Foles' athletic ability will be a concern to some, and while he is projected as more of a "game manager" type, his skill set comes together nicely so he should be at least a serviceable starter at the next level. If teams can fall in love with his arm strength, he could be selected as early as the second round to develop and become an eventual starter.
His accuracy is evident in his short to intermediate throws, where he can put it right on a receiver or lead him fluidly in stride. He would be more valuable in a West Coast scheme where could make quick decisions and not be forced to unleash deep throws on a consistent basis. He is an excellent game manager for moving the ball in bunches up the field. He is extremely poised in the pocket and rarely lets a heavy pass rush rattle his throws.
This can sometimes effect his set-up, as it can be uncoordinated at times, although rarely affects his actual pass. There are times when the ball can get away from him when throwing deep, and he has struggled with accuracy there. His release is sufficient but not fast by any means. His judgment with the ball is somewhat questioned, as he can be slow to get rid of the ball and scramble into trouble."
Foles didn't begin the 2009 season as the starter, but seized the role in the third game as a sophomore (260-for-409, 63.6%, 2,486 yards, 19 TDs, 9 INTs). Despite missing two games due to a knee injury in 2010, Foles improved as a junior (286-for-426, 67.2%, 3,191 yards, 20 TDs, 10 INTs).
He returned in 2011 as a senior and had his best statistical season despite a losing campaign (387-for-560, 69.1%, 4,334 yards, 28 TDs, 14 INTs), earning All-Pac 12 Honorable Mention honors for the third consecutive season (stuck behind Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley for first- or second-team honors).
Foles isn't an elite athlete, but can move in the pocket and has good feet, doing a better job stepping into the pocket while working through his progressions. He had only a .455 winning percentage as a starting quarterback (15-18), but was a consistent producer despite an inconsistent supporting cast.
Foles played behind a young offensive line in 2011 (only one combined start entering the season). He doesn't have any glaring weaknesses, but doesn't exactly stand out in any one area and is still developing as a passer. Foles showed better decisions as a senior and has the physical traits to compete for a starting job in the NFL.
Foles is a big athlete with good height and stands tall in the pocket to survey the field. He has good (not elite) arm strength and can easily make all the NFL throws with effortless deep passes. Foles does a nice job evading pressure and stepping up in the pocket with improved pocket presence and awareness.
He stays poised under pressure, keeping his eyes downfield. Foles throws well on the move and does a nice job shuffling his feet in the pocket to buy precious seconds. He is a very confident passer and shows very good accuracy and feel when in rhythm. Foles sees the entire field and understands coverage.
He makes quick reads and spreads the wealth (eight Arizona players had at least 20 receptions in 2011), showing better ball placement from past years and throws very catchable passes. Foles uses good technique, squaring his shoulders to the target and stepping into his throws. He also uses deceptive and deliberate ball fakes to hold defenses.
Foles works through his progressions and is content with underneath throws, but is not afraid of taking chances downfield, trusting his big-play targets. He is a very good competitor and is a crafty passer, doing whatever it takes to compete the pass.
Foles is comfortable handling the ball (used the shuffle pass numerous times, including three times vs. USC in 2011). He has improved anticipation as a passer, making much more throws before his target is out of his break.
Foles made better decisions as a senior and didn't suffer his first interception until the fifth game of the 2011 season (210 attempts without a pick). He has a short memory and bounces back quickly from mistakes. Foles is a vocal team leader and an ideal teammate, showing field general traits in the two-minute offense with no quit in him.
He has very good practice habits and work ethic, watching a lot of film. Foles plays calm, confident and very even-keeled - never gets too high or too low regardless of the situation.
He plays with his heart and is extremely tough, often playing hurt and grinding through injuries. Foles was highly productive in college, finishing as the school's all-time leading passer (10,011 yards) and led the Pac-12 in passing yards (4,334), completions (387), attempts (560) and second in completion percentage (69.1%) as a senior in 2011.
Foles is only an average athlete and has happy feet with the bad habit of hopping in the pocket. He has a bit of a wind-up delivery and needs to quicken his throwing motion. Foles tends to rush throws and lose his mechanics at times, which leads to erratic passes.
He has struggled with his decision-making and needs to improve his pre-snap recognition skills to read defenses and see blitzes. Foles doesn't decipher information as quickly as you would like. He is sometimes too patient as a passer, holding the ball too long, and needs to improve his internal clock.
Foles puts too much air in some of his throws, sailing several of his passes and needs to show lower trajectory on deep throws. He needs to improve his touch at all levels and know when to gun it and when to take something off his throws.
Foles' accuracy is solid, but far from great with streaky ball placement downfield as he tries to thread the needle too much. He needs to take better control of the ball (33 career INTs). Foles' record as a starter was only 15-18, including a disappointing 4-8 senior season with his head coach being fired.
He doesn't come from a complicated college offense with mostly shotgun formations so expect a learning curve in the pros. Foles dealt with several injuries the past two seasons, most notably a left knee and hamstring injury so durability is a minor issue.
NFL Comparison: Chad Henne, Dolphins."
-- Dane Brugler
However, accuracy and mechanics both become inconsistent when he feels pressure. Does a nice job keeping his eye level down the field throughout the play. But is slow to decipher information at times.
Did a better job as a senior reading the entire field and finding secondary options, but will get a bit scramble-brained when the pocket starts to close.
Is a lanky strider who is smooth in the pocket when trying to side step pressure, but will throw off his back foot and trusts his arm too much at times, causing his ball placement and accuracy to suffer. Does a decent job manipulating defenses, looking off receivers to one side, and coming back to his primary target.
Has improved his overall feel of the offense working his reads across the field, but, pre-snap, will get himself into some trouble not recognizing the pressure and identifying his hot man quickly.
Possesses a high release point, there is a slight wind up to his throwing motion, but nothing too dramatic that it needs to be re-tooled, as he get the ball out quickly. Footwork gets sloppy at times, especially when asked to quickly set from the gun, and doesn't always stride toward his target.
However, he focuses on his lower body mechanics much more from center. Possesses good bend, short sets quickly, and throws well in rhythm with "plus" accuracy. Is a bit inconsistent on his bucket throws down the field.
Has a tendency to under-throw vertically, when he needs to put more touch on the pass; more accurate when he can throw vertically on a line.
Missed time during the 2010 season with a knee injury, and showed some mental grit, coming back and playing through some pain.
Is a former transfer from Michigan State who left the program after only playing in one game his freshman year. Started and lost the final five games of the 2010 season, and winning on the big stage is a concern.
Impression: A big, strong-armed passer who has the tools, physically. Made some real strides as a quarterback as a senior without much talent around him. Is going to take some time, but is an potential starting caliber pocket passer."
Accuracy: His quick release helps his accuracy. If he misses it’s usually high which can lead to interceptions. Foles’ accuracy is above average and when he is able to set his feet and stride into the throw he rarely misses.
Athleticism: Foles lacks elite foot speed and often doesn’t feel the pressure from the backside. He does well with his pocket mobility and isn’t a complete statue but can’t make plays with his feet.
Intangibles: Foles is an experienced starter at Arizona and possesses good leadership skills. He is a good decision maker but appears to struggle in grasping complex defensive systems. Major concern of his football IQ at the next level. Often seems unsure of where he is going with the ball before the snap which leads to mistakes. He is noted by coaches and teammates as a hard worker in the film room and is usually the first to arrive and last to leave the practice field.
Bottom Line: Foles has some solid skills to be an NFL quarterback. Most believe he will be an early day two pick. My concerns with his football acumen and inability to throw when the pocket isn’t perfectly clean lead me to believe he is a developmental prospect that should be drafted in the 3rd/4th round range.
Draft Projection: Foles is a fifth round prospect that will likely move up with the lack of depth. He could go as high as round three with the floor being round four."
Many of his reads appear simple and predetermined.
Holds on to the ball too long, is easily flustered with bodies around him and takes needless sacks when forced to improvise.
Too streaky — can appear like a deer in headlights and confidence wavers.
Has a live arm to uncork it off his back foot, but must improve his ball placement, accuracy and decision making, too often making his receivers work back to the ball.
High completion percentage is heavily padded from low-risk throws."
Foles has improved throughout his career and with his improvement came more wins for the Arizona program. Despite playing in a spread system, Foles does a nice job going across the field with his progressions. His calm pocket presence allows him to find the open target. Foles has the ability to be an accurate deep and intermediate passer.
Like most underclassmen quarterbacks, Foles needs to make improvement to several parts of his game. He really struggles with his short accuracy often delivering the ball behind his target. His footwork consistency is lacking as he has a narrow stance and throws with an open stance.
Overall, Foles is a nice looking prospect and with another strong year could find himself as an early selection.
Bold Statement: Nick Foles will be a higher regarded prospect than Blaine Gabbert
Games Viewed: Iowa ('10), Arizona State ('10), Washington State ('10), Oregon ('10), USC ('09)
- Foles is a big quarterback with a solidly build frame
- He is a good athlete for the quarterback position with the ability to create with his feet (not elite)
- While he is a good athlete, he doesn't rely on his feet to make plays
- His arm strength is above average with good zip on his throws
- Foles as a good quick over the top delivery
- He has the ability to set his feet and body towards his target prior to his release
- As he delivers the ball, Foles steps into the throw driving off this back foot
- Foles showed the ability to go across the field with his progressions
- While he shows the ability, Foles doesn't always go through his progressions and will force the ball into coverage
- He is calm under pressure keeping his eyes down the field searching for an open target
- Foles has decent accuracy but is better in the deep and intermediate passing game
- While he takes some snaps under center, Foles is more comfortable in the shotgun
- As he drops back, Foles holds the ball below his breastplate leading to some wasted motion in his delivery
- His overall pocket footwork is a little sloppy
- At times, he has a narrow stance and delivers the ball with his front foot open
- Foles needs to improve his short accuracy as the ball is often behind the target
- His overall ball placement is less than ideal and needs improvement
- Foles' anticipation is less than ideal as he has a tendency to hesitate and wait until his target is open"
Accurate short and medium range passer who completed 67% of his pass attempts last fall; also consistently puts the ball on the numbers where receiver can make a play; stats are somewhat padded, though, given the high percentage of dump-off type completions; in fact, appears reluctant at times to test defenses downfield and while he appears to have the arm strength to make all the throws doesn’t always get the proper rotation on deeper throws which tend to flutter at times;
Not very quick or athletic, but can feel the pressure in the pocket and slide away from trouble, although he’s no nimble enough to always reset properly; also doesn’t throw particularly well on the move; generally not fazed by pressure and will take a hit to get the ball off; has plenty of upside but is stiff far from a finished product;
Footwork is inconsistent and release can be too deliberate; also struggles to read defenses and far too often checks down if his first read isn’t open; will also force passes into coverage and has had a few too many interceptions in his career; missed two games plus last fall with a sprained knee; originally committed to Michigan State out of Austin where he broke many of Drew Brees’ school records."
Best attribute is his ability to throw underneath routes by placing the ball where receivers can make plays after the catch... Had 350+ yards passing in nine of 12 games as a senior...
Has an above-average arm and is capable of making every throw... Smart player, understands what the defense is giving him, makes a lot of smart decisions at the line of scrimmage... When he's hot, he's incredibly difficult to stop.
Negatives -- Plays in a spread aerial attack that focuses on short throws over the middle, which has padded his statistics... Elongated release that will be picked apart by NFL scouts during post-season workouts... Feet look slow, has a tough time setting his feet when he gets out of position... Has just average accuracy on his deep ball...
Improved decision maker who fits well in the spread offense but may have trouble in the NFL when asked to set up under center and go through a natural progression... Not a scrambler by any means necessary, slow and will be prone to taking sacks... Suffered a sprained knee in week seven last year, forcing him to miss two games...
Looks like more of a system guy rather than an elite quarterback prospect... Struggles when under duress, forces throws and has no athletic ability to escape... Put up huge numbers as a senior but went 4-8 as a starter."
He has the ability to power the ball into receivers and easily gets passes downfield.
Foles is not an elusive signal caller that can avoid the rush and he lacks classic pocket passer height yet possesses an upside."
He doesn't have much mobility and will need time to adjust to a traditional NFL offense, but Foles is a very solid player who will certainly gain a lot of attention as the 2012 NFL Draft approaches.
Foles played in a pass-heavy offense at Arizona that at times was one of the better offenses out of the Pac-12 this season. Foles has very good accuracy from within about 20 yards.
He can hit guys in stride which of course allows them to make plays. When his feet are set, he puts good velocity behind his throws and Foles can certainly attack downfield with his strong arm.
His deep range accuracy is lacking. At times, he is a bit of a chucker and sometimes, it looks like he's trying to place it. Either way, he needs to be more consistent with those big throws.
Before the snap, he makes pretty good reads and doesn't have problems checking down. He has a tendency to lock onto his first option so he'll need to learn to look off of other receivers.
When Foles is pressured, his elongated release and sub-par mobility really become an issue. Given his size, you'd like to see him hang in the pocket just a bit more and keep his eyes upfield."