Nate Sudfeld was the starting QB for the Indiana Hoosiers. A school primarily based on basketball has been taking small steps forward in the football world and the last four years should be credited to Nate Sudfeld. He’s one of three players to ever play as a true freshman QB at Indiana, the other two were Tim Clifford in 1977 and former starter Tre Robinson in 2011. Both Sudfeld and Robinson split reps in 2013 before it became Sudfeld’s team to take, which lead to the eventual transfer of Robinson out to Illinois State before the 2014 season.
In the 2014 season, Nate Sudfeld was able to get the Hoosiers off to a 3-2 start before experiencing a season ending shoulder injury against Iowa. The injury not only cost the Hoosiers a season but Sudfeld a full year starting and possible NFL exposure. In his Senior year at Indiana, Sudfeld was able to get the Hoosiers off to a fast start going 4-0 before running into Ohio State and a losing streak that stretched five games before beating Maryland.
The Hoosiers were able to earn a bowl berth at 6-5 but would eventually lose to Duke in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, an exciting game that saw the Hoosiers lose 44-41. Sudfeld leaves Indiana as the all-time leader in passing yards (7,879) and passing touchdowns (61), as a QB on a team that needed a lot of help.
Let’s see what Sudfeld offers as a NFL prospect.
Sudfeld is a big prospect at 6-5 240 pounds. As a collegiate quarterback he never threw for less than 60.5% in a season and was the primary reason for why Indiana won most, if not all, of their games during his four years there. His record doesn’t exactly spell winner but he’s a guy that’s always battling for his team game in and game out.
He has a big time arm when it comes to throwing the ball downfield and offers enough mobility to escape the pocket if needed. Here’s a throw under pressure out of the end zone that lands right on the money
When given time to throw downfield, Sudfeld matches up with the best of them. He puts a nice touch on the ball and his placement can be excellent. His career 61 touchdowns at Indiana helps illustrate his know for finding the end zone as well as being the career leader in passing yards as well. Sudfeld has a lot of tools that could make him a successful QB in the NFL if given the right opportunity.
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When I watch Nate Sudfeld throw the football under twenty yards I find myself frustrated. He starts off really slow in his games and his passes have little to no zip when he throws them. There’s a collection of passes under twenty yards that have no life to them when the game gets started. Now when he’s warmed up and ready to go it gets better but slow passes in the NFL are going to result in interceptions.
He also is a one read guy, doesn’t go through his progressions down the field as often as he should. He has nice tools but he knows where he’s throwing before he throws it which makes his mechanics look faster than what they are.
I’m not so confident in Sudfeld’s ability to hit his secondary and tertiary options with the same quick strikes he would his primary. He doesn’t have a particular thing that’s special about him as a QB aside from being able to put the ball downfield. He was a good QB in a system that worked for him in Indiana.
I can see a team taking a chance on Sudfeld in the later rounds in hopes that he can be a primary backup for a team. His brother Zach Sudfeld spent time with the Patriots and is now with the Jets. Nate Sudfeld is going to need weapons at his disposal to cover up some of his flaws, the Jets could be a team where he could be drafted later on and have a trio of receivers at his hand.
As with anything though, the off-season will be a telling sign of where the former Hoosier QB will end up.