Patriots, Round 2. Before the draft, I expected him to go in Round 3, though I secretly hoped he’d go earlier. I’m a fan, and he is the most highly touted FCS quarterback in a long time for a good reason. He still needs some development – and he’ll get plenty of it on the Patriots – but he is ready to step into a backup role right away if the team trades Ryan Mallett. Could certainly start in a couple of years.
All-Star Games: Shrine Game and Senior Bowl.
Positives: Adequate height and hand size for the position. Good bulk for the position. Above-average arm strength and velocity, with a quick release. Consistently accurate on short passes and throws them with nice touch. Above-average accuracy on medium passes, on timing routes, and down the seam. Throws fade routes, seam routes, and deep passes with nice touch. Keeps his head under pressure. Makes quick decisions and will get rid of the pass quickly. Pretty good footwork in the pocket, and he moves around pretty effectively to find passing lanes, though he loses balance on his back foot at times on the end of his dropback. He keeps his eyes downfield on the run, looking to pass. Has experience running a high-tempo offense, and he seems effective in a two-minute drill. Though he ran a spread offense in college, he does have some experience under center and didn’t seem to have any trouble with the transition in the all-star games and still showed good footwork. Okay speed and quickness, and is willing to run. Knows when to slide as a runner and throw the ball away. Set his feet well outside the pocket.
Negatives: Below-average track speed for the position. Above-average change of direction ability and lateral quickness. Ran a spread offense in college, and may not be ready for a pro-style NFL offense. Below-average accuracy and decisions on the move, and will throw across his body and throw high. Below-average accuracy when he steps up in the pocket and tends to throw too high. His release point ranges from three-quarter to sidearm. His field vision seems to get limited in clutch situations. In the red zone, he takes too many chances and passes up safer options. Is a little hesitant to pull the trigger at times. Holds the ball too low in the pocket and not at the ready. Though his hand size is adequate, they may not be strong enough – he fumbled the ball without a hit in a snow game. Doesn’t have much experience in a deep passing offense, since he threw a lot of short passes in the offense he ran in college.
Projection: If you have Tom Brady in dynasty leagues, Garoppolo’s obviously a must-add. Regardless, he’s a long-term hold because he has the talent and the situation to put up QB1 numbers when he gets the chance.