Scouting Reports – 2011

Christian Ponder Scouting Report

Christian Ponder QB Florida State

Ht: 6’2

Wt: 221

Strengths:
Adequate height. Very good build for a quarterback. Athleticism is above average; can make plays on the run. A tough player who can take a hit. Appears to be an excellent leader on the field. Fundamentals are solid; has a very quick release. Maintains fundamental and accuracy on the run. Has nice touch on his passes.
Weaknesses:
An injury risk – missed time in 2009 with a injury to his right shoulder, missed time in 2010 with an elbow injury. Arm strength is moderate. Very streaky; looks great for a game or two, and then inexplicably will come out and throw two or three picks against an inferior opponent. Never quite lived up to expectations. Struggles to go through his progressions when his first option isn’t open; often locks on to one receiver for too long.
Comments:
Ponder has the tools necessary to be a starter in the NFL, but he’s never been able to maintain a consistent performance while at Florida State. His issues seem to stem from an inability to read defenses and go through his progressions. The encouraging thing is this can be fixable, but the discouraging thing is that he should be better after three years as the Seminoles starters. He didn’t face many complex defensive schemes in the ACC, which raises legitimate concerns about his ability to handle reading an NFL defense.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 1 Comment

Cam Newton Scouting Report

Cam Newton QB Auburn #2

Ht: 6’5

Wt: 248

Strengths:
Elite size and strength. Built like a tight end. Impressive mobility for his size. Has the speed to pick up yards with his feet. Strong enough to shake defenders off his back. Extremely tough to bring down. Does a great job keeping his eyes down field, even when on the run. Elite arm strength; can make any throw you ask of him. Accuracy is good when he sets his feet and takes his time to throw.
Weaknesses:
Serious character red flags. Arrested for stealing a laptop while at Florida. Potentially involved with requesting a salary from Mississippi State, before signing with Auburn. Plays sloppy at times; often does not set his feet and puts too much faith in his arm strength and loses accuracy as a result. Limited ability to read a defense; locks on to receivers and when it doesn’t work out he takes off.
Comments:
There’s no denying Newton’s raw talent, but I wouldn’t touch him early in the draft. None of his character red flags on their own are all that serious, but collectively they present a pattern of behavior which leads me to believe he will not be dedicated to becoming a great NFL quarterback. Someone will draft him in the 1st round and make him a starting quarterback, but ultimately he will fail. He may have enough talent to be a mediocre starter for a period of time, but he will never take his game to an elite level. I would prefer to avoid the headaches he’ll cause and steer clear. For more, see my blog post on Newton.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 1 Comment

Blaine Gabbert Scouting Report

Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri #11

Ht: 6’5″

Wt: 235

Strengths:
Prototypical height for a NFL quarterback. Elite arm strength. Accuracy is adequate. Above average mobility; can buy time with his feet and occasionally take off running – similar mobility to Aaron Rodgers. When given time, his mechanics are good and fairly consistent. Holds the ball high and has a quick release.
Weaknesses:
Gets flustered under pressure; often takes off running when he still has time to stand tall in the pocket. Loses his mechanics when facing pressure; often throws from a wide stance with a somewhat sidearm motion which results in a lack of accuracy. Needs to work on his touch; often throws rockets which can be difficult to catch.
Comments:
The ground work for an elite quarterback is already in place, but Gabbert still has some work to do. He isn’t as polished as a typical quarterback that would come off the board in the top 10, which is where he is projected to be drafted. He seems to be an intelligent quarterback who has made obvious progress throughout his two years as a starter at Missouri. Given his tendency to rush his motion under pressure he may benefit from sitting on the bench for awhile. Being thrown into the fire may be detrimental to his development. He definitely has the ability to develop into a franchise quarterback, but is far from a sure thing. He has a good reputation for being a hard worker and a smart kid which makes me optimistic about his ability to eventually reach his full potential.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2011 1 Comment