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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: QB Peyton Ramsey

  • The Draft Network
  • February 1, 2021
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PROSPECT SUMMARY – PEYTON RAMSEY

Northwestern quarterback Peyton Ramsey made the most of his graduate transfer season in 2020 after spending the early portions of his career with the Indiana Hoosiers. He led Northwestern to the Big Ten Championship Game and posted nearly 300 yards passing against the Auburn Tigers to close out his college career. Ramsey is an undersized passer who makes due oftentimes because of his mobility and athleticism to scramble both within and outside the pocket. His play at Indiana features plenty of RPOs and that is an element to the offense that he can run effectively with his ball-handling at the mesh point and his mobility to offer a third threat outside of the initial threat with the back and shallow targets working to the numbers for quick throws. Ramsey’s arm talent can best be described as adequate and will be a significant limiting factor to his NFL impact. But today’s game can be won both inside and outside of structure and Ramsey offers you just enough in both to serve as a bottom of the roster quarterback for emergency situations. 

Ideal Role: Practice squad quarterback.

Scheme Fit: Spread offense with vertical elements and A-level RPOs.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Kyle Crabbs

Games watched: Maryland (2019), Penn State (2019), Nebraska (2019), Michigan State (2020), Ohio State (2020), Auburn (2020)

Best Game Studied: Nebraska (2019)

Worst Game Studied: Michigan State (2020)

Accuracy: Ramsey has seen some routine passes flutter out of his hands when he accelerates his throwing mechanics and the ball will come in low or erratic versus catching receivers in stride. These inconsistencies are difficult to reconcile when looking to push the ball down the field, so spacing will be essential to afford him larger throwing windows. 

Decision Making: He’s gotten better throughout the course of his career to cut down on interceptions—he logged as many in his final two seasons combined as he did in his sophomore season. Ramsey isn’t afraid of tight coverage, but more self-awareness of what windows are realistic to hit would help cut down on the unnecessary risk in ball security. Quick decisions out of the mesh point on RPOs stand out as a plus. Pre-snap processing power is a question mark, as he was often reliant on information relayed from the sideline prior to finalizing plays (Indiana). 

Poise: Ramsey will stand tall to survey, but once his internal clock goes off, he is quick to drop his eyes and simply revert to scramble drill within the pocket—at times doubling back against himself to try to find an escape route. The end result of these plays is nearly never a net positive unless he’s able to get outside the pocket. I would like to see his big-play mentality be more selective. 

Progressions: Speed and pace of progressions are modest—his eyes don’t move rapidly and he can be late working to secondary targets on full-field reads as a result. That elongated evaluation period will get him off schedule and, at times, force him to have to speed up his delivery and compromise accuracy; creating a domino effect. 

Release: Ramsey is capable of a quick zip out of the mesh point, but you’d ideally see better results if he’d open himself to adjusting the arm slot instead of looking to throw above defenders flashing in his face. He avoids having a major loop in his initiation to throw—he does well to avoid dropping the ball below the numbers when he breaks his hands to start the delivery sequence. But in the urgency to get the ball out, he’ll casually loop some throws out to targets and these unorthodox reps can get him into trouble with ball security. 

Pocket Manipulation: He’s quick-twitch in short spaces and shows the peripheral vision to feel an arriving rusher, so he’s capable of sliding or sidestepping penetration. When he’s forced off his platform, he doesn’t consistently reset his feet or continue to locate his initial reads—he instead looks to flush and work to the boundary before finding late-developing receivers uncovering down the field on scramble drill. 

Arm Strength: Ramsey does not consistently drive the football into tight windows and when he does look to add zip to the football, his spin and accuracy are compromised. Deeper passes arrive with loft and are often hung in the air, allowing defenders to work back into position to contest the catch point and make receptions down the field harder than they need to be. Ramsey is capable of throwing for distance, but not necessarily with consistent trajectory and pace when throwing for distance. 

Mobility: This is Ramsey’s best quality. He’s a bit of a wildcard when he decides to tuck the football. For every negative play or missed throw, he’ll extend and work outside the pocket to create a chunk gain by making someone miss and identifying a receiver running to grass. 

Leadership: Ramsey was voted a team captain in 2019 with the Hoosiers program during his second full season as a starter with the program before graduating in June and transferring to Northwestern. He’s also a three-time Academic All-Big-Ten selection 

Mechanics: Ramsey is a bit toesy in his footwork and appears to leave some torque and force application on the field by not getting his base established on his throws—especially some of the routine targets that should be in stride and in rhythm. Ramsey’s consistency to reset in the pocket is not where it needs to be and you’ll oftentimes see him flash his best throws on the move when he can let his athleticism take over. 

Prospect Comparison: Cody Fajardo (2015 NFL Draft, UDFA)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Kyle Crabbs: 66.5/100

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