Has an above-average arm and when he has the ability to step into throws he can throw any route asked of him at the next level with plenty of zip. Has improved his overall feel in the pass game throughout the year, took better care of the football later in the season and seemed more comfortable scanning the entire field, going through his progressions and quickly aligning his footwork with the target. However, will struggle with his balance and doesn't transfer his weight quickly from his back foot at times, causing his passes to fall short of the target.
Doesn't decipher the blitz as quickly as you would like. Is a good enough athlete to buy time for himself, break containment and create with his legs, but doesn't do a good enough job quickly locating his hot man and getting the ball out on time. His head has a tendency to go down too fast in an effort to buy time or take off. However, does get his head back down the field on the move and showcases good touch and accuracy down the field on bucket throws.
Overall, his accuracy in the short and intermediate pass game are above average, his ball placement can get a bit sloppy at times trying to get the ball out quickly in the offense, but when he can step up into a throw he's impressive on all levels of the field. Is maturing in the mental aspects of the game, looking off safeties, using his pump fake to set up corners and standing in the pocket in the face of pressure giving his initial read enough time to get open. But if his initial read isn't on, he isn't as comfortable working his progressions at this stage and finding a secondary option in the face of pressure.
Impression: I like the guy's skill set and he has an understanding for the pass game with room to improve. He took a nice jump from last season to this season and has the ability to get even better. More of a number three early in his NFL career but reminds me a bit of Matt Flynn and could end up fighting for a starting role with some time."
Weaknesses: Spread offense product, must learn to read defenses from a drop. Usually catch-and-throw passer from shotgun, makes some poor decisions when primary receiver is covered. Spends little time under center on passing plays, will hand off occasionally from drop. Will throw off his back foot and with an inconsistent spiral when pressured. Does not drive the ball downfield, floats it down the seam or the sideline. Not an elusive runner, needs to keep his head up on the run and learn to slide."
Dalton finished his college career with a 42-6 record as a starter.
After redshirting in his first season, Dalton then started for each of the next four years and finished with a career record of 42-6. He also led the Horned Frogs to the first two BCS bowl game appearances in school history.
Dalton wasn’t originally considered to be a particularly strong NFL prospect, but his numbers have improved in each of his four collegiate seasons, and his exceptional senior campaign (66 percent completions, 27 touchdowns, six interceptions) has his stock on the rise.
Dalton has surprisingly good mobility, and is able to extend plays and still make good throws while on the run. He was also an exceptional scrambler in college, rushing for a total of 1,611 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career. While his physical attributes won’t blow you away, Dalton is a very good decision-maker, as evidenced by his having thrown no more than eight interceptions in any of his final three seasons. He’s a very accurate passer, and has improved greatly in terms of being able to put good touch on the deep ball. TCU developed into one of the more proficient offenses in the nation during Dalton’s tenure, and his leadership and intangibles certainly played a part. Dalton isn’t overly conservative, and his yards-per-attempt increased to 9.0 as a senior. His completion percentage gradually increased from 59 as a freshman to 66 as a senior.
His throwing arm isn’t particularly strong, but he can get by with it. Unlike guys like Cam Newton or Ryan Mallett, he doesn’t possess many physical tools that help to set him apart. He’s coming from a spread system in college, and will have to show that he’s capable of taking snaps from under center and running a pro style offense at the next level. At 6’2″, he’s slightly undersized for an NFL quarterback, and his three-quarters release point will likely need to be adjusted. At times, he can lock onto a receiver rather than going through his progressions properly. Dalton seems like more of a game manager than a guy that will be able to put a team on his back as a pro.
Dalton will be playing in the upcoming Senior Bowl, and can help improve his already rising stock with a strong showing. This draft has a fairly deep crop of quarterbacks, so Dalton may slide as a result. Most projections have him going anywhere between the late second round and the fourth. Without any of the other quarterbacks considered “can’t miss” prospects, there’s certainly time for Dalton to move up by the time April comes around.
NFL Player Comparison: Colt McCoy"
Positive: Tough high-percentage passer with a terrific feel for the position. Patient in the pocket, surveys the field, and finds the open wide out. Knows where receivers are on the field, does not force the ball into covered receivers, and takes the safe underneath outlet. Remains poised as the pocket collapses around him, makes good decisions and takes the ball up field rather than making errant throws. Shows the ability to pick up yardage with his legs. Possesses a quick release, puts good speed on the short throws, and has terrific timing. Accurate, does not have receivers waiting on the ball and gets passes through the tight spots. Hits receivers in stride and does a terrific job placing passes where only his target can make the reception. Natural looking off the safety. Effectively leads the offense.
Negative: Does not always sense the rush. Does not always throw the ball with proper footwork. Struggles with accuracy on deep throws. Needs to put a lot of effort into his motion to get extra velocity on the ball.
Analysis: Dalton was an outstanding quarterback on the college level and has enough skills to be a game manager in the NFL."
Negatives: Has a three-quarters release that will concern teams... Will turn 24 during his rookie year... Rather small for an NFL quarterback, height is concerning... Comes from a spread system, is far from a finished product as an NFL passer... Needs to learn to take snaps from under center... Has a low ceiling, doesn't possess any rare physical gifts to set him apart from other quarterbacks... Probably will never develop into an NFL starter... When throwing off balance, throws will sail over receiver's heads... Sometimes looks to run too early rather than keeping his eyes downfield to make a throw."
Weaknesses: Has played in a spread offense and must show that he can go through progression reads and not always run when his initial reads aren't there. His height is adequate, but his three-quarter delivery is a concern. Can be unsettled by pressure in the pocket with happy feet. Accuracy on the deep throws are inconsistent.
Projection: Fourth rounder who could sneak into the third round. After learning behind a veteran quarterback for a year or two, Dalton could develop into an adequate starter at the NFL level."
As an upperclassman Dalton emerged as a better leader and the TCU defense was not the only story. Dalton ended the year throwing for 2,756 yards and 23 touchdowns. He even rushed for 512 yards and three more scores. The numbers got even better in 2010 when Dalton threw for 2,857 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also completed an amazing 66.1 percent of his passes and threw just six interceptions. And, yet again, Dalton did plenty of damage with his feet and rushed for six scores.
TCU's offense never gets the credit it deserves, but that pretty much went out the window following their Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin. That victory has also catapulted Dalton's draft stock and he will get another opportunity to boost his stock even more during the Senior Bowl. Dalton is a smart quarterback who can make most of the throws asked of him. He is not fast, but he is quick and can avoid the rush. His biggest drawback will be his size. Listed at 6-3, Dalton is really closer to 6-1 and in a draft class full of big quarterbacks, that may be what ends up hurting Dalton the most."
When I look at how these Scouts and Analysts regard a QuarterBack, I don't give a rat's ass about how far he can throw it on a wire, or how fast he runs the 40: Anyone who thinks that those Skills are the most critical ones in assessing a QuarterBack's ability to lead a team to a Championship have overlooked the last 90 years of History.
When I look at how these Scouts and Analysts regard a QuarterBack, 90% of my evaluation derives from comments on his Processing Speed, his Decision Making, his Field Vision, his Pocket Presence, and his Mechanics.
Andy Dalton isn't as refined in the cerebral aspects of the game as I would like him to be, but by all accounts he took enormous strides there in 2010. His Processing Speed is definitely a concern, and he needs to improve in all aspects of the game. But he's a Scrapper, and I wouldn't want to bet against him.
However, if he goes in the 2nd or 3rd Round, as projected, I'd have to call that too early, though, because I see him as a fairly healthy Risk.
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