of sacks; tends to drop his eyes too early and will sometimes run himself into trouble when there was still a chance of climbing the pocket and buying time. An undersized quarterback who can get the ball out quickly on short, rhythm throws and who can pick up yardage with his feet, but who struggles with accuracy and lacks the arm strength to throw downfield. Has a chance to come off the board in the late rounds.

QB Ryan Finley, North Carolina St.

6’4” – 212 lbs.
Threw almost a hundred combined passes between 2014-2015 and has been starting for the past three seasons, during which his production has escalated: threw for 3,055 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in 2016 (60.4% completion, 7.6 YPA); 3,518-17-6 (65.1%, 7.3) in 2017; and 3,928-25-11 (67.4%, 8.1) in 2018. Tall, well-built quarterback who looks the part. Played in an offense which had him working from the shotgun often, but would also go under center and pass out of play-action. Pretty light on his feet in the pocket, but doesn’t always throw from a good platform and transfer weight; lots of throws off the back foot which come in low. Has sound throwing mechanics from the waist up, with a high release point and reasonable delivery; able to get the ball out quickly on short, timing-based throws. The ball looks good coming out of his hand, with a tight spiral and good velocity; arm strength is definitely in line with pro requirements. Can get the ball out to the sidelines and throw downfield. Throws with anticipation to the back-shoulder. Capable of rolling out to his right and completing passes on the run. However, ball placement is iffy. Tends to miss high, forcing incompletions or limiting his receivers’ ability to gain yards after the catch. Could use more touch on anticipatory throws; doesn’t always know when to take something off, sailing passes on short three-step drops. A lot of his production came on trusting his receivers to come down with 50-50 balls. Has a tendency to stare down targets; wasn’t really asked to go through a lot of progressions, executing predetermined throws instead. Something of a gunslinger who takes risks with the ball into tight windows even with a clean pocket, and decision-making tends to crumble under pressure; needs to know when to take a sack or throw the ball away. Would like to see him climb the pocket instead of rolling out to the right. Not the most mobile quarterback, but is capable of buying time with his feet by fleeing the pocket or picking up the occasional first down on scrambles, package plays, or designed runs; has some impressive snaps where he extends the play and finds receivers for first-downs. Essentially teams would be drafting him for his size, arm talent, and positive trajectory over the past three seasons, and hoping he will be able to clean up his footwork/lower-body mechanics and learn to work from under center and go through progressions.

QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma*

5’10” – 195 lbs.
Father was also a college quarterback. Five-star recruit who originally attended Texas A&M (his father’s alma mater), passing for 686 yards, five touchdowns, and seven interceptions (59.5%, 5.7), eventually winning the starting job from Kyle Allen. Transferred and sat out the 2016 season, then backed up Baker Mayfield before taking over the starting job this past season and throwing for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions (69.0%, 11.6 YPA) while rushing for 140-1,001-12 en route to the Heisman Trophy. Was recently drafted ninth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Oakland A’s. Played this past season in Lincoln Riley’s brilliant, modified Air Raid offense; quarterbacks operate out of the shotgun and get complementary high-to-low route patterns to read such as smash, sail, mesh, verticals, etc., allowing them to go through two or three progressions on the same side of the field. Well below the typical size of a pro quarterback, although Baker Mayfield’s success this past season after coming from the same program will likely incline many teams to overlook his small stature. Good decision-maker who’s able to scan the field and identify targets; will have an advantage over other rookie quarterbacks because of his extensive experience going through progressions prior to being drafted. Able to manipulate safeties with his eyes. Has a quick release and good ball placement to all three levels, facilitating yards after the catch by allowing his targets to catch passes in stride. Throws a tight spiral with pretty solid velocity, demonstrating the ability to push throws downfield or complete passes toward the sidelines. However, arm strength and accuracy can be sapped by poor mechanics below the waist. Attempts too many throws off of his back foot and/or from a narrow base, causing passes to fall short of their target or hang in the air too long. Dynamic athlete who was schemed a lot of run-pass options in order to take advantage of his ability to run, averaging roughly ten attempts per game; punishes defenses when he’s able to suck in the read man and get outside the containment. Able to escape from pressure and flee the pocket to buy time or pick up first-downs. Capable of making throws on the run without resetting his feet. Flags the ball when he scrambles, although he only fumbled three times last season. Having made a pre-draft commitment to football after initially cultivating an air of mystery, looks like he might go as high as number one overall.

QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn*

6’2” – 218 lbs. – 4.81
Five-star recruit who originally attended Baylor, where he threw for 1,265 yards, twelve touchdowns, and two interceptions (68.8%, 11.6 YPA), starting three games before spending a semester at McLennan Community College. Transferred to Auburn and threw for 3,158-18-6 (66.5%, 8.5) in 2017 and 2,794-18-5 (60.7%, 7.6) in 2018, then declared for the draft. Has adequate size for a pro quarterback. Played out of the shotgun in a pretty simple offense which included a lot of package plays, screens, and timing-based throws; didn’t have to go through too many reads, and most passes came within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. Very talented quarterback whose game could benefit from more discipline. Good athlete who is light on his feet and has pretty good footwork when dropping back, although he didn’t take snaps from under center. Able to extend the play while keeping his eyes downfield to find targets, with enough athleticism to break containment and pick up the occasional first-down; good feel for pressure from the outside, climbing the pocket. Demonstrates effective weight transfer when given a clean pocket and plenty of time to throw. However, takes too many snaps in which he relies on torque from his upper body to generate velocity instead of stepping into throws; too many back-foot passes while on the move, something which wasn’t as big a problem in his offense but will make things difficult at the next level. Impressive ability to escape from congestion and create. As a quarterback with borderline height, you’d like to see him throw with a higher-release point; around three-quarters or maybe even a little lower. Arm talent itself is impressive. Gets good velocity on his passes and throws a tight spiral which allows him to throw into some pretty tight windows; didn’t throw to the outside too often but flashed the ability to work the sidelines with well-placed curls, etc. Overall accuracy is good; facilitates yards after the catch in the screen game and can put throws on the numbers within ten yards pretty consistently. Uses appropriate touch on his passes. A quarterback who played pretty well in the SEC over the past two seasons and who offers an interesting combination of athleticism, accuracy, and touch, but who you’d like to see operate more consistently from the pocket and from a stable platform; too prone to scrambling and attempting off-base throws. One of the more interesting developmental candidates in the class.

QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.**

6’3” – 231 lbs. – 5.04
Redshirted in 2016, played in eight games as a redshirt freshman, then took over the starting role in 2018, going 13-1 and throwing for 4,831 yards, 50 touchdowns, and eight interceptions (70.0%, 9.1 YPA). Decided to capitalize on his sophomore success and declare for the draft. Thickly-built if not especially tall quarterback coming from Urban Meyer’s power-spread offense, which featured a lot of run-pass options from shotgun formations; often had the choice of handing it off, running it himself, or throwing off of play action. Decent athlete who made good decisions with the ball inside the aforementioned framework, with the ability to rumble through gaps for handfuls of yardage on options. Tends to operate from the pocket but is also capable of rolling out to either side, reset his feet, and complete passes. Does a good job of selling the play-action to freeze second-level defenders. Makes his way through progressions to find open receivers, a rarity in the class. Demonstrates the ability to look off defenders and come back to the other side to complete throws. Utilizes checkdowns, dropping his eyes from a primary target downfield and dumping passes off to receivers running shallow crosses or backs releasing into the flats, throws which constituted a high percentage of his completions. Gets the ball out quickly and demonstrates good ball placement on rhythm throws to facilitate yards after the catch, which Buckeye targets racked up a ton of this year. Typically uses a three-quarters delivery, but is also able to lower his arm angle and swing in some short passes that otherwise couldn’t be delivered over the top. Arm talent is impressive. Able to effortlessly power the ball down the sidelines, even when he doesn’t have a clean pocket to step up into, throwing tight spirals with good velocity. Unfortunately, overall ball placement downfield is iffy at best. Completed seventy percent of his total passes this past year, but that figure is inflated by the high percentage of throws within a few yards of the line of scrimmage; deep balls often sail on him. Often had the opportunity to operate from a clean pocket but his production fell off a cliff when he was facing pressure; tendency is to scramble for yardage, struggling to stand in and complete passes. A one-year starter who combines an impressive arm, a quick release, and an impressive combination of physical/athletic tools, but who struggled with ball placement on downfield throws and with pressure. Could be the first quarterback selected.
Projection: Round 1

QB Drew Lock, Missouri

6’4” – 228 lbs. – 4.69
Started the final eight of twelve games played as a true freshman, struggling mightily en route to 1,332 yards, four touchdowns, and eight interceptions (49.0%, 5.1 YPA). Improved to 3,399-23-10 (54.6%, 7.8) the following season, then broke out as a junior with 3,964-44-13 (57.8%, 9.5). Put together a line of 3,498-28-8 (62.9%, 8.0) to conclude his collegiate career, playing in Derek Dooley’s offense after Josh Heupel left to coach Central Florida. Heupel’s offense was a relatively simple, uptempo shotgun spread predicated on a combination of vertical throws and screens, whereas Dooley’s involved more different formations/pro-style concepts while still letting the quarterback operate out of the shotgun and offering run-pass options. Prototypical height and weight. Offers one of the top arms in this year’s class, with the ability to rifle passes on frozen ropes down the sidelines or zip them into tight windows; did a lot more work underneath this past season than he had in years past, but the offense was still focused around creating big plays on downfield throws. Release point is pretty low; throws come from somewhere between a sidearm and a three-quarters delivery. Gets the ball out very quickly in the short passing game; throws darts on quick hitches and other underneath routes to establish rhythm. If anything, does everything too quickly. Has sloppy mechanics in the lower body; attempts too many passes off of his back foot or from a narrow base, creating accuracy issues. Would like to see him step up into the pocket, set his feet, and transfer weight toward his target; too many fadeaways that end up nosediving into the grass at his receivers’ feet, even when he has a clean pocket to work with. However, does flash the ability to feel outside pressure, climb the pocket, and take shots downfield. Primarily a one-read passer with a lot of confidence in his arm, but is able to go to his second option when there’s nothing there. Has the ability to pick up first downs on options by sucking in the read man and outrunning linebackers to the sideline. Really struggled against the three top defenses he played this year: Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky. Clearly has high-level arm talent and was able to produce in two different offensive schemes against SEC defenses, but needs to overhaul almost every element of his mechanics from the waist down in order to address the accuracy issues which have plagued him throughout his career. A talent on par with the likes of Jay Cutler, he will likely be one of the first quarterbacks selected.

QB Daniel Jones, Duke*

6’5” – 221 lbs. – 4.81
Has been starting at Duke for the past three seasons. Threw for 2,836 yards, sixteen touchdowns, and nine interceptions (62.8%, 6.6) in 2016, then went 2,691-14-11 (56.7%, 5.9) the following year. Passed less frequently this past season, but still managed to end up with 2,674-22-9 (60.5%, 6.8). Duke head coach David Cutcliffe previously coached the Manning brothers, among others; the offense is based out of the shotgun, in a scheme which features a lot of different personnel groupings and is based around establishing the inside zone in order to set up passes off of play-action from similar looks. Tend to run a lot of high-low route combinations (such as hitch/smash), allowing the quarterback to read one side of the field. Big, well-built quarterback who really looks the part. Primarily a pocket passer, but does carry the ball on some options and is athletic enough to pick up the occasional first down with his feet. Looks pretty sound below the waist in terms of pointing his feet toward his target, throwing from a wide base, and stepping into throws. Will climb into clean pockets when he senses the outside rush. Tough player who can take a hit to complete a pass. Has a high release point when throwing downfield from a clean pocket but is capable of modifying his arm angle to slip screens and other short passes through the defense. Arm talent is okay but nothing special. Gets good air under his deep ball; doesn’t rifle passes downfield, but uses appropriate touch to try and drop in deep posts over the top of the defense. Ball placement when throwing down the field is impressive, demonstrating the ability to hit receivers in stride. Does need to rely on anticipatory/timing-based throws when going deep or throwing passes toward the boundary, as he lacks the velocity to fire balls into tight windows. Can trust his arm too much at times and create opportunities for his receivers’ routes to be undercut. Consequently, looks better when executing the screens and shorter passes over the middle of the field which are Duke’s bread and butter. Might be able to mitigate his average velocity by paring down his throwing motion and improving the quickness of his release; tends to pat the football. Able to shake off the occasional would-be tackler but doesn’t always have a great feel for pressure, causing him to eat a lot of sacks. Wasn’t the most impressive or consistent producer, but is a big, tough quarterback who comes from a pretty advanced offense which asked him to go through progressions. It appears those traits may allow teams to overlook his lack of ideal arm strength and consider him in the first round.

QB Clayton Thorson, Northwestern

6’4” – 222 lbs. – N/A
Redshirted, then started in each of the subsequent four seasons with the Wildcats. Threw for 1,522 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions (50.8%, 5.2 YPA) as a freshman and went 3,182-22-9 (58.6%, 6.7) as a sophomore, 2,844-15-12 (60.4%, 6.6) as a junior, and 3,183-17-15 (61.1%, 6.5) as a senior. Also ran in a total of twenty-seven touchdowns over four years, although he didn’t actually gain many yards on the ground. Tall quarterback with a solid build; looks the part of a pro passer. Played in an offense which had more pro-style elements than some of the other passers in this year’s class; did do his work out of the shotgun, but was asked to scan the field and go through progressions pretty regularly. Has pretty sound footwork when dropping back; was asked to take some longer drops even from the shotgun, and looks light on his feet when scanning for targets. Able to climb the pocket or buy time against pressure, whether in terms of slipping tacklers or escaping the pocket; not as much of a threat to pick up first-downs with his feet, but can roll out to the right and throw across his body a little bit. Has an elongated release and often takes too long to identify targets. Makes up for it somewhat by throwing with good velocity and a tight spiral; a pretty aggressive player who is willing to throw the ball downfield. Sells the play action pretty well to set up shots downfield. However, isn’t a very accurate passer; completed a low percentage of his throws at the college level, which is historically indicative of a low-percentage pro passer as well. Scatters the ball all around, missing high, low, and to the sides. Would like to see more consistent weight transfer. Forces adjustments to shorter throws which limit opportunities for yards after the catch. Trusts his arm too much; takes shots downfield into double coverage, etc. Attempts too many risky throws into tight coverage off of his back foot against pressure. Eats a lot of sacks – averaged over thirty sacks per season, a figure he topped every year since his freshman campaign. Doesn’t always seem to sense backside pressure in time to throw the ball away. Has a torn ACL in his past which will require further evaluation. A big passer who looks good dropping back and who has made some strides over four seasons as a starter, but never really put it all together and has the type of accuracy/platform issues that might be hard to overcome at the pro level.