Scouting the NFL Draft is a continuously evolving process

2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Kyler Murray NFL
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /

Scouting Quarterbacks Has Changed

We’ve come a long way from the “top quarterback in the NFL Draft” having a 6’4″, 225-230 pound frame and a strong arm, not to mention the “has taken snaps under center” take. Gone is the “prototypical” look for a quarterback.

In back-to-back years in the NFL Draft, Baker Mayfield (6058) and Kyler Murray (5101) went first overall, proving that NFL teams (along with analysts) aren’t viewing quarterbacks by stature much anymore.

So what matters most at the quarterback position? Of course, accuracy, pocket presence, and decision making reign supreme. A quarterback needs to process what’s in front of him pre-snap and post-snap and make quick, correct decisions. They also have to be precise with where they place the football to put their receivers in the best position to succeed. And, they need to have a good feel for maneuvering through the pocket.

There’s one other trait that’s becoming increasingly important at the quarterback position. Many believed that Aaron Rodgers was an outlier because he made so many plays when things broke down and could do in on the move and off-platform. Then, Patrick Mahomes started making his hay doing the same thing. Now, it’s become super important for quarterbacks to have enough mobility and ability to create when the pocket condenses and collapses.

This might have played into why Josh Rosen (admittedly this writer’s QB1 in 2018) hasn’t succeeded. Yes, his situations haven’t been great, going from downtrodden Arizona to rebuilding Miami. However, while he possessed good processing ability and accuracy, his limited mobility has hurt him in his early development in the NFL.

So, playmaking ability has become an important trait to remember to add to your scouting grade going forward.