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Is Kyle Trask a Starting QB in the NFL?

| April 5th, 2021


There has been tremendous debate about Kyle Trask among scouting types. No one doubts his arm but his athleticism has called his future into question. From my perspective, he’s worth the risk any time after the first round. Here is analysis from the great Lance Zierlein at NFL.com:

Overview

Trask clearly has the arm strength, touch and placement to wear out one-on-one coverage if he has good protection and above-average players around him, but he’s not going to elevate an offense with his talent alone. He’s very good at finding his throwing platform and can deliver deep throws with outstanding touch. He needs to improve his eye work to create more opportunities by moving safeties around. Trask is clearly a skilled passer, but it’s hard to find evidence of him being able to play chess at this point against what NFL defenses are likely to show him.

Strengths
  • Prototypical size to stand tall and fire from the pocket
  • Made substantial production gains across the board in 2020.
  • Enabled team to open up game plan in 2020.
  • Became the first FBS quarterback in 15 years to post three or more TD passes in nine consecutive games.
  • Stepped up against Alabama in SEC Championship Game.
  • Able to pump and reset against baiting coverage.
  • Feels edge pressure and climbs to free space in pocket.
  • Gets back into passing platform when moving outside the pocket.
  • Arm strength to whip field-side deep outs with no issues.
  • Tardy safeties will find a willing challenger over the top.
  • Talented downfield passer with touch and accuracy.
  • Can attack one-on-ones and place deep throw where it needs to go.
  • Fairly accurate even when feet are not set.

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Saturday QBs to Watch: Conference Title Games!

| December 19th, 2020

(Photo of Trask by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


If the Bears win Sunday, they are unlikely to be choosing one of the top four quarterbacks in this coming draft. (And I have had several personnel folks tell me that might not be the worst thing for them long-term.) So looking at that next crop of QBs is probably a more apt exercise at this point. Today will be a good opportunity to look at three them, two for the second time in this space.


3:00 PM CT

ACC Championship Game

Clemson vs. Notre Dame

__________

Trevor Lawrence is going to be the first pick of the draft and stabilize a Jets franchise desperate for stabilization. But ND quarterback Ian Book is going to be an interesting option for teams in the middle rounds. Eric Edholm of Yahoo found an interesting comp for Book:

I texted a Midwest scout who has seen Book’s success as a college QB and watched him grow as an NFL prospect. Who does Book remind the scout of?

Jeff Garcia, he told me. Not the name I was expecting, but it makes sense.

Garcia was far from a roundly beloved prospect coming out of San Jose State in the early ’90s — like Book, branded too small, too hectic, too not NFL. For that time, anyway. And it took him five years of success in the CFL and a visionary in Bill Walsh (who had returned to the 49ers’ front office) to see Garcia’s NFL potential.

Book’s road to the league shouldn’t be quite as circuitous because it appears that he’s only helped his draft stock and could push for a spot in Round 4 — or even higher. It will be fascinating to see which team drafts him, perhaps a club such as the Pittsburgh Steelers that will need to find its eventual starter or one such as the Houston Texans or Kansas City Chiefs, who have their current starter but might want a backup to groom with similar skills to their almost irreplaceable stars in Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.

Book’s deep-ball effectiveness has improved dramatically from his first few seasons, and even — despite fewer downfield attempts — from a year ago. He still has issues throwing intermediate and deep toward the sidelines but has developed the kind of hip torque and arm strength to get the balls to their targets more readily.

Like with Jalen Hurts a year ago, Book holds onto the ball too long. That won’t fly as readily in the NFL; he has to speed up his clock and not assume his brilliant offensive line and his own athleticism will keep him safe.

Overall, it’s hard not to love and appreciate the strides Book has made as an NFL prospect over the past few years. And with a potential playoff spot looming for the Irish, there are more tests awaiting.


7:00 PM CT

SEC Championship Game

Florida vs. Alabama

__________

Both quarterbacks in this game – Kyle Trask and Mac Jones – are projecting to be drafted somewhere between pick 15 and pick 50. And it’s safe to every that every NFL eye will be on both tonight.

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Saturday QB to Watch: Kyle Trask, Florida

| November 21st, 2020

Florida (5-1) at Vanderbilt (0-6)

12:00 PM ET


Trask has thrust himself into the Heisman conversation with brilliant play early this season. His position in mock drafts is being hotly-debated but he could be a name the Bears are considering next April.


From Josh Edwards at CBS:

Trask has thrown for at least 268 yards in each of his team’s six games. Saturday against Arkansas was no different. He finished with as many touchdowns as incompletions. The pocket passer from Texas finished completing 23-of-29 passes for 356 yards and six touchdowns. The consummate teammate, Trask overcame the absence of star tight end Kyle Pitts by throwing two touchdowns to the backup — Keon Zipperer. 

The senior is tough and poised in the pocket. Teams will never be afraid of his ability to get yardage on the ground because he lacks speed but he has the ability to manipulate defenses. Trask held the safety with his eyes on one play before tossing it over the top for an easy touchdown to Zipperer. On another touchdown, he motioned forward as if orchestrating a quarterback draw before zipping it out to wide receiver Trevon Grimes on the boundary. Trask throws with elite ball placement and gets the ball out quickly. His understanding of the opposition has allowed him to play at a much faster pace in 2020. 

As of today, Lawrence, Fields, Wilson and Lance appear to be the four best quarterback prospects available in the 2021 NFL Draft. Trask has forced himself into that second tier quarterback conversation along with Alabama’s Mac Jones and a few others. 

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