2022 NFL Draft: One factor discovered about Malik Willis, Kenny Pickett and different Senior Bowl quarterbacks


The Senior Bowl could have served as a barometer for the quarterback place this yr greater than another in current historical past. Aside from Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, the entire perceived high draft prospects have been in Cell, Alabama, acting on an equal taking part in subject that grew to become sloppy because the week progressed on account of inclement climate. 

From watching follow tape and consulting with Ryan Wilson, right here is one factor that was discovered of every of the six quarterback prospects: 

Sam Howell, North Carolina

Howell’s draft inventory has been a little bit of a roller-coaster journey. He was projected as a possible No. 1 total choice coming into the season after a standout season with Javonte Williams, Michael Carter, Dyami Brown and Dazz Newsome. His first two seasons have been outlined by a number of late sport comebacks and a fiery spirit. Within the absence of these gamers, Howell actually struggled initially. He stays among the finest deep-ball throwers within the sport however there are considerations primarily based round the concept he could possibly be a product of the expertise round him. These kinds of gamers can discover success within the NFL however they may by no means rise to the extent of being one of many sport’s finest. Wilson felt as if Howell helped his inventory in Cell. 

In line with TruMedia, Howell ranked second to final in sack price at 12.9%. By comparability, Justin Fields had the best share among the many quarterbacks drafted within the first spherical spherical final yr at 8.9%. The remainder have been at 4.0% or decrease.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

Pickett’s hand dimension is predicted to be effectively under the overall threshold of acceptability by conventional NFL requirements. When the climate turned bitter, Pickett struggled to drive the ball, however that was additionally true for each quarterback prospect not named Malik Willis. The best way that interprets to the sector has been fumbles. TruMedia credit the quarterback with 36 fumbles over the previous 4 years, which is tied for the second most behind Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez. 

There may be loads to love with reference to his capacity to course of within the pocket. He has by no means thrown greater than 9 interceptions in a season. In line with TruMedia, he ranked No. 51 amongst all quarterbacks with at the least 200 go makes an attempt in sack share (5.9%). To his credit score, over the past 4 seasons when Pickett has been the starter, Pittsburgh led all applications with 137 dropped passes. In 2021 alone, the Panthers have been credited with 38 dropped passes. In line with Wilson, he was mentioned to be spectacular in group interviews as effectively. 

Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Accuracy could or is probably not a problem for Ridder relying upon who’s speaking. For some, like myself, it’s a concern. He improved over the course of the week and positively did nothing to harm his case. His landing to interception ratio is just not as staggering as Pickett’s, but TruMedia credit him with the identical variety of fumbles (36) as Pickett over the past 4 seasons. The Bearcat has been neglected all through his taking part in profession and comes throughout down-to-earth. There is no such thing as a doubt that he probably interviewed effectively with groups. 

Since sack price is one metric used to check these quarterbacks, Ridder is comparatively center of the highway at No. 61 with 6.5%.

Carson Robust, Nevada

The hope coming into the week was that Robust separated himself as a passer. He has the worst mobility — a earlier knee damage could possibly be taking part in a job — of any draft-eligible quarterback so his skills as a passer wanted to beat that deficiency. Sadly, he didn’t blow Wilson away. Though his lack of mobility has been well-documented, he ranked simply No. 70 in sack price at 6.9% so at the least he’s not holding the ball too lengthy and taking pointless sacks.

Malik Willis, Liberty

Willis was identified for his pace and mobility as a draft prospect lengthy earlier than the week in Cell. Nonetheless, it was fascinating to lastly put some numbers to that for context. It was mentioned that he clocked 20.58 miles per hour at follow over the course of the week. Solely Arizona’s Kyler Murray clocked a sooner time, 20.78 miles per hour, as a quarterback within the NFL final season. 

His arm energy and mobility have been evident however so was his inclination to carry on to the ball too lengthy within the pocket. In line with TruMedia, amongst quarterbacks with at the least 200 go makes an attempt final season, the Auburn switch ranked lifeless final (No. 110) with a 13.1% sack price, which was practically twice as excessive because it had been a yr earlier (7.0%). Groups could also be enticed with the uncommon athletic traits however he stays a piece in progress as a pocket passer.

Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky

Coming into the week, Zappe, a Houston Baptist switch, had proven a capability to throw with contact and anticipation. Though extremely productive at each colleges, there have been considerations about his arm energy. Whereas he’s definitely not within the dialog as having a cannon like Howell or Willis, the Texas native confirmed marginally higher arm energy than anticipated.

In line with TruMedia, Zappe had the bottom sack share (2.1%) of any quarterback with at the least two go makes an attempt. The Hilltoppers’ offense was predicated on getting the ball out shortly however that additional emphasizes that it’s not sticking in his hand. The Texas native accomplished practically 70% of 686 go makes an attempt for five,967 yards, 62 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. 



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