It is a great year for quarterbacks in the upcoming draft with the likes of Teddy Bridegewater, Johnny Manziel, and A.J.McCarron among those expected to be available come May. Another name that gets its fair share of publicity is San Jose State’s David Fales.
Fales is a fifth-year senior who originally enrolled at Nevada in 2009. He red-shirted that year and then transferred to Monterey Peninsula College where he threw for over 4600 yards and 37 touchdowns in his two years at the junior college. He transferred to San Jose State for the last two seasons and has put up some outstanding numbers. In 2012, He led San Jose to an 11-2 record while throwing for over 4100 yards, 33 touchdowns and completing over 72% of his passes. That outstanding year got the San Jose coach (Mike McIntyre) a new job as head coach at Colorado. In 2013, under a new coach and in a new system, Fales numbers are not quite as good as they were a year ago. To date, he has completed 233 of 386 passes for 3202 yards and 22 touchdowns. He has also thrown 12 interceptions, up from nine a year ago. San Jose's record has dipped to 5-5 this year.
Fales has excellent QB size. He is listed at 6’3 – 220 and looks all of that. There have been reports that Fales has small hands, but those measurements usually come from a young combine scout and many times they are inaccurate. We will find out exactly what his hand measurement between an all-star game and the combine. Fales shows good athleticism. He has good quickness and feet and can move around in the pocket. While he isn’t a burner, he isn’t slow. I would estimate his speed at about 4.8.
In 2012, Fales played from a variety of formations. This year, he is mainly in a spread formation. When taking the snap, he holds the ball high and can move his feet in the pocket. He does a good job seeing the field and finding an open receiver. He shows he can find a secondary receiver when his primary is covered. Once he finds his target, he has a quick release. He has a compact, overhand delivery and throws the ball with accuracy. While he doesn’t have a “cannon” for an arm, his arm strength is sufficient. He shows he can drive the ball, but on some of his deeper throws, he can have a tendency to put too much air under the ball. Like most quarterbacks in college, his arm strength will increase once he gets in an NFL strength program. As I said above, Fales throws the ball with accuracy and he also shows good ball placement. The key to becoming an accurate NFL quarterback is being able to place the ball. On tape, I have seen him make some excellent back shoulder throws when a defender is all over the receiver.
For the most part, Fales is patient and poised, but he will force some throws, and when he does, the results aren’t always good. Fales isn’t known as a runner, but he will “take off” if he has to. He has adequate mobility and shows he can throw on the run.
Fales is an interesting guy. He still needs some development, but he has the traits to be an eventual starter in the league. He is not playing quite as well this year as he did in 2012, and he has turned the ball over more, though a part of that can be attributed to being in a different system this year. At this time, I don’t see him being drafted in the premium rounds (first and second), but he could easily be drafted in the third or fourth. Interviews and workouts will also influence where he eventually goes. I’m looking forward to seeing him in person at one of the all-star games and hopefully upgrade him.
Follow me on twitter @greggabe