Jimmy Garoppolo   QB   Eastern Illinois

TALENT BOARD ROUND 1

STRENGTHS
Jimmy has everything you look for in a starting quarterback for the next level. He has excellent mechanics when he throws the ball, a quick, compact release along with the size, athleticism and arm strength to be very successful at the next level. He can make all the throws for the next level with good velocity, which will make the cold weather teams very interested in adding him to their rosters. That makes selecting Jimmy an interest for all 32 teams. Because of his excellent mechanics, he shows the accuracy that separates the potential starting quarterbacks from the potential backup quarterbacks in a draft. He has excellent athleticism to play in any style of offense and shows solid leadership skills along with a very good work ethic to improve quickly at the next level for the team that selects him. Jimmy throws with terrific balance from the pocket and when he has a clean pocket, he can pick you apart short or deep, which means he has the potential to be a franchise throwing quarterback.

CONCERNS
Right now, Jimmy is a product of excellent coaching and play calling that gets him out of trouble when his team hits adversity. He struggles with pressure which disrupts his ability to perform. However he shows the mental strength to fight it and eventually make plays without a strong running game to bail him out. When Jimmy is under a lot of pressure his coaches start to call wide receiver screens to take the pressure off of Jimmy. The problem with those calls is that when he throws quickly to the sidelines, he throws side arm like a shortstop playing baseball. The key question is, does Jimmy have the mental stamina and work ethic to be successful and overcome his weaknesses? I think he does.

BOTTOM LINE
All quarterbacks coming out in the draft have to get used to the speed of the game at the next level so Iím not that concerned about the level of competition. The questions about Jimmy for me are: Is he just a product of excellent coaching and play calling? Can he stand in the pocket (with pressure) at the NFL level and make the franchise throw that will move the chains or score a touchdown in the red zone when his team is under duress? The next question is: Does Jimmy have the ability to make throws that open up the running game or is he a quarterback that needs a good running game to open up the passing game? I think Jimmy has the potential to be a starting quarterback at the next level. Now that I have said that, with the new CBA, I want a contract that gives me the time to see if Jimmyís character and intangibles match his talent. I know that Jimmy can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. If Iím a team with multiple picks in the first round or Iím a playoff team with an aging quarterback, it would be foolish for me not to consider Jimmy in the first round because of the 1st round 5 year option contract. Jimmy has everything you look for in a potential starting quarterback. Suggesting the competition level is the reason for not drafting him in the first seems like a weak excuse to me. The Ravensí Joe Flacco was the 18th pick of the 2008 draft out of Delaware and no one cared about the level of competition then. The Steelers Big Ben was the 11th pick of the 2004 draft from Miami (Ohio) and no one cared about the level of competition at that time either. So why use it as an excuse now? Jimmy either has the talent or he doesnít, but being afraid to say what you think because of the competition level is BS. If Jimmy is not drafted in the 1st round, I suspect some team will move up in the 2nd round to draft him and that means they are paying more in value than if they just drafted him in the first round, which wouldnít make much sense to me.

Drew Boylhart
FEB/2014