James Franklin – Quarterback
Franklin has had good production the last three seasons at Missouri, but he has a problem with durability. He missed time last year (three games) and has not played in the last four games this year. Franklin has good size (6’2 – 230) to go along with good, but not great, athletic ability. He plays from a spread formation where they pass the ball about 60% of the time. They also do a lot of read option in the run game. Franklin looks to have better than average straight line speed, but I would not call him a quick footed, elusive athlete. At times, he can be almost flat footed in the pocket and his ability to avoid pass rushers is average. He is a better ball carrier than scrambler.
The Missouri offense is more sophisticated now than it was when Blaine Gabbert was playing. Gabbert played from mostly a half-field read offense which is not the case now. Franklin goes through somewhat of a progression, but seldom do you see him get to the third option. While he has a strong arm and spins the ball well, I feel his accuracy is average. He has a deliberate overhand delivery, and the ball does not come out of his hand quickly. In the games viewed, he seldom had to put the ball in a tight window. His accuracy is best on shorter throws as is his ball placement. The further downfield he throws, the less accurate he is. He does flash being able to throw with touch, but again, he can struggle if he has to “thread the needle”. Though a good runner, he is only average at extending plays with his feet. His ability to throw with accuracy on the run is average.
Because of injuries, I have not seen as much tape on Franklin as I would like. Right now, I see him as a late round type who will need time to develop. With most clubs carrying only two quarterbacks on the active roster, I see James as a practice squad player as a rookie. In time he could develop into a competent number two quarterback, but I don’t see potential starter ability at this time. If he is able to come back and play the final two games of the season and play in a bowl game, I will look at that tape for a possible upgrade.