Type the name Kyler Murray into a google search, and there are about 3,750,000 results. One of the most recent data points NFL GM’s and scouts are mulling over is Murray’s poor Wonderlic score. According to reports Murray had the lowest Wonderlic score among all of the 2019 NFL Draft QB prospects. The top score among QB’s belongs to North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley (43). Dwayne Haskins reportedly scored a (25) while Drew Lock scored a (26) and Daniel Jones (37). Past QB scores such as Dan Marino who scored a (16), Tom Brady (33), Pat Mahomes (24) and Jared Goff (36).
Murray has been considered by the vast majority of industry scouts, TV pundits as the top QB in the 2019 NFL draft. He is the favorite to be picked number one overall by the Arizona Cardinals because of his connection to their new head coach (Klif Kingsbury) who plans to run the same offense in the NFL that Murray played at Oklahoma (Air Raid).
How much weight does the Wonderlic test carry?
NFL GM’s use the Wonderlic scores as a way to measure a player's cognitive functions such as their ability to retain information, and how quickly they can process information. A great example is Tom Brady who is the gold standard when it comes to processing information.
Brady's ability to recognize coverage pre and post-snap is one of the reasons Brady is consistently one of the top players in the league as it pertains to getting the ball out fast. In the 2019 NFL playoffs, Brady got rid of the football from snap to throw in 2.33 seconds on average. QB’s who overthink pre-snap, and in the pocket post-snap are prone to making mistakes.
The coaching, the system and the time a team is willing to wait for a young QB to develop will determine whether or not he will succeed or fail. Not all QB’s are eager to put in the additional time watching the film, working on their reads during the offseason, or on their downtime during the season. The Wonderlic cannot predict player work ethic, but it helps GM's and coaches check off another box adding another data point.
NFL Offenses have simplified their schemes to improve development.
Over the last three to five years teams have adopted a less is more approach to simplify their schemes. Sean McVay and Andy Reid are the two coaches that come to mind immediately regarding this way of thinking. They have dumbed down their terminology, lessened their playbooks to match a more college-friendly approach.
Let’s quickly examine Jared Goff who in his rookie year (2016) before Sean McVay’s Arrival, struggled in the Rams’ offense under Jeff Fisher. Goff’s passer rating improved from 63.6 in 2016 (ranked 66th) to 100.5 in 2017 (Ranked 19th). In one season under McVay Goff improved his passer rating by 36 pts.
The top Five QB’s in the 2019 NFL Draft
The top five QB's in the 2019 NFL Draft according to the Football Scout 365 Composite ranking which uses a blended average ranking system combining player rankings of some of the NFL’s top scouts are as follows.
According to Hall of Fame Scout Gil Brandt there will be four QB’s taken in round one.
Gil Brandt has Kyler Murray ranked as the 7th overall prospect in his top 150 followed by Daniel Jones (17th), Drew Lock (20th), and Dwayne Haskin's (25th). Our composite rankings have Murray ranked ten spots lower than Gil Brandt, but all four players including Murray have a first-round composite ranking.
What is Situational Analysis?
A tool created to evaluate individual player tendency. In the following analysis for each of the top four QB’s in the 2019 NFL Draft, I can use the data combined with film review to identify player tendencies both good and bad.
We are using Gil Brandt’s Analysis combined with the Football Scout 365 Situational analysis and film.
By coordinating multiple data points, we can identify the reasoning behind each listed player strength and weakness. In this analysis we are using Gil Brandt’s player analysis, combined with the FS365 Situational analysis tool and film to help gain a better understanding for the reasoning behind how the top QB’s in the 2019 NFL Draft earned their first round ranking.
Gil Brandt on Kyler Murray
School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS)
Murray lacks ideal height, but had very few passes blocked at Oklahoma. He was a winner in high school while playing in the best 6A division in Texas. He has a very quick release and is smart. Murray is a very good runner -- though he has not been timed, I would say he would most likely run a 4.4 40. He's also been very well-coached by Lincoln Riley at OU and by his father, Kevin Murray, who was a quarterback of note at Texas A&M; the elder Murray's college career included putting up 36 points in a Cotton Bowl win over Auburn after the 1986 season. Kyler Murray completed over 90 percent of his passes at Oklahoma's pro day (61 of 67 attempts) and boasts above-average velocity and accuracy.
Football Scout 365 Situational Analysis (Kyler Murray)
Kyler Murray has the most talent of any QB in the 2019 NFL Draft. He won the 2018 Heisman Trophy because of his ability to make big plays against all opponents faced. Murray averaged 9.36 yards per attempt (pass and run). On 3rd down Murray converted on 44% of his total 3rd down attempts including an impressive 55% on 3rd down and 7 to 9 yards to go passing it 85% of the time. On third down and 10 or more yards to go, Murray had a 42% run to 58% pass ratio and converted 34% of the time with 7.92 yards average. In the red zone, Murray scored 28 of his total TD's at a 35% TD to total red zone attempt ratio. Murray averaged a big play (10 yards or more) on 11% of his total attempts and a big play opportunity on plays between his 1-yard line to his opponents 21-yard line 17% of the time.
Strength: Accuracy in the pocket and on the run (Can throw it through the keyhole)
Gil Brandt on Dwayne Haskin's
School: Ohio State | Year: Sophomore (RS)
Haskin's started just one year for the Buckeyes. He did not run well at the combine (5.04 40) and did not do any shuttles or the broad jump. At his pro day, it looked like he moved better and had a very good workout. Haskin's is a pocket passer with very good touch and arm strength, though he lacks foot quickness. He had great receivers to work with at Ohio State, where he completed 70 percent of his passes. Ninety percent of his passes came from the pocket. He's tough and competitive. Someone will trade up from the middle of Round 1 to get him.
Football Scout 365 Situational Analysis (Dwayne Haskin's)
Dwayne Haskin's is the least athletic of the four QB's being highlighted in this analysis. Haskin's broke an Ohio State record throwing for 50 TD's in 2018 as a first-year starter. Gil Brandt explains above that 90% of Haskin's pass attempts came from within the pocket. Haskins's made his most significant plays through the air on 1st and 2nd down attempts where he attempted 400 of his 533 pass plays. The Ohio State coaching staff ran a lot of crossing routes, and underneath mesh concepts allowing Haskin's to hit his fast WR's in stride where they picked up a lot of yards after the catch. His 3rd down conversion rate (30%) ranks lowest of the four QB's in this analysis though he did thrive on 3rd down and 7 to 9 yards to go converting at a 46% rate.
Strength: Accuracy from the pocket (Can throw through the door, hit the doorknob, and when there is zero pressure he can throw it through the keyhole).
Weakness: Accuracy under pressure
Gil Brandt on Drew Lock
School: Missouri | Year: Senior
Lock has size (6-3 3/4) and ran a 4.69 40 at the combine. He has a quick delivery to go with a strong arm, though he needs to work on his footwork. He is a very good athlete. Lock will need a quarterback coach who can work with him to improve his accuracy. He has the tools and lots of upside, but he'll need some help to get better. If he has the requisite work habits, he can be an NFL starter. He needs more loft on his deep throws. Lock completed 63 percent of his passes with 28 touchdowns against eight interceptions in 2018.
Football Scout 365 Situational Analysis (Drew Lock)
Drew Lock is good athlete similar to Daniel Jones and can extend a play with his legs, but unlike Jones, Lock is wildly inconsistent with his accuracy. Lock's total volume (492) in 2018 included 437 pass plays, and 55 total run plays signalling that was not a threat to run the ball though he has the ability. Lock threw the ball on 89% of his total attempts in 2018. Lock faced a 3rd down situation on 143 of his total attempts. He had a -1.32 yards average on 3rd down and 4 to 6 yards to go throwing the ball 93% of the time meaning this is an area where he was taking the heat and getting sacked. Lock converted on 3rd down at a rate of 35%. The 35% on 3rd down is a significant concern and even more concerning is his average of 3.49 yards per attempt average on 3rd down.
Strength: Strong arm and quick delivery (Can throw it through a door)
Weakness: Accuracy (Struggles to hit the doorknob)
Gil Brandt on Daniel Jones
School: Duke | Year: Junior (RS)
Not a power thrower, Jones is more of a touch passer. He's very tough and a hard worker who wants to get better every day. Jones completed 60.5 percent of his passes in 2018, but was hampered by drops from his receivers. He's very athletic and can run. This well-coached player makes me think of Danny White, who was a quarterback for the Cowboys in the 1980s. Jones has size (6-5 1/8) and 4.7 speed. He's very savvy, and I think he will be a good NFL quarterback. There are lots of things to like about him.
Football Scout 365 Situational Analysis (Daniel Jones)
Jones total volume (496) 392 pass plays and 104 run play point to his athleticism and ability to make plays with his legs. In the GIL Brandt analysis above it discusses Jones 4.7 speed in the 40-yard dash. Jones reminds me of Andrew Luck, a big physical pro-style QB who has enough speed to get outside of the pocket and extend plays with his legs. In the film cut-ups below Samuel Gold explains how WR drops plagued jones in his time at Duke. His ability to hit the big play opportunities (BPO) are surprisingly higher in certain areas than both Haskin's and Lock. For Example Jones on 3rd down 4 to 6 yards to go averaged 7.77 yards per attempt with a mix of 33% run and 67% pass showing again that Jones can make plays in key situations with his arm or his legs. Jones also turned a 3rd down and 4 to 6 yards to go into a 1st down 46% of the time.
Strength: Good athleticism, touch passer
Weakness: Pass Velocity (Not a Throw it through the door type)