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August 17, 2007

The Breakdown: Pro-style quarterbacks

In "The Breakdown," veteran talent scout Randy Rodgers is analyzing film of a select group of the nation's top prospects for Rivals.com. Rodgers has more than 35 years of experience in the college recruiting arena. He was the recruiting coordinator at the University of Illinois (1988-91) and the University of Texas (1992-97) and is one of the leading authorities on high school football talent analysis in the country. In this edition, Rodgers takes a look at pro-style quarterbacks.

Pro-style Quarterbacks
E.J. Manuel
6-4, 201, Virginia Beach (Va.) Bayside
Manuel in action

Good height, good feet, excellent ability to escape and take off. Shows good speed in open field when forced to run. I liked his quick release and high release point. Has a short delivery and can speed it up when pressured. Very versatile. I like his mechanics from the gun, from under center, and on play action. He showed good footwork and balance in the pocket. He only had to scramble three times on highlights, but showed a "scramble to pass" mentality, which keeps him alive to make big downfield plays. What I liked best was his ability to put the right amount of touch on short-arc throws. He had a lot of very good plays down the middle of the field, and didn't appear to try to overthrow receivers. Committed to Florida State, where he should fit nicely into new coordinator Jimbo Fisher's offense.
Blaine Gabbert
6-4, 226, Ballwin (Mo.) Parkway West
Gabbert in action

BIG, Best looking of the conventional drop back guys on the tape. Definitely a rhythm passer, Does a nice job "bouncing up" on his drop backs. Is in position to throw all the time. Gets his hips into throws to maximize velocity. Has a high release point and gets rid of the ball quickly. Is not a scrambler, but has good enough feet to avoid. Hard to tackle because of his size. Can throw on the run. What I liked best about Blaine was his ability to really show velocity when he needed it. Had three really excellent highlight throws on skinny posts, where he needed to "gun it in there" and did. He is your prototypical "pro-style" QB and a great fit for his Nebraska commitment.
Andrew Luck
6-4, 215, Houston (Texas) Stratford
Luck in action

Excellent size, with surprising speed. Have had a chance to see Andrew in person and he is a great looking kid, with a lot of growth potential to fill out and get stronger. Valedictorian of his class and it shows up in his decision-making ability. Has both academic credentials and football savvy. Can make all the throws. Can definitely read defenses. Shows a variety of touches on different throws. Can set his feet and deliver, can throw on the run. Showed better screen mechanics than any of the other players in this bunch. Really does a nice job of leading moving targets. Committed to Stanford, which seems like a perfect fit for his goals and abilities.
Dayne Crist
6-5, 228, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Crist in action

Good size, strong in the pocket. Has high release point, which coupled with size, will allow him to stand in the pocket as college QB. Has somewhat of a long motion, but has enough velocity to put his throws on the money. Has really good touch on deep balls. What I really liked best about his highlights was his ability to deliver the "out" route. Has the kind of velocity to "gun it" to spots on the sideline, where defenders can't get to. Timing with receivers will be a big issue in college. Committed to Notre Dame.
Mike Glennon
6-6, 194, Centreville (Va.) Westfield
Glennon in action

Long and lanky, will need to put on weight as he gets to college. Because of his length, he also has a tendency to have a longer motion, but makes up for it with very good velocity. Also gets his hips into throws, which maximizes his velocity. Needs to smooth out his footwork on drop-backs to get into position to throw sooner. I was impressed with his decision-making ability. It looked from the tapes, that he made a lot of pre-snap reads, showed good anticipation of when his receivers would be open, and delivered "on the money". Verbally committed to NC State.
Landry Jones
6-4, 224, Artesia, N.M.
Jones in action

Had a chance to also see Landry in person and he is very impressive young man. Strong and well developed. Hard to tackle in the pocket and when he flushes, he looks like and runs like a TE. Might have the best "deep gun" of this group. Has excellent velocity when balanced, enough strength to make throws when off-balance. (I thought he made a couple of bad decision, by throwing with tacklers draped around him, but the plays turned out to be highlight plays). He really has nice body mechanics and tremendous accuracy numbers from his junior year. What I liked best about Landry was his ability to see downfield. He is excellent in the vertical passing game and even when pressured, was able to deliver it downfield for big yardage. Verbally committed to Oklahoma.
Nick Crissman
6-3, 193, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison
Crissman in action

Smallest of the group, but really mobile. I liked his feet and his ability to buy time in the pocket. Has good velocity and good upper body rotation when he delivers. I thought he showed a tendency to drop his arm occasionally and when coupled with over-stride, affected his velocity. I really like his potential in a short, rhythm-oriented passing game. He puts the ball in good spots for receivers, and I thought he made good decisions on reading defenses. You could see several times, where he had to go to second reads. Highlights can be deceiving, but he looks like a "playmaker" to me. Committed to UCLA.
Sean Renfree
6-3, 201, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Notre Dame Prep
Renfree in action

Smooth delivery. Has high release point. Seemed to get more pressure on his tapes than other QBs, but did a nice job of delivering the ball under pressure. Seemed to anticipate real well. Threw lots of balls between the hashes, so your impression is that he understands coverages well enough to have the confidence to throw it in there. Didn't have any throws where he really had to set his feet and "gun it", so no sense of how much velocity he has. Verbally committed to Georgia Tech.
Casey Kelly
6-2, 191, Sarasota, Fla.
Kelly in action

Good size, Has a little tendency to have a longer motion, which can affect velocity at times. Is also a top-flight baseball player, which may have something to do with that. Showed really good ball handling in the gun. Can throw on the run going left and right. Would bet he has better mobility than numbers would show. What I really liked was his ability to hit crossing receivers. Reads the defense well and puts the ball on the money. Uncommitted at this point, which probably has a lot to do with his baseball ability.
Seth Doege
6-2, 200, Wolfforth (Texas) Frenship
Doege in action

Missed all of junior year with knee injury, so his highlights are all summer 7 on 7. Totally different arena for QB evaluation, since most summer QBs don't concentrate on mechanics during competition, and are never under pressure. I have seen Seth live and what is most impressive is his quickness of delivery. He has a really short release, can make and change decisions, and still deliver the ball on time. Has decent velocity and because of size will be at advantage in the shotgun. Verbally committed to Texas Tech and seems like a good fit for their style of offense.

More Breakdowns: Wide Receivers | Linebackers

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