NAME: Jordan Ta’amu
SCHOOL: Ole Miss
JERSEY: No. 10
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 212 lbs
PROS: Compact, snappy release without a lot of wasted motion. Ball jumps off his hand, plenty of zip to test tight windows. Velocity to all levels of the field is excellent. Can drive the ball to the far hash without issue. Mechanics are mostly sound, especially when throwing from a clean platform. Good follow-through with trail foot to get maximum velocity on the ball.
Deep ball is gorgeous in flashes. Can drop dimes down the sideline, even from the far hash. Excellent combination of range and touch on his vertical throws. Consistently gives his receiver a chance to make a good play on the ball. Ball placement and accuracy to all levels of the field are typically good. Leads receivers into YAC in short-intermediate areas of the field.
Has to be more consistent, but there are absolutely instances of him working full-field progressions and staying composed when his first read is covered. Very good athlete on scrambles and designed runs. Fearless and tough, has the respect of his teammates and coaches. Will take a shot to pick up necessary yardage. Work ethic and poise as a competitor are heralded.
CONS: Managing pressure is a struggle. Pocket presence has improved this season, but will get happy feet at times and maneuver his way into trouble. Flashes of great progression work, but at other time will get skittish when his first read isn’t open. Hasn’t been accurate on the move. When asked to re-set his base, mechanics can get a little haywire, leading to off-target throws.
Smaller frame will give some teams pause. May not pass everyone’s size thresholds. Has had a number of passes batted down this season, usually due to staring down targets. Eye manipulation and ability to recognize coverages pre and post-snap will be one of the biggest areas for Ta’amu to improve in. Brings bees to honey too often and puts the ball in harm’s way. Although vertical throws are a strength, placement can still stand to improve.
Performance against high level competition has to improve. Worst games of 2018 season have come against LSU and Alabama. 2017 was much of the same once he took over as starter. Needs strong performances against Auburn, Texas A&M and Mississippi State to finish the season.
Arm Accuracy –Illustrates terrific placement on deep throws, specifically bucket throws down the sideline. Has a strong sense of spot throws and putting the ball in front of his receiver, even if it means throwing into the face of a zone defender. Accuracy is still effective when throwing on the move.
Decision Making –Can be guilty of getting too greedy and relying on one on one match-ups when looking to push the ball. Has gotten trapped by pre-snap looks, has had pocket picked looking at single high safety defenses and not accounting for post-snap rotation.
Progressions –Comfortable working eyes across the field and resetting to ensure a balanced position. Works safeties despite preferred pre-snap looks to produce larger throwing windows when coming back to his target later. Needs to stop pre-determining deep shots to be safer with the ball.
Anticipation –Comfortable to let a throw rip, trusts his receivers to break into the football and protect ball security. Can still be a half-tick late on speed out patterns and comebacks, can hasten delivery and further enhance run after the catch ability.
Poise –Crafty within the pocket. Can bob and weave to force rushers to adjust their angle before sidestepping away from contact. Doesn’t panic under pressure, is okay with eating the football and either flushing the pocket or taking off for small gains on his own.
Arm Strength –Will have no issue generating enough push on the ball to fit tight window throws against man coverage, even to the far sideline. Strides into throws and creates ample velocity, ball is capable of exploding off of hand from the pocket. Can push to all levels.
Pocket Awareness –Has the ability to flip his hips and roll away from a penetrating pass rusher. Effective in sliding within the pocket, although can trust his skill players in protection too much and work into the grasp of a defender. Ample mobility and knows how to flush through interior gaps.
Mechanics –Does well on uncontested passes to step through his lead foot and follow through to drive the football. Has the ability to drop the arm slot and throw with force and accuracy if rushed or having to adjust for a free runner. Posture when throwing on the move allows for accuracy.
Footwork –Balanced. Is light on his feet, both working on a stationary platform and when throwing on the move. Aware of momentum and does well to get forward momentum before throwing the football. Trail foot follows through to allow for effective weight transfer.
Mobility –Has excellent mobility and will be a threat to tuck and run against man to man coverage or pressure looks. Has effectively run boot action (by design or in reaction to pressure) and has proven to be a headache to box into the pocket. Very good straight line speed.
BEST TRAIT – Mobility
WORST TRAIT – Progressions
BEST FILM – Texas Tech (2018)
WORST FILM – LSU (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Ole Miss Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu shows high promise as a passer. His development would be best enhanced in an offense with effective contested catch receivers and a system that promotes moving the QB platform to throw. Ta’amu has ample physical tools but has been a little too reliant on dominant skill players. Possesses quality starter potential with further maturation.