In "The Breakdown," veteran talent scout Randy Rodgers is analyzing film of a select group of the nation's top prospects for Rivals.com. Rodgers has more than 35 years of experience in the college recruiting arena. He was the recruiting coordinator at the University of Illinois (1988-91) and the University of Texas (1992-97) and is one of the leading authorities on high school football talent analysis in the country. In this edition, Rodgers takes a look at dual-threat quarterbacks.
When you look at Pryor on tape, the comparisons to Vince Young just jump out. Tall, lean, fast, can make tacklers miss, just looks like he glides when he runs, faster that anybody on the field, etc. Hard to really evaluate him off his highlight tape, because all footage is at ground level, but my initial impressions are that he is a better fundamental passer than Young was at same stage, but may not have as much velocity. He has nice touch on his balls, throws a soft-catchable ball for receivers, gets it off quickly under pressure. He is one of two players in this batch of "dual-threat" QBs that is good enough to be a star at another position. But you want the ball in this guy's hands on every play. He is a difference-maker.
After watching his tapes, I wouldn't consider him a "dual-threat" QB, more of a pro-style guy with a whole lot of athletic ability. Has the best set-up mechanics of this bunch. A high release point, sees the field real well, shows good velocity on his throws. I really was impressed with his pocket poise. He isn't really utilized as a runner on his tapes, but is certainly athletic enough and fast enough to be effective in that capacity. I really liked his touch on deep balls, the velocity on slants and posts, and his ability to throw on the run. I thought he was the best "passer" in this group.
Ideally suited to be a dual threat QB. Has a big enough body to take run game punishment. Shows good velocity on his throws. Can throw from the gun or on the run. Does a nice job running the zone read. Has a little tendency toward elongating his motion, but can "snap it off" when under pressure. I have had the advantage of seeing this player in camp, practice, and live in games. Verbally committed to Texas A&M and ideally suited to run their style of spread option.
One of two QBs in this group verbally committed to the University of Arkansas. His video was pretty grainy, but I liked his arm strength. Threw verticals with authority. I liked the way he stuck the skinny post in there. Shows good feet on zone read, can escape the rush. Showed surprising speed in open field. What I liked best, in addition to his vertical passing skills, was his ability to throw to spots and lead receivers. I think he fits well with what Arkansas has been doing with its QBs.
Raw, but with big upside. Obviously needs to gain some weight. Needs to work on his delivery. Has a tendency to drop arm and elongate motion and slow down delivery. No designed runs on his tapes, but he can escape and run. Seems to be more of a "scramble to pass" QB. I thought he seemed to read defenses pretty well, has several throws where you could see him come off primary targets. Can throw on the run and would seem to be most dangerous when in a moving pocket, where he had two choices, plus an option to run. Showed good touch throwing fades and corners. Verbally committed to the University of Miami.
I have also had the advantage of seeing this player live. Really well coached, outstanding student, and should be ready to compete early in college career. Very good at running the zone read. Shows pocket poise. Fundamentally sound in ball handling, a variety of screen passes. Has good velocity, a high release, enough size to stay in the pocket. Can snap off a throw when under pressure. Verbally committed to Oklahoma State.
I thought Matt was the best ball handler of all the QBs in this group. His ball fakes really give him an edge on play action passes out of the spread. I also thought he had the best option mechanics of the group. Isn't a classic passer, because he throws from a variety of arm angles, but that seems to be a positive for him. Has good touch on deep balls, enough velocity on shorter throws when he needs it. Can throw on the run. Verbally committed to the University of Arizona.
Along with Terrelle Pryor, the best athlete in this group and certainly the fastest. Maybe the top hurdler in the country in his age group. Still emerging as a throwing QB, but once he pulls it down and takes off, he just eats up turf. The QB draw becomes the best play in the playbook. Griffin is the proto-type single wing tailback. He has a nice touch on his balls, excellent arm strength to throw deep, and good enough velocity at medium range. Clearly a run-first guy, who could be a star at another position. Track program strength should be a factor in his recruiting decision.
Good all around player. Has really nice throwing mechanics. A nice touch on deep balls. Seems to be able to make all the throws without a big arm. Wouldn't call him fast, but certainly has enough speed to be effective as a runner. Because of height is best utilized in moving pocket offense, where he can get vision lanes. In this whole group, I thought he was the best thrower on the run. Able to go both ways with nice spin. One of two highly recruited QBs to commit to Arkansas.