Possesses a strong arm, can really put some zip on the football and does a nice job in the underneath passing game stepping into his throws, transferring his weight well and being accurate with his footwork. Displays good balance and depth on his drop from under center and quickly is able to get away from center. However, doesn't look nearly as comfortable when asked to throw in rhythm once his back foot hits the ground and too often seems content to fall off throws and will drift away from his target. Also, his ball placement and accuracy seem to get very spotty when he is forced to get the ball out of his hands quickly in the bubble screen game.
He does a nice job taking what the defense gives him underneath and isn't a guy who will force the ball into coverage often. He's patient when reading defenses, keeps his eyes down the field, but doesn't have a great feel in the pocket. Isn't real subtle with his movements and struggles to avoid pressure and step up into daylight. Lacks ideal touch down the field, doesn't complete many bucket throws and too often gets rushed and doesn't seem to transfer his weight well enough and get content to only use his arm. Is a better athlete than given credit for on the move and does a nice job delivering the ball when asked to roll out and throw against his frame, but isn't going to pick up many first down with his legs.
Impression: A big, physically gifted senior who has really improved during his time at Kentucky. Needs to continue to improve his footwork and stride into move throws as well as improve his feel in the pocket. But he has some tools you can work with as a developmental guy; doesn't look much more than a free agent at this stage."
After redshirting his first year in Lexington, Hartline was the team's backup quarterback as a redshirt freshman and appeared in four games. He started the first eight games of his sophomore season before being benched in favor of all-purpose threat Randall Cobb. Hartline returned to start in the team's bowl game and ended the season with 1,666 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.
His junior year was also stunted, as he started the first five games before suffering a knee injury (802 passing yards, six touchdowns, seven interceptions).
Hartline's most productive season came as a senior, when he completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 3,178 yards and 23 scores against just nine interceptions.
Hartline has a lot of physical tools with which NFL coaches can work. He has great size and above average arm strength, but has inconsistent accuracy and must answer questions about his career-ending suspension. He will most likely find a roster spot for training camp and could catch on if he continues to develop his physical tools and can put his off-the-field problem behind him.
Strengths: Has the arm strength to squeeze throws into tight spaces. Accurate on corner routes and throwing intermediate passes over the middle. Able to put the ball where only his receiver has a chance at it. Very accurate on deep passes. Puts good touch on the ball when throwing deep downfield. Has the arm strength to throw effectively off his back foot. Puts good zip on the ball on wide receiver screens. Willing to stay in the pocket and take a hit. Gets the ball out quickly. Sells the deep pass well on running back screens. Strong enough to be effective on quarterback sneaks. Throws accurately when running to the right. Buys himself time and can find open receivers when scrambling. Experience under center and in the shotgun.
Weaknesses: Has a real tendency to throw off his back foot. Inconsistent accuracy, has too many passes sail on him due to high release point. Trusts his arm too much and throws into coverage when he is under pressure. Gets lazy on short throws, losing accuracy and quick delivery. Does not utilize his lower body in his throws. Inaccurate when rolling to his left. Does not see the entire field well, determine who he is throwing to before the snap. Does not have a good feel for backside or inside pressure. Not a great athlete and is a somewhat clumsy runner who will struggle to evade NFL defenders."
Positive: High-percentage passer with marginal upside. Throws with an over-the-top delivery, possesses a quick release, and makes good decisions in the pocket. Sets up screen passes and is relatively accurate down the field. Lines up under center on passing downs.
Negative: Not always on the same page as his receivers. Cannot escape the rush and marginally effective throwing on the move. Not a sturdy quarterback.
Analysis: Hartline had an up-and-down career prior to 2010, but finally pulled the pieces together and did a terrific job leading the Kentucky offense. He possesses adequate physical skills, including a frame that should get bigger as he physically matures. Hartline is a developmental prospect who should be stashed on a practice squad."
At UK, he made one pass completion as a RS freshman in 2007. In 2008, he started nine games. In 2009, he started the first five games but then went down with a knee injury and DNR to action. On the year, he completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns.
Strengths: Tall and can see the field. Is no statute and can run a little. Very careful and smart. Adequate arm. Checks down. Clean delivery. Game manager and clock manager. Will not hurt you with dumb mistakes or forcing the ball. takes what's there. Gets rid of it and won't take sacks. Plays within himself and knows his limitations. Double pumps and dekes DBs. Has gotten better and better every year and led the SEC in TD passes as a senior. Late bloomer with some upside left.
Weaknesses: Average athlete with an average arm. Fixates on crossing routes and short stuff. WCO QB at this stage, without the overall athletic package you want in a WCO QB. Must get stronger and more confident. Will not hurt you, but will rarely put a team on his back and carry it. Was surrounded by a lot of offensive talent at UK, and never had to step up and be "the man." Could he be the next Tom Brady story? Possible, but...
Projection: Priority UDFA."