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Doltos
Dec 28, 2005


I think it's about time for the NFL draft thread. As of this OP we're approaching bowl season and getting past rivalry week so everything is subject to change between now and April.

Initial top prospects:
1. Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU - Premier prospect had an unbelievable true freshman season but has been dealing with a fucky foot ever since. Complete package that can do any type of coverage all over the field. Facing accusations of not being that hurt and quitting on the team as there was noticeable drop off in his play from his freshman year. His tape is absurd though, and the battles he went through with Alabama his freshman year were getting him talked about as a top 5 pick as an 18 year old.

2. Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame - Random athlete that Notre Dame somehow turned into a the rangiest guy in the NCAA. Constantly around the ball, elite tackler, and has the size to match with pretty much any TE. Pretty much no flaws in his game and his versatility compared to his size is absurd. Might legitimately be in contention as the #1 pick while being a safety, although I could see the attraction to turn him into a LB.

3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, DE, Oregon - Projected #1 pick in the draft at the moment for a good reason. Absolutely dominant when on the field, gets into the backfield seemingly every down in a variety of ways. Elite first step and huge power, plus he mixes up his pass rushing moves like a veteran starter. Only knock against him is his injury history.

4. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan - The other potential #1 pick. Hutchinson has spent the entire year getting double teamed and ran away from and still has oodles of sacks and TFLs. Not exactly the most complete pass rusher but a physical presence in the same vein as Mario Williams or Jadeveon Clowney. Lost his last year to a leg fracture that he looks pretty much completely recovered from.

5. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama - Along with Stingley Jr graded out as one of the top prospects ever in college football. Plugged in all over the line before solidifying at LT with Leatherwood finally not unfairly occupying that spot. Absolutely huge, moves with ease, plays pretty much every snap, and has sound technical hug block skills ala Bahktari.

6. Ikem Ekwonu, LG, NC State - Another huge guy who's graded out as one of the best run blockers in NCAA history (according to PFF). Quinton Nelson type who absolutely demolishes everyone. Gets to the second level with ease. Started at LT for them some but looks a bit overmatched there. Still some of the most fun tape to watch out there.

7. Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M - Another guy who played all over the line and did well in every spot. Supremely quick OG with great situational awareness. Excels as a help blocker and pull blocker. Not the biggest or most powerful but his technique and feet are probably the best in the class, plus the versatility should easily let him go top 15.

8. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia - Star of the potent Georgia defense and maybe even the actual best player out of the 50 LBs they have. Another star recruit, he had a slow start his freshman year before turning into an all around machine. Great pass rusher, high coverage IQ, huge stick tackler. His athleticism belies his size and his intelligence should easily make up for any issues with his closing speed. Might be a top 10 pick if teams get over his size issues. I think he's one of the best pure players the draft has seen in years. Also one of the younger players in the draft, if not the youngest I believe.

9. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia - He's huge. There's no denying it. He's also surprisingly fast and has fun highlights. Those two things will probably make him go top 15 which is why I'm listing him here. I thoroughly believe he has no idea how to play DT and he consistently gets stood up by guys literally 50 lbs lighter than him. By all accounts a good person so I hope the best for him but I don't think he's that great at the moment.

10. George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue - Had a great freshman year before losing all last year to covid. Constant grind em out DE that never gives up on a play and uses his bull rush and long arms to collapse pockets. Not exactly a star athlete like his competition but his size makes up for it.

Now to talk about the QBs:

I have no idea. They all look like poo poo in their own way but one of them is bound to stand out. Maybe.

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Doltos
Dec 28, 2005


The WRs:

Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, Treylon Burks, Drake London, Jameson Williams, George Pickens, Justyn Ross, Jahan Dotson, John Metchie III, and Jalen Tolbert all look like top 50 picks. Throw a dart at a board and get one, hope it lands on Wilson, London, or Burks. Beware Chris Olave for he is thoroughly average.

Yes I know Duke has a tall white guy named Bobo. No he's not good.

zimbomonkey
Jul 15, 2008

Tattoos? On MY black quarterback?


the only important player in this draft is sdsu's punter.

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



I'm hoping that Romeo Doubs is a good NFL receiver just because of how cool his name is

AsInHowe
Jan 11, 2007


I have a Lions joke here, but on second thought. I don't want to jinx it.

a neat cape
Feb 22, 2007

Aw hunny, these came out GREAT!


Punt God.

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



Draft Araiza in the top 10 cowards

Ornery and Hornery
Oct 22, 2020



Jordan Davis owns. He’s big and fast who cares about technique that’s for cheaters

Shimrra Jamaane
Aug 9, 2007

Obscure to all except those well-versed in Yuuzhan Vong lore.


I thought this was a thread for the XFL 3.0 draft due to the tag. Lame.

Cavauro
Jan 9, 2008




who's the best wr available at pick number 21

Alaois
Feb 7, 2012

D U S T M A N


the number 1 overall draft pick is actually going to end up being Matt Corral for some reason, op

Doltos
Dec 28, 2005


Alaois posted:

the number 1 overall draft pick is actually going to end up being Matt Corral for some reason, op

Yes the world is a cruel place

Chucktesla posted:

Draft Araiza in the top 10 cowards


zimbomonkey posted:

the only important player in this draft is sdsu's punter.

Stonehouse is just as good and can be had for a 6th rounder instead of a 2nd

Gatts
Jan 2, 2001

Goodnight Moon


Nap Ghost

I’ve heard this is a rough year for drafting as some good talent has an extra year to stay in college due to Covid or something. Is this true? Or is there some talent to be had?

For the Browns while QB is inconsistent I think I would like us to be stronger on defense and shut things down. Maybe a great WR but if Baker can’t use OBJ then that’s useless.

TheGreyGhost
Feb 14, 2012

“Go win the Heimlich Trophy!”


I have a lot of thoughts on how this QB class developed. Most of them consist of “hey remember when Goff went number 1”, but the effort post is under construction. Short story: I think Matt Corral might be the best, but I have essentially no confidence in any of the “polished” dudes over the projects this year.

Parallelwoody
Apr 9, 2008



Big hope Detroit doesn't go for a QB before like the 3-4th rounds, if even then.

The Puppy Bowl
Jan 31, 2013

A dog, in the house.

*woof*

Gatts posted:

I’ve heard this is a rough year for drafting as some good talent has an extra year to stay in college due to Covid or something. Is this true? Or is there some talent to be had?

For the Browns while QB is inconsistent I think I would like us to be stronger on defense and shut things down. Maybe a great WR but if Baker can’t use OBJ then that’s useless.

I thought it was the opposite. Last year's opt outs coming back was supposed to make this a super draft with quality players available deep into day 3.

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



Gatts posted:

I’ve heard this is a rough year for drafting as some good talent has an extra year to stay in college due to Covid or something. Is this true? Or is there some talent to be had?

For the Browns while QB is inconsistent I think I would like us to be stronger on defense and shut things down. Maybe a great WR but if Baker can’t use OBJ then that’s useless.

That was the story for last year's class which had way fewer draftable prospects than previous years because a lot of guys sat out the year and got a free extra year of eligibility. This class is generally viewed as a very good and pretty deep draft for o&d lineman, pass rushers, secondary players and receivers with some high upside linebackers like that dude out of Utah but there aren't many household names or can't miss prospects at quarterback so it's generally viewed as less impressive.

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



Might need to move Aidan Hutchinson up the list

Gatts
Jan 2, 2001

Goodnight Moon


Nap Ghost

Cool cool. Browns can draft D and then take some depth for OL. I would love to grab like a 6-4 wideout Calvin Johnson with range of catch and good hands but don’t know if he’s in this draft

Gatts fucked around with this message at 19:45 on Nov 27, 2021

Gonz
Dec 22, 2009

"Jesus, did I say that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me?"


Aidan Hutchinson made yet another argument today to be a top 3 pick.

3 sacks on the day for 13 on the season, which is a new Michigan football single season record. Totally dominated the #2 team in the country.

Doltos
Dec 28, 2005


Chucktesla posted:

Might need to move Aidan Hutchinson up the list

I missed the entire game because I thought it was Friday but again this is the prime reason early draft threads suck

Gatts posted:

I’ve heard this is a rough year for drafting as some good talent has an extra year to stay in college due to Covid or something. Is this true? Or is there some talent to be had?

For the Browns while QB is inconsistent I think I would like us to be stronger on defense and shut things down. Maybe a great WR but if Baker can’t use OBJ then that’s useless.

It's a super deep year for everything but RB, QB, and Safety. TEs are a little weak too but there's a lot of projects there that could excel with development. CB is the deepest it's been in years, same with LBs. Leal and the Georgia boys should make this a good year for DTs but it kinda drops off after them. DE/Edge are absurdly stacked this year both in top end talent and versatility. Ton of solid if not world beating WRs outside Garrett Wilson. Oline is top heavy in all the positions but there's a lot of solid project guys there that might be something. Plus this is the Daniel Faalele year finally, even if he does suck. QB is the question mark since I can't find really solid good looking tape on any of them besides Willis. Pickett, Armstrong, Ridder, Howell, Corral, Strong, Jurkovec, they all look like and throw like college QBs. I'm sure one of them might distinguish themselves to sneak up to a top pick but at this moment I wouldn't draft any of them in the first.

Alaois
Feb 7, 2012

D U S T M A N


ever heard of this guy, this Eric Barriere

FizFashizzle
Mar 30, 2005









Thanks for the thread, Doltos.

Ekwonu needs to be in charlotte like tomorrow

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



Daltos or TGG what are your thoughts on this QB ranking https://twitter.com/Hawk/status/1464443797627027456?t=VDCMoZQsLfx0nrNyIrtQgg&s=19

Ornery and Hornery
Oct 22, 2020



Doltos posted:

Plus this is the Daniel Faalele year finally, even if he does suck.

Reminder for everyone: Faalele is the Australian born, 7ft 400 pound offensive tackle for the Minnesota gophers.

He probably has a blue ox.

Cavauro
Jan 9, 2008




jordan davis isn't that big

Gonz
Dec 22, 2009

"Jesus, did I say that? Or just think it? Was I talking? Did they hear me?"


Wobbly Balls is a serious condition.

Hamhandler
Aug 9, 2008

[I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I'm going to] slap your fucking mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you.

Jordan Davis reminds me a lot of Jordan Phillips, which I think is more of an early 2nd kind of deal.

Like Phillips he isn't a very good technician in the run game(although he probably clears Phillips low bar), and I think it'd take some real effort and a risk to expect him to be your NT or whatever. It doesn't really matter how big you are, it's still a very technically driven position. In terms of pass rush it's the same kind of deal as Phillips- when everything goes right, he's going to embarrass an opponent and show up on a highlight reel. But that's dependent on a team managing his snaps, it's dependent on him anticipating the snap and getting his hands on a guy quickly and being too strong and long-armed for him to reset his anchor, etc. He'll probably generate some clean-up sacks like Phillips, where his own rush has stalled but if the angle to the QB changes he's a threat to get off of his blocker and has the range to move a little in the short area.

Ornery and Hornery
Oct 22, 2020



You raise good points but otoh Jordan Davis is 6’6” and 340 and I love him.

Former Everything
Nov 28, 2007


Is this right?

Darrian Kinnard is a 1st rd pick at RT, and if Josh Pascal falls to day 2 it will be a crime. I’m interested to see where Wan’Dale Robinson goes.

Hizawk
Jun 18, 2004

High on the Lions.



The Lions are on the clock.

I'm Gonna get real invested in the draft this year.

Ornery and Hornery
Oct 22, 2020



Hizawk posted:

The Lions are on the clock.

I'm Gonna get real invested in the draft this year.

It's a really good draft for defense. If the Lions go defense with their two firsts and their second, they could have the beginning of something great in a year or two.

e: then they would still have a bad enough W-L record the following season to get a top pick for a QB

Ornery and Hornery fucked around with this message at 16:12 on Nov 28, 2021

Hamhandler
Aug 9, 2008

[I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I'm going to] slap your fucking mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you.

Ornery and Hornery posted:

You raise good points but otoh Jordan Davis is 6’6” and 340 and I love him.

I'm against the big guys in this draft- Davis, Neal, Faalele. Many will hoot and oink and clap for them, but they're wrong. They're mostly just OK.

I kind of like Faalele though, he looked like dog poo poo to me when he was getting hype previous to this year but I'm surprised how quickly he's come along.

Hamhandler fucked around with this message at 16:24 on Nov 28, 2021

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



Evan Neal didn't look great in the iron bowl but I'm willing to chalk that up to it being just one of those games

Chucktesla
Jul 13, 2014



https://twitter.com/dpbrugler/status/1464773318729474061?t=CKGckztVokdHiGmv7h69JQ&s=19

Doltos
Dec 28, 2005



hes so big, much bigger than jordan

Cavauro posted:

who's the best wr available at pick number 21

it's a secret

Ches Neckbeard
Dec 3, 2005

You're all garbage, back up the truck BACK IT UP!

I would like to draft Jordan Davis and move him to rb. gently caress off Derrick Henry ain't poo poo

Gatts
Jan 2, 2001

Goodnight Moon


Nap Ghost

Ok after last nights shitshow for the Browns I am in draft mode. Give me all your OLine and defense and WR that are the second coming of Calvin Johnson.

TheGreyGhost
Feb 14, 2012

“Go win the Heimlich Trophy!”


The best way to begin to talk about this year's QB class is first with the recognition that QBs and linemen probably have the most stunted development as a result of the pandemic. That is to say, there are still talented QBs in this class.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I don't think I've seen a preseason Top-3 drop quite as hard as Rattler/Howell/Slovis did in the modern era. Rattler flatly isn't an NFL prospect before round 5-6 right now, and I don't expect Slovis to declare (but am prepared to talk about him unfortunately for myself). Howell...is an interesting guy as a Day 2/3 prospect but leaves me with some very pressing questions right now. There are essentially 3 QBs that I think are fascinating prospects that might warrant a first round pick but probably don't pull the trigger on personally before pick 15. This is a big year for project guys and system fit QBs and will remind a lot of people of 2014. Let's run through some breakdowns. I'm going to post these in a few parts because there's like 8 dudes I want to cover.

Matt Corral - Ole Miss
Man, Matt Corral owes Lane an edible arrangement at a minimum. They really went to the drawing board this year to pull back some from the vertical throws that he's become a bit of a meme for in favor of creating some horizontal pressure and RAC with no Elijah Moore on the roster. If I'm describing my favorite thing about him as a prospect, it's his release. If I'm describing the thing that might get him killed in the NFL, it's also his release. Zach Wilson's ability to suddenly get the ball out on a slant/spacer last year was one of the faster releases we've ever seen out of a prospect, and Corral isn't too far off of that from a time to release standpoint. So why is that a problem? When you watch Corral, his accuracy continually gets worse the longer downfield a throw is. Most downfield shots inherently should be less accurate, but some of his misses on vertical routes are still by 5+ yards, usually deep but sometimes to the side. I'm getting to a point where I would theorize that he's almost holding the ball too little to have a consistent feel beyond about 15 yards since his window to apply touch is small. This happens to Wilson from time to time, but he had the ability to just air it out and err on the side of putting a ball up too high in college since the defenders just didn't have the closing speed to make it a problem, which has created some hilariously bad picks for him in the NFL. Mechanically, it's difficult to coach out anything in the hand/arm entirely, given that you're not only fighting muscle memory but every QB tutor in the world is obsessed with speed and "firing the arrow" or whatever metaphor they use to signal getting the ball out quickly with your body on a line, but it's generally easier to lengthen a stroke than shorten it.

From an arm standpoint, he has pretty good velocity when he steps in and gets a clean look. His ability to put air under the ball is good by league standards--nothing incredible but enough that you'll see him connect on some huge deep shots at the next level and rarely underthrow the receiver consistently which is a decent habit to have. His velocity when his feet are set is also very good--on par with a Watson type where it's on a line but never at risk of breaking fingers. When he moves, he tends to lose velocity moreso than air, but both end up affected, which would indicate that a lot of his arm talent isn't the type where you could truly separate his upper and lower body in an eval like a Mahomes or Lamar. You can see it if you watch his misses when he sets versus when he doesn't. Set Corral usually misses deep or occasionally to the side on things like posts with a consistent arm motion and stance, albeit he can point his front foot too far forward and leak power/push balls left which is something he can work on. Moving Corral misses wide, short, or soft and high which would indicate that he's not setting at all on the move unlike a lot of scramblers who succeed by stopping for a half second to create a launch platform.

He's also essentially "standard requirements" build for the NFL at around 6'2" 210ish and moves better than you'd expect, essentially functioning as a dual threat in the offense. He's not a running threat in the NFL like a Lamar or even a Mahomes, but you could see him develop a tendency to pull down and get easy yards in the event he's not pressured and can walk up a couple. He's done so many rollouts and bootlegs in his life that I wouldn't be shocked to see someone try to roll out the Browns' treatment of Mayfield right now as some initial training wheels.

Coming out, Pat Mahomes had some of the worst footwork that you would ever see from Tech's line being abysmal and his need to extend plays, and he made it a moot point because his arm was so big. Corral has that tendency without the one of a kind arm, largely due to the Ole Miss OL being intensely bad in pass protection up the middle. This has led to two extremely weird behaviors. One, he's really really comfortable half-rolls and scrambles wide to prolong things from sensing pressure up the middle, albeit without ever really setting his feet which leads to his velocity loss and likely some accuracy issues downfield. Two, he's absolutely loving terrible at sensing or dealing with edge pressure or knowing when even a half roll won't save him from a blitz up the middle. I think a lot of this is because he knows his interior line is frequently blocking down no matter what with how Lane handles RPOs/PA, but he can literally see the pressure coming and still tries to do more than he should on interior blitzes. Therefore, he thinks his information advantage will save him, which leads to him being risky on plays there's no real reason to do so. With the edge thing especially, he's just always convinced he can outrun his problems and waits until the last possible moment, which is a big problem. In the NFL, the best thing you can do is be able to recognize, extend a little bit, and get the ball out when you're not going to be interrupted. If you wait too long, a defender will close down and not give you the luxury of setting your feet. Essentially, he's going to need to be retrained when to function in a pocket and when to move out based on whatever offense he lands in because Lane essentially runs the Baylor/Veer and Shoot tree mixed with some RPO/West Coast chicanery.

If I'm comparing him to recent prospects, there's really two that come to mind. From a performance and processing standpoint, he looks like Sam Darnold--forcing balls and extending plays no matter the cost but generally doing more good than harm at the college level for his team because of decent skill players, knowledge of what the scheme is trying to do, and some level of natural talent. From a mechanical/processing standpoint, I keep thinking Bryce Petty or Jarett Stidham. He's just so bad with a pocket and has such a bizarre toolkit that he looks like he's running a run and shoot half the time, which is simultaneous credit for surviving but make his odds of working out lower. I think he has big upside if you can work on some little things like his touch when he's comfortable and setting his feet before throwing/when to set his feet.

Kenny Pickett - Pitt
Man, I don't know what to do with this guy. When Burrow came out a couple years ago, he had one year of tape that was essentially the most game management anyone has ever done in a season with 800 protection calls and check downs while every receiver drops anything harder than a hitch and one year of tape where he was the greatest college passer you've ever seen. Pickett's not quite as hot in this year's tape as Burrow was in his final tape, but it's the same type of thing where he's not only hitting downfield throws with perfect timing but seeing guys that he essentially never saw at any other point in time. That said, he's old for the class and has some really bizarre habits, but let's get into this a little bit.

When I look at his mechanics and arm, I see a guy who has a little bit more than he's showing, which is an average velocity arm that can really get air when he tries. His ball looks a lot like Derek Carr's, but I never quite see him really stick a guy like Carr can at times. I think a lot of that is because of how he turns when he throws--he gets pretty wide and seems to slightly favor his back foot which can float balls on occasion because you leak power to your release point. It'll look like a ping pong ball as opposed to a dart when that happens, which can result in a pick 6 when the corner can jump a route, albeit he's timing them so well now that even this much of a mechanical hiccup isn't killing him. This is the type of thing that you can actually fix somewhat easily since it's not really arm/hand related. Some idiot scout is going to say that he's releasing too high when you see a bunch of QBs do the same thing (Murray, Carr, Cousins) without much incident. "Catchable Ball" is probably the term scouts will use, which I don't think is fair because he's not physically at his limit, just mechanically.

From a frame standpoint, he's big enough at 6'3 220 that he's not going to be slight, and he moves pretty well for an ostensible game manager. I don't think he's going to be able to run for much of anything, since he falls in the category of QBs that Rodgers occupies where his mobility is going to be largely "can roll/scramble for a couple" rather than being a legitimate running threat. He does some of the best sliding of any prospect in recent memory which will make some grey beard happy.

Speaking of, his single best attribute is his ability to feel/notice what's going on in the pocket and around him. His Clemson tape shows a guy dealing with blitzes and pressure that would likely destroy most college QBs, but he kept a lot of plays alive by knowing when to step up and bail, even if he probably took a couple sacks he shouldn't have. He's good at knowing when he's beat and throwing the ball away but does enough at this point that I think you could trust him with a pocket/less of an offensive line that you may want to give the average rookie. The line and skill guys he has right now get outclassed by a lot of mediocre teams, but he's done a really good job of working with those limitations around him.

If I'm critiquing him, there's a few things I think can hurt him. One, he might not actually be as much of a gunslinger as this year would indicate. There's something to a guy playing in an offense/skill level so long that they just flatly get good at knowing what they can and can't do and do most of their risk management themselves. You see this all the time with guys like Ryan Finley where they're so Min/Maxed for that offense that they haven't really developed anything new in a while. This is where the idea of him being there for years is damning with faint praise because, hey, you've been running this offense with these personnel for how long? You should be able to maximize it. If you drop him into a new offense, is he going to suddenly start checking down and clinging only to safe throws again? Two, he's got the most limited upside of any QB in the top of this draft. He's the oldest, has probably the most reps, and he's by far the least arm talent of what I would call the top 6-7 QBs of the draft. If everyone else is a project mechanically or mentally, his project is a matter of doing such little changes that you might fix things and still have it not be enough. Three, his mechanical flaw is the least bad of most of these guys yet also the most detrimental considering he's not a guy who can afford to hang balls in the NFL. I think he's essentially Teddy Bridgewater as a prospect for me where he's physically limited enough that it's really down to luck, teaching, and system if you can wring success out of him.


Malik Willis - Liberty
When I looked at this dude's tape in the last thread, I said the following:

quote:

Freeze's offense is jokingly referred to as a high school offense. I don't think that's fair, because I don't know of a single high school that runs the ball this poorly when the ball isn't in the hands of a QB. Same RPO/passing skeleton concepts as UNC which isn't surprising, given the cross-pollination between those coaching trees. What jumps out is that he has a lot of raw, native velocity to his arm. He sort of shapes the ball in a 3/4 delivery (think Phil Rivers school of quarterbacking), but he's also prone to picking his back leg up before letting go at times, which means he flutters balls low on receivers, particularly in the screen game. That can also mean too much air on deep balls (either short or long depending on which way you lean) when you're throwing deep in the scramble drill. If you watch some of his deep balls and screen game against VT, you'll see what I mean. His footwork otherwise isn't horrible--it just looks like a typical spread QB who can run--somewhat bow legged and a little willing to squat to avoid contact.

In terms of positives? He's an absolutely amazing athletic specimen. He can run, particularly in the stretch game, and give you throws from the numbers that make the Mahomes/Jackson/Watson vertical rollout game possible for you. He's also shown some semblance of touch and will take things off if a guy needs space to toe-tap at the edge, though he will occasionally take too much off for an easy ball play for a CB/S. I think he, as a QB prospect, looks like a slightly more raw version of RG3 right now, where he shows some absolutely insane passes but isn't quite as accurate in any phase of the game and can run but shouldn't ever really be between the tackles or put in a position to do so 20 times a game like a Lamar/Vick mold where they can take the hits. You could totally make the case as well that he's just faster Jake Locker with his accuracy coming and going off of his weird, awful mechanics. If we're talking guys I think are going to end up being hyped but then settle towards a late Day 1 into Day 2 pick, Malik is probably there just because I don't think he'll show enough. Highest ceiling, lowest floor.

If I'm amending that, I think there's a few changes I would add. He's narrowed his stance a bit this year, which has helped him on some of his short game in not throwing the ball directly at his receivers feet, but his release is frustrating. He's still running the 3/4 release, but he basically never snaps over the ball which means he's essentially still fluttering/hanging balls he shouldn't. Every now and then, on the run, he releases at full height and throws a dart, but his general ball flight is soft and is going to remain that way. Additionally, whoever's coaching his mechanics has been trying to focus on "follow through" as a way of getting his velocity up which is a bit dated. Certain guys really torque the hell out of their bodies when they throw (Mayfield, Brees) to the point where it's almost violent, but the ones that succeed do so with a consistent motion where their shoulders, torso, and head all work in unison to align the force behind the ball. When you watch Willis, his shoulders and head pull away from the ball which leads to both inaccuracy and power loss like you see out of a lot of raw guys like Josh Allen when he was coming out.

The offense didn't change this year and was still extremely truncated, and his capabilities are still such that he could theoretically do anything but is going to take a lot of work to get executing consistently. He's a good athlete, but his running is also very one-cut for his speed which to me says the Lamar/Vick packages are off the table and you have to treat him like a Lance/RG3 type where he's really only running sprint outs. If I had to compare him to a player at this point, I see a faster Jake Locker or an answer to "what if Terelle Pryor was 6'1"". His upside is still amazing, but it's essentially couched in a team completely overhauling his mechanics Rodgers-style and taking their time introducing him to an offense because Hugh Freeze and Gus are not known for their robust schemes.


Sam Howell - UNC

Again, going to quote myself from last year:

quote:

TDN made the observation that he's the only QB In FBS who threw more RPOs than Mac Jones, and I actually think that undersells things a bit. Longo's sort of notorious for somehow looking at the Freeze-era Mississippi offense and going "what if we took the handful of complicated parts and just replaced it with Briles-tree vert looks". If I was trying to put together an offense where all I had was some freaky receivers and a QB with a big arm that's mediocre at everything else, it would look a lot like how Longo builds his systems, which makes sense coming from the background he does. Howell clearly throws a nice ball and makes the object/key reads in the RPO game where he's triggering based off of the action of an individual defender. Like Mac, it's essentially a pick and roll where what the defender declares determines the location of the read and ball, and he was clearly in a position where his skill guys tended to be far better than who they were playing most games.

What's very very funny about Howell is how unwilling they seem to be to ever let him read full field for anything beyond 10 yards. He's allowed to essentially read a set area amount of the field (e.g. 200 square feet) and no more, by design. That's fine, considering the goal of the offense is "ball out fast", but what's super weird is that he mechanically could make his own life so much easier with that limitation in mind. He duck steps around in the pocket and constantly looks like he's going to drop into a low-bar squat when he's moving around, similar to Trey Lance this year but without the excuse being god-tier athleticism. Howell is athletic, but not enough that he can get away with bad footwork or constant movement. He doesn't zip the ball--he can throw a spiral and clearly can throw far, but his velocity looks very very off. Watch him against Clemson in '19 or Wake/BC in '20, and he misses a good number of windows that he clearly recognizes but can't get the ball to fast enough. It scares me a bit that he has two years of film with that kind of mechanical hitch, but it's also entirely possible that UNC just isn't concerned and would rather he throw catchable balls for RAC than a hard ball that may maximize potential run but also invites drop risk. He almost always ends up looking in the right direction, but I just can't get my head around the fact that he still misses the windows due to his tendency to put a bunch of air under the ball. I remember watching him on QB1 when he had a fairly mediocre new team he suddenly had to get used to compared to how a lot of high-end QBs come up, so I also wonder if he stunted himself a bit between then and UNC by taking something off to keep his receivers/coaches from bitching. Oh also, this is entirely a personal gripe, but he's really really goofy in how he holds the ball for handoffs--looks like there's a spider on the ball and like he's just desperate to get it out. I think that's a side effect of their blocking schemes frequently leaving guys unblocked from the edge, but some old-timey coach is going to murder him when he fumbles a handoff from not securing the ball super well. What I don't get is what the difference is between him and like Drew Lock right now. They're similar types of raw, and Lock had a way better arm than Howell in a system that wasn't horribly different

This one's held up really well. I would say the difference between Howell this year and last is likely a sense of the fleeting nature of life. His line spent the better part of the year trying to get him killed, so he got a lot of scramble drill and rollout practice in and showed some really good placement in the short/intermediate game on the run where he's at least somewhat trying to set a platform for himself when he moved. Unfortunately, I'm wondering to some extent if his arm just doesn't have the native velocity to get it done at the next level either. He's like Willis where he has a very violent/torque-driven follow-through into the ball, albeit cleaner than Willis, but he looks like either his release it more up and out than through the ball or his arm just doesn't have much velocity left in it--neither of which has a great prognosis for the NFL given how hard it is to change a release point or...gain any arm talent. Short passes, that doesn't really hurt you because there's not enough space for a trajectory change to matter, but that gets more pronounced as the target lengthens. With how much harder he's turning, I would've expected him to get some velocity gains this year, but I just don't see them. He probably is a guy who's going to rise come combine time for being gritty and a multi-year starter and running a sub 5.0 40 or whatever else, but the fact that he couldn't take much of a step forward compared to last year is a huge red flag to me. Poor man's Mayfield is fair, but Chad Kelly wouldn't be unfair either.

Carson Strong - Nevada

Again, going to crib from myself here:

quote:

You like deep balls? Watch this dude. His deep touch and accuracy are fantastic, and he pretty much always finds the matchup. The rest of his makeup right now is questionable. He's extremely jumpy on his feet which means he lofts balls unintentionally, and he's got a strange windup where he looks at times like he throws around the ball from the bottom--almost like you dumbbell clean the ball into place. His short game doesn't always show the velocity/zip needed, but I think he's got the arm to do it. The offense also isn't consistently difficult to read--lotta 4 verts. Could easily have a Love/Allen/Wilson bump or just be a Lindley type guy who someone talks themselves into if he comes out next year. Lots of small school guys will probably hang out longer due to the covid eligibility rules

He's actually looked cleaner than I expected where his pocket footwork looks less like a guy on a calf raise machine, but I just cannot project this offense meaningfully into the NFL. He could be Ryan Lindley or Jordan Love or Josh Allen.

When I watch his mechanics right now, he clearly put a lot of work into shortening his windup to try to clean up his short game a bit and reduce the number of batted/immediately contested balls. It's not perfect, and he'll still roll out that quasi-clean when he's trying to put every last bit on a ball, but I do think he's shown some mechanical improvements between that and a tendency to line his feet up more consistently--though he should have an easier time with that since he's not a runner. If I'm charting his arm, he's probably about at the Tua/Watson level where he can make 95% of throws with whatever velocity/air you need, but the Stafford/Mahomes type throws probably are out of the question--particularly from a raw distance standpoint. His deep touch is a bit better, but he's still missing guys by 5+ yards downfield, albeit sometimes that can just be a product of your skill players not being able to live up to what you're capable of putting out there. Regardless, he at least identifies the matchups to try and isn't relying on YAC, so there's at least something to his game mentally even if it's not the most complicated offense in the world. He's got a good sense of timing on those and in the pocket, but I don't see him destroying a zone defense in short/intermediate passing because that's not what this offense is for.

So what's bad? First, mechanically, he still loves to drop his back shoulder and sail balls even if he does that faster. Second, that offense is still pretty much like the Baylor/Malik Willis offense where it's pretty limited and heavily oriented around downfield shots and vertical pressure. If you just drop 8 or can take those matchups away, he doesn't always do the best job of diagnosing a window, which you can see when he loses patience and forces throws in red zone or boundary situations. Ironically, I think they tried to work on this a bit by giving him some snag/mesh concepts this year, but he ends up looking for the wheel/leak on those with it usually working out. He probably needs to be stashed to reorient how he works through some zone defenses, given that his timing abilities seem to be about anticipating man-beaters over finding a hole short/in the middle. High upside as a passer, but I don't think he's mobile enough for any type of scrambling beyond basic boot/roll stuff. Call him Nick Foles as a prospect right now.


QBs in the works: Ridder, Haener, McKee, Daniels

QBs who really shouldn't go to the draft because they need a year of new tape badly: Slovis, Rattler

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Doltos
Dec 28, 2005


Great work as always TGG

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