Reiding Between the Lines: July 8th

Photo: © Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to July, also known as the last month before football season starts. We are inching closer to the start of the season on the gridiron and there's plenty to be excited about. There's already preseason hype about 2020 Quarterback class and rightfully so.

Spanning all across the country, there's prospects of all different shapes and sizes. With the demand of the most important position at an all-time high, plenty of evaluators are excited to see if Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jake Fromm, and Jacob Eason can reach their expected potential. There's a lot of others that many scouts will have their eye on, but I wanted to share my summer scouting reports on what's considered the early standouts.

Tua Tagovailoa, 6-1, 215, Alabama, Junior

Pros: Possesses a quick and tight over-the-top release, the former Tide signal-caller is able to layer the ball to all three levels of the field with ease. He has the understanding of knowing how to properly place the ball into certain windows and when to anticipate into each of the openings. Terrific at seeing and anticipating “covered, about to be uncovered” targets and navigating the ball into certain regions in order to allow the receiver to haul it in without caution. 

Jitterbug-like movement skills within the pocket and when escaping outside of it. Slippery and tough to get a grasp on because of his wiggle. Has plenty of examples of off-script completions that seemed impossible after seeing the launch point. Explores various avenues and only seems a glimmer of hope in order to get the ball off after escaping. Poise and accuracy remains intact no matter the difficulty of the throwing surface and substitute patterns.

Exceptional at finding his way through the pocket while still keeping his eyes down-the-field. Stares down the barrel of the gun and is able to deliver against pressure. Isn’t scared to climb into the eye of the storm and still maintain his ability to distribute accurate throws no matter the amount of surrounding chaos.

Cons: Because of his knowledge of the offense and surrounding personnel, Tagovailoa had an overly high amount of confidence in their abilities to generate explosive plays. Because of this, it became a disservice with his actual progression speed and risk variance. Always feeling that every play had a chance to be a splash play resulted in him taking some unnecessary risks when simply finding his outlet or check down may have been the better option. Accepting the fact that some plays will be minimal gains and not chunk plays is an area that needs to be comprehended more consistently.

Written By:

Jordan Reid

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-Founder of Former QB and Coach at North Carolina Central Univ.