Is a really bright kid off the field and it really shows up in the way he handles himself as a quarterback. Does a nice job getting his team in and out of personnel sets quickly, looks comfortable making pre-snap reads and getting the football out of his hands on time. Works his eyes as well as any quarterback in the nation and it might be the most impressive attribute of his game. Does a great job going through his progressions quickly, working his way across the entire field and finding his secondary options.
Also does an impressive job looking off receivers and moving safeties off the snap, only to quickly work toward the opposite side and let go of the football. Will get himself into trouble holding onto the ball at times. Doesn't anticipate throws as well when finding his secondary options and his eye level will go down if he starts to feel pressure bearing down on him instead of stepping up and quickly finding his checkdown option.
Possesses impressive balance in the pocket, keeps his feet under him, is quick to reset, and always seems capable of letting go of the football on time. Displays good ball placement in the short/intermediate pass game. Consistently is able to throw receivers open underneath allowing them to create after the catch. However, lacks a great arm and I do question his ability as of now to make all the throws. His passes down the field have a slight wobble to them and he doesn't consistently spin a real clean football.
Doesn't do a great job really transfering his weight off his back foot and seems content to simply just swing his back leg around and stride off his front foot, negating his torque from his lower half. And if he's off balance he doesn't have the type of arm to simply throw from the waist up and passes will nosedive on him. Showcases good timing in the pocket, can anticipate throws and knows when to get ride of the football.
Is a good enough athlete to break contain, pick up the first down with his legs and keep plays alive. Is accurate on the move as well, but doesn't seem to keep eyes down the field all the way, settling for the checkdown option too often. Displays good touch vertically on bucket throws, is consistent with his mechanics and allows his receiver to routinely go up and make a play.
Is a winner, has come off the bench cold at Penn State in 2008 and took the team on a drive to beat Ohio State and played his best football of his career down the stretch of this past season. Was also very efficient in the red zone and on third downs, even vs. good competition
Impression: A small-school signal caller who lacks a great arm and as of now it's not good enough to make all the throws. But, he does a great job working his eyes and going through his progressions and is accurate with the football. Is a guy who in the right system and environment I could see end up developing with some time if he continues to strengthen his wrist/arm."
Arm Strength: Does not have a rocket arm but has more than enough pace to make every throw at the next level. Snaps off throws down the seam to beat cover-two and in tight places in the end zone. Throws 40-yard balls down the sideline accurately and without great effort. Deep balls have nice trajectory and do not float. Usually not forced to put passes in tight windows over the middle at the FCS level, but has the arm and confidence to complete that type of throw. Has pace on shorter passes but does not overthrow them. Could improve the consistency in his spiral; the ball comes out wobbly too often, reducing velocity and accuracy.
Setup/Release: Over-the-top delivery with a quick release, can drive balls downfield when stepping into throws and snap off passes when an underneath route is wide open. Has quiet feet -- generally set when throwing, although the offense requires mostly quick throws -- and can unload quickly and accurately when flat-footed or off-balance to hit hot routes. Usually in the shotgun for pass plays, but has some experience under center. Good ball fake from I-formation and can quickly spin and reset to find his receiver.
Reading Defenses: Experienced passer who takes his time to survey the scene before and after the snap. Works out of the shotgun and in the no-huddle quite often; coaches call plays and make adjustments from the sideline. Moves running back to the opposite side of the formation for protection. Used on read-option plays, effective reading the end to get eight or more yards when they cheat inside on running backs. Eyes too often stick on one receiver or one side of the field, but is capable of coming off to find third option or safety valve. Will need time to adjust and be able to anticipate the speed of NFL middle linebackers to get back into coverage (and look them off) before attempting throws down the middle.
On the Move: Just threatens defenses enough with his feet to pick up first downs if a running lane is available to him. Gets the ball off quickly and is generally accurate when running to his right on designed rollouts; some throws are a bit high or wide, but in places where only his man can make the catch. Keeps his eyes downfield when escaping the pocket to the outside. Lowers his head when forced up the middle, agile enough to get through some traffic in front of him but is not overly elusive. Better on called draw runs, can turn a defender sideways or sidestep them to slide by a tackle. Has a nose for the endzone on draws. Knows when to get out of bounds to live to fight another play. Good strength and size to push the pile on quarterback sneaks. Calm and poised in the pocket but needs to feel backside pressure more quickly to move within the pocket, unload the ball or tuck it away.
Intangibles: Stepped in as a leader immediately after arriving at Delaware. Intelligent, tough and mature player who leads by words and example. Academic All-American at Penn State, not eligible for that award as first-year transfer in 2009."
Arm Strength: The football comes cleanly out of Devlin's hand with adequate zip. He gets the ball quickly to his targets running skinny posts and bubble screens. However, he struggles to generate enough zip on the ball when asked to work the intermediate passing game. On sideline patterns the ball doesn't arrive on a line and often floats over the targets head. As I mentioned, Devlin didn't take enough shots down the field for me to feel comfortable about his long arm strength. At best, Devlin has an average arm with concerns about his ability consistently complete sideline throws.
Decision Making: The best way to describe Devlin's decision making is that he protects the football. He rarely forces the ball into coverage and knows when to check it down. However, this isn't necessarily a positive because he has a tendency to check it down to often. Devlin could quickly be slapped with the game manager tag which typically results in short stints as an NFL starter. I know there have been several successful "game managers" but those quarterbacks are normally replaced my someone with higher upside.
Field Vision: Prior to the snap, Devlin is able to recognize potential blitzers and quickly identifies his hot reads. He shows the ability to quickly diagnosis post snap information while going across the field with his progressions. He is patient and comfortable when asked to find his secondary targets. He also possesses good quarterback savvy which allows him to manipulate the defense. I have mentioned it earlier but the lack of down the field throws made it difficult to fully evaluate his field vision. But I feel comfortable stating that he is capable of consistently making sound decisions with the football.
Mechanics: The offensive system at Delaware rarely asked Devlin to take a snap from under-center. He is going to need time to learn how to take a snap and remain balanced while scanning the field. However, the film shows that Devlin is a fluid athlete which will help with this transition. While in the pocket, Devlin avoids wasted motions when delivering the football. He holds the ball above his breast plate and close to his body. Devlin has good hip fluidity which allows him to quickly set and reset his feet towards his target. He has a short and quick release that permits him to get the ball out of his hand quickly. Aside from the adjustment to taking snaps under-center, Devlin has sound and consistent technique.
Pocket Awareness: Devlin doesn't allow pressure to rattle him into making mistakes. When faced with pressure, he keeps his eyes down the field searching for an open target. He possesses good awareness and feel for the rush and is able to step up into the pocket to avoid the sack. While Devlin isn't going to outrun the defensive angles he has enough athletic ability to hurt a defense with this feet.
Games Viewed: Georgia Southern, East Washington, East/West Shrine Game
Final Word: Devlin possesses some good skills but the fact that he didn't dominate in division II brings some concerns. He also struggled at the East/West shrine game which has negatively impacted his draft stock. The biggest concern is his arm strength and whether or not he will be able to make the necessary throws in the NFL. I didn't see anything that makes me believe that he can make those throws. However, he has some potential as a game manager type quarterback. Look for Devlin to be in the 4th or 5th round discussion."
Devlin has the accuracy to make it in the pros.
Devlin looks to follow the path of another former Delaware product, Joe Flacco, and raise his draft stock with a solid senior bowl and combine appearance. Outwardly, he’s a fine quarterback prospect, but he needs to prove himself in several areas to ensure a higher draft selection.
Devlin is a tough quarterback with a big arm, somewhat in the mold of Joe Flacco, but much smaller and more accurate. Accuracy is his main selling point, although his arm strength rivals the top quarterback prospects. He’s displayed great toughness and leadership, playing with a significant wrist injury, and completing 68% of his passes in 2010. Really can make all the throws, and just needs more time and work to get his consistency down. Has solid mechanics and gets his feet set before he throws. Does a tremendous job leading his receivers, and excels in the intermediate game. Has shown some solid mobility and displays good decision-making. Threw just three interceptions in 2010.
Clearly didn’t face elite competition and doesn’t have the amount of experience you’d look for if you’re drafting a franchise passer. Tends to hold onto the ball too long and doesn’t always make the easiest pass, both negative attributes that can be attested to his limited experience as a starter. There is a slight concern that his accuracy and good decision-making is often impacted by his tendency to checkdown to his running back or tight end. Makes the decision to checkdown much too early at times. Needs to prove he can stand tall in the pocket in the face of NFL-type pressure. Still only average at reading defenses and recognizing blitzes and coverages. Has been pretty inconsistent as a starter the past two years, and at a lower level of competition, that raises concern.
If he didn’t hail from a small school, Devlin might have been able to prove his worth as a locked-in top-5 quarterback. His arm and accuracy already have him in that discussion, however. Still needs quite a bit of work, but a good Senior Bowl and NFL Combine could easily get his name called somewhere in the second round. A poor showing in either showcasing could make him a third or fourth rounder.
NFL Player Comparison: Chad Pennington (Bigger Arm)"
Positive: High percentage passer with limited arm strength for the next level. Patient in the pocket, remains poised as it collapses around him, and steps up to avoid the rush. Looks away from covered receivers, throws with an over-the-top delivery, and displays good pass placement. Takes the safe underneath outlet if nothing else is available, displays a sense of timing, and gets the ball through tight spots. Buys time for receivers, displays terrific awareness, and scans the field looking for the open target. Sells ball fakes, puts touch on throws when necessary, and leads receivers over the middle.
Negative: Not a big passer who can withstand the rush. Does not possess a big arm, cannot get speed on passes, or drive deep throws. Does not consistently throw tight spirals.
Analysis: Devlin was a terrific leader on the small school level and is always in control of the situation. He was a high percentage passer who stayed away from poor decision-making. He lacks the arm strength to be a starter on the NFL level yet shows the wherewithal and short range accuracy to be a third quarterback in a timing or West Coast offense."
Negatives: Inconsistent game to game, has some really big games and some really bad ones... Footwork has been problematic, gets out of position and has to re-adjust within the pocket... Drop steps could use some work... Needs to do a better job at reading coverages at the line of scrimmage... Gambles too much rather than throwing the ball away... Checks down to his underneath receiver far too often... Gets Joe Flacco comparisons due to transferring from high FBS program to play for Delaware, but isn't even close to him as far as NFL prospect... Playing at an FCS school can only hurt his draft stock... Will need time to develop, a two to three year project before he contributes in the NFL"
Weaknesses: Has had wrist problems. A bit entitled. Will have some balls batted when he throws flairs and flat passes, because he changes his overhead style a little. Does not have the greatest pocket-pressure awareness, and will not escaped easily when the pocket collapses. Ball handling and fakes are only average. Will not create with his feet. Doesn't roll out or throw on the run very much. Must be kept clean to be effective. Not all that durable. Comp% was somewhat inflated due to all the short routes he threw at UD.
Projection: 6th rounder."
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.
Pat Devlin comes from a small school and a Spread Offense, so he'll need some work. But his Field Vision, Pocket Presence, and Mechanics are exceptional, and his Processing Speed and Decision Making are clearly far ahead of the curve, as he's comfortable repeatedly progressing deep into his reads. He's hampered by a really weak arm, but believe you me: Pat Devlin has what it takes.
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