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THE NFL DRAFT REPORT PRESENTS
THE 2018 NFL DRAFT QUARTERBACK ANALYSIS – PART IV
In Part Three of The NFL Draft Report's Quarterback Class Analysis, we take a look at 2018 draft eligible quarterbacks who might hear their names called during Day Three activities. While most teams feature a first rounder under center, some have benefited from "throwing darts at the draft board" to unearth some talented signal callers in rounds four through seven.
Yes, it is rare that these late round selections will ever make it out of training camp, though. Even if they are fortunate to hold the clipboard as a third-stringer or run the scout team as a practice squad member, the chances of having a long career are slim - at least in these modern days.
Sine the turn of the century (2000 draft), 131 quarterbacks were selected from round four through seven. In that group, 47 never made it out of their first, and last, training camp. Thirty-nine others appeared in ten games or less before hanging up their football helmets. Just eleven draftees saw their careers extend to at least fifty games, but just seven of them started at least fifty times.
Two of the oldest active players have notched at least one hundred appearances, including a future Hall of Famer with over two hundred starts to his credit - Tom Brady. The 199th player selected in the 2000 draft, Brady has a lot of jewelry from his Super Bowl successes and has started 251-of-253 games, completing 5,629-of-8,805 passes (63.93%) for 66,159 yards, 488 touchdowns and 160 interceptions. He has compiled a 196-55 record with the first unit.
The only other 100-game starter is current Tampa Bay back-up, Ryan Fitzpatrick. A seventh round choice by the St. Louis Rams in 2005, he's started 119-of-133 contests, owning a 48-70-1 record. He's totaled 26,991 yards with 173 touchdowns vs. 136 pass thefts.
Brad Smith, a fourth round pick by the Jets in 2006 appeared in 127 games during his career, mostly on special teams. He retired after the 2014 season, having hit on just four of ten pass attempts. Perennial reserve, Matt Cassel, was a seventh round selection by New England in 2005 and has started 81 times through 106 contests. Still active, he's thrown for 17,449 yards with 104 touchdowns, but has also recorded 81 interceptions.
Marc Bulger joined the New Orleans Saints as a sixth round pick in 2000, but bounced training camp for two years before latching on with the Rams. He eventually replaced Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, starting 95-of-96 appearances that produced 122 touchdowns and 22,814 aerial yards. Jacksonville lucked out with 2002 fourth round pick David Garrard, who started 76-of-86 games during an eight-year career beset by injuries. He did generated 16,003 yards with 89 touchdowns in the pros.
Derek Anders on has etched out a career as the back-up quarterback in various places since leaving Oregon State as a sixth round pick by Baltimore in 2005. He did get an opportunity to start earlier in his career (47 games), but won just twenty of those contests. Cam Newton's caddy has 10,413 yards on 867-of-1,604 passes to his credit.
Teams have had better successz in unearthing late round quarterbacks in recent years. Baltimore snatched Tyrod Taylor in the sixth round of the 2011 draft and he remained a backup until joining the Buffalo Bills. Rumored to be on the trading block or just outright cut this off-season, he has started 43-of-58 games, connecting on 793-of-1,271 chances for 9,056 yards, 51 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
Another starting quarterback found in the late rounds who might not be long for his current team is 2015 seventh rounder, Trevor Siemian. He's failed to get Denver into the playoffs the last two years after taking over for Peyton Manning and the Patriots might be interested if the Broncos decide to cut him before the draft. He has a 13-11 record as a starter, throwing for 5,686 yards, thirty touchdowns and 24 thefts.
The 2016 draft darling, Dak Prescott, a fourth round choice by Dallas, forced Tony Romo off the roster with a sensational rookie campaign, but experienced the yips last year. In all 32 games as a starter, he's completed 619-of-949 tosses (65.23%) for 6,991 yards, 45 touchdowns and seventeen interceptions. He's also proven to be a mobile quarterback, running for twelve more scores.
The most famous of the Day Three Brigade is about to become one of the richest quarterback in the game after Washington decided to let 2012 fourth rounder Kirk Cousins escape the "franchise tag" designation for a third year. With 57 starts in 62 games that has seen him hit on 65.46% of his passes (1,372-of-2,096) for 16,206 yards, 99 touchdowns and 55 interceptions, it appears his next destination could be as a Minnesota Viking, Arizona Cardinal, Denver Bronco or New York Jet.
Some of the statistics compiled by notable Round Four through Round Seven quarterbacks since the 2000 Draft;
Year Rnd Pick Tm From To G GS QBrec Cmp Att Yds TD Int
4 135 Dak Prescott
2016 2017 32 32 22-10-0 619 949 6991 45 17
7 250 Trevor Siemian
2015 2017 26 24 13-11-0 495 835 5686 30 24
4 102 Kirk Cousins
2012 2017 62 57 26-30-1 1372 2096 16206 99 55
6 180 Tyrod Taylor
2011 2017 58 43 22-20-0 793 1271 9056 51 18
7 209 Matt Flynn
2008 2014 53 7 3/4/2000 219 357 2541 17 11
4 103 Brad Smith
2006 2014 127 24 4 10 51 1 2
4 106 Kyle Orton
2005 2014 87 82 42-40-0 1613 2712 18037 101 69
6 213 Derek Anderson
2006 2017 76 47 20-27-0 867 1604 10413 60 60
7 230 Matt Cassel
2005 2017 106 81 36-45-0 1571 2666 17449 104 81
7 250 Ryan Fitzpatrick
2005 2017 133 119 48-70-1 2411 4039 26991 173 136
4 106 Luke McCown
2004 2015 62 10 2/8/2000 216 356 2370 9 15
4 110 Seneca Wallace
2005 2013 64 22 6/16/2000 468 788 4947 31 19
4 108 David Garrard
2002 2010 86 76 39-37-0 1406 2281 16003 89 54
6 168 Marc Bulger
2002 2009 96 95 41-54-0 1969 3171 22814 122 93
6 199 Tom Brady
2000 2017 253 251 196-55-0 5629 8805 66159 488 160
THE 2018 NFL DRAFT POTENTIAL DAY THREE QUARTERBACK FINDS
While most of the preseason "giddiness" over the 2018 Draft Quarterback Class has subsided considerably, those that were originally comparing this group to the famed 1983 class were soon disappointed. While there still could be five quarterbacks selected in the first round - more due to desperate team needs rather than a rush for talent - no one is labeling any from those that they saw at the recently concluded 2018 NFL Scouting Combine as "gotta have" guys.
This year, nineteen quarterbacks were chosen to attend the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. All but Washington State's Luke Falk and Louisville's Lamar Jackson took part in the agility tests. Touted first rounder, Sam Darnold, disappointed some NFL brass when he decided he would not participate in passing drills.
With five quarterbacks likely to be selected in the first round, two others - Oklahoma's Mason Rudolph and rising star and Senior Bowl MVP, Kyle Lauletta of Richmond, appear to be favorites for Day Two (rounds two/three) calls from NFL teams. Michael White of Western Kentucky could sneak into the third round, but with his high sack total last season, some think he is not the most alert signal caller when it comes to avoiding the rush. The consensus seems to be that he will likely lead the group of passers taken on the third day of the draft.
Washington State gunslinger Luke Falk and Virginia's Kurt Benkert should be the next to go after Falk, appearing to be decent fifth round projects. Falk would be ideal for a team featuring the spread, but few professional organizations have embraced the college football offensive scheme preference.
Another quarterback from a pass-happy school who will hear his name called in the later rounds is Texas Tech's Nic Shimonek and while he might be short of stature, Wake Forest's John Wolford could be a decent clip-board holder for some team as a final round choice.
THE 2018 NFL SCOUTING COMBINE QUARTERBACK CLASS
Name School Ht Wt Arm Hand Wingspan Bench
Allen, Austin Arkansas 6003 209 30 5/8 9 5/8 73
Allen, Josh Wyoming 6047 237 33 1/4 10 1/8 78 3/8
Barrett, J.T. Ohio State 6012 224 32 9 7/8 76
Benkert, Kurt Virginia 6025 218 31 9 1/2 74 3/8 16
Darnold, Sam Southern Cal 6033 221 31 9 3/8 74
Etling, Danny Louisiana State 6020 215 31 9 3/8 75 1/4
Falk, Luke Washington State 6035 215 32 9 1/4 77 3/8
Ferguson, Riley Memphis 6026 212 30 7/8 9 5/8 74 5/8
Flowers, Quinton South Florida (RB) 5103 210 30 7/8 9 3/4 73 3/4
Jackson, Lamar Louisville 6022 216 33 1/8 9 1/2 77 5/8
Lauletta, Kyle Richmond 6025 222 30 5/8 9 3/4 76
Lee, Tanner Nebraska 6042 218 32 1/2 10 76 1/4
Litton, Chase Marshall 6050 232 32 1/4 9 3/8 76 1/8
Mayfield, Baker Oklahoma 6005 215 30 1/4 9 1/4 73 3/8
Rosen, Josh UCLA 6040 226 31 3/4 9 7/8 76 1/2
Rudolph, Mason Oklahoma State 6045 235 32 3/8 9 1/8 77 7/8
Shimonek, Nik Texas Tech 6030 225 30 3/4 9 1/4 76
White, Mike Western Kentucky 6045 224 31 7/8 9 1/2 77 5/8
Woodside, Logan Toledo 6012 201 31 9 3/4 72 3/8
Name School 40-Yd (1) 40-Yd (2) 40-YD Official Vertical Broad 3-Cone 20-Yd Sh
Allen, Austin Arkansas 4.84 4.82 4.81 29.5" 9'4" 7.18 4.48
Allen, Josh Wyoming 4.76 4.76 4.75 33.5" 9'11" 6.9 4.4
Barrett, J.T. Ohio State 4.76 4.71 4.7 30" 9'0" 7.38 4.44
Benkert, Kurt Virginia 4.97 4.95 4.95 31" 9'4" 7.15 4.33
Darnold, Sam Southern Cal 4.86 4.91 4.85 26.5' 8'9" 6.96 4.4
Etling, Danny Louisiana State 4.76 4.76 4.76 30.5" 9'6" 7.09 4.37
Falk, Luke Washington State 26.5" 8'7"
Ferguson, Riley Memphis 4.99 4.99 4.98 29" 9'2" 6.96 4.4
Flowers, Quinton South Florida 4.64 4.7 4.63 9'4" 6.81 4.57
Jackson, Lamar Louisville
Lauletta, Kyle Richmond 4.85 4.77 4.81 31" 9'5" 6.95 4.07
Lee, Tanner Nebraska 4.99 5 4.98 32" 9'7" 7 4.41
Litton, Chase Marshall 4.87 4.9 4.9 29.5" 8'10" 7.49 4.53
Mayfield, Baker Oklahoma 4.81 4.88 4.84 29" 9'3" 7 4.28
Rosen, Josh UCLA 4.85 4.93 4.92 31" 9'3" 7.09 4.28
Rudolph, Mason Oklahoma State 4.85 4.93 4.9 26"
Shimonek, Nik Texas Tech 4.86 4.9 4.88 28.5" 8'5" 7.28 4.32
White, Mike Western Kentucky 5.08 5.1 5.09 27" 8'0" 7.5 4.4
Woodside, Logan Toledo 4.72 4.8 4.79 31.5" 8'7" 6.94 4.15
BRINGING UP THE REAR
Most of the other Combine participants will be praying to hear their names called - J.T. Barrett-Ohio State, Danny Etling-Louisiana State, Riley Ferguson-Memphis, Chase Litton-Marshall and Logan Woodside-Toledo. Tanner Lee-Nebraska could have been well-served staying in school, where QB whisperer, Scott Frost takes over as head coach. However, the New Orleans native and Archie Manning Camp counselor won't have far to drive if rumors of the Saints' interest hold true.
Max Browne-Pittsburgh, was a five-star recruit by Southern California, but lost his job to Sam Darnold in 2016. He emerged on the Panthers campus this spring, but had a rough go of it through six games before injuring his shoulder and missing the rest of the year. Still, scouts from the Patriots think he can be this draft's Matt Cassel. Kenny Hill of Texas Christian will likely get a camp invite, but some teams are looking at him more as a running back than as a passer.
DAY THREE QUARTERBACK LEADER
Michael "Mike" White - Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers - Combine Numbers
Ht Wt Arms Hands 40-Yd Bench Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Sh 60-Sh 3-Cone
6:04.5 224 31 7/8" 9 1/2" 5.09 Dnp 27" 8'-00" 4.40 Dnp 7.50
Career Notes...The former Univsity of South Florida recruit was also a standout baseball player during his prep days before deciding to concentrate on football....At USF, White started five of six games in 2013, hitting on 93-of-175 passes (53.14%) for 1,083 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions, starting ten more times in 2014, throwing for 1,639 yards, eight scores and seven thefts...After losing his job at USF prior to the 2015 season, White transferred to Western Kentucky...
In 2016, White had the unenviable task of following up WKU's all-everything quarterback in Brandon Doughty and responded in dynamic fashion, leading an offensive attack that led the FBS in points per game (45.5) and was third in passing efficiency (174.87), fifth in total offense (523.1) and fifth in passing offense (336.8). White finished his first campaign on The Hill ranked third nationally in passing efficiency (181.4) and passing yards per completion (15.58) - both the top marks in Conference USA...In 2017, White capped his career on The Hill with eight consecutive 300-yard passing games, the longest streak in the nation. He finished fourth nationally with 4,177 yards and second with 560 attempts, while leading the country with 368 completions. The senior had at least 20 completions and 30 attempts in all 13 games. White accounted for 81.2% of the Hilltoppers' total offense through the air, leading to the No.7 passing offense in the nation. He led WKU with six rushing touchdowns, including a career-high two scores at UTEP...He is the first quarterback in program history to receive an invitation from the Senior Bowl, and is the second field general with an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine...White finished third in program history with 8,540 passing yards and fourth with 648 career completions, meanwhile his 368 completions in 2017 were the third-most in a WKU single-season...Set an all-time Hilltopper record by going 161 passes in-between interceptions, with the streak ending on the final attempt of his collegiate career vs. Georgia State in the 2017 Cure Bowl...For his entire college career, White appeared in 42 games, completing 817-of-1,324 passes (61.71%) for 10,575 yards (251.78 ypg), 69 touchdowns and 29 interceptions, as he scored six times on 123 carries for losses of 421 yards...Fumbled the ball 23 times, leading to ten turnovers and was sacked 78 times for minus 522 yards during his career.
Best 2017 Season Performances...Eastern Kentucky, Charlotte, Old Dominion, Marshall, Middle Tennessee State (passing)
Worst 2017 Season Performances...Illinois, Ball State, Middle Tennessee State (turnovers), Georgia State
Critical Performance Factors
Body Structure...White has a tall, athletic physique with adequate muscle development. He might look a little narrow through his shoulders, but has the frame to carry additional bulk. He has adequate lower body muscle tone with a smooth frame, good waist, legs and calves.
Athletic Ability...White lacks mobility and is no threat as a runner, but he shows enough movement skills, instincts and a quick release to make some plays out of the pocket. He has adequate flexibility and change of direction agility. Still, he only shows marginal acceleration and marginal awareness in attempts to escape pressure (35 sacks in 2017).
Football Sense... White is a bright player who learns and retains plays well, which makes it puzzling, as he makes some foolish decisions or hesitates to flip on the switch at times. He makes a lot of checks on the field and has a good understanding of the game, but will try to force the issue too much, perhaps due to his inability to recognize backside pressure. He has the ability to take the plays from the blackboard to the field, but his inconsistency is a concern. He plays in a pro-style passing offense, but despite his knowledge of the game, he makes too many questionable decisions (13 interceptions, 17 fumbles, 51 sacks, 92 pressures, 87 passes deflected in his last 25 games). I also question his field vision, as he tends to get into most of his trouble when throwing to the right side of the field (ten interceptions and 55 pass deflections came over the right side).
Pass Set-Up...While White lacks foot speed to be a running threat, he does demonstrate adequate quickness when he drops and sets up, but he appears to lumber on the move and fails to bring his feet forward sometimes when stepping up in the pocket (lead-foot). He has good upper body mechanics to follow through, but tends to get too methodical in his drop from center to his throwing point. He does not show the body control to throw on the run and needs to show consistency and maintain balance in order to be ready to unleash the ball in time. Once he gets to his throwing point, he is quick to deliver.
Reading Defenses... Based on his 23 fumbles and 29 interceptions, he might not have the great field vision scouts think, or it could just be the result of poor decision making. He tends to lock on to his primary target and consequently, he might not see the defenders, especially when he simply throws right into the coverage. He tends to force the ball rather than take a sack, but this can be rectified under patient coaching. When 174 of your passes are intercepted (29) or batted away (145), there could be an issue here. I really question his overall vision, especially throwing to the right side of the field, where most of his interceptions and passes deflected occur.
Release...White has a quick release and carries the ball chest-high, as he plants well to throw, showing adequate quickness to unload the ball. He sometimes uses a ¾ arm motion, but has the wrist flick to get the ball out nicely. His smooth motion and good mechanics compensate for his lack of foot speed. He will generally throw over the top, generating a good wind-up motion, but will show a bit of a long arc on deep tosses.
Arm Strength...White can zip the short tosses and drive the ball well in the intermediate area. He can also flick the ball long, but when he fails to set his feet properly, he has a long arc that lets the defenders settle under his pass to make the interception. He doesn’t appear to struggle throwing any of his passes, but needs to use better judgment. Most of his tosses come out with good ball speed and there is no doubt he can go deep, as the long ball tends to reach his targets in stride, but he needs to be more aware of the defensive coverage. If he sets his feet and scans the field better, he could be able to make all the throws needed to play pro ball, but has to throw the deep pigskin into free lanes, rather than into a crowd.
Accuracy...White is starting to become a solid high-percentage passer with good accuracy at the short-to-intermediate levels. He sprays the ball going long, but he can also drill the ball into the seam with a tight spiral, keeping his receivers in their routes with minimal adjustments, when he sets his feet. He has good accuracy in the mid-range level vs. man coverage, but is prone to forcing the ball into zone coverage when going long (see 2017 Florida Atlantic and Ball State games). He has the arm strength to connect with a perfect strike, but will miss the wide-open target when pressured (not good throwing on the move).
Touch...White can throw the ball on time, but when he locks on to his primary target, he is slow to come off that man to find a better choice, resulting in 29 interceptions to date. While he does a good job of anticipating the receivers coming open, he seemed to demonstrate better anticipation and feel for route progressions after some coaching advice during Senior Bowl practices. Still, he seemed to regress in the later stages of those drills and he has to convince teams he can be more consistent than he has shown. He throws an easy ball that comes out with a tight spiral, but still needs to improve his placement. On long tosses, he is not the type who will under-throw or make the ball sail, but when he throws on the move, the ball drifts, causing the receiver to break off the route.
Poise...White generally shows good poise in the pocket, but while he doesn’t panic, his high amount of turnovers is proof that he will force the action when pressured. He can be strong standing in the pocket, as he’s not easy to knock down, but needs to show calmer feet, as he is no threat to make the plays when on the move. He has good huddle command, but when he looks to take flight out of the pocket, bad things are sure to happen (23 fumbles in 42 games). When he is flushed out of the pocket, even more bad things occur, especially from the right hash.
Pocket Movement...White has good instincts and the ability to feel pressure, but lacks the mobility to avoid pass rushers, especially when he’s flushed out of the pocket. He has enough functional foot balance to step up in the pocket, but is not effective moving around traffic. He tends to stand in the pocket too long and then has to force his throws at times. His problems usually come vs. backside pressure, but at least he won’t run from the pocket prematurely. He did show some improvement in 2017 when stepping up (six touchdown runs - first for his career), but still is not the best you will find sliding away from the rush. Most of his problems occur when throwing from the right hash.
Compares To...Bryce Petty-New York Jets...White definitely has the arm strength to make all the required NFL throws. He stands tall in the pocket and steps up as needed, possessing all the physical tools to play on Sundays. He can move the safety with his eyes and holds the ball high and has a high release. He needs to step into his passes, and has to make quicker decisions, especially in order to start for schemes that feature play action passes. He is not the type that can extend the play athletically to keep them alive until a receiver breaks open. When well protected, he does a good job of finding the open receiver. He just needs to keep his eyes down the field, as he has the arm strength to drive an 18-yard dig route. Where he does have issues is when asked to throw a 15-yard out from the opposite hash mark. He is not the type who has the ability to scramble for positive yards when the pocket breaks down, though, and will need time to mature and learn the NFL game, as he still needs to anticipate downfield throws better. More than a handful of scouts do question his field awareness at times.
OTHER DAY THREE DRAFT HOPEFULS
Luke Falk - Washington State University Cougars - Combine Numbers
Ht Wt Arms Hands 40-Yd Bench Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Sh 60-Sh 3-Cone
6:03.5 215 32" 9 1/4" 4.87 Dnp Dnp Dnp Dnp Dnp Dnp
Career Notes...Falk appeared in 42 games, completing 1,403-of-2,054 passes (68.31%) for 14,481 yards, an average of 344.79 yards per game...Threw 119 touchdowns and was intercepted 39 times, losing 817 yards on 119 quarterback sacks...Scored four times on 251 rushing attempts, compiling 14,081 yards in total offense, an average of 335.26 yards per game.
Current Rank Among Active NCAA Football Bowl Championship Subdivision Performers...Falk led all active major college passers in pass attempts (2,054), pass completions (1,403) and passing yards per game (344.79)...Also led with 2,305 offensive snaps and finished second with 14,081 yards in total offense...Ranks second with 14,486 aerial yards and 119 touchdown tosses.
The 2017 Season...Falk was named All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention and won the Burlsworth Trophy, given to nation’s top former walk-on…Selected as a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award and was named to the Watch Lists for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award…Selected Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week twice (Oregon State, Stanford)…Set the WSU and Pac-12 all-time records for passing touchdowns, passing yards, total offense, completions and attempts…Also set the Cougars record for career wins by a quarterback (27)…started 12 games, missing the Holiday Bowl with a wrist injury…Went 357-of-534 for 3,593 yards with 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions…Led the conference in touchdown passes (30), second in passing yards-per-game (299.4) and third in passing yards (3,593)…Posted seven 300-yard games and had 49 passes of 20-plus yards including 12 for touchdowns.
Best 2017 Season Performances...Montana State, Oregon State, Nevada, Oregon, Stanford,
Worst 2017 Season Performances...Boise State, California, Arizona, Washington
Critical Performance Factors
Body Structure... Falk has excellent height and a lanky, raw-boned build that can add more bulk without losing his agility. He has a strong lower body that allows him to break tackles and the long arms, big hands and adequate upper body muscle definition to put good power behind his throws.
Athletic Ability... Falk has adequate avoidance skills with decent body control and change of direction agility. He is not a threat to hurt a defense with his feet, but can gain valid yardage if given a free lane to run. He shows enough nimbleness in the pocket to elude the bull rush, but lacks second level quickness to take the ball to the house. He needs to build to top acceleration on the move and is best served staying in the pocket rather than try and create with his feet. He does show the lateral movement to slide away from pressure and the change of direction agility to avoid backside pursuit. He shows good body control rolling out, but not the foot quickness to pick up positive yardage turning the corner.
Football Sense... Falk shows decent football intelligence, but is prone to costly mistakes. He needs to be coached better on the field (staff tries to keep things too simple) in order to get the best out of his ability and must show better creativity in the pocket. He gets into a habit of locking on to his primary target too long and will then try to force the ball rather than throw it away (see 2017 California, Utah and Washington games). Over the years, he has shown recent improvement in knowing defensive fronts, protections and coverage, but he should be capable of handling the mental aspect on a more consistent basis than he has done so far in his career (benched twice for poor performances in 2017). He needs to show better ability to call audibles and adjust to the coverage, along with doing a better job of being away of ball security.
Pass Set-Up...Falk has smooth feet getting to his pass drop point. He moves back with adequate quickness and balance to get into throwing position. He shows decent footwork, whether in a 3- or 5-step drop. He is not quick rolling out, but can throw off the run going to his right (better than to the left). He also demonstrates patience, stepping up in the pocket (not used there often though, as the team usually lines him up with shallow depth in the shotgun) rather than moving out of it prematurely.
Reading Defenses...While he is not careless, he does tend to hold on to the ball too long at times trying to make the play rather than throwing the ball away. He is prone to that bad decision throwing into coverage (see 2017 California and Washington games). He will also look uncomfortable under pressure, resulting in a multiple sacks during the same drive (see 2017 USC, California and Washington games). When given protection, he makes good reads and proper decisions and will not have to force the ball into coverage. Falk just needs to show a more conscious effort throwing the ball away rather than taking the sack or forcing the ball into a crowd.
Release...When Falk reverts to a somewhat sidearm delivery with a low release, he will generally throw into a crowd or have his passes batted down. When he uses a ¾ release, he seems to get the ball out quicker, but when he utilizes an over-the-top motion, he has more of a long arc on his throws and a big circle that will see some of his long throws die in the air. When trying to go long, his windup causes him to take longer than necessary in attempts to get the ball away. He will never be confused for being Dan Marino “cat-quick” with his release, but when he gets rid of the ball on short and intermediate throws, it comes off his hand with a tight, circular motion that is fairly smooth, showing consistency in generating a tight spiral.
Arm Strength...Falk can zip the short-to-intermediate passes with good velocity when needed and also knows when to take a bit off his throws. His long ball strength is adequate, at best, but he does not have the “big arm” to uncork 45-to-50-yarders on a regular basis. He can make the throws, but will never be confused for having a “cannon” for an arm. Still, with more mechanical refinement, he has the functional strength to develop and fire tight ropes. His long tosses just lack consistent touch, but it is more due to a lack of control, resulting from the long arc in his windup.
Accuracy...This is one area that he continues to improve. His long tosses hang a bit at times, but when firing underneath, he puts good zip and touch on his tosses. He is very conscious of placing his long throws on the outside shoulder of his target and does a good job of anticipating the receivers coming out of their breaks. His receivers are just forced to adjust some when he uncorks a deep throw. On intermediate routes, he shows good location and touch and is also pretty accurate on fades in the 25-30-yard range. But, on his deep throws, he can be off-target.
Touch...Falk has much better touch in the short-to-intermediate areas than when going long, but when given time to plant his feet and step into the throw, he can hit the wide-open target in stride. He is just better anticipating the receiver’s breaks underneath than when chucking deep into the secondary. He gets inconsistent when pressured out of the pocket, but is more effective throwing from the right hash than the left. Sometimes, it looks as if he does not see the entire field, especially when he locks on to his primary target. As the 20175 season progressed, he became less effective looking off the first receiver to spot his secondary targets. He also seemed to lose his feel and timing on crossing routes, not displaying his anticipation skills when working underneath. When he gets a hot read, he is better at anticipating the receiver’s break. Early in 2017, he still made a lot of first reads, but showed less patience with check-downs to go to his secondary target as the season progressed and needs to do a better job in looking off his primary target and finding his alternate receivers.
Poise...Falk has good poise under pressure, but has taken more than a few lumps behind a suspect offensive line. The thing I like though, he never gets flustered. He will hang in vs. pressure (sometimes, too long, though) and there is no panic in his game. He will take a sack when necessary and while he shows the mobility to pull off the naked bootleg, he does not get “happy feet” under pressure. He just does a good job of standing tall in the face of the pass rush to let the play develop. He is a mentally tough character who could be more vocal, but you don’t have to worry about him running out of the pocket at the first sign of pressure. He just needs to locate his secondary targets better. The WSU system is more of a “move the chains” approach, so he is not required to make many reads, causing him to throw more touch passes. Still, he misfires on some deep throws when he is not conscious of keeping the ball away from the defenders (see 2017 California and Washington games).
Pocket Movement...Despite lacking the speed to break it open past the second level, Falk has a good feel for pressure and shows enough mobility to slide and avoid. He will move out of the pocket if it means completing the pass and is also quite effective rolling out to throw from the right hash. He has the leg strength to gain valid yardage on the naked bootleg, but needs to improve his feel for stepping up in the pocket. If he can continue to work on stepping up and out to avoid pressure, he will see his draft stock increase in the mid rounds, but playing mostly in the shotgun, he does not get many opportunities to drive back from center. He will never be a dangerous threat to pull it down and run with the ball, but he has decent leg drive and power to break tackles.
Compares To...Sean Mannion-Los Angeles Rams...Falk owns numerous school and conference passing records and is a tall quarterback who sees over the offensive line. He has the ability to throw with high release point and he knows how to sit down and shift weight properly to drive the intermediate throws. He seems comfortable with 3-, 5- and 7-step drops, but does not take too many snaps from under center. When protected, he shows confidence to stand and deliver with accuracy to all areas of the field, but will get into a rhythm where he just throws right into traffic. He does have a good feel for a pro-style play-action passing attack and he can throw with above-average accuracy and ball placement, but there are concerns that he will be confined to the bench for most of his career.
Kurt Beckert - University of Virginia Cavaliers - Combine Numbers
Ht Wt Arms Hands 40-Yd Bench Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Sh 60-Sh 3-Cone
6:02.5 218 31" 9 1/2" 4.97 16 31" 9'-04" 4.40 Dnp 7.33
Benkert changed scenery in both his high school and collegiate career, playing in three secondary schools (one in Maryland, two in Florida) before earning third-team Class 6A all-state honors as a senior with Island Coast High School. Benkert signed with East Carolina out of high school, redshirted the 2013 season there and played in three games as a reserve in 2014 (8-of-10, 58 yards, one interception). He earned the Pirates' starting quarterback job the following fall, but injured his knee and was lost for the year. Benkert did not win the job in the spring of 2015, however, so he decided to transfer to Virginia as a graduate student (he earned a degree in just three years). Cavaliers coaches put him into the starting lineup 10 times in 11 games played (56.2 completion percentage, 2,552 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions). His play as a senior opened the eyes of some NFL scouts, as he was the team's leader in all 13 games, completing 58.5 percent of his passes (298-of-509) for 3,207 yards and 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Benkert's father, Bruce, played semi-pro football until he was 41 years old. He's also a tattoo artist, but won't ink Kurt's right arm until he's done playing football.
Career Notes...The former East Carolina Pirate played three games at the school in 2014, hitting on 8-of-10 tosses for 58 yards and one interception after red-shirting in 2013. He sat out the 2015 campaign after injuring his knee in fall camp, but after he graduated in just three years, he was eligible to play for Virginia after transferring prior to the 2016 campaign. He completed 228-of-406 passes (56.2%) for 2,552 yards, 21 touchdowns and eleven interceptions as a junior. Last season, he generated 3,207 yards on 298-of-509 chances (58.5%) with 25 touchdowns vs. just nine pass thefts...
For his complete college career, Beckert has connected on 526-of-915 throws (57.49%) for 5,759 yards, 46 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, losing 157 yards on 125 carries that produced two scores...In two seasons at Virginia, Beckert threw twenty interceptions, as 96 other attempts were deflected by the opposition. He was sacked 62 times for losses of 408 yards as a Cavalier, leading to fifteen fumbles, as seven were recovered by the opposition.
The 2017 Season...Beckert became the first player in UVA history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in a season and he tied his 2016 season and Matt Schaub (2003) for being the quickest quarterback to 2,000 passing yards in a season, doing so in eight games...Completed 298-of-509 tosses (58.5%) for 3,207 yards, 25 touchdowns and nine interceptions, but was sacked 31 times for minus 194 yards, as he also had 48 passes deflected and fumbled eleven times, leading to three turnovers...Broke the UVA record with 66 pass attempts vs. Indiana and completed 39 passes against the Hoosiers, which is tied with Matt Schaub (FSU, 2003) four fourth-most completions in a single game in UVA history... Threw for 421 yards and set the school game-record with 465 yards in total offense vs. Central Michigan in 2016.
Best 2017 Season Performances...William & Mary, Indiana, Connecticut, Boise State, Georgia Tech, Miami
Worst 2017 Season Performances...Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Navy
Critical Performance Factors
Body Structure.. Beckert has an athletic and adequately proportioned frame with good arm length, soft midsection, adequate chest muscles and adequate lower body muscle tone, high-cut calves, but strong ankles.
Athletic Ability...Beckert is a mobile passer with the nimble feet to make all of his throws when rolling out of the pocket. He has good arm strength and accuracy on sideline, screens, slants and crossing routes. He has the valid foot agility speed and balance to be a somewhat of a threat running with the ball, but is not the type that can separate or accelerate into the second level. He shows good body control in his pass set-up. When flushed out of the pocket, he has enough leg drive to break tackles, pull it down and run with the ball. He moves well in the pocket, where he can slide and avoid. Do not let his high sack numbers and pedestrian foot speed fool you - he shows enough escapability to be creative when on the move. He does whatever he can to stay alive in the pocket.
Football Sense... Beckert picks up defensive schemes quickly and has no problems taking plays from the chalkboard to the field. He is best when making calls at the line of scrimmage, as he does a very good job of scanning the field to make checks and proper adjustments. He is a sharp field general with a nice touch on his tosses. He spends extra hours studying film and shows the instincts and intangibles that teams look for in a quality passer. He takes care of business in the classroom. On the field, the thing you notice is his ability to make frequent reads and checks.
Pass Set-Up.. Beckert has adequate quickness dropping back from center to his pass-set point. He is able to get good depth due to his fine balance and quick feet, but needs to stay in control and be more conscious of the center exchange to reduce his fumble totals. He carries the ball chest high and is nimble in his set-up. Because of his size and mobility, he is a threat to throw on the move, showing the body control to keep his feet under him and step into his throws properly.
Reading Defenses...Beckert runs hot and cold here. He can be effective at throwing away the ball rather than force it into traffic. But, as a junior, he ran through several streaks where he simply threw right to the opposition, resulting in 11 interceptions, but he reduced those numbers to nine in 2017, despite throwing 103 more passes than the previous season. When he holds on to the ball too long, he will be forced to improvise and the result is generally not good. His problems throwing the ball away came when he threw it to dangerous spots on the field where there was no receiver in sight (see 2017 Duke, Pittsburgh, Boston College, Navy games). It was uncharacteristic to see him force the ball into double coverage, as some felt he was too over-confident in his arm strength or because he seemed to lack patience waiting for his targets to get open, resulting in him taking costly chances. When he loses patience, he is prone to missing too many reads and will throw to areas where there were no receivers around.
Release...The ball comes off Beckert’s hand with decent zip and good touch. He has a nice over-the-top release, but sometimes will wind up (no major issues though). When he uses a compact ¾ release and steps into his throws, his release is much more compact and natural. When he carries the ball too low, it slows down his delivery and gets him a bit off balance Still, he throws a tight spiral with a nice spin to his throws.
Arm Strength...Beckert has the arm strength to make all the throws, showing the power to fire the ball with ease on deep routes. He throws the long ball with decent touch and accuracy, zips the posts and even when he passes off his back foot, he is still able to generate enough velocity. He has a fluid motion throwing down field and can put the ball on a rope if needed. The thing you notice is the way he zips the ball going long, but he needs to show more patience and scan the field better to locate his secondary receivers.
Accuracy...Beckert shows good accuracy with underneath tosses and average velocity on his deep throws. He shows decent touch on his passes and the timing and anticipation skills to hit his receivers in stride. He puts good air behind the short fade routes, knowing when to take something off those throws. He can zip the pass into tight coverage away from the defender, demonstrating good placement. He has adequate timing going over the middle and even better timing on out patterns. When pressured and forced to roll out, he had a little bit of a problem, as his receivers did have to adjust a bit (see 2017 Duke and Navy games). Most of the time, he is seldom late and if anything, most of his trouble happens when he rushes his throws (receivers are nowhere in sight). He has good ability and touch on screens, sidelines, slants, hitches and crossers.
Touch...Beckert does a nice job of airing the ball out and makes it look easy attacking the deep part of the secondary. He has adequate touch on his deep ball and tries to put it on the outside shoulder of his target. He hits receivers in stride when he sets his feet properly and steps into the ball, but they do have to adjust some when he hurries his passes. He can throw the 30-yard strike with regularity, demonstrating good accuracy. He also shows fine touch on fade routes, screens and short throws. He is not the type that will lock on to just one target and goes through route progressions adequately, but needs to be more patient waiting for his targets to get open.
Poise...While he doesn’t get rattled under pressure, his lack of ball security (fifteen fumbles in two seasons at Virginia) made Beckert rush some throws, resulting in twenty interceptions and 96 passes being deflected since the start of the 2016 season. He can move the ball with his feet when flushed out of the pocket and will drive hard with his legs to break tackles. When he is given time to throw, he shows patience to allow his receivers to uncover. He is a tough cookie that will stand tall and take a hit, doing a nice job of carrying out fakes. Simply put, he is one of the stronger passers you will find standing in the pocket. He has good courage and confidence in his ability and if he ever gets the protection afforded most quarterbacks, his statistics would soar. He is not prone to panicking and bolting at the first sign of pressure, and has the foot speed to be a dangerous runner in the open field.
Pocket Movement...Beckert has good movement in the pocket. He is not prone to bolting too early, but at times, he should, as he stands in the pocket taking vicious hits trying to make the pass play because of poor protection throughout his career. But, when he holds on to the ball too long, bad things happen (62 sacks, 15 fumbles in his last 24 games). He has good awareness and ability to slide in the pocket and continue to scan down field. He can escape the rush due to his nimble feet and is instinctive knowing when he has to bail. The thing I like is his ability to maintain his focus under pressure. He can make things happen with his arm or feet.
Compares To...Josh McCown-New York Jets...Beckert has the makings for being an accurate - a safe thrower who knows how to pick his spots. He is a good athlete who can make plays on the run, but is not going to run past many defenders. Some scouts consider him more of a game manager type. Even though he can make good decisions with the ball, he has not shown he can develop the flash plays to move the offense and win games for his team at the next level. He will need talent around him to succeed, which limits his value.
BRINGING UP THE REAR GUARD
Of the nineteen quarterback in attendance at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, the consensus is that at least thirteen will be drafted, but if could be a long wait for most after the top five - first round projections - get the chance to walk the podium. Mason Rudolph and Kyle Lauletta are Day Two prime candidates and if someone is enamored by Mike White's raw talent, he could sneak into the back end of round three.
If he is not taken by then, White is certain to be the first quarterback selected when the fourth round commences. Gunslinger, Luke Falk, is a fifth round candidate, but like the Rams Sean Mannion, he will be more of a depth talent than starting material. Kurt Benkert has a rifle for an arm and has drawn interest from the Redskins and Jaguars, but he's rawer than sushi, despite having good athletic skills.
In the final two rounds, Texas Tech's Nic Shimonek, Riley Ferguson of Memphis and Chase Litton of Marshall bring in the next set of selections, but Wake Forest's John Wolford has made a late push to leap-frog that trio to get out of the late round/priority free agent grouping. Logan Woodside from Toledo is another talent whose arm have scouts smiling watching game film and could join the fifth round selection process.
Look for Louisiana State's Danny Etling, Eastern Michigan's Brogan Roback and Nebraska's Tanner Lee to field offers right after the draft. Other free agent types who should get a free agent contract are Austin Allen-Arkansas, Kyle Allen-Houston, Kenny Hill-Texas Christian and Nick Stevens-Colorado State.
The sleeper on the free agent from could be Pittsburgh's Max Browne, a former five-star recruit who dinged his shoulder, missing the second half of the 2017 schedule. Browne has one of the strongest arms in the industry, but has yet to get a decent amount of college playing time to display what he did as a high school standout. He can be accurate throwing on the move, as he can shuffle, re-set and buy a second passing chance, but is not a dual-threat.
For his entire career, Browne has appeared in twenty-four games, starting eight contests, as he completed 165-of-247 passes (66.80%) for 1,647 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions…
Averaged 6.67 yards per pass attempt and 9.98 yards per pass completion while registering an interception rate of just 1.62% of his attempts…Lost 84 yards on 32 rushing attempts, finishing his career with 1,563 yards in total offense, an average of 65.13 yards per game.
Troy's Brandon Silvers received a Senior Bowl invitation, but was a bit lost in the shuffle in Mobile and failed to impress. However, he did set the Troy career record for touchdowns responsible with 77 after accounting for 22 his senior year – 17 passing and five rushing. He was named the MVP of Troy’s 50-30 victory over North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl after completing 24-of-31 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns and he averaged 310.4 passing yards to go along with 10 touchdown passes in Troy’s final three games of the season.
Silvers threw at least one touchdown pass in the final seven games of the season (15 total) after having just two touchdown passes in the first six games. He finished his career with 29 interceptions in 48 career games and 1,504 pass attempts; one pick every 51.9 career pass attempts. He was ranked 15th nationally in 2017 with an interception once every 63.3 pass attempts and was fifth among quarterbacks with at least 400 pass attempts. He is second on the school career-record list in passing yards (10,684), completions (969) and total offense (11,099), while ranking third in touch-down passes (71) and completion percentage (64.4).
While not considered draft worthy, a few small college players could end up with practice squad inclusions out of 2018 training camp. Sam Houston State's Jeremiah Briscoe has thrown for 10,233 yards with 106 touchdowns vs. just 27 interceptions, but more teams are considering him for a shift in the backfield to fullback, despite his 4.87 speed and just four touchdowns as a ball carrier.
James Madison's Brian Schor has been compared to former Dallas Cowboy, Tony Romo. He's rushed for 21 touchdowns and 1,163 yards on 252 carries in 42 games - 29 as a starter. He's totaled 8,241 yards (196.21 ypg), including 6,224 yards his last two campaigns. The signal caller collected 7,078 aerial yards behind 559-of-827 passes (67.59%) with 62 touchdowns.
Last season, Schor, who began his career at Lackawana College, was a Walter Payton Award finalist, finishing eighth in the final voting. The second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association choice and team captain was the recipient of the Gary Clark Offensive MVP Award after he broke JMU career records for passing touchdowns (62), passing yards (7,078), completions (559) and total offense (8,241).
As a senior, he completed 271-of-417 pass attempts for 3,222 yards and 26 touchdowns, with 14 interceptions and also rushed for 322 yards and seven scores on 146 carries. He led the CAA and ranked ninth nationally in completion percentage (65%). He also ranked 13th in passing touchdowns, 23rd in pass efficiency (143.8 rating), 28th in both point responsibility (13.2) and in yards per pass attempt (7.73) and 30th in completions (18.07).
South Dakota's Chris Streveler is a player to keep an eye on, if you want to see a camp surprise. After three frustrating years of limited playing time with the Minnesota Gophers, Streveler made a career-saving decision to drop down a level, joining the Coyotes before the 2016 season. In 23 games at the Football Championship Subdivision level, he completed 480-of-754 tosses (63.66%) for 6,081 yards, 54 touchdowns and just seventeen interceptions. A threat to score with his feet, he reached the end zone for twenty rushing touchdowns, tallying 1,543 yards on 329 tries (4.7 ypc).
In 2017, Streveler was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, finishing second, after leading South Dakota to a 6-0 start which included wins vs. Bowling Green and three nationally-ranked FCS teams.
In leading the nation's second-ranked offense, Streveler set 20 program records and five MVFC records including new marks for passing yards (4,134) and total offense (4,854). He accounted for 43 touchdowns – 32 passing and 11 rushing – and led the nation in total offense while taking on one of the toughest schedules in the country.
At the conclusion of the regular season, Streveler became the first Coyote named Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He has since been named a first-team All-American by nearly every publication including Associated Press, Phil Steele, Walter Camp and HERO Sports. Phil Steele named Streveler FCS Offensive Player of the Year in mid-December.
The winner of the Payton Award, Sam Houston State's Jeremiah Briscoe, might not an opportunity to be a quarterback at the next level, as some teams are considering him for the fullback position. Actually, he is just the second player in the history of the Payton Award to win it multiple times, as he was also chosen in 2016. He was also as the FCS ADA Offensive Player of the Year, joining former Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards (2008 & 2009) as the only two players in FCS history to claim the 31-year old award multiple times.
The All-Southland Conference quarterback led the FCS and set a SHSU single-season record with 5,003 yards passing in 2017, while also leading the country for the second consecutive season with 45 touchdown passes. The Bearkat trigger man is the first Kat to throw for 5,000 yards in a season and threw for at least 300 yards in 11 of Sam Houston’s 14 games. He connected on 102 touchdowns and just shy of 10,000 yards in his two Payton Award campaigns.
Briscoe led the Kats to a 12-2 record and the semifinals of the FCS playoffs for the third time in four years this season, helping the Sam Houston offense become the first FCS school to lead the nation in total offense in three consecutive years since Portland State did so from 1978-80, the first three years following the split of Division I into I-A and I-AA. He exits Sam Houston as the school’s all-time leader in total yards passing, total offense and touchdown passes while also holding the single-season records in each of those categories.
One other small college quarterback to gain interest from NFL scouts is Connor Jessop of Shepherd. If that name sounds familiar, he was a top recruit by Virginia Tech, but left that school, transferring to Shepherd in 2015 and taking over starting signal-calling duties full-time in 2016. Last year, he finished fourth in the voting for the Harlon Hill Trophy and was named the Mountain East Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
As a sophomore, Jessop appeared in six games, as he completed 34-of-46 pass attempts for 658 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed five times for 69 yards and four touchdowns, giving fans a glimpse of what was to come in 2017, as he set a school record for passing yards against West Virginia State with 480 yards and tied a school mark with five touchdown passes.
As a junior, he generated 823 yards with nine touchdowns on 161 carries (5.1 ypc) in ten games. He was also successful on 164-of-273 passes for 1,947 yards, 22 touchdowns and nine pass thefts.
In 2017, Jessop threw for 3,284 yards and an MEC record 38 touchdowns. He connected on 65.7 percent of his passes (316-of-481) and was intercepted just seven times while gaining 4,134 yards and throwing 32 touchdowns through the playoffs and totaled 720 yards with eleven scores on 161 carries. He threw for at least three touchdowns in every game this season, and led the country in points accounted for (270), and was second in the NCAA in passing touchdowns and passing yards per game (328.4). He was the MEC Offensive Player of the Week on four occasions this season directing an offense that averaged 48.5 points per game, the second-best average in the NCAA.
Dave Te's Podcast-The 2018 Quarterback Crop - Day Three Player Scouting Reports
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