NAME: Ryan Finley
SCHOOL: NC State
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 15
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 210 lbs
Granted a sixth year of eligibility, Finley returns to campus as the Wolfpack starting quarterback for a third time. Coming off a season where he completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,514 yards with 17 touchdowns and just six interceptions, a prolific season is expected given his experience and talented group of receivers.
The primary component of Finley’s game that stands out when studying him is how efficient he is while still working the football vertically down the field and not putting his team in bad situations. In 881 career attempts at NC State, Finley has thrown just 14 interceptions. In 2017, Finley had a streak of 339 throws without an interceptions.
Finley is a poised pocket passer that does well to manipulate the pocket to avoid pressure and find throwing windows. He throws a catchable football with good touch and understanding of where space and leverage can be found for his targets. He excels at rhythm passes but has success making spot throws down the field.
While Finley’s efficiency and mental processing skills are strengths, his physical traits are modest. He has some success scrambling but lacks the athletic ability to be a true dual-threat passer. He also leaves a lot to be desired in terms of arm strength and the ability to drive the football with velocity to his targets. We’ve seen the NFL discriminate against those types of passers in recent years and Finley fits the description.
As a senior, showcasing a mastery of the offense and command of the huddle while building off his success in 2017 is what Finley needs to showcase in his final season given the unlikelihood that his physical traits develop.