Andrew Harbaugh | July 15th, 2019
All summer I have been consuming more football than Joey Chestnut with Hot Dogs on the Fourth of July. My brain has been fried at times but I can honestly say this is going to lead to so much more content for both Coast to Coast Scouting and The Scorecrow and I cannot wait.
However, enough of the sappy stuff from me lets get into the meat and potatoes.
Now, what do people love most about the NFL Draft and its never-ending content? Big Boards? Rankings? Mock Drafts? Look no further because you get all of that right here, right now!
We will kick off our summer recap series with some positional rankings.
NFL teams are already assembling their own watch lists of players they want their scouts to look at this coming fall. Teams lists length may vary from a couple hundred to a couple thousand. Gradually as the season goes on and the process plays out teams will see more of a final draft board begin to reveal itself.
In the meantime though, before the 2019 season shows how players have grown, they must go off of what schools and tape have to tell about a player. Same goes for these rankings.
Keep in mind while reading to let me know what players I’m missing out on, what players I’m low on, and what players I’m too high on. The beauty of the NFL draft is everyone has an opinion and it is important everyone gets a chance to share how they feel about different players.
To kick things off why not dive into the most important position on the team, no its not a get-back coach, the quarterback. The class in 2019 was very underwhelming, to say the least. We had the flashy Heisman winner in Kyler Murray. The hungry lion on Dwayne Haskins but after that, we saw a lot of late-round players selected.
This year though, we may see two to three selected in the first round again but they are a completely different level talent-wise.
Going into 2018 there was no bigger name in college football than Tua Tagovailoa. Both he and Alabama as a team had tremendous expectations and they were meeting and exceeding those week after week until they ran into Clemson.
Even in a tough loss to Clemson Tua showed poise and a never give up attitude that I found very appealing from a scouting perspective. His best trait though has to be his deep ball accuracy. Time and again he is able to find and or lead his receiver open downfield and drops the ball in with assassin like marksmanship.
His intermediate passing does need a smidge of work I will say. Tua is like a boxer in a sense that he has the power to knock everyone out but he needs to work on his jab a little more. I would also like to see him work on protecting himself a little more as we saw on the tail end of the year his knee and ankle were bothering him from the constant punishment he was receiving.
Justin Herbert shocked a lot of scouts and teams when he announced that he was returning for his senior year. Herbert didn’t want to miss a chance to improve his draft stock all while playing with his brother who joins the team as a tight end.
Herbert may have my favorite trait of all the quarterbacks I watched this summer, mobile accuracy. Time and again Herbert would be forced to roll out and he would always keep his eyes done field and find receivers with amazing accuracy whether he was forced to throw across his body or not. I continued to be amazed because for so many college passers this seems to be a rare trait to possess.
As far as an area for improvement I would say it would be the mental aspect of his game. It seemed at times in the past that Herbert would almost be his own worst critique in his mind. As a quarterback, he needs to have a one-play memory and move on, when he does that he furthers his already excellent pro trajectory.
3) Jake Fromm
As a freshmen Jake Fromm made two amazing things happen, he took over for Jacob Eason and led Georgia to the national title game, and he then followed that up with chasing Eason out of Athens. Eason was seen by everybody as the next Georgia quarterback to break into the NFL, now its Fromm.
Fromm shows excellent short and mid-term accuracy to both the short and long sides of the field for him. He gets called a game manager at times but for me, that’s a good thing. One thing rookie quarterbacks do is turn the ball over, that is something Fromm just won’t do. In just two years, while playing in the SEC, he has just 13 interceptions thrown and no fumbles.
The thing everyone wants to see him improve upon is his deep ball attempts and accuracy and maybe take more chances. I don’t want more chances because what he does now is working just fine but I would like him to maybe live it up a little with some more deep ball action. His arm strength will improve as he gets older and I think this year we may see just that and he may leapfrog the likes of Tua or Herbert, maybe.
4) Sam Ehlinger
Ehlinger grew up throwing up the hook’em horns since he was a kid. I’m sure his parents even have a sonogram of him doing it from the womb. He is the best quarterback to play for Texas since Colt McCoy and is looking to build on a great sophomore season that even saw him and the Longhorns upset Oklahoma.
As a prospect, I really enjoy Ehlinger’s leadership and his playmaking ability. He reminds me so much of Tim Tebow in the sense that as long as he is in the game I feel like Texas has a chance to win the game. Unlike Tebow, he seemed to really improve his passing ability as the season progressed. From the West Virginia game on he had a completion percentage of 67% and a quarterback rating of 154.
Now for the Tebow comparison, we don’t want to see keep happening, the running first mentality. He averaged 11.4 carries per game last year and I think teams will look for that to dip a little because that means he is passing more and growing as a passer at the same time.
He has a lot of potentials and that potential for me earns him a top-five spot.
5) D’Eriq King
The movie industry has The Butterfly Effect, the NFL has the Kyler Murray effect. Kyler Murray seems to have officially removed size as an issue for quarterbacks on the smaller size entering the NFL. The first one to benefit from that? D’Eriq King.
King is not as talented a runner or a passer as Murray but he can be a poor man’s version of the Heisman winner. King has a good arm and shows promise as a runner. Those two traits alone make me and others look past his smaller frame at times. His arm flashes more in the intermediate passing game and his ability to scramble has hidden his lack of offensive line play. That skill especially will help out whatever NFL team gets him on there team.
What he needs to work on most is staying composed when things break down. He tries to make too many plays at times and that can get him in trouble. I would also like to see him work on some more deep ball accuracy and his overall arm strength. At times his deep ball inaccuracy was hidden by standout wide receiver Marquez Stevenson.
Nevertheless, King is going to be a lot of fun to watch and grow this year under Dana Holgersen. Holgersen should expand his game and talent a tremendous amount, even if its just one year he gets to be with him.
Questions and comments?
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