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2020 NFL Combine Preview Scouting – QBs

Air Date:
February 22, 2020

My Combine previews of each prospect attending the event is me taking 20-40 minutes and reviewing some game tape and going over career numbers/output and some background info – just trying to get a quick feel for the player and reporting out a few sentences on what I see. So we can watch/look at the Combine results aided with more info going in.

Some of the players I’ve previewed in 2019 and/or at the 2020 East-West Shrine or 2020 Senior Bowl weeks as well. The QBs have been scouted deeper and run through our scouting models already. Overall, it’s my best ‘flash’ opinion without going deeper with the tape or having the true measurables for the prospects.

Once we have the measurables, we’re off to the races with deeper studies and bigger reports up to and through the NFL Draft – but for now, here’s my quicker take…subject to change/being wrong once I get deeper into the studies with them:

 

In order of preview grade worst to best...

 

QB Brian Lewerke, Michigan St., 6’2”/216 (Grade: F)

I don’t see anything here to get excited about for NFL purposes. An underwhelming, sloppy passer…under 60% Comp. Pct. all four years in college. 25 TDs/24 INTs the last two years as a starter.

 

QB Kevin Davidson, Princeton, 6’4”/225 (Grade: F+)

Big arm, big body…terrible QB. Poor mechanics and instincts. Not ready for the NFL…or the CFL or the XFL. Nice arm, though. Good for throwing in drills at the Combine.

 

QB James Morgan, Fla. International, 6’3”/215 (Grade: D-)

Big arm, terrible QB. Very erratic thower. Doesn’t read the field well. Melts against any better opposition, but he’ll look great throwing at the Combine in shorts and a t-shirt.

 

QB Shea Patterson, Michigan, 6’2”/202 (Grade: D-)

He’s not an NFL QB, plain and simple. Good kid. OK college QB. Could be a 3rd-string/practice squad guy the coaches like but he is not a future, legit NFL starter. The arm isn’t there and the ability/instincts as a passer are so-so.

 

QB Kelly Bryant, Missouri, 6’2”/225 (Grade: D-)

A knock-off Jalen Hurts mobile-QB, a very cheap one at that – not a legit NFL prospect. Was the starting QB at Clemson, played in a national title game…but then got bumped by Trevor Lawrence. College mobile, but NFL slower…and not a great passer. He could hang in the NFL as a practice squad QB, a practice week mimic for facing Lamar Jackson, etc., but not a future NFL starter that could blossom out of nowhere. He just doesn’t have the juice.

 

QB Nate Stanley, Iowa, 6’4”/243 (Grade: D)

Another of Iowa’s solid college QBs who don’t really translate well to NFL stardom. They are well-schooled, old-school offense QBs who make nice backups but they are not stars to carry a franchise. Stanley is an inaccurate, mediocre passing prospect at best.

 

QB Steven Montez, Colorado, 6’4”/235 (Grade: D)

Has the size and the arm for the NFL, but he’s very hesitant and doesn’t see the field very well. Averaged just 1.5 TD and 230+ passing yards passes per game starting for three years, and his numbers were about the same each season…no growth/improvement shown – and he had an ace WR in Laviska Shenault and didn’t push him higher either.

 

QB Anthony Gordon, Washington St., 6’2”/210 (Grade: D)

Gordon is not a terrible prospect, he’s just not an obvious NFL future-starter prospect. So-so arm. OK feet. OK size. Came from a Mike Leach system that has launched more NFL flameouts/3rd-stringers than legit starters. He should go directly to the XFL or CFL.

 

QB Jake Luton, Oregon State, 6’6”/229 (Grade: D+)

Terrific season – 28 TDs/3 INT in 2019. But when I watch, it was a very ‘blessed’ season…Luton is a get snap, step and fire to a predetermined place 90%+ of the time…no matter what coverage, etc., is there. He has a so-so arm strength, tends to wind up too much and then non-zip passes across the field. When everything is right he looks pretty sound, but he’s not a playmaker…he’s like a one-note robot QB. Will look decent in shorts/t-shirt throwing, I bet.

 

QB Cole McDonald, Hawaii, 6’4”/220 (Grade: D+/C-)

At first glance, you see him throw the ball and it looks terrible – his throwing motion/release will be among the worst at the Combine, but the more you watch the more you see he has a great instinct/vision for throwing the ball…the problem is his delivery system is pretty poor, so he sees the right throw but his arm won’t let him complete it (if that makes sense). But his vision is so good he’ll pick apart defenses with smart throws, even if they look bad…plus he’s tall/big and runs like a nice WR/TE hybrid. He has a real bounce to his step I didn’t realize. He may be the best runner/mobile QB in this draft after Jalen Hurts.

A lot to work with here, but his throwing motion/delivery will turn a lot of people off. He’s the kind of guy who will get overlooked by the NFL and then go to the XFL and lead the league in passing/offense.

 

QB Jake Fromm, Georgia, 6’2”/220 (Grade: C-)

Solid enough NFL QB prospect, but leans more ‘D’ potential than close to being a ‘B’ potential. He looks and works like a solid. Long-time NFL backup QB…not a franchise savior.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.

 

QB Jacob Eason, Washington, 6’6”/228 (Grade C-)

Has the size and the arm, but not the passer skills for instant impact in the NFL. He’s a slower (feet), sloppier version of Justin Herbert. The tools are there to work with. He’s going to get a chance to develop in the NFL, but he just doesn’t seem to have a ‘greatness factor’. A little jittery in muddy pockets, not super-mobile, wants to ‘big arm’ too many throws that he shouldn’t. Raw clay to work with but not an obvious franchise QB here.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.

 

QB Jordan Love, Utah State, 6’3”/225 (Grade: C/C-)

The physical tools are there, and then some…but the QB ability/instincts are in serious question. Sometimes Love looks like an ‘A’ prospect, other times a ‘D’. At the Senior Bowl, he faded into the background and didn’t stand out…and that’s my impression of him – no killer instinct, aggression, passion. But he deserves a high draft status because it’s possible to change his mind, but you cannot teach his physical tools.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.

 

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama, 6’1”/218 (Grade: C+/B-)

A very talented QB but has a lot of question marks/red flags. He’s one of the slower/the slowest QB among the top guys this draft. He also has one of the weakest arms. He also has the smallest body and is the most injury prone among them…now a major hip injury he’s dealing with.

I think Tua is a savvy, solid QB and has NFL starter skills…but I could never draft him as highly as some NFL team is getting ready to. He’s potentially the Joe Biden of the 2020 QB class – everyone thought he was the best and then when more study was done and looking at the other candidates, the perpetual front runner fell apart as soon as it was vote time in the primaries. Tua might fall fast (to #10-15+ overall) when it comes time to teams putting their QB money where their mouth is.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.

 

QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma, 6’1”/218 (Grade: B-)

I think Hurts is the sleeping giant of the 2020 QB class. I’m not high on Hurts because he’s ‘a runner’…that’s too easy. It’s Hurts’ specific gift as a runner I’m captivated by…he’s not Lamar Jackson, the magician of agility bouncing all over the place. Hurts brings something no other QB in the league has – he’s built like a power RB for the NFL, a workhorse back…only Hurts can throw the ball pretty well and is probably a 4.5+ runner with good agility. Hurts will be very difficult to tackle in the open field because he’s so thick/strong and he’ll be less injury prone taking hits with his muscular/dense physique.

If he winds up on Carolina with Matt Rhule, then his fantasy value might run higher than Burrow’s in Cincy…because if Rhule runs the RPO offense with O-C Joe Brady, and rolls with Jalen Hurts – that’s fantasy numbers waiting to happen.

The Combine is not really built for him, except the faster he runs the 40-time…but he’s not blazing fast. As a thrower, he’ll look outclassed here, but that overlooks his running/dual-threat gift.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.

 

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon, 6’6”/237 (Grade: B/B-)

The Combine is only going to help him. Solid work at Oregon, but people still had some doubts…but he did a great job erasing the doubts at the Senior Bowl and converting people to positives on him, that he’s an instant franchise QB hopeful. The Combine is built for him to shine – he might be the tallest QB there, one of the best arms, great mechanics, and will surprise with his 40-time and three-cone.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.

 

QB Joe Burrow, LSU, 6’4”/215 (Grade: A+)

The best QB grade we’ve ever given via our computer models…the greatest single season by a college QB we’ve ever seen. I’m not sure how to pick at any weaknesses of Burrow…if he fails in the NFL, we should never look at college results/tape ever again in scouting. His worst attribute might be that he lands on the Cincinnati Bengals. Burrow will only be limited by his surroundings. He shouldn’t throw or do anything at the Combine. If I were him, I’d skip everything so I didn’t injure myself or do anything that could hurt my draft stock. There is nothing he can do here to help his draft stock.

*See his full scouting report PDF on CFM.



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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>