With the untimely injury to Sam Bradford, and the scramble for a backup QB that ensued because of it, I figure now is a perfect time to get a good long look at a rather loaded QB class. I'm still on the Sam Bradford hype train, so I won't be looking at people like Tajh Boyd or Marcus Mariota. Instead I'll be looking at guys we can get on day 3(barring their own hype train doesn't start building up)
Jimmy Garoppolo: Eastern Illinois
Where he succeeds:
Athletically gifted - While not RG3 or Colin Kaepernick, Garoppolo has some mobility to make plays with his feet when he needs to
Arm Strength - Garoppolo has an absolute cannon for an arm and can match up with players like Matt Stafford throw for throw when it comes to sheer distance
Poor patience - Garoppolo is not very patient in the pocket and will force the ball when he thinks his arm strength can win him a reception
Vision - Garoppolo has poor vision for the NFL and often times fails to go through his reads. Very rarely will he trick defenders with his eyes.
Accuracy - A common theme for Garoppolo is overthrown balls. While it's much better to overthrow than underthrow in the NFL, when it comes to short routes you need a certain level of accuracy Garoppolo does not have.
Conclusion: Garoppolo is gaining a lot of steam right now as a potential first rounder, but if he can't break the second day he would be a fantastic backup project. Especially for a Rams team that has not one, not two, not three, but FOUR receiving options that can stretch the field, a player like Garoppolo would help our deep threats immensely
Jeff Mathews: Cornell
Where he succeeds:
Arm Strength - Unlike Garoppolo, Mathews has a different kind of arm strength. Rather than a cannon that can hit anyone deep down field, Mathews has more of a short range bullet pass that he can go sideline to sideline with.
Accuracy - Mathews has tremendous accuracy in all forms of the game, especially with the deep ball. Honestly, from what I've seen, anything over 10 yards in the air he'll make the right throw. His incompletions throwing long distances are almost always the fault of his WR's dropping the ball
Vision - Mathews can usually tell when defenders are closing in on him and steps up in the pocket to avoid them. He also has good downfield vision and goes through his reads well.
Low release point - Mathews releases the ball very close to his body, and that can sometimes spell trouble in the NFL. He also seems to sometimes go for sidearm throws, but just doesn't have the arm to pull that off.
Athleticism - For a guy who has the mobility of a statue, Mathews scrambles around too much. It works when playing Dartmouth or Yale, but with how slow he is he wouldn't even be able to delay the inevitable in the NFL
Conclusion: Mathews is the prospect I like the most as a potential successor to Bradford, in that they're very similar players. Both have tremendous accuracy and a great bullet pass, and both show surprising willingness to scramble when they think it's necessary. While that low release point bothers me, and his athleticism is almost tragically lacking, I think whoever picks up Mathews is getting an absolute gem of a QB
Keith Price: Washington
Where he succeeds:
Athleticism - Price is a very athletic QB and it shows in his scrambling ability. He can keep plays alive with his legs, and when nothing is opening up he can run for a good chunk of yards as well
Under pressure - Price shows good awareness and can tell when defenders are bearing down on him, and more often than not he can either escape that pressure or get the ball out quick enough to negate it.
Consistency - Price can make some fantastic plays on the ground and in the air, but he also produces a lot of duds. Easy throws are missed, and wide open receivers go wanting.
Patience - Price is not a patient QB, which is a death knell in the NFL. He's not willing to let plays develop without scrambling. And if he doesn't have room to scramble, he usually dumps it off regardless of whether his target has space or not.
System QB - Let's just put it out there, Price is a system QB. I don't think he has any success in the NFL outside of a read option heavy offense. Not necessarily the negative it was years ago, but it's still worth noting.
Conclusion: Price isn't the late day prospect that Garoppolo and Mathews currently are, but he is an intriguing option on the second day of the draft. Price fits the new mold of mobile QBs, and runs the read option offense very well. With a little more consistency he could be a quality starter in the NFL. I'm a fan of scrambling QB's offering something new to a teams chances, so if the Rams went with a player like Price around round 4 I couldn't complain. I don't think he's quite starter ready, but with a little work on his consistency he could be.