Cameron Rising draft introduction

Ace Ventura

Is there an age limit for the NFL draft? Utah QB, Cameron Rising, will be 25 years old next summer. The 2023 season will be his 6th year in college. In addition to being an older prospect, Rising has a long and troubling injury history, including a torn ACL at the end of his 2022 season.

If the Rams are scouting Rising, their report on him must be extra thick. When he was in high school, Rising said the Rams coaches and Jared Goff attended one of his games and watched him play.

Matt Miller prior to the 2022 season hyped up Rising, saying that he could be the 2023 draft version of Zach Wilson. Instead of vaulting himself into the 1st round, Rising saw his draft stock slide in an injury plagued 2022. He is currently widely considered to be a late Day 3 to UDFA prospect.

I've already covered several QB prospects who have strong arms and good size, but who lack instincts, consistency and polish. Rising is almost the exact opposite. He has good football IQ and a natural feel for playing the game, but he doesn't have the necessary physical tools to be a top NFL player. He has some traits that NFL coaches will appreciate, giving him at least a fighting chance to make a roster, but I don't think he'll ever be more than a backup. My NFL comp for Rising is Sam Ehlinger, a 6th round pick by the Colts in 2021 out of Texas. If they were in the same draft, I'd take Ehlinger ahead of Rising. Factoring in Rising's age and injury issues, I only have an UDFA grade on him.


Name: Cameron Rising. Turns 25 years old in May of 2024. 6th year bonus redshirt senior.

School: Utah. Transferred from Texas. Studying psychology and criminology.

Size: Listed 6'2'' tall, 215 pounds. Interestingly, his weight has gradually declined since he arrived in Utah. He was listed at 225 pounds back in 2019. NFLDB 4.64 second 40 time.

4 star recruit from east Ventura, CA, but played HS ball for Newbury Park, CA, which is in the Thousand Oaks area. Father and 2 older brothers were all football players. Played on youth football team with Matt Corral. Since Corral was the QB, Rising didn't play QB until he got to middle school. HS coach said that Rising didn't have good throwing mechanics when he was a HS freshman and could only throw the ball 30 yards when he was in 8th grade, but substantially improved during his career.

Season ending injury to his throwing shoulder as junior in HS. Liked basketball more than football until middle school. Flipped from Oklahoma to Texas to play for Tom Herman.

Redshirted in 2018 at Texas. Transferred to Utah in 2019. Season ending shoulder injury in 2020, requiring "major" surgery. After Charlie Brewer was benched early in the 2021 season, Rising started the rest of that season.

One of 4 team captains in 2022. One of 5 team captains in 2021.

2021: 8-3 record. 63.8% completions, 2,493 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs, 7.79 ypa, 74-499-6 rushing, 6 fumbles, 6 sacks

2022: 10-3 record. 64.7% completions, 3,034 yards, 26 TDs, 8 INTs, 7.88 ypa, 77-465-6 rushing, 1 fumble, 9 sacks

4 career punts.

Apparent concussion in Rose Bowl to end 2021 season.

Did not play against Washington State in October of 2022 due to a "nagging left knee injury" that bothered him for most of the season, creating controversy, because Fox reportedly was upset that Utah didn't disclose to them that Rising wasn't going to play. Wore a brace on his left knee during the season.

Torn left ACL in Rose Bowl to end 2022 season.

Rising has a unique personality for a QB, bringing a genuine Ventura and SoCal vibe. Positive thinker and easy going in interviews. Praised by his coaches for taking ownership of offense and knowing the system in great detail, dedication for learning how to dissect defenses. Praised by his HS coach, who said that Rising was voted as a team captain before he had even earned starting QB job. In the past, Rising had ambitions of becoming a football coach and I could see this being a potential career path for him someday, he has the right personality and mind for the game to be an effective coach.


A gamer. Probably won't be impressive in shorts in a Combine setting, but put him on the field, he knows how to lead his team to wins on the football field. Rising is that guy at the local rec center who is a pickup basketball star, even though he isn't tall and can't jump very high.

Very low sack and fumble totals.

Rising was slender when he was in high school and seems to be considerably stronger and more filled out now.

Processes the field quickly. Decisive. Can work a full field progression. Good instincts for when and how to move in pocket. Excellent fit for a timing based, West Coast offensive scheme (know a coach who runs that type of offense? Hmmm.) He understands how to execute the play and get the pass off to the receiver with the precise timing required to make the play successful.

Has a feel for RPOs. Uses lead blocker well as runner.

Sets up very quickly. Lines up feet properly. Compact motion, balanced delivery. Makes a "C" with his hand. Does not drop ball below jersey number on wind up. Keeps 2 hands on ball in pocket. Solid accuracy in short area of field. Nice ball placements help YAC and throw the receiver away from defenders. Ball comes out on schedule, throws with anticipation. Good pre-snap reads, recognizing coverage. Creative improvisation to flip ball out to TE on short 3rd down, getting pass to him early so that he could gain YAC. Quick release to avoid sacks.

Flashes ability to make downfield throws. Outstanding 25 yard backshoulder to sideline. Excellent 20 yard touch pass up seam to hit TE in stride and get ball over defender.

Light on his feet, agile. Short area burst to accelerate and pull away from backside pursuit. Can cut and juke in space to beat defenders. Good balance. Has 2nd gear once he breaks into open field. Covers up ball in traffic. Tough, fearless, hard nosed competitor who will battle through contact for extra yardage. Pivotal 3rd down in final minute of game, 3 man loop and DT comes clean around edge, QB feels it in time to escape out front of pocket, then rumbles downfield for 30 yards.

Strong football character, good intangibles and leadership skills. Might have a future in coaching.

Was in a pro style offense. Had quite a few snaps under center. Clean and consistent ball handling. More pro ready than many of his QB peers in the draft who come from spread systems. Made audibles at the LOS. Seems to have clear picture in head what coverage the defense is playing.

His left knee really seemed to be bothering him. I wonder if Utah should have shut him down earlier in the season instead of allowing him to continue to play. Maybe he wouldn't have torn his ACL.


Insufficient arm strength and arm talent. 25 yard seam fade, pass is on wrong side of CB, not even close to where it needs to be placed. Big drop off when flushed from pocket, can't drive the ball with velocity or accuracy when throwing on the move, especially when going to his left, ball sometimes wobbles out of his hand, frequently comes up short of target. Doesn't step into the throw and transfer his weight forward consistently. Completely blows some very simple throws when he has to throw off platform or doesn't have good mechanics. Bothered by contact, pass rush can cause his mechanics to crumble and the pass flies wildly off target.

Stats boosted by heavy diet of short throws. I'd love to see his passing chart, because he rarely attempted challenging throws in the intermediate to deep areas of the field. TEs are a QB's best friend, and when he had both TEs healthy in 2022, Utah had arguably the best TE duo in the entire country. His TEs were killing the pass coverage, great separation. Those 2 TEs were also key to his 2021 success. Very good OL, effective rushing attack, good pass protection. Enviable situation for a QB, surrounded by so much help.

Too short, with flat ball trajectory. Too many passes get deflected at LOS, becoming INTs or potential INTs. Not enough touch near LOS, tries to throw ball flat around the DL.

Doesn't have elite accuracy. Small misses on short throws. Some short passes go to the wrong shoulder of the receiver. Safety blitz, both seam route and deep post are wide open, QB bounces 15 yard pass well short of target. Tries to drive 15 yard ball towards sideline, WR is open, mild pressure in face, pass is wide and short, no chance for WR to attempt catch.

Even though he reads the progression quickly and processes the field, he'll sometimes make the wrong decision. Doesn't always recognize open receivers, missing opportunities to distribute the ball to them. Forced pass into double coverage when RB was wide open for very easy TD. Double slant, CB sitting inside leverage, driving on route, I don't understand why QB still tries to throw the pass, nearly an INT as CB beats WR to the catch point, should have come off that read, what is he looking at? Can be baited into devastating errors. Absolutely critical 4th quarter drive, down by 3 points. 1st down snap, middle field open coverage, QB appears to decide pre-snap that he's going to his star TE, Dalton Kincaid, lined up in slot, expecting him to cross the face of the deep safety. Post-snap, QB needs to come off this route, because it is bracket coverage, LB gets jam on TE and the S jumps inside, has leverage on the route, but QB forces it for an INT. Absolutely critical moment late in 4th quarter, 1st down snap, has his RB on wheel route, but QB is staring down TE, doesn't notice LB dropping off RB and into passing lane, throws ball directly to LB who drops the game sealing INT. Team near GL, down by 3 points in final seconds of 4th quarter, QB forces ball into coverage for INT to lose the game, a baffling decision given the game situation.

Eyes bigger than his talent. When he extends the play outside of the pocket will sometimes try to do too much, but his body can't back up his courage, resulting in a sack or a dangerous throw into coverage when he should have just thrown the ball away. Tries to make "hero" throw on 1st down in red zone, nearly throwing a disaster INT trying to thread needle into heavy traffic.

Played in a quick hitting offense. Surrounded by good talent on his team.

I want to see him maintain more deception on RB handoffs from under center. He either immediately turns around and looks at the RB or he eases up and relaxes. Watch the linebackers on plays where QB fakes it to RB from under center, they aren't deceived, because the play action pass doesn't look the same as the regular running plays, helping them get into their zone drops quicker.

Doesn't seem to me that he's particularly fast or explosive as a runner, his "football speed" is better than whatever his 40 time would be.

Too many injuries, to both his lower body and to his throwing shoulder. Will be 3 years older than a normal draft prospect.

Limited ceiling, already close to his max. Has some value as a backup. He could play the John Wolford role and be a QB3 or be on the practice squad, but I don't see him as anything more than a depth player.

2023 Outlook

Utah opens the season against Florida. They play at USC in the middle of the season, then finish up at home against Colorado. Utah lost Dalton Kincaid, but they get his TE running mate, Brant Kuithe back from his ACL injury. Utah is expected to have a strong group of WRs in 2023. Utah is expected to be one of the top teams in their conference, so if they could manage to knock off the other contenders like USC, they could make a run for the playoffs.

NFLMDD consensus big board 20th QB, 174th overall (late 5th to early 6th round)

PFN mock draft simulator 19th QB, 188th overall (6th round)

BuffaloFAMBase big board 15th QB, 185th overall (6th round)

Jake Rigdon (Fanspeak) 21st QB, 315th overall (UDFA)

Steve Shoup (Fanspeak) 27th QB, 329th overall (UDFA)

Drafttek 233rd overall (7th round)

NFLDB 51st QB (deep UDFA): Effective on read options. Loose athlete. Will stand in and take a hit. Slow going through progressions. Loose ball security.

Sports Illustrated: A gamer who will make the plays to win. Ball placement is better when throwing on move. Elongated release. Doesn't have NFL body type. Leaves pocket too often. Many bad misses, even when not pressured. Lacks arm talent. Seldom stretches the field. A camp arm who could make a roster. UDFA grade for 2023 draft.

TDN: Instinctive and tough, a gamer. Poised and mobile. Good accuracy and touch downfield. Works progressions, scans entire field. Good decision maker. Thrived as vertical passer, but has below average velocity. Can't drive the ball into tight windows or outside numbers. Ordinary physical traits, lacking size, athleticism and arm strength.

I just want to see Cameron Rising rehab from his ACL and remain healthy in 2023. Try to make some memories, have fun and try to have a great final season in college. He's already pretty developed as a player, so I don't feel that he needs to prove much more from a performance standpoint. I would be shocked if he fulfills Matt Miller's prediction from a year ago and comes from back in the pack to emerge as a 1st round draft prospect. The way I see it, Cameron Rising could win the Heisman Trophy in 2023, but still only be a Day 3 prospect.