omitted out of respect to Mrs.Jastremski
- Jun 15, 2006
- Reaction score
- on Pats Planet
So Runs well but has accuracy issues...hmm...Another interesting and, at times, humorous, article from Seth Galina, PFF's Senior Draft Analyst, about QB vibes.
While 2021 NFL Draft pundits continue to deliberate about the top quarterbacks heading into April, it's hard to predict who will pan out at the next level. PFF's Seth Galina is riding with North Dakota State's Trey Lancewww.pff.com
The problem with ranking this year's quarterback class is that, man, it’s all based on vibes.
When we talk about the top half of the quarterback crop — Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance — all of them played in quarterback-friendly offenses with elite talent around them to form the bully team in their respective conferences. And all five of them produced at the level we would have expected of them.
In their last seasons on campus, none of them accidentally made a habit of throwing to the other team. None of them made a habit of consistently bad ball placement on throws. None of them made a habit of escaping otherwise clean pockets. They all did the right thing on almost every snap.
This is where the vibes come in. Zach Wilson did nothing for two seasons and had a great year playing against what often looked like holograms of real football players during BYU’s fantastic one-loss season in 2020. And now, somehow, if recent reports are correct, he is higher than Trevor Lawrence on an NFL team’s draft board.
How? Because of the vibes. Wilson wears a headband, carries the ball low like some sort of cool quarterback and can scramble. If that’s the type of quarterback you like, then great. He’s your QB1. I’m not here to argue. Those are Grade A vibes.
Out in South Carolina, we have Trevor Lawrence, the tall, Sunshine-from-Remember-The-Titans-looking gunslinger who has been touted as the first pick in the draft since he was in high school. You can’t argue with those vibes, either.
Justin Fields has the “I broke my ribs and then torched Clemson on national television” vibes, and Mac Jones has “if you like disgustingly accurate pocket passers, I’m your guy” vibes.
We are going to be at each other's throats for the next two months clamoring for the guy who fits our aesthetic of what a quarterback should look like or play like because they are all so similar in other areas. One of them is the top dog in one category, and another is tops in a different category. We’re going to end up splitting hairs quite a bit here until the 2021 NFL Draft arrives. I’m not here to argue about which quarterback you vibe with the best; that’s a personal choice, and I respect it.
With all that said, my vibe all-star is Trey Lance. He can run, he can throw and he looks cool as hell doing it. North Dakota State’s star freshman of 2019 looked like an adult man playing against teenagers in the team's run to the FCS National Championship.
He fits into a lot of the same categories where the other four quarterbacks reside. He’s really a Power Five quarterback playing behind a Power Five (at least FBS) offensive line against FCS competition. The Bison are the FCS bullies, so Lance played with a great supporting cast. The receiving corps was fine, but the scheme and all the hard play action built into it gave him opportunities to hit open receivers game after game.
It was just like what Alabama did to teams, but at the FCS level. Lance is also bigger than everyone else. There are times when he looks bigger than some of the linebackers he’s playing against. It wasn’t really fair at times.
The team was better than everyone else, but Lance still stands out, and I vibe with him because of three key aspects of quarterback play that I love to see: getting through progressions, quick-game throwing and elite running ability.
Getting Through ProgressionsNorth Dakota State runs the college offense passing concept du jour, Y-cross, and Lance performs very well when it’s called. The concept is a full-field read where the quarterback will look to the “vertical” side first before getting his eyes back to the middle of the field for the “cross” route. And then, usually, there is another intermediate in-breaking route behind it.
It’s an “all-weather play,” as Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley would describe it. You can really get a good idea of quarterback play from just watching this concept alone. Lance is great at it and is able to work through his progressions from the vertical side to the cross to the backside.
Quick-Game PassingThis was a surprising feature of Lance's game because quick-game passing in college football is dying. Yet, Lance is very good at it. The RPO craze apparently hasn’t hit Fargo, North Dakota, yet. In 13 games in 2019, NDSU called a play with an RPO attached only 59 times. For reference, North Carolina, the other extreme, called a play with an RPO attached 431 times in 12 games this past season. Instead of RPOs, NDSU uses quick-game passing to move the ball.
Lance is an elite quick-game thrower, posting a 94.1% adjusted completion rate in 2019, the second-highest mark in a season since 2018 among quarterbacks with at least 25 dropbacks. There aren’t a lot of sexy quick-game throws, but he flashes timing and accuracy on these concepts.
Running AbilityThis is the obvious trait, but it’s the one that is the most easily translatable at the next level. As noted, Lance was bigger than most players who were trying to defend him at FCS level, and so the tape is excellent for old-fashioned hijinks with players bouncing off him left and right.
His 10.7 yards per rush on scrambles is the eighth-highest mark in college football among quarterbacks with at least 25 scrambles since 2015. NDSU also fed him on designed quarterback runs, with the classic “inverted veer/power read” being the offense's best bet for a good gain on the ground:
ConcernsObviously, the first issue is the lack of opponent strength. Yes, North Dakota State is an FCS team playing against other FCS teams, but it’s hard not to get the feeling that this is close to a Power Five program masquerading as an FCS squad. They are that dominant. The difference in team quality hasn’t had an effect on the supposed draft stock of Zach Wilson, so if that’s the case, we can’t really use it against Lance, either.
Lance does have accuracy issues, and it’s not a small affair. We charted him as throwing an accurate pass on only 47% of his throws in 2019 and 2020. That’s really bad. Lamar Jackson was the same way. They both understand how to play the position and know which person to throw the ball to, but they just can’t always get it there accurately all the time. It’s certainly a problem — but a fixable one.
Overall VibesIf these are the aesthetics you like, Trey Lance is your guy — and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Vibes are important, and since no one knows anything about quarterback prospects, vibes might be the only thing solid we can stand on. He checks most of the boxes we want to see from a modern quarterback: size, escapability, arm strength and decision-making.
I always thought the scouting system was.What’s it like to be inside a New England Patriots draft meeting? Jim Nagy pulled back the curtain Wednesday. Nagy, a former Patriots scout who now runs the Senior Bowl, explained on Twitter the meticulous methods Bill Belichick and his staff would use to evaluate draft prospects each year...nesn.com
"Nagy, a former Patriots scout who now runs the Senior Bowl, explained on Twitter the meticulous methods Bill Belichick and his staff would use to evaluate draft prospects each year.
Belichick and former Patriots personnel chief Scott Pioli, Nagy said, created a “very specific” grading scale aimed at projecting the role a given player would have in the third year of his Patriots career."
So Harry has to produce this year...
I think we'd all prefer that and I hope you're correct because I don't know if we have the depth to be that patient. I also don't know if Bill will think itI have a feeling the "third year" thing may now be 1st or 2nd year.