Every year, I get the list of East-West Shrine prospects and go through each one for a 15-30 minute tape and initial data scouting session. I then slap an initial (school) grade reaction on each prospect and write a few lines about my first reaction to my preview study on them – to publish during East-West Shrine week to get ready for the E-W practice week and game.
I’ll get a better feel for these players after we get their Combine and/or Pro Day numbers and run our scouting analytics and do deeper research on some of them, but for now he’s a first reaction preview of the players going into their East-West week (ranked by lowest-to-highest initial reaction grades)…
QB Kevin Davidson, Princeton (6’4”/225) *Early Preview Grade: D/D-
Has the body and the arm of a legit NFL prospect. When he has time and steps into his throws he’s got a great arm to marvel at, but he is mostly a prospect fraud. Spends way too much time in the pocket trying to decide to throw (when he has the time) and when under any pressure his mechanics fall apart and he’s throwing off his back foot and throwing wobbly passes into places blanketed by coverage. I was totally unimpressed with his passer skills on tape, but I do see he has the size/arm of an NFL prospect.
QB Tyler Huntley, Utah (6’1”/205) *Early Preview Grade: D+
Savvy Spread option QB but he doesn’t have the NFL size, the NFL arm, or the NFL speed to make an NFL impact. He’s a really nice college Spread QB, but he’s not got any of the profile the NFL will be looking for. He could hang as a practice squad QB in the NFL. He’s just not going to be a surprise runner-thrower in the league…unless a bunch of injuries force him into some playing time. He just doesn’t have any ‘it’ factor but he’s solid. He’s like a lesser Jacoby Brissett…without the Bill Parcells push.
QB Tommy Stevens, Miss State (6’5”/235) *Early Preview Grade: D
Has the size and a big arm, and decent mobility…he can run a little for a man his size. However, he’s a jumpy/happy feet in the pocket, erratic QB. He tries to rely on his arm to do things but reading the interior of the defense and throwing successfully into it is definitely not one of them. He likes to bomb and dump pass. Erratic otherwise. He was humiliated facing Auburn-Alabama-Tennessee-K-State type of opponents this year but wasn’t as bad against the weaker opponents.
He looks like a potential NFL QB at a glance, but he might be the worst decision-making QB here at the E-W week.
QB Kelly Bryant, Missouri (6’3”/221) *Early Preview Grade: D+
Former Clemson QB…was the QB after Deshaun and before Trevor Lawrence. Took Clemson to the National Title game in 2017 and lost to Alabama. Was then beat out by Lawrence in 2018 and transferred to Mizzu for the 2019 season.
Mobile, Spread system QB…a run first as a weapon guy. Very limited passer but his running opens things up. Will be a nice backup for an NFL Spread offense team or as a scout team QB who can mimic the opposing spread QB in practices.
Ran for 665 yards and 11 TDs for Clemson in 2017, but just 242 yards and 1 TD in 2019 with Missouri. He’s a shifty runner but nothing super-special.
QB James Morgan, Fla. Int’l (6’4”/213) *Early Preview Grade: D+
Might have the strongest arm and fastest release of any prospect in 2020, but he’s like Ricky Vaughan in the movie Wild Thing…he’s going to throw a lot of passes ‘just a bit outside’ (i.e. 20 feet over the intended receivers’ heads).
He has tools NFL teams should want to work with and see if they can groom, but the NFL doesn’t have the time to take time with projects like this – he’ll have to go undrafted, get cut and move from team to team trying to latch on and make it the long/hard way. And then there’s no guarantee he will ever be an accurate thrower and reader of defenses. He may be a better fit for grooming as a backup in the XFL.
QB Mason Fine, No. Texas (5’11”/190) *Early Preview Grade: D+/C-
I like this kid. A great small-school QB…he’s like Baker Mayfield’s size/swagger but without the full ability to read the defenses and make the same throws. He has some Kyler Murray flick of the wrist/laser beam passing at a smaller size body, but none of the runner skills to go with. He has ability but he lacks the size and speed the NFL would crave. However, if Devlin Hodges can make it to the dance…Fine might have a cup of coffee someday. He had a 5 TD pass game vs. Charlotte in 2019 and followed that up with a 7 TD pass game against UTEP the next week. He’s got some moxie and ability but just not enough to be taken super-seriously for the NFL.