Tagged: Quarterback

QB BRAXTON MILLER, OHIO ST.

QB #5 BRAXTON MILLER, OHIO ST.

6’2” – 215 lbs. – 4.65e

Took over the starting role four games into his true freshman season; has been highly productive at the helm of Urban Meyer’s offenses. Has adequate height and a thick build. Operates out of the shotgun; will have to adjust to making drops from under center and re-reading defenses after turning his back. Footwork on his drops will need some further refinement, but is serviceable; however, despite stepping into his throws, doesn’t effectively transfer his weight onto the front foot, which limits his velocity. Throws a tight spiral and a very catchable ball overall; fairly accurate passer, although he tends to miss high rather than low. However, didn’t have to make many pro-style throws at the intermediate level and may lack the arm strength to fit the ball into tight windows. Uses more of a three-quarters delivery, which leads to some of his passes being batted down at the line; arm angle also tends to drop on shorter throws. Hasn’t been asked to function as an anticipatory thrower, but will need to become one at the pro level, especially given his average arm strength. Production has been inflated by a high volume of predetermined short-yardage passes including screens, although he did make some strides from 2012 to 2013 in terms of making secondary reads. Effective running the read-option; follows his blocks well. Elusive in the open field, with the ability to make the first man miss. Mobile enough to take advantage of an open rushing lane, but generally tries to keep his eyes downfield and find receivers when evading rushers; brilliant ability to extend the play versus pressure. Can throw on the run. Tough runner who is willing to play hurt. However, needs to do a better job of protecting his body by sliding to avoid hits; had surgery on his throwing shoulder following the 2013 season and will miss the 2014 season after re-injuring it. A more polished prospect than former Buckeye Terrelle Pryor, Miller’s footwork, albeit from out of the shotgun, is actually fairly advanced, and he throws a nice football. However, will need to become accustomed to working from under center, reading defenses, working through multiple progressions, and anticipating throws, in addition to making more pro-style throws; consequently, profiles more as a developmental backup than a legitimate starting option.

Games watched: Iowa (’13), Michigan St. (’13), Wisconsin (’13)

QB SHANE CARDEN, EAST CAROLINA

QB #5 SHANE CARDEN, EAST CAROLINA

6’2” – 221 lbs. – 4.80e

Redshirted in 2010, then appeared in one game at wide receiver in 2011 before succeeding Dominique Davis in 2012; will enter the draft with three years of starting experience. Possesses adequate height and a relatively thick build for a pro quarterback prospect. Operates out of the shotgun. Awkward sidearm/three-quarters motion, albeit with a quick release. Mechanics tend to deteriorate versus pressure, but flashes the ability to climb the pocket given outside pressure. Occasionally runs himself into trouble when his protection is still well-positioned. Footwork is very poor at this stage; throws without setting his feet or transferring weight, which has a deleterious effect on his accuracy. Sprays the ball all over the field; mediocre ball placement downfield somewhat diminishes the value offered by his arm strength. Nonetheless, despite poor weight transfer, gets great velocity on his passes, with a tight spiral; applies appropriate touch. Can fit the ball into tight windows. Confident passer, but a bit of a gunslinger who attempts passes he shouldn’t. Has some experience working through progressions and looking off safeties on his deep throws. Not much of a runner, but does have a little bit of experience carrying the ball on designed runs such as draws or read-option plays; has scored a handful of goal-line touchdowns each year. Reasonably accurate making throws when rolling to his right. Has some upside due to his impressive arm and ability to manipulate defensive backs with his eyes, but his footwork, his weight transfer, and his throwing motion are all in need of significant improvement; additionally, he will need to transition from passing exclusively out of the shotgun to lining up under center. Teams will be forced to determine whether or not his extensive starting experience has fossilized his poor technique, or whether he would be able to make significant strides by working with a pro quarterbacks coach; successfully overhauling his footwork in particular would go a long way toward mitigating his accuracy issues. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could develop into a starter, but at this point he projects as more of a career reserve.

Games watched: North Carolina (’13), North Carolina St. (’13), Ohio (’13)

QB CODY FAJARDO, NEVADA

QB #17 CODY FAJARDO, NEVADA

6’2” – 215 lbs. – 4.70e

Extensive starting experience spread over his first three years in college. Overall height and bulk are adequate, but confirming his listed size at the Combine will be important; could stand to add some additional muscle, especially if teams plan on asking him to run the ball as often as he does in college. Operates almost exclusively out of the pistol (and, occasionally, shotgun); rarely begins snaps from under center, making it unclear how well he’ll adjust to turning his back to the defense and making post-snap reads. Willing to climb the pocket versus the outside rush; somewhat mobile, but keeps his eyes downfield rather than committing to running the ball. More likely to elude pass-rushers than to pick up substantial chunks of yardage on the ground. Has done a considerable amount of read-option work, as well as some designed quarterback draws. Capable of making accurate throws while rolling out to his right. Doesn’t take unnecessary risks with the ball; (too?) willing to take the short completion. Fairly quick over-the-top release. Throws a tight spiral with impressive velocity given his throwing mechanics; room for improvement with further development. Applies appropriate touch and exhibits generally good ball placement overall, although he tends to miss high rather than low. Inconsistent footwork on his drops; looks sound on some snaps, robotic on others. Doesn’t transfer his weight effectively on throws, which forces him to rely too heavily on his arm; throwing mechanics are reminiscent of Johnny Manziel’s. Played in a gimmicky, simplistic offense in which he wasn’t asked to make too many reads; tends to stare down his targets. Did a lot of his work over the middle of the field, rather than operating outside the hashes with difficult pro-style throws. Vision as a runner is above-average, but doesn’t always have the athletic ability to capitalize on what he sees. Durability may become a concern given his of bulk and tendency to run the ball. Will need to make the transition to being more of a traditional pocket passer at the next level, while also learning to operate from under center and cleaning up his footwork and throwing mechanics. Doesn’t make it look pretty, but is already an effective player who possesses the upside to become a spot-starter given time.

Games watched: Fresno St. (’13), UCLA (’13), UNLV (’13)

QB BRYCE PETTY, BAYLOR

QB #14 BRYCE PETTY, BAYLOR

6’3” – 230 lbs. – 4.80e

Has solid size for a pro quarterback, with a thick build. Willing to stand in the pocket and take a hit to complete a throw; body type sometimes allows him to withstand the first blow. Lacks a great feel in the pocket but is athletic enough to escape when he becomes aware of pressure; keeps his eyes downfield while on the move. Arm strength is more than adequate to push the ball downfield with velocity; has the arm to make all the throws at the pro level. Confident about attacking defenses deep and making throws into tight windows. Throws a tight spiral despite somewhat inconsistent throwing mechanics; alters the release point even in a clean pocket (but gets the ball out quickly.) Applies appropriate touch to his passes. Misses a lot of throws due to poor footwork; needs to be more consistent about stepping into throws and making sure his feet are aligned with his targets. Results on sideline throws are highly inconsistent; also hasn’t been asked to complete many back-shoulder throws or comebacks. Gets lazy with his mechanics and bounces a lot of his short throws. Played in a pass-happy spread offense which inflated his statistics and, more importantly, prevented him from having to turn his back to the defense or go through progressions; nearly all of his targets are to predetermined receivers. Stares down his targets and could get victimized by pro defensive backs early. Didn’t do much work at the intermediate level. Has some experience running the read-option but is more of a battering ram than a threat to break big runs; capable of running through arm tackles; tough style of play should help him win over teammates. Was only a first-year starter in 2013 and has time to sort out mechanical issues in his game. Has the potential to develop into a starting quarterback, but at this point there are too many questions about his footwork, mechanics, and ability to play in a pro-style offense to consider him anything more than a developmental backup with considerable upside. That said, despite all of the aforementioned deficiencies in his game, he highly efficient in his first year as a starter, and there are times when he steps into his throws and fires the sort of accurate passes which should endear him to an offensive coordinator or quarterbacks coach looking for a project.

Games watched: Iowa St. (’13), Oklahoma (’13), Texas Tech (’13)

QB DAVID FALES, SAN JOSE ST.

Image

6’3” – 220 lbs. – 4.90e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: N/A (Nevada)
2010: Monterey Peninsula C.C.
2011: Monterey Peninsula C.C.
2012: 4,193 yards (72.5%, 9.3 YPA), 33 TD, 9 INT
2013: 4,189 yards (64.1%, 8.6 YPA), 33 TD, 13 INT

OVERVIEW:

Began his college career at Nevada, but ended up transferring to Monterey Peninsula Community College after one year, where he played in 2010 and 2011. Transferred to San Jose St. for the 2012 season, earning All-WAC Second Team honors.

POSITIVES:

•    Was productive over both of his seasons as the starting quarterback at San Jose St.
•    Confident player who’s not afraid to give his receivers a chance to make a play.
•    Has a pretty quick release, can get the ball out in a timely manner on screens, etc.
•    Throws a nice, tight spiral with consistency, can get velocity on his outside throws.
•    Hasn’t been limited to easy completions, does a lot of work outside of the hashes.
•    Not a passer who locks in on his first target, makes some throws to secondary reads.
•    Capable of throwing on the move, can still push it downfield from outside the pocket.
•    Has a little bit of mobility, able to elude far more defenders on the move than expected.
•    Doesn’t give up on the possibility of making a throw when on the run, keeps looking.

NEGATIVES:

•    Was not as efficient as a senior, accuracy and yards-per-attempt figures fell somewhat.
•    Looks like he may end up being a bit smaller than his official measurements (6’2”?)
•    Posted impressive accuracy numbers but sprays the ball at times, erratic placement.
•    Completion percentage has been inflated by throwing a high volume of screens.
•    Gunslinger mentality leads him to attempt throws when he should get rid of the ball.
•    Lines up in the shotgun on almost every play, hasn’t really worked from under center.
•    Footwork is pretty sloppy, doesn’t transfer his weight consistently, poor positioning.
•    Ball security issues when hit could potentially be caused by having small hands.

SUMMARY:

Fales enjoyed two productive seasons as a starter for the Spartans after things didn’t work out at Nevada. Working in a shotgun spread offense, he throws a nice, tight spiral with good velocity, getting rid of the ball quickly with solid throwing mechanics. However, his numbers have been inflated by the number of screens he throws, with erratic overall ball placement, especially further downfield. Teams will also be turned off by his scheme, footwork, and gunslinger mentality, which causes him to attempt some throws he shouldn’t try. Actually bears a somewhat striking resemblance to New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO, EASTERN ILLINOIS

Image

6’3” – 222 lbs. – 4.75e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: 1,639 yards (58.8%, 7.8), 14 TD, 13 INT
2011: 2,644 yards (62.2%, 7.6), 20 TD, 14 INT
2012: 3,823 yards (61.3%, 7.1), 31 TD, 15 INT

OVERVIEW:

Started the final eight games on his freshman season, then took over the full-time starting role as a sophomore, starting eleven games. Set the Ohio Valley Conference passing record as a junior in 2012, earning some votes for the Walter Payton Award.

POSITIVES:

•    Highly productive passer with escalating production, four years of starting experience.
•    If he measures in at his listed height and weight, will be adequate for the position.
•    Has a particularly quick release, making him an impressive passer in the screen game.
•    Effective at operating the short passing game, accurate and gets the ball out in a hurry.
•    Puts appropriate touch on the ball, allowing his receivers to field the ball cleanly.
•    Throws a nice, tight spiral with consistency, especially over the middle of the field.
•    Generally makes pretty good decisions with the ball, chooses a target quickly.
•    Uses his timing to get the ball downfield, masking his lack of ideal arm strength.
•    Capable of eluding defenders in the pocket, although he’s not necessarily a runner.

NEGATIVES:

•    Plays in a weak conference which has dramatically inflated his statistical output.
•    Listed at 6’2” but may actually be a little bit smaller; also has a particularly thin build.
•    Almost all of his work has come out of shotgun spread formations and on short routes.
•    Doesn’t look comfortable in the pocket, hyperactive footwork and leaves preemptively.
•    Drops his eyes when he leaves the pocket, rather than looking downfield for receivers.
•    Hasn’t made too many throws outside of the hash marks, predominantly over middle.
•    Needs to do a better job of protecting the football, has been intercepted frequently.

SUMMARY:

Garoppolo has received plenty of hype as a potential starting-caliber quarterback, but it’s hard to evaluate him because of his level of competition. Physically, his tools are adequate, and he possesses one of the fastest releases in the class, if not the fastest. He throws a pretty ball, especially over the middle of the field, where he does most of his work in the team’s shotgun spread offense. However, he’s typically making easy throws in the short-to-intermediate range with defenders three or four yards away, giving him huge windows. He also seems to have a lot of trouble maintaining his composure when the pocket breaks down, doing his most productive work when given plenty of room to operate. Actually bears more than a passing resemblance to Drew Brees. RD 3

QB BLAKE BORTLES, CENTRAL FLORIDA*

Image

6’4” – 230 lbs. – 4.80e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2010: Redshirt
2011: 958 yards (68.2%, 8.7), 6 TD, 3 INT (21 – 4 – 1 rushing)
2012: 3,059 yards (62.9%, 7.7), 25 TD, 7 INT (87 – 285 – 8 rushing)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted as a true freshman, then appeared in ten games in a reserve capacity as a redshirt freshman. Took over the starting role in his sophomore season, being named to the All-C-USA Second Team.

POSITIVES:

•    Would enter the draft with two years of starting experience, escalating production.
•    Possesses a desirable combination of height and bulk for a starting quarterback.
•    Moves well in the pocket, does a nice job of sensing outside pressure, maneuvering.
•    Will remain in the pocket until the last second, taking a hit in order to complete a pass.
•    Makes good decisions with the ball, takes what the defense presents him with.
•    Throws a nice, tight spiral, is capable of adjusting his passes to use appropriate touch.
•    Accurate to all levels, well-versed in making throws to receivers down the sidelines.
•    Gets the ball out in a hurry, doesn’t take too long to make decisions with the ball.
•    Capable of squaring his shoulders and making throws downfield while rolling out.
•    Doesn’t generally run with the ball but has had some success when he does.
•    Has been utilized on read-option concepts, can do the same at the next level.

NEGATIVES:

•    Arm angle isn’t a true over-the-top delivery, drops to more of a three-quarters angle.
•    Underthrows some passes, especially downfield; throws off of back foot at times.
•    Tends to loft the ball downfield, relying more on his timing rather than his velocity.
•    Velocity also creates some concerns about his ability to navigate the middle of the field.
•    Fumbles on occasion and needs to do a better job of protecting the ball in the pocket.

SUMMARY:

Other than his lack of ideal arm strength, Bortles possesses almost every quality of an effective starting quarterback at the next level. Despite having started for only two seasons, he is a very polished passer, who demonstrates good footwork, senses pressure well, can buy some extra time versus the rush, and combines his accuracy and touch with sound decision-making. In addition to his mental tools and overall awareness, he displays mental toughness and has been at the forefront of a relatively minor program’s transformation into a team capable of competing with more talented squads. Bortles would have had a realistic shot at the first round even before Marcus Mariota decided to return to Oregon, but now he could easily come off the board ahead of any other quarterback other than Teddy Bridgewater. RD 1

QB ZACH METTENBERGER, LOUISIANA ST.

Image

6’5” – 235 – 5.10e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: Redshirt (Georgia)
2010: JUCO
2011: 92 yards (72.7%, 8.4), 1 TD, 0 INT
2012: 2,609 yards (58.8%, 7.4), 12 TD, 7 INT

OVERVIEW:

Originally signed with Georgia, not appearing in any games that season and transferring to Butler Community College for the 2010 season, transferring to LSU afterwards. Appeared in five games for the Tigers in 2011, starting two. Took over the starting job as a junior in 2012.

POSITIVES:

  • Will graduate having started for two seasons in college football’s premier conference.
  • Really came into his own this season and started to play up to his considerable tools.
  • Possesses prototypical height and weight for a dropback passer at the pro level.
  • Has been playing in a true pro-style scheme under former pro coach Cam Cameron.
  • In Cameron’s offense, has been asked to execute plenty of difficult, pro-style passes.
  • Looks comfortable with his footwork when dropping back from under center.
  • Demonstrates a relatively quick release which generally comes over-the-top.
  • Has the arm strength to make every throw, can get it down the field with velocity.
  • Accurate passer when given a clean pocket to work with, remembers his mechanics.
  • Effective operating using play-action passes, does a nice job of selling his fakes.
  • Not mobile but can buy a little bit of time in the pocket, maneuver around the rush.
  • Looks composed against pressure, will remain in the pocket to make a throw.

NEGATIVES:

  • Wasn’t particularly good last season, will graduate with only one quality campaign.
  • Originally transferred from Georgia after pleading guilty to a charge of sexual battery.
  • Relies on his arm strength a little bit too much, inconsistent weight transfer on throws.
  • Arm angle drops down at times, will occasionally sidearm the ball against pressure.
  • Can be a little bit of a gunslinger, will try to force throws into tight coverage at times.
  • Needs to learn to give up on the play sometimes, will try to make something of nothing.
  • Doesn’t offer anything as a runner, is the definition of a conventional dropback passer.

SUMMARY:

Mettenberger entered last season having been considered a potential future first-round pick, but he subsequently labored through a highly disappointing 2012 campaign which effectively relegated him to a late-round pick heading into this season. However, he has blossomed under former NFL coach Cam Cameron, demonstrating a refined command of Cameron’s pro-style offense and making plenty of pro-style throws downfield with velocity. He does need to reign in his gunslinger tendencies a bit, but it doesn’t require much imagination to project him to the next level. RD 1-2

QB DEREK CARR, FRESNO ST.

Image

6’3” – 218 lbs. – 4.60e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2009: 112 yards (71.4%, 8.0), 0 TD, 0 INT
2010: Redshirt
2011: 3,544 yards (62.6%, 7.9), 26 TD, 9 INT
2012: 4,104 yards (67.3%, 8.0), 37 TD, 7 INT

OVERVIEW:

Contributed in a limited capacity as a true freshman in 2009, then redshirted the following season. Took over Fresno State’s starting role in 2011, earning second-team All-WAC honors. Was named Mountain West Offensive Player of the year in 2012 in addition to his first-team All-MWC nomination.

STRENGTHS:

•    Will graduate with three years of starting experience, escalating output.
•    Possesses adequate height and weight for a pro quarterback prospect.
•    Quality bloodlines; brother of former first overall pick David Carr.
•    Intelligent player who has received numerous academic accolades.
•    Typically does a good job of getting the ball out fast; quick release.
•    Throws a pretty ball; gets good velocity and maintains a tight spiral.
•    Generally does a good job of protecting the ball, avoiding turnovers.
•    Overall ball placement is above-average, high-percentage passer.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Much of his production comes via throwing screens and short passes.
•    Level of competition is sub-par in comparison to other top prospects.
•    Hasn’t harnessed his athletic ability to consistently challenge defenses.
•    Many of his throws follow pre-determined reads, stares down targets.
•    Will try to force some throws into windows which simply don’t exist.
•    Throwing motion is a little bit quirky, has a fairly low release point.

SUMMARY:

Certainly in possession of all of the physical tools associated with starting quarterbacks – size, intelligence, athletic ability, arm strength, accuracy – Carr cannot quite be considered equal to the sum of his parts. He has accumulated much of his production by throwing screens and other short passes following predetermined reads. His intelligence doesn’t always translate into making good decisions with the ball when forced to work through his progressions, and he hasn’t developed into much of a rushing threat despite his speed. A developmental backup with starting potential whose scheme makes him somewhat difficult to evaluate. RD 2-3

QB JOHNNY MANZIEL, TEXAS A&M**

Image

6’1” – 210 lbs. – 4.60e

STATISTICAL PROFILE:

2011: Redshirt
2012: 3,706 yards (68.0%, 8.5), 26 TD, 9 INT (201 – 1,410 – 21 rushing)

OVERVIEW:

Redshirted in 2011, then took over as the Aggies’ starting quarterback in 2012, becoming the first-ever freshman to win the Heisman trophy and breaking Cam Newton’s SEC record for total offense in a season.

STRENGTHS:

•    Will graduate with two outstanding seasons of starting experience.
•    Submitted arguably the most successful freshman season of all time.
•    Plays with a special swagger, creating plenty of magic moments.
•    Unique, incredible ability to improvise once the play breaks down.
•    Seemingly never tackled by the first defender to have an angle on him.
•    A true dual-threat whose rushing ability demands constant respect.
•    Arm strength isn’t great but is capable of making throws to all levels.
•    Throws a nice spiral, whether in the pocket or while on the move.
•    More accurate than he is given credit for, nice placement to all levels.
•    Somehow manages to complete a high percentage despite risky play.

WEAKNESSES:

•    Undersized and may end up being smaller than official measurements.
•    Takes a lot of big hits, needs to do a better job of protecting his body.
•    A gunslinger whose irreverence may frustrate strict disciplinarians.
•    Arm strength is adequate for any throw but isn’t necessarily ideal.
•    Has benefited from being able to lob passes to Mike Evans downfield.
•    Has some character concerns interested teams will have to investigate.

SUMMARY:

Manziel is certainly an unorthodox quarterback, with a cocky, reckless style of play that involves taking constant risks and the occasional big hit, but it’s impossible to argue with the results. It seems like almost everything he does on the field is somehow successful, and his combination of escapability, elusiveness, and instincts make him a true playmaker. Teams looking for a conventional dropback passer should look elsewhere, but those willing to build their offense around his unique ability to extend plays and produce with his legs as well as with his arm could have a star. RD 1