Advertisement
Sports

Strengths and weaknesses of four top quarterbacks entering the NFL draft

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow watches a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine on Thursday.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

Greg Cosell, a senior producer for NFL Films, spends a lot of his life in the dark breaking down game footage and evaluating college prospects. But the light that he sheds on quarterbacks is coveted information in NFL circles. Here is a sampling of his observations on four of the top quarterback prospects heading into the draft:

Joe Burrow, LSU

Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
Former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
(Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Strengths

  • Poised and composed in pocket. Good ball position. Light feet, good balance, firm base, compact delivery.
  • A quick processor of pressures and coverage with high-level elimination and isolation traits.
  • Efficient pocket movement keeping his eyes up, maintaining downfield focus, always ready to throw.

Weaknesses

  • Tendency to lift his back foot off the ground a beat early, minimizing ability to drive the ball.
  • Not a velocity thrower. Lacking higher-level arm strength.
  • Some snaps in which Burrow climbed the pocket needlessly and moved into pressure.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

NFL Combine Football
Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
(Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)
Advertisement

Strengths

  • Very quick feet on his drop and set with excellent ball positions and an efficient, compact delivery.
  • More of a touch, pace thrower than a drive-power thrower. Good feel in the short-to-intermediate pass game.
  • Threw an excellent deep ball with good trajectory and consistent accuracy when he had space in the pocket.

Weaknesses

  • A little bit of a pusher with his delivery, which limits velocity and his ability to drive the ball.
  • Still needs refinement as a progression reader. Left too many throws on the field.
  • Not a twitchy, explosive athlete on the move. Does not have the short-area burst to run away from NFL defenders.

Justin Herbert, Oregon

NFL Combine - Day 3
Former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
(Joe Robbins / Getty Images)

Strengths

  • Showed ability to make strong, accurate throws both off designed boot and second-reaction movement.
  • Nuanced feel for the details of the screen game with his drop back and footwork.
  • Made far-hash/deep-sideline throws with little effort and good ball placement.

Weaknesses

  • Erratic and inconsistent accuracy an issue throughout Herbert’s tape.
  • Definite questions regarding timing and anticipation. A beat late on too many throws. Not a rhythmic ball distributor.
  • Some question about field vision when the primary read was taken away.

Jordan Love, Utah State

Former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
Former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
(Joe Robbins / Getty Images)
Advertisement

Strengths

  • Made some tough throws into tight windows versus man and zone coverage.
  • Attacked the one-on-one coverage on the outside. An aggressive thrower with a turn-it-loose mentality.
  • Showed a good sense of timing out of the shotgun in the quick game. Planted and delivered.

Weaknesses

  • At times dropped his arm angle, which resulted in ball-placement issues.
  • Needs much work on his lower-body mechanics. Did not consistently plant his back foot on deeper drops.
  • Struggled at times to locate and process underneath defenders on intermediate throws. A defining issue on some of his interceptions.

Newsletter
Go beyond the scoreboard

Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
Advertisement