Breaking Down Cal's Jared Goff

Over the last few weeks, college football and NFL Draft fans have seen California quarterback Jared Goff’s name more than Donald Trumps. Following the Texas game 10 days ago, Goff was being heralded by the amateur scouting world as the second coming. They were saying he was a lock top five selection and possibly the first pick in the draft! It wasn’t that many years ago that ESPN’s Todd McShay lauded Mississippi’s Jevon Snead as a top five pick in the draft. Snead left school early believing the hype and he never got drafted. He was signed as an undrafted free agent and spent a minimal amount of time in a training camp before he was cut. The draftniks are not real NFL scouts. They never have and never will work for an NFL club and they have absolutely no accountability when it comes to hyping a player. They change their mind on a player sometimes on a weekly basis. NFL scouts can’t do that because they are held accountable on every report they write. I’ll also add that I am against true junior quarterbacks entering the draft. Far more fail to live up to expectations than succeed once they get to the NFL level. Why? Mainly because they aren’t as good as people thought and they aren’t physically and emotionally ready to compete against men at the NFL level. I strongly feel a quarterback needs to be in college a minimum of four years before he even thinks about the NFL. Jared Goff is a talented football player but from what I have seen he is not ready to be an NFL player. He is a true junior and can't even legally buy a beer. When you look at his frame he is tall and long but very lean. Cal lists him as being 215, but I think that is a stretch. I would be surprised if he was over 210. He has fairly good but not great overall athleticism. He has quick feet and shows the ability to move around in the pocket. While I have seen him run some, he is not a true threat to make a lot of plays with his feet. Can he extend a play? Yes at the college level, it would be questionable of he can extend at the NFL level. Goff has good but not great arm strength. He doesn’t drive the ball the way the top quarterbacks do. While he shows he can throw a tight ball, he also has too many throws that lack quality spin. When you look at Goff’s stats, they are impressive. He has completed 69% of his throws this year. His completion percentage is a very misleading stat. In one game I charted, he threw 37 passes. Of those 37 throws, only 8 went further than 10 yards downfield. Most of his throws are within five yards of the line of scrimmage. When you look closely at those throws, his ball placement on them is average. He often throws behind a wide open receiver who is no further than 10 yards away from him. He can get away with that because of the offense Cal runs, but he won’t get away with it in the NFL. The main reason is he won’t be making those types of throws in the NFL. Remember, the window to complete a pass in the NFL is much smaller than it is in college. Successful NFL quarterbacks must have pinpoint accuracy. Goff isn’t there yet. Cal plays in a dink and dunk spread offense. They have a strong run game and that helps the pass game. The run game and the short pass game help set up the occasional deeper throws. This style offense is not in any way similar to an NFL style offense. While they are some plays that require a full field read, the majority of the passes are half field quick passes. From a mechanical viewpoint, there is a lot to like. Goff carries the ball high and has a quick and tight delivery. When he makes the decision to throw, the ball comes out of his hand very quickly. There are times when he doesn’t set his feet properly and is not in balance but again he can get away with that because of their style of offense. To evaluate a quarterback properly a scout needs to see every play of at least 8 games and that is at a minimum. My look here is after seeing three of his first four games. In those games, Goff has yet to face a strong defense. Next month Cal has to face Utah, UCLA and USC in consecutive weeks. We will be able to get a much better and truer evaluation after watching those games. For now, I would be against Goff even considering entering the draft. He is in no way ready to play at that level. Right now he is a good college quarterback in a gimmick offense and it ends there. He needs to not only finish this year but come back and play in 2016. He isn't close to having the talent of an Andrew Luck or even a Derek Carr. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe  

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