For the weeks leading up to the NFL Combine event (late Feb.), I go through preview tape of all the prospects attending/invited and give a quick reaction grade and a few sentences on what I’m seeing – a quick guide, of sorts, of what we’re focusing on watching at the event.
It’s a quick eye-test reaction, and grading/scouting typed in pencil. The NFL Combine measurables can/do change things radically for some of the prospects…there’s always a nice (or disappointing) surprise or ten.
After the 2019 NFL Combine results are in, we can load all the results into our computer scouting models to marry up with our performance analytics -- and then start our detailed studies on the top prospects and computer-model sleepers at each position.
Every day for the two weeks leading up to the 2019 NFL Combine we will release another positional preview of the prospects, ranked by our early grades applied.
Today’s group: QB prospects
Tomorrow’s planned group: ILB prospects
2019 NFL Combine Scouting Preview/Ranking: QB
QB Nick Fitzgerald, Miss State (6’4”/225) *Preview Scouting Grade: F
I have no idea how he got an invite here. He can run a little…he might try another position. He’s a terrible passer.
QB Easton Stick, No. Dakota State (6’1”/219) *Preview Scouting Grade: F+
I really do not see why anyone is taking Stick seriously for the NFL. Plenty of other neat, small-school QB prospects could have received an invite instead of Stick.
QB Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss (6’3”/214) *Preview Scouting Grade: F+
He has some size and can run a little…and that’s what is getting him some draft love, but he is a terrible passer prospect for the NFL. He’ll never make it, but he’ll get a few shots.
QB Jake Browning, Washington (6’1”/207) *Preview Scouting Grade: D-
Has decent moments, and then head scratching ones. Shows a decent arm, but too erratic and a little undersized. His NFL journey will be brief.
QB Trace McSorley, Penn State (6’0”/201) *Preview Scouting Grade: D-
Scrappy, but too small and too inaccurate, too often. He’ll make a good throw here and there, and then make terrible throws to ruin drives. NFL coaches will like him but he’s not going to be an impact NFL player. He’ll be off to the AAF/XFL eventually.
QB Brett Rypien, Boise State (6’2”/202) *Preview Scouting Grade: D
Talented 3rd-string type QB, but not legit for becoming an NFL starter in my book. Looks good when everything is fine. He’s terrible the second any pressure looms.
QB Clayton Thorson, Northwestern (6’4”/225) *Preview Scouting Grade: D+
Great arm and size. He can really sling it. He has some stunning NFL throws, but for evert great throw he makes an inexplicable one. Has an upside if he can correct the erratic nature, but that’s difficult to do at the next level. Sneaky good/strong runner too.
QB Drew Lock, Missouri (6’3”/228) *Preview Scouting Grade: D+
Big arm, but wildly erratic on accuracy. Stands flat foot and wobbles the ball way too much. When he does fire it – he throws into coverage, when he shouldn’t, too much. His best 3-4-5 throws are magical. Look at a random 100 passes of his and you’ll be turned off. He’s poor man’s Josh Allen.
QB Daniel Jones, Duke (6’4”/215) *Preview Scouting Grade: D+/C-
Not a fan. Has size. Is smart. I just think he has to have a perfect pocket and a safe game plan to succeed. When things break down, Jones has no answer…and lead feet to escape trouble/move around.
QB Kyle Shurmur, Vandy (6’4”/230) *Preview Scouting Grade: C-/C
Big arm…big QB. Has flashes of a legit NFL starter, but has too many erratic moments to have confidence he’s going to make it big in the NFL. He’s going to get plenty of chances because of his name.
QB Ryan Finley, N.C. State (6’4”/208) *Preview Scouting Grade: C-/C
One of the better technicians among the 2019 QB class, but his physical tools are a sketchy. He might be a lower level NFL starter at some point. Could be a Matt Ryan-like upside.
QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State (6’3”/218) *Preview Scouting Grade: C/C+
I think he’s wildly overrated. So simplistic an offense he ran/racked numbers in. A lot of slants and bubble screens, and some bombs – but ask him to work between the hashes/in traffic against decent opponents and he floundered. Has some tools to work with but he’s not as ready to go as people think. The NFL is bought in…because they’re always dupes.
QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo (6’7”/245) *Preview Scouting Grade: C+
The 2nd-most intriguing QB talent at the NFL Combine (Kyler #1). A ton of tools to work with here but I think a fairly accurate QB is hiding here among his not always accurate output in college. I see something here. I’m really falling in ‘like’ with Tyree, and I didn’t think I would. I go into that more on his deeper scouting report on CFM. He could be the 2nd-3rd-best QB prospect in this class.
QB Will Grier, West Va. (6’3”/215) *Preview Scouting Grade: C+/B-
Looked very good on tape and had great production his entire college career…but then I watched him the entire Senior Bowl week and he shrunk into the background. I question his desire for all this. I hope, for his sake, I’m wrong. But his ‘nothingness’ rattled me at the Senior Bowl.
QB Gardner Minshew, Wash. State (6’1”/220) *Preview Scouting Grade: B-
Baker Mayfield-lite…but without the hype, so he faces a monstrous headwind to make an impact in the NFL/get a chance. He’s got a good arm and can really read defenses. I like his game…I just know the NFL is going to fight this/ignore this from the jump.
QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (6’2”/210) *Preview Scouting Grade: B
My argument for the best pocket passer QB prospect in this draft. A Tom Brady-like prospect. Not a big QB, but big enough with a much better arm than given credit – he has, maybe, the best arm strength-quick release combo in this draft. He is accurate and does not fear throwing over the middle and into tight windows. Played a very tough schedule at Auburn…a schedule that would have crushed everyone by Kyler Murray on here.
QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma (5’9”/195) *Preview Scouting Grade: B+
The most intriguing QB prospect in this 2019 QB class…maybe the most intriguing player in the entire draft. He has passer instincts and Michael Vick-like runner ability. The Combine is built to launch him as a/the top prospect…I can’t wait to see the real numbers – on height, 40-time, and his arm speed.
When we first started pushing Murray, the mainstream was whining about his height. Now, everyone is starting to get on board with Kyler except a few purists stuck in the dark ages. Height and ability are not issues…style of play, injury-risk are questions for the NFL…talent is not.