Taylor Heinicke, QB, Old Dominion – 2015


All-Star Games: Shrine Game.

Positives: Has enough bulk and good enough hand size for the position. Throws with above-average arm strength and velocity. Coming out of a spread offense, he is very accurate on short and medium passes, and shows adequate accuracy when moving to the right. He scans the field well and doesn’t seem to lock onto receivers. He is able to find receivers both in zone coverage and has the anticipation to be able to hit his receivers in stride on crossing patterns. Though he takes most of his snaps away from center, he does show pretty good footwork when he drops back. He is also an athletic quarterback who moves around well in the pocket and is very elusive – is able to get away from heavy pressure and get rid of the ball, and improvise on the move. He runs with above-average speed and good explosiveness and lateral/directional quickness. Isn’t afraid to take off, but is also willing to throw the ball away to avoid sacks. Knows when to slide as a runner. Good play fakes. Is also an adequate punter. Won 2012 Walter Payton Award for the best offense of player in FCS football, before the team moved up to the FBS ranks.

Negatives: Below-average height for the position. He ran a spread offense in college, so he may not be ready to take on some NFL offenses right away. Though he has pretty good arm strength, his deep accuracy is just below average. He will also rely too much on short and medium passes, though that’s partly a result of the offense he ran. He tends to be indecisive and hold the ball too long, and, though he is able to escape pressure and is willing to throw the ball away, he will too often just fall backwards under pressure and let them pass fly off of his back foot. Will throw it into double coverage under pressure. He will also sometimes pass up opportunities to move around in the pocket to buy extra time. He throws with a bit of a long windup, and his feet sometimes get out of sync with his upper body during his throwing motion. Despite his ability to scan the field when given time, he will also eyeball receivers too much. At times, his release will tighten up and he will overthrow. Though his anticipation is generally adequate, it isn’t exceptional – and he will wait until receivers are fully opened at times.

Projection: Round 5. He is probably not the kind of quarterback who will be a starter or consistently win games if pressed into duty, but he can be a solid caretaker quarterback because of his athleticism and accuracy.

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