QuarterBack ~ Garrett Grayson ~ Colorado State Rams ~ 6024/213
But I believe not only that Pocket Passing remains the Heart & Soul of successful QuarterBacking, but that the capacity of Speed QuarterBacks to master Pocket Passing can be and often is crippled by the Siren Song of Scrambling: A QuarterBack who has always had that "out" is far less likely to develop the skills that really matter.
Power QuarterBacks ~ the men with the Golden Arms ~ are equally susceptible to falling Prey to the seductive allure of their own physical Talent: The more powerful their Cannon, it says here, the more likely that they're going to rely on that crutch as a Get Out Of Jail Card as often as they can, and fail to develop a more comprehensive Skill Set.
And thus I perceive a Great Irony, one that continues, astonishingly, to elude most: The more explosive a Scrambler that a QuarterBack is, or the more powerful an Arm he boasts, the less likely that he is to achieve Greatness.
Conversely, it's the boring guys who consistently Move The Chains that give you the best Chance to win.
After New Year's Day, when The Only Games That Really Matter are played, History has been relentlessly savage to Power QuarterBacks and Speed QuarterBacks who failed to develop their Games: Once the weaker Teams have been eliminated, the PlayOff Defenses have invariably proven far too much for the Unprepared.
And if you're not prepared to compete after New Year's Day, why play at all??
In consideration of these thoughts, which, like many of my thoughts, fly in the face of what is amusingly considered to be Conventional Wisdom, this is how I break down the Criteria that I focus on, when evaluating QuarterBacks:
1 ~ Processing Speed
2 ~ Precision
3 ~ Pocket Presence
4 ~ FirePower
Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape. It's crucial at all 22 Positions, but utterly vital for a QuarterBack to succeed...or to even survive. Reading Coverages, working through Progressions, and selecting the best Receiving or Running Option.
Precision speaks above all to Mechanics: A QuarterBack's consistency with his Stance, his Set Up, and his Delivery. I refer to consistent Accuracy in the Short & Intermediate Zones, where the best Offenses all make their Bread & Butter. In breaking it down, I'm looking at Timing, Touch, and Trajectory: Leading Receivers to DayLight.
Pocket Presence & Poise Under Pressure is about Poise, or how one's Processing Speed and Precision stand up Under Pressure, and about one's Temporal & Spatial Instincts in navigating an often chaotic Pocket.
FirePower is a Category that I value, though not as much as others. I refer to Velocity and to DownField Precision, which I don't consider as crucial to Success as Short & Intermediate Precision. DownField Precision makes for tremendous HighLight Footage, but it's Short & Intermediate Precision that Moves The Chains and wins Championships.
Please note, if you will: I don't list 40 Speed among crucial Attributes at all.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Please Note: This is entirely about how rapidly the QuarterBack scans the Field and makes successful Decisions.
* Many College Offenses feature simple Offenses that make this challenging to evaluate.
* It is, nevertheless, far and away the most crucial Aspect of QuarterBacking.
* Accuracy ~ Placement that maximizes the Receiver's Advantage and minimizes that of the Defender.
* Timing ~ Being temporally In Sync with the Receiver. The Ball arriving precisely when the Receiver does.
* Touch ~ The right Speed for the right Play. Only throwing FastBalls when FastBalls are warranted.
* Trajectory ~ Being spatially In Sync with the Receiver ~ enabling him to catch the Ball In Stride.
* Processing Speed Under Pressure.
* Precision Under Pressure.
* Spatial & Temporal Instincts.
* Velocity, irregardless of where he's throwing it: How fast is'is FastBall?
* DownField Precision ~ can he through the Bomb accurately?
Precision: Mediocre. His Mechanics are generally very proficient, and he's exhibited the capacity to hit Targets virtually all over the Field, but his Timing, Touch, and Trajectory are inconsistent, resulting in sporadic Accuracy.
Pocket Presence: Superb. He will make his share of JackAss Throws, mind you, and plenty of them Under Pressure. But these appear to be the result of a mistake in Touch, Timing, or Trajectory, not a lack of Testicular Fortitude: His Poise is tremendous when the Bullets are flying, and if he continues to improve his Field Vision and Processing Speed as he exhibited in 2014, it should reap considerable results. His Spatial & Temporal Instincts are already impressive.
FirePower: Marginal. He flashes DownField Precision, but both that and his Velocity are mediocre at best.
Were I grading'm based only on'is Processing Speed & Pocket Presence? 1st Round.
So it's no coincidence, I suppose that I'm going with a 4th/5th Round Ranking.
Garrett Grayson seems to me to be saddled with physical constraints that limit his upside. There seems to be some great debate about his FirePower. And it's entirely possible, for all I know, that he will develop sufficient FirePower to start on Sundays ~ He is, after all, a young man, and one who has displayed precisely the kind of Sustained Drive and wily Intelligence to inspire Confidence that he will, in the course of time, make the very most of his Potential.
But it seems to me that, because he has issues with Precision as well as these doubts about whether or not he'll be able to develop sufficient FirePower to threaten the whole Field at the next level, you can only grade'm so high.
Usually, I tend to impart far more Value in cerebral QuarterBacks with superior Pocket Presence than the rest of the Market does, but with such a cataclysmic dearth of Talent in this Year's Draft, it seems to me that The Ancient Law of Supply and Demand has driven young Grayson's Stock far and away beyond where it would usually be ~ perhaps a bit too far.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
This is not is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning: Caveat Emptor!!