I’m very proud and excited to introduce my grading system this year. This is an original system that I, myself, created. In reality, these are just numbers; but they’ll illustrate my evaluations in much greater detail, when compared to my scouting reports on the 2014 Qb Class — which had no grading system.
I grade the quarterback prospects on six attributes:
- Arm Talent
I have sub-categories for each of the six attributes; 30 sub-categories in all.
So here’s my process…
Its simple math, really: I begin by grading each attribute on an individual basis; I do that by scoring their sub-categories. I grade on a 1-to-5 scale. One by one, I add each individual attribute’s sub-category grades and arrive at a total. I then divide that number by the total number of sub-categories for that particular attribute.
Arm Talent has a total of eight sub-categories. Let’s say a prospect scores a perfect 5 on four of the sub’s, and scores 4’s on the remaining four sub’s, arriving at a total of 36 (4 x 5 = 20, 4 x 4 = 16; 20 + 16 = 36).
I then divide the total of 36 (sub-category total), by the number 8 (total number of sub-categories) to arrive at the average of 4.5, which represents the final grade for the attribute of Arm Talent.
Things are much easier to follow once you arrive at the final grades.
For the sake of value and purpose, I sort the six final attribute grades into Physical and Mental columns — accounting for two equal 50/50 value based averages. Divide that number by 2 (1 for physical, 1 for mental), and that number becomes the prospect’s Player Projection Grade (final grade).
I have two separate 1-to-5 grading scales. The first is for defining the particular attributes. The second is for defining the final grade — which is my NFL projection for said Qb prospect.
Trust me … it’ll all make sense when you get there.
Player Attribute Grades:
1 = Poor | 2 = Subpar | 3 = Sufficient
4 = Proficient | 5 = Exceptional
Player Projection Grades:
1 = Journeyman Qb | 2 = Reliable Backup
3 = Average Starter | 4 = Franchise Qb | 5 = Club Elite
2016 Jared Goff Scouting Report
Jared Goff | California | Junior
Height/Weight: 6’4″ | 215 Lbs.
Player Projection: Eli Manning
Player Comparison: Tom Brady
2015 » Utah, Arizona St, UCLA, Texas, San Diego St, Wash. St, Air Force, Stanford, USC
2014 » Northwestern, Stanford, USC, Colorado, Oregon
2013 » at Oregon (uncut, 1st Quarter only)
Player Attribute Grades
Accuracy 1–10 yards: 4.0
Accuracy 11–20 yards: 4.0
Accuracy 21–30 yards: 4.0
Accuracy on the Move: 4.0
Anticipation Throws: 5.0
Throwing Velocity: 4.0
Throwing Distance: 3.0
Throwing Touch: 4.0
› Final Grade: 4.0
Upper Body: 5.0
Lower Body: 5.0
› Final Grade: 5.0
Football Instincts: 5.0
Pre-Snap Awareness: 4.0
Post-Snap Awareness: 4.0
Pocket Awareness: 5.0
Decision Making: 4.0
Information Recall: 4.0
› Final Grade: 4.3
Work Ethic: 5.0
› Final Grade: 4.6
Play Extension: 4.0
Running Mobility: 2.0
› Final Grade: 3.0
(1) Physical and (1) Mental
Durability: 4.0 (Physical)
Toughness: 5.0 (Mental)
› Toughness graded with intangibles
› Durability graded into total physical grade
• Arm Talent: 4.0
• Mechanics: 5.0
• Athleticism: 3.0
• Durability: 4.0
› Final Grade: 4.0
• Intelligence: 4.3
• Intangibles: 4.6
› Final Grade: 4.5
Player Projection Grade: 4.25
» Face of the Franchise Quarterback
When going off first glance, Goff’s accuracy stood out as his best attribute. When breaking down the film, it became crystal clear just why his accuracy shines on tape. At only 21 years of age, Jared Goff has an advanced development and understanding in the fundamentals of quarterbacking — and it starts with his mechanics.
Goff’s footwork is simply a pleasure to watch on tape. His feet are always moving: right to left, left to right; they go where his eyes go. If the rush is coming wide, it’s Goff’s agile footwork that’s on display as he quickly climbs the pocket and throws darts.
He takes short, choppy steps in his movements, bouncing up and down ever so slightly on the balls of his feet as he sets in his throwing stance. His eyes and feet are consistently synchronized, meaning he’s ready to throw the ball at any moment.
His weight transfer is consistently sound as well. When combined with his compact throwing motion and his quick release, Goff is absolutely clinical from a mechanics standpoint.
There’s only one question mark that exists within Goff’s mechanical framework, and its due to his complete lack of experience in taking snaps from under center. The evaluators simply don’t have any tape to go off of. The three, the five, and the seven-step drops are not on film due to the shotgun offense he played in for three years.
Can he make the transition? Absolutely.
The elegant footwork that does exist on film, the way Jared shuffles his feet and climbs the pocket while scanning the field — I’m confident that these traits will crossover well for him when asked to play under the center at the next level. Goff has the smarts, the desire, the footwork and the quick release to excel from under center as he gains experience in the pros.
When you strip it all down to the bare minimums, accuracy is the most important physical attribute when it comes to playing quarterback in the NFL successfully — and Goff has it in spades. Accuracy and mechanics go hand-in-hand, so it comes as no surprise to the evaluators when we see Goff showcase these two critical factors of quarterback play on a weekly basis.
I’m not a coach, and I’m not a former athlete — I just have a deep love for the game, and the eyes and instincts to evaluate football players. I can’t go up to a whiteboard and draw up X’s and O’s, but I can recognize a special talent at quarterback when I see one. Jared Goff just makes it that much easier to notice, especially in regard to his accuracy.
Jared displays consistent ball placement in the short passing game, knowing when to go high and when to go low in traffic. He does a good job of leading his receivers out of harm’s way when making throws into the middle of the field, giving them a chance to secure the catch safely.
He throws to his targets’ preferred window, if you will. He excels at throwing 50/50 balls, often placing the ball in his receivers’ wheel-house, giving them the best chance to make a play on the ball. Goff also excels in throwing receivers open on slants vs man coverage, displaying consistent run-after-catch ball placement.
Goff makes beautiful boundary throws at the 2nd level, and he hits his receivers in stride often enough on 3rd level throws: fades, go’s, posts and sluggo’s mostly. But, Goff had his share of misses on 3rd level throws as well, which was concerning enough to consider lowering his grade.
Goff doesn’t lack any confidence in his ability to crank 3rd level throws, so it’s only natural to spot some of his misses on tape. But, I saw a quarterback that just got better and better — from year 1, to year 3 — at 3rd level accuracy while at Cal, which is exactly what I wanted to see in his evaluation process.
His deep ball does lose significant steam as it travels though. I found a handful of deep passes diving on tape at around 40–50 yards: resulting in PBU’s, incompletions and INT’s. I’ve seen him miss both long and short on his deep ball — this is due to his lack of true arm strength.
Goff is especially precise and accurate with the ball when in the red-zone. He throws good back-shoulder fades, as well as good corner posts to the back pylon. He consistently identifies the one-on-one match-ups, and generally displays good ball placement and touch on these type of throws.
Goff is a deceptive athlete — one that has enough foot quickness when rolling to his right or left, displaying the accuracy and mechanics needed to hurt a defense when extending the play. Goff’s accuracy while moving is a major asset in his arsenal of tools.
Jared improved upon many aspects of his game during his three years at Cal. If I had to point to one thing that he improved upon the most, anticipation throwing is something that really shows up on tape. It all came together for Jared in 2015: anticipating his targets, throwing to a spot before a receiver was out of his break — that’s what Jared showed mastery in this year from my point of view. It’s just another mightily impressive area of his game.
I’m a firm believer that you only need so much arm strength to be a successful quarterback at the next level. And although Jared doesn’t have an exceptionally strong arm, his arm strength is good enough to make most throws at the pro level.
There’s a common misconception with the common fan when discussing arm strength. Most fans simply don’t realize the difference between velocity, and power.
Velocity is the speed at which the ball arrives at the intended target, whereas power is the ability to throw with velocity and distance. Jared has decent power, but he throws with really good velocity. He displays great zip on the ball, specifically on 1st and 2nd level throws in between the numbers.
Jared consistently demonstrates the ability to fit the ball into tight windows, thanks to his consistent mechanics.
I’ve heard several of analysts compare Goff to Aaron Rodgers, which is just an insult to Aaron, in my opinion. Rodgers has ELITE arm power. There isn’t a throw that Rodgers cannot make anywhere on the field, no matter the circumstance. His ball can cut through wind with rare speed and distance. Few in HISTORY can measure to Rodgers in that regard. If you’re more than just a football novice, then this isn’t news to you.
Though Goff has very good arm talent, he does not share the same gifted arm ability as his fellow Cal alumnus. Sorry — he just doesn’t. Again, a quarterback only needs so much arm power. And although he can’t recreate A-Rod’s Miracle in Motown Hail Mary, Goff can reach his target from 30–40 yards out, in stride…just as long as his feet are set and he isn’t rolling to his left — that’s where he struggled to generate power the most on film.
Will Jared display the confidence needed to challenge NFL corners and safeties with 3rd level throws? That’s a fair question to ask, given what we know. It’ll take some time. He has a lot to learn. But, much like Tom Brady, I believe that Jared can threaten the 3rd level of the field with his arm if the defense gives it to him. His next coach should not feel limited in asking him to throw the ball downfield.
And also like Brady, Goff is adept in the art of throwing with touch. Some throws require zip, while others require a bit more subtlety. Jared can vary speeds well. Occasionally Goff puts too much heat on some of the short touch throws: flares, hitches, drags, etc. It’s not an issue for Jared going forward, just an observation.
Jared Goff is a deceptive athlete. To be blunt about it, I could give two meaty shits about his 40-time. However, he did post a respectable 4.82 electronic timed average at his Combine run in February. Thats all fine and well, but where I’d really like to focus on regarding Jared’s athleticism is his play extension ability.
If one would like to make the A-Rod/Goff comparisons here, then I would still argue with you…but perhaps I just might be more willing to listen — at least this argument holds more weight. Goff isn’t going to win many races towards the first down marker on Sundays, but he’ll frustrate pass rushers often enough that he won’t be labeled just a “pocket quarterback”.
What excites me the most about Goff’s ability to extend the play, is his football instincts. He has an innate ability to feel defenders closing in. He isn’t Tony Romo, but I see some of that ability in Goff’s play extension. He has a coordinated spin that he times well, spinning away from the defenders momentum, leaving them off-balanced and grabbing air at times.
Goff displays good timing on his pocket movements as well, but his athleticism will be limited outside of the pocket at the next level. However, I don’t recognize a stubbornness or arrogance about him regarding his athleticism. He’s smart. He protects himself, as well as the football when he makes the decision to break the pocket and run. He’ll pick up what he can before sliding or getting out of bounds, which is all that you can really ask for in a quarterback.
So this is the portion of my scouting report that’s the most subjective. It’s fairly easy to judge physical attributes like arm strength and accuracy when evaluating a quarterback on film. No one confused Matt Ryan for Joe Flacco in the 2008 NFL Draft; there was a discernible difference in their arm strength. Like I said, that’s the easy part of evaluating.
Judging a college quarterback’s intangibles is more of an instinctual thing for a scout. And for an independent scout like myself (one who lacks resources and connections), I base everything that I learn off of what’s available to me — such as game-film cut ups (courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com), and the Google Search Engine.
Without either resource, my opinions would be merely guess-work. And while using Google searches to check the Goff temperature on the web, I commonly came across naysayers and doubters of his. I found those critiquing everything from Goff’s inability to win and his Air-Raid offense at Cal, to his lanky build and his weak arm.
Again, that’s the naysayers critique of him.
There’re many reasons why college quarterbacks fail to make a successful transition into the pros. Whether its physical, it’s mental, or it’s both, Qb prospects fail because they don’t add up enough in these two categories. I believe in Goff’s physical abilities. But it’s the mental side of things that scored the highest for Goff in my scouting report.
What Goff was able to accomplish in his three years at Cal is nothing short of impressive in my book. He and Sonny Dykes arrived at Berkeley with the great expectation of rebuilding the Cal program from the ground up — which isn’t a goal that you set to achieve in just one or two seasons. Not to mention he’s competing against upper echelon programs in the Pac-12, like Oregon and Stanford, who have superior recruiting ability when compared to the Cal program.
What I find to be true about Jared Goff is, what he may lack in physical attributes, he more than makes up for in-between the ears. Jared Goff is headstrong. Losing 11-games as a true freshman starting quarterback could’ve pulled him apart at the seams; it would’ve many young men in Jared’s shoes. But it didn’t. He hung in there and showed true grit from my point of view.
The Cal defense was historically bad — and not just from a university standpoint either. Here’s a breakdown of the Cal defense in the 3-year Goff regime:
» 2013 (1–11 record)
- Allowed the most yards in a single season in Division-1 history.
- Allowed an average of 45.9 pp/g — ranked 124th out of 128 FBS teams.
» 2014 (5–7 record)
- Allowed 42 pass td’s, and an avg of 367 pass yards per game — both ranked last in FBS.
- Allowed an average of 39.8 pp/g — ranked 123rd out of 128 FBS teams.
» 2015 (8–5 record, bowl eligible)
- Allowed 244 pass yards per game, and 210 rush yards per game — most in the Goff era.
- Allowed an average of 30.7 pp/g — ranked 89th out of 128 FBS teams.
In every game that I viewed, Cal’s defense was spotting points to the opposition early in games. In many of the games that I watched, Goff and the Cal offense was trailing by two or three touchdowns in the first half. A lot was put on Jared Goff’s plate during his three year run, and he was able to handle everything with the temperament and maturity of a seasoned pro.
Goff’s personal improvements in each of his three years at Cal cannot be ignored. As far as I’m concerned, he carried the program on his back. And when evaluating his level of intangibles, he shines in several of key areas.
Jared Goff comes from a good family with good parents that raised him right. He has a unique resource in the family that’s in his corner. His father Jerry was a professional baseball player for six seasons. He seems to be an incredible mentor to Jared, and a guiding light for him to lean on.
The one area in Jared’s profile that I raise an eyebrow to is his confidence level. I’m not saying that’s he’s lacking confidence by any means. In the National Football League, the perception is the reality in most cases. So I do wonder if Jared’s quiet on-field demeanor will be perceived as a lack of confidence by his professional teammates.
He’ll be surrounded by older alpha-males, so I do think that he’ll have an adjustment period early in his professional career. I liken him to Eli Manning in that way.
Goff seems to be a calm and quiet leader, one who lets his play do the talking for him. So, his play needs to speak with authority at the next level if he expects his teammates to follow him. And that’s exactly what I expect to happen. My overall concern level is: Eh.
I’m much higher on Jared Goff as a pro prospect than most scouts are. I like him more than I liked Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston at this point last year. I didn’t write a report on either player, and I don’t have grades on them to show for — so you’ll just have to take me on my word. But, I strongly believe that Jared is a bonafide Franchise Quarterback Prospect.
I’m not worried about the things that the Goff critics bring up, like his “small hands,” his “slight frame,” and the “shotgun offense” that he played in. The things that Goff does naturally well: the superb footwork, the quick release, the post-snap eye manipulation, the instincts and pocket awareness, the accuracy, etc, etc — these are things that can’t be taught. Jared Goff is coming in advanced in these critical areas of pro quarterback play.
Players don’t really change much from college, in my opinion — especially quarterbacks. Go to youtube and type in ‘2000 Orange Bowl: Michigan vs Alabama’. Watch Tom Brady back then (…or watch right here) and you’ll see that not much has changed about the way he plays the position today.
Sure…he’s worked on things. He certainly improved upon areas of his game: He’s in much better physical shape; He’s worked on his footwork; and he throws with more velocity when compared to his Michigan days.
But the decision-making, the accuracy, the touch and the mechanics — they’ve all remained unaltered.
Tom Brady is my player comparison for Jared Goff, but I want to make something clear: There is a difference between player comparisons and player projections.
Player comparisons — or player comps — is the most common method used by the scouts when gauging a college player’s pro potential. I used this method in my 2014 scouting reports. But, with a grading system now in place, I wanted to revamp my entire process. I now prefer to use the player projection method.
To me, the player comp thing is kind of nondescript. Its good to say that this Qb reminds you of that Qb, but we have a greater responsibility to the fan base as evaluators. You want to know what to expect from a Qb prospect when he becomes a member of your team. It doesn’t help you any if I were to tell you that so-and-so reminds me of Russell Wilson if he doesn’t have exemplary intangibles and characteristics in his report.
It was just two years ago when most scouts compared Johnny Manziel to Russell Wilson … see my point?
And that’s what the player projection is all about. It’s about being complete in the comparison process, from the personality traits to the arm talent. And although I see many similarities between Jared Goff and Tom Brady, I project Goff to follow an Eli Manning sort of path at the pro level.
Jared and Eli mirror each other quite a bit, in my opinion. They’re both quiet guys. I don’t know them personally, but they both give off this shy, reserved personality — but they’re not at all dicks. They’re both likable guys. They fit in well with others I believe. They don’t take themselves all that seriously. Having less to say is better than having too much to say in many cases — especially at the quarterback position.
Both guys come from good parents, and both have a father who played sports professionally. These are the ties that bind them from a character point of view.
They share physical similarities as well. Eli was more filled out than Jared by the time they each declared. Jared has added a lot of weight since his freshman year at Cal — roughly 30 pounds to be more specific. He has the frame to play heavier too. He can comfortably play at a 220–225 pound range, in due time.
They both share similar arm talent as well. Both lack a power arm, but they can fit a ball into a tight window; and they can both hurt you deep. They’re both accurate passers, displaying advanced ball placement more often than not.
They’re both cerebral quarterbacks. They both kill all different kinds of blitz pressures out of man coverage. I feel like both struggle at times diagnosing complex zone schemes in the post-snap phase — something Goff will improve on with further experience.
They both sometimes try to force the ball into coverage. It’s not a bad habit, just another observation on Goff coming from a pass-heavy scheme. And also like Eli, Goff has really good recall, displaying the ability to recognize and adjust to tells in coverage as the game progresses.
It’s hard to ignore the pocket similarities between Goff and Brady though. Eli climbs the pocket very well, but the manner in which Goff climbs the pocket is similar to Tom Brady. They both stay mechanically sound throughout the process, ready to delivery the ball quickly in the face of pressure. It doesn’t matter if the pressure’s coming from the outside, or it’s shooting through the B-gaps — they both stay ready to throw the football through clinical upper and lower body mechanics.
Overall, I really, really like Jared Goff. I see a young man that’s just coming into his own. He has a delightful personality, as well as the desire to learn and improve. He’s a great teammate, and he’s a very coachable kid. He’s football smart, and he has great playing instincts. He plays with an advanced understanding of the position. He goes through multiple progressions — three, sometimes four reads before coming back to his first read.
He looks off safeties and corners and he puts them in a conflict. He outsmarts defenders more often than not, then shreds them with his accuracy. His ball placement at times is absolutely special. His quick release will transfer over well into the league — and with NFL coaching, he’ll probably improve upon his release quickness.
But, the number one reason that I’m certain Jared Goff will go on to have a very good NFL career, is the way he responds to pressure. Whether in the pocket or supplied by the fan base, Jared Goff has faced and dealt with pressure and adversity — in fact, he’s lived in it for three years at Cal-Berkeley. He’s been tested by fire, and he’s responded well time and time again.
Jared Goff has passed all of my tests with flying colors, and I’m excited to see where he lands next.
I’m always of the belief that 1st year quarterbacks need to sit for at least half, if not their entire rookie season — especially if they were selected in the first round. Even with the rule changes, I just feel that its best for their long-term development to sit and learn in year one without the added pressure of win expectations.
I mean, they can start a handful of games near the end of the year, but having an organizational game plan is key — and that means having a few arms in the bullpen for year one. But, even if he sees the field early on, I think that Jared’s college experience has molded him well. He can handle adversity.
With coaching, personal development, and good organizational structure, the sky is the limit for Jared Goff — even if he lands with Chip Kelly.
What … too harsh?
» Side Note:
I’ve done my due diligence with the whole “small hands” issue.
I found the 2013 Cal at Oregon film, and I watched the entire 1st quarter — up until Goff was pulled from the game. To me, the hands were NOT the issue on that particular night. There was a nasty storm that roughed up the Pacific Northwest — four games in all were affected that week. There was heavy rain all night, coming from all directions, with swirling wind gusts as well.
This game marked Goff’s very 1st road game of his collegiate career. There were (7) SEVEN fumbles in the first quarter alone: (4) from Cal, and (3) from Oregon. Cal lost all four fumbles, while Oregon recovered all three of theirs. Oregon recovered all four fumbles inside of Cal territory, allowing for easy scores. Before Goff and the offense knew it, the game was out of hand. It would be highly unlikely that Goff were to play in such conditions again, in my opinion.
I don’t read into the Oregon game, not even a little bit. Jared Goff’s hands are just fine! Trust me on that.