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Scouting College Football’s Top 2020 QB Prospects – Week 7

Travis Wingfield

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Recapping Week 7 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

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

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

Justin Herbert vs. Colorado,Win 45-3
Stats: 18/33 (54.5%) 261 yards (7.9 YPA) 2 TDs

Regardless of what happens throughout Justin Herbert’s professional career, he will flash moments of brilliance. The consistency of those spurts, however, remains uncertain. When the defense reacts according to the play call, it’s over. Herbert’s ability to quickly drive the ball down the field excites scouts everywhere.

The issue of inconsistency remains, well, consistent. Lapses in accuracy, proper mechanical alignment and anticipatory throws raise concerns over Herbert’s ability to translate at the next level. When there’s no urgency, everything is rosy. Herbert can adequately process and adjust his throw type when he’s free of adverse circumstances.

When Herbert is forced to speed things up — get away from an unexpected free rusher, anticipate a route opening up against the leverage of the defense — errors occur. Balls on the wrong hip/shoulder, late throws into tight windows, there’s a lack of trust in what he sees post-snap.

The upside is difficult to ignore, but those issues have to become hardwired corrections for Herbert to ever realize that potential.

Jake Fromm vs. South Carolina, Loss 20-17 (OT)
Stats: 28/51 (54.9%) 295 yards (5.78 YPA) 1TD, 3 INTs

The first 54 minutes of this game were a struggle from Fromm and the Georgia offense. After early success that has Fromm accomplishing whatever he wanted against the Gamecock defense — man or zone — Fromm’s decision making and location went south during a 42-minute scoring drought.

The good version of Fromm showed anticipation, timing and location on point, as they all typically are. Fromm’s interception on a throwaway attempt to close out the first half started a cascade of poor football. His accuracy waned, his normally perfect communication with the receivers went awry, and Georgia trailed with just six minutes to play at home against an inferior football team. Fromm also lost a fumble on a failed quarterback-center exchange on the doorstep of the red zone.

Executing a 96-yard, game-tying drive when he had to have it speaks highly to Fromm’s character. The NFL will present adversity, and Fromm has showcased the ability to overcome hurdles. Still, at the end of the day, he made too mistakes for Georgia to win this game.

One week after elevating his draft stock ahead of Justin Herbert and Jordan Love, Fromm comes back to earth and makes one thing abundantly clear — there’s a big gap between Tua and the rest of this class.

Tua Tagovailoa at Texas A&M, Win 47-28
Stats: 21/34 (61.8%) 293 yards (8.62 YPA) 4 TDs, 1 INT

On a day where Tua wasn’t as finely tuned as we’ve come to expect, he surpasses A.J. McCarron for the career touchdown passes record at Alabama with another four touchdown day. Tua’s second touchdown was a classic example of his pre-snap acumen, post-snap mechanical alignment, and precise ball location against an A&M blitz. Quickly getting to his spot and setup, Tua throws it right in behind the blitz and right on the bullseye for a big play.

The fourth touchdown was a fantastic anticipation strike to Henry Ruggs. Tagovailoa’s trust in his own eyes and processor allows him to anticipate better than any passer in the country.

He also showcased his fluid pocket mobility. Whether it’s escaping, or climbing up and wading through the trash, the only thing more dangerous than Tua on-script, is the improvising version of Tua.

The trust can lead to some mistakes and easy turnovers, however. Tua’s interception was a carbon copy of one of his INTs in the SEC Championship Game in 2018 against Georgia. Tua checked his backside read and attacked play side with the information he gathered. He was wrong in thinking the safety was bailing out. Instead, the safety robbed a dig route from Jeudy, and Tua was late with the football for an easy pick.

There were additional accuracy issues (available in the video thread) in the game, but not by a significant margin. Typically, when he makes a mistake, he erases the wrongdoing on the next play. Tua can play better, certainly, but I sometimes wonder if we hold him to an unrealistic standard.

A career 9:1 TD:INT ratio will do that (81 TDs, 9 INTs).

Joe Burrow vs. Florida, Win 42-28
Stats: 21/24 (87.5%) 293 yards (12.2 YPA) 3 TDs

Kirk Herbstreit said it best early fourth quarter after Joe Burrow beat another Gators blitz. Herbie referred to Burrow having all the answers for the looks Florida threw at him, and it led to a strong, efficient performance.

Burrow not only threw on-time and on-target within the structure of the offense, he navigated murky pockets and extended plays with big results.

Burrow’s growth in year-two in this offensive system makes for a master attacking the middle, intermediate portion of the field. Dropping the ball in behind linebackers and underneath the safeties, Burrow’s accuracy on crossing routes leads to big plays after the catch for the talented Tigers receivers.

Burrow forced his way into this discussion. The big four have become the big five and Burrow could wind up top-three if he continues this success.

Recap

We’re entering the portion of the season where we can begin to compare common opponents. Fromm earned his way into QB2 status with steady, consistent play through six weeks, but Fromm had his ugliest showing of the year Saturday.

That three-interception performance comes against a defense that Tua carved up for 444 yards and five touchdowns. The already significant gap between QB1 and QB1 increased after the performances of Tagovailoa and Fromm this weekend.

Herbert has nothing to prove against inferior foes. His physical talents are too much for poor defense, especially units that are poorly coached like Colorado. For Herbert to enter QB2 status, he’ll have to show out in adverse circumstances — something he really hasn’t done in his career.

Love was off this week; perhaps the bye week we’ll supplement his familiarity in yet another system. Burrow has passed all of his tests this season, but he still has a way to go before he’s even considered a one-year wonder.

Half way through the college football season, my quarterback big board goes:

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

@WingfieldNFL

Additional Prospect Video Threads

Alabama Linebacker, Anfernee Jennings

Oklahoma Center, Creed Humphrey

Oklahoma Wide Receiver, Ceedee Lamb

Oklahoma Linebacker, Kenneth Murray

LSU Edge, K’Lavon Chaisson

Penn State Edge, Yetur Gross-Matos

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Daniel meehan

    October 12, 2019 at 9:46 pm

    Travis, I think the linebacker is a problem position for us. Is their a linebacker in upcoming draft compatible to Dontae Hightower.

  2. Avatar

    Papapickett

    October 12, 2019 at 11:11 pm

    One thing is for sure. You are an excellent analyst and were lucky your a dolphins fan.

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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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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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