Let’s take a look at what NFL scouts tend to look for when analyzing them.
As in the past, the list of skills and abilities that we’re going to look at will come from some extremely credible sources; a 3-time Super Bowl Champion head coach, and a gentleman with nearly 30 years of scouting experience at the NFL level.
Let’s get to it.
Situational performance. When he looks at quarterbacks on film, Gabriel pays close attention to how they respond and perform to various in-game situations:
You have to study how he performs in different situations. Does he make the big play when he has to? How many times does he make a first down throw when it’s third and long? How often does he sustain drives and put points on the board? What kind of points is he getting… field goals or touchdowns?
The 26-27-60 Rule. This is a rule used by many NFL personnel to predict how successful a college quarterback might be in the NFL.
It means that if a quarterback scores a 26 or higher on the Wonderlic, starts at least 27 games in college, and completes at least 60 percent of his passes, he has a good chance of being a successful NFL quarterback.
Inventory of throws. Walsh says he paid close attention to a quarterback’s ability to make all different kinds of throws; from short screens, to hitches, to nine routes (streaks).
The good news, is that not having the complete “inventory” won’t eliminate you from consideration:
For the scout, not having a complete inventory does not eliminate the quarterback. But you are looking to evaluate in all facets and distances and types of passes in throwing the ball.
Courage/Competitive Nature. Gabriel on the why it’s important for a prospect to display courage and a competitive nature:
Most of the outstanding quarterbacks are great leaders and extremely competitive people. They hate to lose at anything. They have to have the feeling and have to give their teammates the feeling that they can get the job done. He has to be in total command.
Coach Walsh on the importance of a prospect having these attributes:
…he must be courageous and intensely competitive. He will be the one on the field who is running the team. His teammates must believe in him or it may not matter how much physical ability he has. If he is courageous and intensely competitive, then other players will know and respect that. This will be a foundation for becoming a leader.
Accuracy/ball placement. As Coach Walsh mentions in his article, being able to throw a ball 80 yards is worthless, if you can’t throw it on-target.
Gabriel’s take on accuracy and ball placement:
In the college game, the window to complete a pass is usually fairly big; in the pro game it’s a lot tighter. Quarterbacks with good ball placement skills will consistently put the ball in an area where the receiver has a chance to do something after the catch. You also want the ball to be placed where the chance of interception is minimal.
Size. Bill Walsh says that his ideal quarterback is 6-3, 210. Gabriel says his ideal quarterback would be “ in the 6-3 to 6-5 range.”
Mobility/ability to avoid a pass rush/quickness/agility. There’s always going to be times when a quarterback’s going to have to be able to step up into, or escape the pocket.
Sometimes you gotta scramble to get that first down or touchdown.
Coach Walsh on mobility:
Mobility and an ability to avoid a pass rush are crucial. Some quarterbacks use this mobility within the pocket just enough so they are able to move and pass when they “feel” a rush. But overall quickness and agility can make a remarkable difference.
Gabriel on athleticism:
Athleticism is more than speed; it’s the player’s quick feet, agility and body control. Brett Favre was far from being a fast guy but his quick feet in the pocket and his “feel” for pass rushers enabled him to keep plays alive. Quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet are highly valued.
Click below to check out part two:
Just curious, who’s on your top 5 list of active NFL quarterbacks? Leave a comment!
Follow me on Twitter! @alvingrier
Click here to connect with us on Facebook.
Reference web pages:
Bill Walsh’s How I Evaluate Each Position: Quarterback (via sportsxchange.com)
Greg Gabriel’s Scouting Quarterbacks (via NationalFootballPost.com)