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Scouting College Football’s Top 2020 QB Prospects – Week 6

Travis Wingfield

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Recapping Week 6 of the College Football Season

The news that Ryan Fitzpatrick beat out Josh Rosen for the opening day start in Miami is a tough pill to swallow. Rosen’s wait only last two weeks, he’ll start Sunday in Dallas. Easing the blow to Rosen’s long-term franchise answer probability, is the fact that Miami is staring down the barrel of a loaded quarterback class set to hit the draft next April.

During the college season, here on Locked On Dolphins, we’re going to keep an eye on quarterbacks all throughout the country. Our primary focus will be on the big four, the options that Miami will likely choose from with an early pick in the 2020 draft.

Those quarterbacks are:

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report

2019 Week 1 Recap
2019 Week 2 Recap
2019 Week 3 Recap
2019 Week 4 Recap
2019 Week 5 Recap

*LSU’s Joe Burrow and UW’s Jacob Eason have been added to the prospect watch list.

We’ll go in chronological order from when the games were played.

Jordan Love at LSU, Loss 42-6
Stats: 15/30 (50%) 130 yards (4.3YPA) 0 TDs, 3 INTs

The same issues that Jordan Love entered the 2019 season with have plagued him in the early going. While the ridiculous arm talent and big-play ability is on display each week, so are the inconsistencies in his set up and mechanics.

Because he’s capable of driving the football from any platform, regardless if he’s aligned in his lower-half, he will set up in the quick game without establishing his foundation. The result, erratic accuracy showing up on layup throws.

Another area of Love’s game that needs grooming, recognition of the danger areas on certain throws. His interception in the first half could’ve been avoided by putting the ball over the pylon, and making it catchable only for his receiver. Instead, he’s short and the ball is picked off (by an electric true freshman). There are also instances where Love is a beat late in his anticipation throwing.

The zip, velocity, and easy gas to challenge every blade of grass regardless of the circumstances are intriguing. Those traits are the reasons why scouts think he has a big time future, but it will probably take more developing than some of the other, more ready-made products in college football.

Risk versus reward. The way the situation stands in Miami, Love would be instantly inserted into savior status, and that might be too much on the young man. The best bet for Love is to go the route of his ceiling comparison, Patrick Mahomes. An established program that can ease him in behind the scenes would be the best path for Love’s career.

Joe Burrow vs. Utah State, Win 42-6
Stats: 27/38 (71.1%) 344 yards (9.05 YPA) 5 TDs, 1 INT

The classic pocket passer, Joe Burrow is adept at winning from within the structure of the offense. He throws a catchable football and can change speeds for the required throw (touch on downfield shots, zip on slants and in-breaking routes).

He has a firm grasp of the offense in his second year at Baton Rouge, and it allows him to anticipate and work to areas of the pocket where he can effectively deliver the football with accuracy.

There’s a clip in there of Burrow missing an open downfield shot because he takes his eyes off the progression and peeks at the rush. This is something of a common occurrence with Burrow, and it’s probably due in large part to his lack of quick-twitch ability to get off his spot at the top of the drop.

Pocket passers (Brady, Brees, Rivers) are still getting it done at a high level in the NFL. But the way the league is going, drafting a quarterback that can turn statue under the face of the rush is a risky proposition.

Jake Fromm at Tennessee, Win 43-14
Stats:
 
24/29 (82.8%) 288 yards (9.93 YPA) 2 TDs

This was Fromm’s coming out party for the 2019 season. Playing more of a game manager role through September, Fromm took the reins with sharp processing, accurate throwing, and big plays all night long.

That video thread contains a clip of the color commentary breaking down Fromm’s full-field reads. Getting through four progressions in a play is commonplace for Fromm. That level of quick decision making, and consistent mechanical set up, makes Fromm a lot more intriguing than his tangible traits would suggest.

The back-shoulder throw has become Fromm’s signature toss. There was a rhythm and tempo to the offense that demonstrated the complete comfortability and command from the Junior Quarterback. He still hasn’t thrown an interception this season. The big tests are coming, but something about Fromm’s makeup leads me to believe he’ll pass those test without much of an issue.

Justin Herbert at Cal, Win 17-7
Stats:
 20/33 (60.6%) 214 yards (6.48 YPA) 1 TD, 1 INT

The story is the same with Justin Herbert. Every game, Herbert showcases the ridiculous size, strength, and massive arm that can put the ball on any inch of the field from any platform or arm-angle. But he also demonstrates the same shortcomings that leave his offense sputtering against formidable foes.

There’s no video thread tonight, so we’ll use description. Herbert’s first interception of the season was a misidentification of the Cal coverage. He tried the middle of the field and a safety came over to step in front of the pass. This is often an issue as Herbert is late to pick up on the defensive plan post-snap, and he can’t always overcome the lapses with the physical traits.

Cal’s swarming defense was alternating between a variety of pressures, and dropping eight into coverage. The lack of comprehension of this disguise magnifies his propensity to drop his eyes and anticipate the pass rush.

The evaluation becomes increasingly difficult as Herbert engineers an offense based on the short game. With plenty of runs and screens, the downfield shots are few and far between.

Jacob Eason at Stanford, 10:30 ESPN
Stats:
 16/36 (44.4%) 207 yards (5.72 YPA) 1 TD, 1 INT

With the easy gas to drive the football down the field, Eason prefers to do his work from the pocket. His big arm and wrist action allow him to vary speeds between squeezing tight windows and laying the vertical shots out in front of his target. There’s a smooth, arching trajectory when he takes his deep shots to future draft pick, Aaron Fuller.

Those highlight plays come from clean pockets, but any compromise of Eason’s surroundings typically spell trouble. His initial instinct in this game was to retreat and extend the play by running away from the rush. By doing this, he eschewed opportunities for big plays within the structure of the offense.

Stanford would change the coverage-look post snap by moving a safety on the signal. Eason missed Fuller in the red zone because of this disguise, and the frequency of the issue stems from his own sense of pressure — whether it’s actually there or not.

Weekend Recap

This will provide detractors of this column — or the opinions I share each week — to label me as a biased observer, but watching every throw of all these quarterbacks, one thing is obvious: There’s a big gap between Tua and the rest of the crop. The upside of others (Herbert, Love) might intrigue scouts, and both could develop into better prospects, but the choice is clear right now.

Still, this is a great year to need a quarterback. There’s a chance that six passers come off the board in the first round.

As far as Miami’s concerned, that only serves to benefit the Dolphins. More QBs coming off the board early means big-time players at other positions will slide down the board for Miami’s other, many high draft picks.

Week 7 Schedule

Herbert – vs. Colorado, Friday 10:00 FS1
Fromm – vs. South Carolina, Noon ESPN
Tagovailoa – at Texas A&M, 3:30 CBS
Burrow – vs. Florida, 8:00 ESPN
Eason – at Arizona, 11:00 (PM) FS1
Love – Off

@WingfieldNFL

Additional Prospects –

Grant Delpit, LSU Safety

Aaron Fuller – Wide Receiver, Washington

Paulson Adebo – Cornerback, Stanford

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Miami Dolphins

Why there are discrepancies in the Miami Dolphins projected draft picks

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins NFL Draft
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

MIAMI DOLPHINS (Locked On Dolphins) – Why there are discrepancies in the Miami Dolphins projected draft picks

I check the draft order updates as soon as I can every week, once the dust has settled on another slate of games. I know I’m not the only one, either.

After the completion of all the Week 12 games, where the Dolphins were downed by the Cleveland Browns, there were some major “upheavals” in the draft order.

Washington slithered away with a close victory over the Lions and got their second win of the season. Coupled with the Dolphins loss, they are both 2-9 now.

This is vital for the draft order, and it’s also essential that the Redskins won against the Dolphins in Week 6 because if they share the same strength of schedule, that will prioritize the Dolphins with the earlier pick.

That’s not important yet, though. But first things first, there are currently three teams with a 2-9 record: Redskins, Dolphins, and Giants. This means that the appropriate draft order will go to the next qualifying tiebreaker, the strength of schedule.

It’s eyebrow-raising because despite the strength of schedule theoretically being the same value across the board, there are discrepancies in the Dolphins projected draft pick on different sites.

In some cases, the Dolphins get the third pick, and in other instances, they get the fourth. NFL.com, for example, has assigned the Dolphins an SoS (strength of schedule) at .562 and the fourth overall pick, but Tankathon gives them an SoS of .506 and the third pick.

So what gives?

The strength of schedule values shouldn’t waver since it’s based on the win-loss record of the opponents of any given team, so there shouldn’t be multiple solutions.

I did a little digging, and the answer surprisingly simple.

NFL.com generated its strength of schedule using all the played games up to the most recently completed week of contests, in this case, Week 12.

Tankathon, on the other hand, uses the entire 16-game schedule for each team regardless of the number of games having not been played.

NFL.com’s is the most accurate while the season is ongoing, but Tankathon’s gives a bigger-picture range of where the SoS will eventually finish. It gains accuracy as the season wanes but is misleading earlier on in the year.

Both sites will meet in the middle with the same value once the season is over, but for now, either method can be beneficial to look at. The Dolphins having the fourth pick, though, is the most accurate account.

UPDATE: Tankathon has since updated its SoS to reflect the Bills victory on Thanksgiving Day. Their win counts twice when factoring it in the Dolphins’ SoS; this has resulted in the Dolphins having a slightly better strength of schedule compared to Washington and bumped the Fins down to the fourth pick in both methods.

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NFL Draft

Scouting College Football’s Top 2020 Quarterback Prospects – Week 13

Travis Wingfield

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Recapping Week 13 of the College Football Season

During the college season, here on Locked On Dolphins, we’re going to keep an eye on quarterbacks all throughout the country. Our primary focus will be on the big four, the options that Miami will likely choose from with an early pick in the 2020 draft.

Those quarterbacks are:

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report

2019 Week 1 Recap
2019 Week 2 Recap
2019 Week 3 Recap
2019 Week 4 Recap
2019 Week 5 Recap
2019 Week 6 Recap
2019 Week 7 Recap
2019 Week 8 Recap
2019 Week 9 Recap
– No Week 10 Recap
2019 Week 11 Recap
2019 Week 12 Recap

*LSU’s Joe Burrow has been added to the prospect watch list.

We’ll go in chronological order from when the games were played.

Week 13 Recap

Jake Fromm vs. Texas A&M, Win 19-13
Stats: 11/23 (47.8%) 163 yards (7.09 YPA) 1 TD

Georgia hosted the A&M in a torrential downpour, which prompted Fromm to wear a glove on his throwing hand. The result of the new hand attire, a handful of dreadful misses for the junior quarterback.

Fromm removed the glove and heated up late in the first half. When he’s in need of a big play Fromm tends to go outside the numbers on back-shoulder throws, and he hits them with remarkable consistency. He remains a tough out on third downs as he wins with his anticipation and ball placement.

This season was supposed to serve as an opportunity for Fromm to solidify himself at QB2, but you won’t see him in that tier with many pundits, if any at all. He’s limited from a physical traits standpoint, and his true value will be revealed in the combine meetings and on the white board.

Joe Burrow vs. Arkansas, Win 56-20
Stats: 23/28 (82.1%) 327 yards (11.68 YPA) 3 TD

Tonight was a great culmination of what Joe Burrow is as a prospect. He’s as shifty pocket manager that can get away from pressure while maintaining downfield vision. He’s an accurate thrower that excels at finding passing lanes through innate spatial awareness.

He’s also equipped with a relatively weak arm. His first touchdown pass was severely under-thrown, but as Ja’Marr Chase tends to do, he bailed the play out with a Randy Moss-like reception. Burrow floated a few deep shots that fluttered out of his hand.

There’s no doubt that there are situations and schemes in the NFL that could maximize Burrow’s skill set. I don’t think he’s a scheme diverse, homerun pick, but he’s got a lot of the goods.

Justin Herbert at Arizona State, Loss 31-28
Stats: 20/36 (55.6%) 310 yards (8.61 YPA) 2 TD, 2 INT

At the risk of sounding redundant, Justin Herbert’s play refuses to change my opinion about his game. Poor results in big spots (on the road, in primetime with a chance to essentially punch a ticket to a College Football Playoff play-in game). His inconsistent mechanics lead to considerable lapses in accuracy, and his decision making demonstrates a lack of progression as a quarterback. When a potential top-five pick returns to school, and the shortcomings remain the same, that’s a major red flag.

Herbert a bad performance in Tempe snowball in the second half. Bad decision after bad decision, inaccurate throw after inaccurate throw, and another failed attempt at a potentially defining game. Herm Edwards’ defense hasn’t played well recently, but it’s an NFL structured scheme, one that Herbert would see a lot at the next level, hence the gravity of this road test.

Herbert has the look to me of a quarterback that’s going to get somebody fired. His physical traits, and the consequential expansion of the playbook, will tantalize a staff to stick with him far behind the leash he will deserve, but the consistent shortcomings in the non-negotiable aspects of the position will lead to continual disappointment.

Jordan Love vs. Boise State, In Progress

It takes a special talent to captivate an east coast crowd that’s viewing a 50-point drubbing at one in the morning. That’s what Jordan Love did on Saturday night (Sunday morning) in Logan, UT against the Boise State Broncos. Love made the one big mistake (pick six) that has been following him through the 2019 college football season, but he also made the countless jaw-dropping throws that have solidified him as my personal QB2 this process.

Every week, Love shows us the special talent that is only captured by three of four human beings walking this earth. Mahomes, Murray, Wison, Love — that’s probably it as far as the short stops playing QB with rare arm talent. The flexibility and strength of his arm allows him to put the football on quite literally any blade of grass on a 100-yard-by-53-yard football field.

The elusive nature by which he can escape pressure, paired with that arm, will expand the playbook of whichever play caller gets their hands on this specimen. Love will need some time as he still struggles with processing the middle of the field, but the upside is undeniable.

Week 13 Conclusion

Early Sunday morning, Ian Rappaport tweeted a story that Tua Tagovailoa is more likely to endure a bear attack than he is to suffer the same fate of Bo Jackson with his degenerative hip condition. Because of that, and the tireless work ethic that comes attached to Tua, he’s not moving from QB1 on my list — he’s still far and away the best.

I’m also solidifying Jordan Love as my QB2. He’s probably the most likely to return to school, and could throw his hat in the ring as the first overall pick in 2021 if he lands with Oklahoma, Alabama, or another big-time program. Scouting is about finding out what the play CAN do, not what he can’t do. And the things that Love can do are unique to him in this draft class. They’re unique to him in the history of college football, quite frankly.

I’m all the way out on Justin Herbert — but that was pretty much always the case. Same story. Failure against pressure (phantom or real), another stinker in a big primetime showdown. Inconsistent mechanics leading to flawed accuracy. The G.M. that falls for this fool’s gold will be on the unemployment line before Herbert reaches his second contract.

Joe Burrow is quietly humming along during his Heisman campaign. His accuracy and play making ability stood out all season, but so does the lack of drive on his downfield throws. The arm limitations, and the fact that I believe he’s scheme dependent (will be awesome if selected in the right situation, which is definitely not Zac Taylor and the Bengals (but would work with Miami)), lands Burrow at QB3.

Jake Fromm settles in as QB4. He might consider a return to campus as his Bulldog offense has bogged down time-and-time again. Fromm wins with processing and accuracy, but his arm is on Joe Burrow’s level, and the inclement weather in Athens Saturday really impacted the way he threw the football.

Travis Wingfield’s Final Top 5 (Will not change between now and the end of the season)

1. Tua Tagovailoa
2. Jordan Love
3. Joe Burrow
4. Jake Fromm
5. Justin Herbert

Week 14 Schedule

Fromm at Georgia Tech, Noon ABC
Love at New Mexico, 4:00 Facebook
Burrow vs. Texas A&M, 7:00 ESPN
Herbert vs. Oregon State, TBD

@WingfieldNFL

Additional Prospect Videos

Yetur Gross-Matos – Penn State Edge

Tyler Johnson – Minnesota Wide Receiver 

Antoine Winfield Jr. – Minnesota Safety

Rashod Bateman – Minnesota Wide Receiver (Class of 2021)

Shaun Wade – Ohio State Safety/Slot Corner

Malik Harrison – Ohio State Outside Linebacker

A.J. Dillon – Boston College Running Back

J.R. Reed – Georgia Safety

Shane Lemieux – Oregon Left Guard

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NFL Draft

Scouting College Football’s Top 2020 Quarterback Prospects – Week 12

Travis Wingfield

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Recapping Week 12 of the College Football Season

During the college season, here on Locked On Dolphins, we’re going to keep an eye on quarterbacks all throughout the country. Our primary focus will be on the big four, the options that Miami will likely choose from with an early pick in the 2020 draft.

Those quarterbacks are:

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report

2019 Week 1 Recap
2019 Week 2 Recap
2019 Week 3 Recap
2019 Week 4 Recap
2019 Week 5 Recap
2019 Week 6 Recap
2019 Week 7 Recap
2019 Week 8 Recap
2019 Week 9 Recap
– No Week 10 Recap
2019 Week 11 Recap

*LSU’s Joe Burrow has been added to the prospect watch list.

We’ll go in chronological order from when the games were played.

Week 12 Recap

Tua Tagovailoa vs. Mississippi State, Win
Stats: 14/18 (77.8%) 256 yards (14.22 YPA) 2 TD

Today was a collective “L” for the football community. One of the best collegiate players, and widely praised good guys, Tua Tagovailoa suffered a hip injury that leaves his football future in question.

What started out as an ordinary onslaught of explosive plays — a product of perfectly placed passes — ended in potential tragedy. Reports say that Tua’s hip is both dislocated, with a fracture of the wall that retains the ball joint. This injury calls for immediate surgery and significant recovery time, if a football career is possible at all.

Tagovailoa will do everything in his power for a full recovery, and hopefully the advances in modern medicine can allow him to make a triumphant return to the gridiron.

Jordan Love at Wyoming, Win 26-21
Stats: 18/29 (62.1%) 282 yards (9.72 YPA) 2 TD, 2 INT

This game was my favorite quarterback tape to watch this season. Jordan Love exhibited the sometimes unfathomably unique arm-talent that has endeared him to scouts nationally. After two interceptions — one a bad read, another bad luck — Love showed the shortstop-like arm, supreme athleticism, and general freaky traits that have scouts drooling.

The arm-strength to squeeze the football into a tight window from 40 yards away, the rare elasticity to sling it on a line across his body while on the move, the quick release to get the ball out in the face of pressure…it looks like he’s throwing a baseball.

The added element of a designed run package and RPO game, paired with the threat of throwing the ball to any blade of grass on the field, coaches will line up to get their hands on this prospect.

Jake Fromm vs. Missouri, Win 27-0
Stats: 13/28 (46.4%) 110 yards (3.93 YPA) 3 TD

Fromm hit his best throw of the season in another big SEC road victory. Few quarterbacks have the number of scalps that Fromm keeps in his back pocket, and he displayed tremendous poise in another hostile environment.

At times, the crowd noise was deafening, yet Fromm communicated his line checks and audibles with urgency and a steady heartbeat. He made cutch, accurate throws on third down, and beat the defense with his pre-snap prowess.

Fromm has quiet feet when he gets to the top of his drop. That’s not a trait he shares with a lot of the new-age, successful quarterbacks in the NFL. Kyler Murray went first in the draft for his ability to glide weightlessly about the pocket, creating passing lanes.

While Fromm is capable of mitigating some deficiencies with his ability to get the offense into the right play, and accurate passing, he’s not going to erase free rushers with his athleticism, and he’s not going to overcome situations with a fastball throw.

Joe Burrow at Ole Miss, Win 58-37
Stats: 32/42 (76.2%) 489 yards (11.64 YPA) 5 TD, 2 INT

And in one afternoon, Joe Burrow is left with nothing to prove. The now heavy favorite to come off the board with the first pick, the second half of Miami’s season would have to take some considerable turns to get the LSU Quarterback.

Burrow remains as cool as ever in this one. He rushed his Tiger offense out to a big lead with a couple of impressive improvisational plays. The big day was saddled by the two turnovers, but Burrow ends the day as the new QB1 due to Tua’s medical situation.

Justin Herbert vs. Arizona, 10:30 ESPN
Stats: 20/28 (71.4%) 333 yards (11.89 YPA) 4 TD, 1 INT

If this was your first viewing experience of Justin Herbert, you probably came away convinced he’s a top-10 draft pick — and he will be. If you’re a regular to his tape, this game was more of the same — flashes of brilliance when the circumstances permit, but the same inconsistencies in the most important aspects of the game.

Arizona’s defense hasn’t stopped a nose bleed this year, and they sure as hell weren’t going to stop the draft’s most physically impressive specimen behind the country’s best offensive line. Herbert’s long touchdown throws displayed the hand-cannon that has scouts conjuring up the prototypical quarterback build — particularly the toss in the second half.

On the rare occasions where Arizona got heat, you saw Herbert’s lack of quick-twitch to get off the spot, without the inherent ability to keep his eyes downfield to keep the play alive. You saw Herbert make an egregious decision to throw the ball into coverage (the INT was dropped) on a first-and-goal play from the two-yard-line.

The problem with Herbert, is that this has been the story for over 30 games. He still has no signature wins or moments, and the Oregon offense is still predicated on the running and screen game.

Herbert’s best bet at the next level is a run-heavy offense that can utilize his premiere weapon — throwing on the move. Lining up in 12-personnel (2 tight ends) and allowing Herbert to get out in space to throw into layers or flood concepts on the move will be the smoothest transition for the Oregon QB to have some success.

I’m of the belief that you have to put Herbert in an absolutely ideal situation, because he’s not going to mitigate your issues offensively.

Week 12 Conclusion

Reports from the University of Alabama doctor responsible for tending to Tagovailoa say the quarterback will make a full recovery, but he is certainly in for a long rehab process. If anyone can come back from this, it’s Tagovailoa, though his draft stock will surely be impacted. If Tua enters the draft and clears all the medical hurdles, he’ll still be a first-round pick.

Miami might be fortunate if Tagovailoa is still the target. With Brian Flores willing his team to underdog victories, the chances of obtaining the first pick was becoming grim, but so too are Tua’s chances at going off the board number one.

The Dolphins will have a difficult decision to make, though an apparent contingency plan is developing behind Tua.

Jordan Love is making progress the last two weeks in his overall effectiveness, and the highlights he produced today were utterly absurd. Though he has shortcomings in his approach for the game and playing the quarterback position, his physical tools give him — far and away — the highest upside in the class.

Miami’s interesting draft season took a jump to a whole other level of intrigue with the events of Saturday.

Week 13 Schedule

Fromm vs. Texas A&M, 3:30 CBS
Burrow vs. Arkansas, 7:00 ESPN
Love vs. Boise State, 10:30 CBSSN
Herbert at Arizona State TBD

@WingfieldNFL

Additional Prospect Videos

A.J. Epenesa – Iowa Defensive End 

Bravvion Roy – Baylor Defensive Tackle

Julian Blackmon – Utah Safety (former corner, invited to Mobile for the Sr. Bowl)

Ben Bredeson – Michigan Left Guard

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