QuarterBack ~ Bryce Petty ~ Baylor Bears 6030/230
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ the men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannon, it says here, the more likely that they're going to rely on that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card as often as they can, and fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for the Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision: Deficient. When he's in a clean Pocket, he can get into a very impressive Rhythm, from a cerebral Aspect, but his Mechanics are just awful, and his Timing, Touch, and Trajectory suffer egregiously, as do his Receivers.
Pocket Presence: Awful. I don't believe that he panics Under Pressure. I just believe that he lacks all but a rudimentary sense of when Pressure is coming or where it's coming from. And I believe, above all, that his already deficient Processing Speed constricts considerably when the clock's rapidly ticking down and his Primary Read is covered.
FirePower: Deficient. Petty's Velocity is decent, and his intrinsic Power seems reasonably adequate, but his Mechanics are so awful that his DownField Precision is erratic at best. It's a Miracle he isn't picked off more often.
But I believe that as a QuarterBack Prospect he is facing an enormous uphill Battle. Processing Speed, the Attribute upon which I place the greatest Importance, my lack of it notwithstanding, is something that is of course difficult to discern, not least of all because my understanding of FootBall Tactics is conceptual at best...Given that, I believe, based on the Tape that I've watched ~ the West Virginia Game in particular ~ that Petty's reaction, in Battle, to the roiling, boiling Tactical LandScape is consistently that of a QuarterBack for whom the Game is simply moving far too quickly.
And when I compound that ~ which I consider a fatal flaw in and of itself ~ with atrocious Mechanics, a mediocre Arm, and awful Pocket Presence, I believe that there's a strong Chance that he'll be fighting even to make the Roster.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!