2021 NFL Draft: What kind of prospect is Texas QB Sam Ehlinger?
One of the more polarizing 2021 NFL Draft prospects over the course of the next six months will be Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger.
Ehlinger, with his borderline tight end body type at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, has already drawn some early comparisons to Tim Tebow, though most admit he’s a better overall passer than Tebow was coming out of Florida in 2010.
Over the past two seasons, Ehlinger has completed 65 percent of his passes with 57 passing touchdowns, 23 rushing touchdowns, and just 15 interceptions.
Texas’ offense allows Ehlinger to make quick, mostly easy decisions with the football, both as a thrower and runner. He is offered the opportunity to make a couple of quick reads before taking off with the ball on the run, which he is very good at.
But there is more nuance to his game than just being a one- or two-read and run player.
How will Ehlinger be viewed by NFL teams?
Ehlinger’s intangible traits will not be disputed by NFL teams. He’s certainly got the ability to be a team’s leader as a starting quarterback and he clearly pays attention to the details, does a great job of studying tape, and getting his teammates in position to succeed.
What scouts will be split over are Ehlinger’s physical skills and upside as a passer in the NFL since he doesn’t have elite arm strength.
Other college quarterbacks have received the Tebow comparisons in the last decade, one of the most notable being Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.
Prescott idolized Tebow and even wore the jersey no. 15 at Mississippi State, and even after he made massive strides in his final season at Mississippi State, I think teams still feared he might not become the type of passer he proved to be very early in his career with the Cowboys.
Prescott made the necessary adjustments to his game to be an absolute stud throwing the ball.
There’s no reason to think Ehlinger can’t do the same.
Ehlinger’s bullish style of play won’t fly for long at the NFL level, but his competitive spirit and determination indicate he could be a tremendous value if some team does what the Cowboys did when they drafted Prescott and takes him in the fourth round, give or take a round.
Ehlinger’s arm strength is not among the elite in this class, but he throws with anticipation, accuracy, and he’s an instinctive player who, at the very least, has absolutely ideal backup QB traits.