Connect with us

Scouting Reports

Know The Enemy – New York Jets

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

As the NFL comes to its summer crawl, we’re going to be looking into each of the Miami Dolphins’ 2018 opponents leading up to training camp.

Go to:
Week 1 vs. Tennessee 

New York Jets – @NYJ Week 2 / @MIA Week 9

2017 Recap: (5-11, 4thAFC East – No Playoffs)

Head Coach Todd Bowles and General Manager Mike Maccagnan parlayed a job-security-life-preserver into an all-in bet on a rookie quarterback. Out of patience for the likes of Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty, the Jets remade the room under surprisingly steady veteran Josh McCown. McCown, despite some fourth quarter woes, captained a five-win vessel despite a much murkier forecast.

The defense underwent a transformation in 2017. Previously stout in the trenches, the Jets are building from the outside in via the secondary. Rookie Jamal Adams was as advertised as a rookie, but the lack of a pass rush only kept the levy intact for so long.

2017 League-Ranks:

 

Scoring Offense 24th
Rushing Offense 19th
Passing Offense 24th
Scoring Defense 22nd
Rushing Defense 24th
Passing Defense 21st
Turnover Differential 24th

 

2018 Coaching Changes:

In a surprising move, the Jets fired offensive coordinator John Morton. Morton guided the undisputed worst offensive roster in the league to a modicum of respectability up until McCown’s injury.

Taking over for Morton is promoted quarterbacks coach, Jeremy Bates. Offensive line coach Steve Marshall gives way to Rick Dennison who adds running game coordinator to his title.

The defensive staff remains intact from 2017.

2018 Notable Roster Changes:

 

Newcomer Role / Projected Snap Count
CB Trumaine Johnson (LA Rams) Starter / 100%
LB Avery Williamson (Tennessee) Starter / 100%
QB Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota) Backup QB
RB Isaiah Crowell (Cleveland) RB 1A / 50%
C Travis Swanson (Detroit) Compete with Spencer Long / 100% or 0%
C Spencer Long (Washington) Compete with Travis Swanson / 100$ or 0%
WR Terrelle Pryor (Washington) Rotational WR / 50%
RB Thomas Rawls (Seattle) Short-Yardage/Reclamation / 30% <
LB Kevin Minter (Cincinnati) Special Teams / 10-15%
DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw (Atlanta) Rotational / 30% <
ILB Kevin Pierre-Louis (Kansas City) Rotational / 20% <

 

Departed Role / Snaps Played
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Green Bay) Starter / 62.5%
LB Demario Davis (New Orleans) Starter / 100%
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Jacksonville) Starter / 63%
DE Kony Ealy (Dallas) Rotational / 40.5%

 

Projected Cornerstones (75%+ snap takers) – 2017 PFF Positional Rank:

WR Robbie Anderson – 44th/ 118
WR Jermaine Kearse – 43rd/ 118
DE Leonard Williams – 10th/ 43
ILB Avery Williamson – 6th/ 90
ILB Darron Lee – 90th/ 90
OLB Jordan Jenkins – 32nd/ 46
CB Trumaine Johnson – 75th/ 120
CB Morris Claiborne – 87th/ 120
S Jamal Adams – 39th/ 89
S Marcus Maye – 80th/ 89

The Other Key Contributors:

Self-scouting the running back position was an issue for the Jets in 2017. Matt Forte’s departure opens the door for the more elusive and more productive Bilal Powell (1,494 rushing yards at a 4.83 yards-per-rush clip the last two season). Joining Powell is ex-Brown Isaiah Crowell. Crowell has shown flashes in Cleveland and gives the Jets a formidable 1-2 backfield punch.

Tale of the Tape:

Offense:

According to Left Tackle Kelvin Beachum, the Jets offensive scheme remains the same under new OC Jeremy Bates. With West Coast principles and a zone-running scheme (primarily the outside variety) the Jets will institute a ball control style of offense.

Bates joins running game coordinator Rick Dennison for their second tour of duty together in the NFL (employed for two years in Denver (2007 and 2008)). Dennison is a household name for the consistency of his ground game throughout the years (5thand 3rdin rushing yards per attempt those two years in Denver). Bates and his quarterbacks, however, were the trailer being pulled by Dennison’s truck.

With a laundry list of mediocre wide receivers, an offensive line that created the 20thbest yards-per-rush number, and a rookie quarterback potentially taking the reins, we might see a risk-adverse attack.

Expect to see balanced play-calling and a short-to-intermediate passing attack that minimizes the variety of route combinations the quarterback has to read.

Josh McCown is the safest option likely with the best chance to help the team win week one.

Teddy Bridgewater reportedly had an excellent spring-camp working back from a devastating knee injury that took two years out of his career.

Sam Darnold is a gamer and has the mental make-up to withstand adversity; but his penchant for turnovers flies directly in the face of the path to success for this offense in 2018.

Defense:

Kacy Rodgers wears the defensive coordinator tag, but this is Todd Bowles’ defense. Bowles’ scheme is dependent on sizable linebackers playing behind a three-man front that can eat up blocks. Nose tackle Steve McClendon does his part in that regard, but the Jets are sorely lacking at the second level.

Oct 22, 2017; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills (10) makes a catch over New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine (41) for a touchdown during the second half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Third-year pro Darron Lee graded out dead-last among interior linebackers via Pro Football Focus. Stabilizing the unit was veteran Demario Davis – he’s gone. On either edge are a dearth of underwhelming players spearheaded by Jordan Jenkins and Lorenzo Mauldin.

The Jets only hope for a pass rush comes by way of Leonard Williams – an all-world defensive end talent. Williams holds the point against the run and can win with speed, power and a variety of moves as a rusher.

The secondary is the saving grace of this defense, and it just so happens to be Bowles’ forte. Coaching the likes of Patrick Peterson and Darrell Revis, Bowles prefers operating with a MEG corner (man everywhere he goes).

The task of chasing around the opposition’s best wide out falls in the lap of newly minted Trumaine Johnson. Johnson has the physicality to line up with an X receiver, and the turn-and-burn make-up to deal with the league’s top flankers.

Jamal Adams isn’t exactly Bowles’ second coming of Tyrann Mathieu, but he changes the temperature of the locker room. He’s an aggressive chess piece that can play in the box against the run, as a blitzer, as well as free-flow sideline-to-sideline. The Jets hope to get more from second-year pro Marcus Maye and must to figure out a solution for the slot cornerback position.

Match-Up with Miami:

Despite a sizeable gap in talent, the Jets match-up relatively well with the Dolphins. The outside zone running game has given the Miami defense fits for far too long and the short passing game could negate the array of pass rushers assembled in South Beach.

The Jets have long controlled the trenches in these match-ups, but the changing of the guard (Muhammed Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Mike Pouncey all gone from the AFC East) could produce a different result. On the other side of the ball, Miami has to get better play from its ends against the run.

William Hayes was re-signed to play in games just like this pair of divisional showdowns. Opposite him, Charles Harris could see a healthy bump in snaps in the series. Last year, the Dolphins’ front acquitted itself relatively well in the two games, but the linebacker play was lacking.

Miami winning on running downs is a nightmare scenario for the Jets. Cam Wake is a notorious Jet-killer, particularly when he gets a crack at right tackle Brandon Shell (NY’s projected starting RT).

Miami will employ a faster, more aggressive defense this season. Given the Jets’ propensity for misdirection (recall the success of the Jets’ screen game in Miami last October), the Dolphins may have to change their play stylistically for a game or two.

On the other side, Ryan Tannehill has to be acutely aware of Jamal Adams at all times. Tannehill carved up Trumaine Johnson (primarily via Devante Parker) in a 2016 meeting in Los Angeles, but accounting for the extra blitzer, robber-coverage and post-snap rotation of Bowles’ Adams’ led-defense will be critical.

New center Dan Kilgore faces a challenge his predecessor, Mike Pouncey, was never really up to. Dealing with the power of Steve McClendon might be a two-man job, but if Kilgore has any success against the big man, the ‘Phins can run the football inside and dictate the pace of these contests. 

Trap Game Potential:

This game is the home-opener for the Jets – against a hated rival. The hope to catch the Jets napping is in the diversity of their September schedule. New York opens the season on the road for a Monday Night meeting in Mo-Town, then travels again for a Thursday affair in Cleveland just four days after the Miami game.

Last week we detailed the difficulty of playing both after and before a short week in the NFL. The Jets’ home opener brings the Dolphins to town for the second straight year and few things please the home-town crowd like “squishing the fish.”

Week-Two in a Nutshell:

The cliché of “throwing out all the numbers” when two divisional teams meet is patently worn out. This meeting will make the generic statement appear as fact, however. Previewing the game beyond this column is a futile practice given the volatility of the Jets’ quarterback position.

Dolphins fans ought to hope the rookie gets the nod and that his turnover woes show up. Preventing the stretch-zone plays, containing Robbie Anderson’s downfield prowess and making sure the Jets’ blitz pressure doesn’t alter the game are the keys in this series.

A series the Dolphins must sweep.

@WingfieldNFL

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scouting Reports

Face of the Franchise Series: Best of the Rest

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Two decades removed from his retirement, the Miami Dolphins are still in-search of Dan Marino’s replacement

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report
Best of the Rest

Foreword:

7,094 days, 308 games. That arduous, ceaseless waiting period spans the time from Dan Marino’s last buckle of the chin strap, to present day. The Packers and Colts were fortunate enough to hand the ball from one legend to another without skipping a beat. For Dolphins fans, Marino’s retirement coincides not only with the turn of the century, but with the downturn of the once winningest franchise in professional sports.

Chad Pennington’s 2008 MVP runner-up season sits a mere blip on the radar of futility. Ryan Tannehill teased fans for five years before an injury brought all hope to a fiery end. Daunte Culpepper was the worst consolation prize ever contrived and John Beck, Chad Henne, and Pat White each qualify as second-round busts.

The misery feels perpetual yet, somehow, not defeating. At least the Dolphins got the bat off the shoulder this offseason by taking a crack at Josh Rosen, but his rookie tape leaves plenty to be desired. A first-round signal-caller is the odds-on-favorite for Miami in next April’s draft; a class brimming with quarterback talent.

If patience truly is a virtue, then Dolphins fans have waited long enough. The collective has earned the right to unanimously appoint the next hero of professional football in South Florida. No more arguments, no more debates; just an unequivocal beast of a quarterback capable of willing the aqua and orange to victory on any given Sunday.

The same way #13 did for so many years.

Over the summer we will look at the top quarterback prospects entering the 2019 college football season.

Now, for the group battling to infiltrate the top four QBs — the best of the rest.

The Best of the Rest

Any prospect with professional aspirations would prefer to enter his final college season with considerable fanfare and expectations. More attention equals more eyeballs, and more eyeballs equals more opportunity to make an impression.

That’s not to say that expectations are the only path to a Thursday night selection during the NFL’s three-day draft extravaganza. Far from it. With the ever-changing landscape of the college game, each of the last two draft classes saw unknown signal-callers rise from afterthought, to bells of the ball.

Baker Mayfield was — at best — a distant fourth behind Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen entering the 2017 college football season. Kyler Murray was signed, sealed, and delivered to the Oakland A’s and off the radar of NFL scouts entirely. Yet, a short eight months after college football’s opening Saturday, both were standing on the podium with the commissioner before any of their peers.

Tua Tagovailoa is the prohibitive favorite to earn the honorable distinction of first overall pick. Dominant performances at a prominent school will have that affect.

Justin Herbert’s rare physical skills have scouts fawning over Oregon football this fall, while Jordan Love will garner similar jaw-dropping attention.

Then there’s the polished and professional Jake Fromm.

These four quarterbacks will take the field next month and begin their (potentially) final chapters before their NFL dreams are realized.

So who is the pick the rocket up the draft board from seemingly nowhere? The options are vast, and we’ll cover them right now (in no particular order).

D’Eriq King – Houston – 5-11, 195 lbs. (Senior)

The aforementioned Kyler Murray, one year after Baker Mayfield paved the way, ushers in a new way of thinking in regards to projecting passers from college to the professional ranks. King is an electric dual-threat QB — evident by his 50 touchdowns in 2018 despite missing 2.5 games with an ankle injury.

K.J. Costello – Stanford – 6-5, 215 lbs. (Senior)

With ideal size and natural arm talent Costello is a threat to climb draft boards next spring. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he can alter his release points and vary the velocity and touch of his throws for the circumstance. Costello took a big jump in 2018, but needs another significant climb in the mechanical portion of the game to garner first round consideration.

Khalil Tate – Arizona – 6-2, 216 lbs. (Senior)

The transition from Rich Rodriguez’s to Kevin Sumlin impacted Tate in the worst way possible. With game-breaking, dual-threat talent that rivals Kyler Murray, Tate was asked to play more within the structure of a traditional drop back game last season. The result, a dramatic efficiency drop-off across the board. Tate is electrifying with his legs and more than adequate with the arm — he’s a sleeper pick to join Tagovailoa, Fromm, Herbert and Love.

Jacob Eason – Washington – 6-6, 230 lbs. (Senior)

Eason barely has more collegiate accolades than anyone reading this piece. He was a five-star recruit that missed two years due to injury and ineligibility after transferring; this after showing minimal promise as a true freshman at Georgia. Eason is long, and a tad gangly, but he’s an accurate thrower with ideal size for the position.

Sam Ehlinger – Texas – 6-3 235 lbs. (Junior)

Following the trend of athletic quarterbacks taking over professional football, Ehlinger is another prototype player. He’s a threat to score on the ground on any given play, but that’s something of a cover up for some mechanical and arm talent short comings. Ehlinger exploded at the end of the 2018 season, and he needs to continue on that trajectory to vault his draft stock beyond day-three.

Brian Lewerke – Michigan State 6-3, 215 lbs. – (Senior)

Adding Lewerke to this list feels a little disingenuous because I’m clenching to his sophomore season. His junior year at East Lansing was an unmitigated disaster, but the processing, anticipation, accuracy, and off-script prowess were enough for some pundits to tab Lewerke as QB1 heading into 2018.

Honorable Mention: Bryce Perkins (Virginia), Nathan Stanley (Iowa), Cole McDonald (Hawaii)

If expectations play out this season for the Dolphins, a first round quarterback is likely the result at the conclusion of year-one of the rebuild. The future employment of everybody associated with the Dolphins would then depend on getting that draft pick right (Brian Flores, Chris Grier, and the entire coaching and scouting staffs).

Due to the urgency and importance of this evaluation for the ‘Phins, we will be covering the college quarterback landscape throughout the 2019 season with weekly progress reports.

As always, Locked On Dolphins is your exclusive provider of analysis, commentary, and news on the Miami Dolphins.

Way Too Early 2019 QB Prospect Ranking

 

(Rank) Player School
(1) Jordan Love Utah State
(2) Tua Tagovailoa Alabama
(3) Jake Fromm Georgia
(4) Justin Herbert Oregon
(5) Khalil Tate Arizona
(6) D’Eriq King Houston
(7) K.J. Costello Stanford
(8) Jacob Eason Washington
(9) Brian Lewerke Michigan State
(10) Sam Ehlinger Texas

 

@WingfieldNFL

Continue Reading

Scouting Reports

Face of the Franchise Series: Jordan Love

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Two decades removed from his retirement, the Miami Dolphins are still in-search of Dan Marino’s replacement

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report
Best of the Rest – Next Week

Foreword:

7,094 days, 308 games. That arduous, ceaseless waiting period spans the time from Dan Marino’s last buckle of the chin strap, to present day. The Packers and Colts were fortunate enough to hand the ball from one legend to another without skipping a beat. For Dolphins fans, Marino’s retirement coincides not only with the turn of the century, but with the downturn of the once winningest franchise in professional sports.

Chad Pennington’s 2008 MVP runner-up season sits a mere blip on the radar of futility. Ryan Tannehill teased fans for five years before an injury brought all hope to a fiery end. Daunte Culpepper was the worst consolation prize ever contrived and John Beck, Chad Henne, and Pat White each qualify as second-round busts.

The misery feels perpetual yet, somehow, not defeating. At least the Dolphins got the bat off the shoulder this offseason by taking a crack at Josh Rosen, but his rookie tape leaves plenty to be desired. A first-round signal-caller is the odds-on-favorite for Miami in next April’s draft; a class brimming with quarterback talent.

If patience truly is a virtue, then Dolphins fans have waited long enough. The collective has earned the right to unanimously appoint the next hero of professional football in South Florida. No more arguments, no more debates; just an unequivocal beast of a quarterback capable of willing the aqua and orange to victory on any given Sunday.

The same way #13 did for so many years.

Over the summer we will look at the top quarterback prospects entering the 2019 college football season.

Today takes us to a Group 5 school to look at the physically imposing Jordan Love.

Jordan Love 2018 Film Study

Playing at a group-of-five school will limit the exposure of any player, but it has become impossible to gloss over Utah State’s Jordan Love. At 6-4, 220 pounds, Love has the ideal build and makeup for the position. Some would argue that there’s a distinct advantage to playing outside of the nation’s powerhouse programs. Playing with a smaller program comes with unavoidable adversity that builds character and prepares the player for the challenges at the next level.

Heading into his junior season Love will face tremendous turnover on the roster and coaching staff.

The Utah State football program is under construction. In addition to playing for his third offensive coordinator, Love’s head coach is new, his top three receivers graduated, and his favorite tight end was drafted in April. That tight end, Dax Raymond, has a strong affinity for his former teammate.

“Anyone that watches, they know he’s a gamer and that’s the biggest thing I want in a quarterback personally,” Raymond said. “You sense the passion. He’s not out there just to throw the ball a couple of times, he’s out there to win.”

Love’s most recent OC and play caller, David Yost, slotted Love among the best quarterbacks he’s coached. “He’s right among them,” Yost said. “If he continues to progress with his skill set and his ability, he’s an NFL-level type quarterback as we go forward. That’s the expectation.”

That crop of quarterbacks includes Blaine Gabbert and Chase Daniel. All five of Yost’s QBs from his 12-year tenure at Missouri went on to play QB in the NFL.

When you see the traits — the perfect meld of school yard style honed in by prowess within the structure — you’ll see why Yost thought so highly of his former pupil.

Let’s get to the tape.

What Sets Love Apart:

Natural Thrower from Any Platform –

Some quarterbacks excel at drive throws and some are better at finessing the football. Some QBs are strictly confined to throwing from a clean pocket while others prefer getting on the move. Jordan Love is impervious to sacrificing accuracy under each of these circumstances. His arm has the natural elasticity to whip the football on-point from a variety of platforms and pass types.

Love has the shortstop trait that allows him to deliver accurate passes regardless of the arm-angle. Over the top, from the side, opening the gait on the move, it’s all the same to Love.

Quick Processing –

The majority of the video clips I made came from the season-opening game. Working under a brand new offensive system, Love showcased the ability to decipher coverage post-snap and beat the defense before it could rotate to plug windows.

Athleticism, Designed Runs and Goal Line Running Threat –

When the quarterback is a threat to run the football it puts another element in the mind of the defense. Love is just as big of a threat to sledgehammer the ball across the goal line — or in short-yardage — as and tailback or fullback. His big frame and aggressive style makes him a difficult tackle for any defensive back and plenty of linebackers.

Designed runs typically signal that the quarterback is adept at creating play off-script, and Love is no exception. He’s able to erase free rushers and create openings for his receivers down field as he surveys the coverage while attacking the line-of-scrimmage.

Focused Areas of Improvement:

Staying with the Play –

This is nitpicking, I want to acknowledge that. At times, Love will drift away from pressure rather than search for available escape routes. He tends to fall backwards hoping for something to uncover before he takes a sack and throws the ball away.

Of the four quarterbacks I watched, I had the toughest time finding areas of weakness in Love’s game.

Potential Fit with the Miami Dolphins:

We checked the leadership and character boxes in the initial category and we know Love is an accurate thrower. The one trait that Brian Flores and Chris Grier have mentioned this offseason that we haven’t covered with the other quarterbacks is athleticism and mobility. Justin Herbert has it, but Jordan Love is on another level.

For a team that wants to establish its identity as a tough, physical team, Jordan Love makes perfect sense. His presence can immensely upgrade the running game and force the defense to defend the entire field against both run and pass plays.

Conclusion:

Love vaulted to the top of my list of wants next offseason. I’m a sucker for the elite athletic traits and the big arm. If those inherent skills are married with a requisite level of processing, then that’s how superstars are born.

It’ll be a tall task for Love to supplant Tagovailoa, Fromm, and Herbert atop the QB prospect rankings list with a difficult set of circumstances at Utah State. Regardless, isolating the player for his traits and upside, no player in this class has more of the former than Jordan Love.

@WingfieldNFL

Up Next: Best of the Rest (Eason, King, Tate Ehlinger, Costello, Lewerke)

Additional Videos

No-look pass?

Easy transition from on-the-move to getting the ball up and out.

Continue Reading

Scouting Reports

Face of the Franchise Series: Justin Herbert

Travis Wingfield

Published

on

Two decades removed from his retirement, the Miami Dolphins are still in-search of Dan Marino’s replacement

Tua Tagovailoa Scouting Report
Jake Fromm Scouting Report
Justin Herbert Scouting Report
Jordan Love Scouting Report
Best of the Rest – Next Week

Foreword:

7,093 days, 308 games. That arduous, ceaseless waiting period spans the time from Dan Marino’s last buckle of the chin strap, to present day. The Packers and Colts were fortunate enough to hand the ball from one legend to another without skipping a beat. For Dolphins fans, Marino’s retirement coincides not only with the turn of the century, but with the downturn of the once winningest franchise in professional sports.

Chad Pennington’s 2008 MVP runner-up season sits a mere blip on the radar of futility. Ryan Tannehill teased fans for five years before an injury brought all hope to a fiery end. Daunte Culpepper was the worst consolation prize ever contrived and John Beck, Chad Henne, and Pat White each qualify as second-round busts.

The misery feels perpetual yet, somehow, not defeating. At least the Dolphins got the bat off the shoulder this offseason by taking a crack at Josh Rosen, but his rookie tape leaves plenty to be desired. A first-round signal-caller is the odds-on-favorite for Miami in next April’s draft; a class brimming with quarterback talent.

If patience truly is a virtue, then Dolphins fans have waited long enough. The collective has earned the right to unanimously appoint the next hero of professional football in South Florida. No more arguments, no more debates; just an unequivocal beast of a quarterback capable of willing the aqua and orange to victory on any given Sunday.

The same way #13 did for so many years.

Over the summer we will look at the top quarterback prospects entering the 2019 college football season.

Today brings us out to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon’s physical phenom, Justin Herbert.

2018 Justin Herbert Film Study

Thought by many to be a curious decision, Justin Herbert opted to return to the University of Oregon for his senior season. Had he declared, the 6-foot-6, 233-pound signal caller very well could’ve been the second quarterback off the board in a weak draft class. Now, Herbert will be available in next April’s draft, but faces much stiffer competition.

Herbert’s production regressed significantly in his junior season. After starting eight games each in back-to-back years (freshman and sophomore seasons), Herbert finally played wire-to-wire in 2018. His first full season saw a drop in completion percentage below 60% (59.4), his yard-per-attempt from 9.6 down to 7.8, and his is passer rating was the lowest of his three-year career.

“[I’m looking for a guy] that’s going rally everybody on this team,” former Ducks Head Coach Willie Taggart said of his quarterback competition prior to the 2017 season. “When we find that guy, that’s when we’re going to name a starter.

Herbert is said to be a quiet, reserved presence in the Oregon football program. Taking is a step further, Bleacher ReportsMatt Miller conveyed a report from an NFL scout who described Herbert as ‘aloof,’ and ‘soft.’

These reports should not be taken as gospel. Leaks and second-hand information have a way of materializing into false narratives. It’s all a part of the grand puzzle, and while there’s typically fire where there’s smoke, Herbert has one more season to change the perception of his character among the NFL community.

That’s not what has people raving about his professional prospect any way. It’s the raw package that Herbert offers as a passer, runner, and dual-threat quarterback. Let’s get to the film.

What Sets Herbert Apart:

Velocity –

If the only metric to consider were physical traits, Herbert would be the unanimous number-one quarterback in the 2019 draft class. No quarterback in college football can drive the ball down the seam, to the field, or into tight windows like Herbert.

Stationary, or on the move, Herbert can rip the football. Within the structure of the offense, he incorporates his lower half and drives the football on-point. When on the move, he’s naturally fluid enough to open his gait and get his hips and shoulders through the zone simultaneously.

These traits are especially helpful on stick throws, slants, and threading the middle portion of the field against cover-2.

Athleticism and Off-Script Ability –

The Oregon offense has been predicated on athletic quarterbacks for some time and Herbert is no exception to that rule. The run-pass-option is prevalent as Herbert can pick up chunks on designed runs, or when the play breaks down and he’s forced off-script.

Herbert’s pass protection had its leaky moments as he was often forced off of his spot and put into a position where he had to play hero ball. In the PAC-12, Herbert was more than capable as he often broke the pocket and made plays with both his legs and his arm.

Focused Areas of Improvement:

Pre-Determined Mindset –

Perhaps its systemic of supremely gifted quarterbacks, but the majority of said-physical marvels struggle with the cerebral portion of the game; Herbert isn’t any different. On multiple occasions, it would appear that Herbert has made his decision where the football is going pre-snap without any regard for the coverage the defense shows.

This flaw is a result of both pre-and-post-snap shortcomings as it pertains to deciphering coverage and rotation. As things evolve from the time the huddle is broken to the end of the play, Herbert often stares down his initial read and forces the ball in regardless of the defense.

Herbert’s decision to return to school could pay dividends. He needs to iron out this issues during his senior season if he wants to go off the board in the first round. To the perimeter, inside, against man or zone, it doesn’t matter — Herbert’s struggles are between the ears.

Touch Passing –

Dolphins fans saw it time-and-time again with Ryan Tannehill, the strong-armed quarterbacks tend to struggle with changing the pace of their throwing tempo. Slowing down the arm speed requires a more natural feel for aiming the football, and Herbert consistently demonstrates an inability to execute these throws.

Seeing Phantom Pressure –

Inconsistent mechanics, as a result of pressure, and dropping his eyes to anticipate pressure, forces Herbert to miss opportunities against the blitz. Often times, Herbert put his body in position to protect himself from an imminent hit opposed to standing in and delivering the football.

The Washington State game was an example of Herbert succumbing to a superb pass rush and allowing the constant pressure to change his game.

Potential Fit with the Miami Dolphins:

It’s difficult to imagine the Dolphins wanting to take this path again. The similarities to Ryan Tannehill are vast in the way he can do everything from a physical standpoint, but the mental development has a long way to go. Through seven years, it never materialized with Tannehill. Spending a first round pick on a project quarterback is a risky move for a General Manager that has to nail his next first round QB selection.

From a schematic standpoint, the fit isn’t there. Herbert’s specialties are in winning with physical gifts, taking advantage of perfect circumstances within the structure of the offense, and also beating teams off-script.

If we are to assume that Miami wants to replicate a system similar to the one ran in New England, it requires more of a point guard mentality. A point-man that can discern the defense pre-snap, and distribute the ball accordingly post-snap.

Conclusion:

If — and it’s a big if — the reports of Herbert’s character shortfalls are true, he won’t even make it onto Miami’s draft board next April. For the same reasons we speculate that Miami will love Jake Fromm, they’ll shy away from Herbert as leadership and connecting with his teammates are integral parts of the new program.

On top of the locker room and leadership principles, Herbert’s apparent lack of preparation (or failures to effectively prepare) removes him entirely from the list of options in the event that Josh Rosen doesn’t prove to be the answer in Miami.

@WingfieldNFL

Up Next: Jordan Love

Additional Videos

An under-thrown touch pass down the seam.

Impacted mechanics from pressure.

Poor location, with no regard for the defensive leverage, on a downfield throw.

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

LATEST

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending