Jake Coker   QB   Alabama

Jake is the type of quarterback who hasn’t reached his full potential at the college level which means he has a ways to go to reach his potential at the next level. Here’s the catch, in my opinion: Jake’s potential is not just as a starting quarterback in the NFL -- he has franchise quarterback potential for the NFL. He has a strong arm and throws the ball with what I call “easy and catchable” velocity. He is a talented athlete and stands strong in the pocket in the face of pressure. He has athletic quickness and feet to slide in the pocket and extend plays. He is physically solid and strong with the ability to run for first downs easily. Jake is football smart, coachable and has a burning desire to win games in any way he can, which shows up in big games. That’s right, you heard me: Jake is a “big game” quarterback. That means he shines when the pressure is on and he is able to perform better when the game is on the line. I think that’s Jake’s best attribute that he will bring with him to the next level.

Confidence, confidence, confidence -- that is what Jake lacks more than anything else. Once he discovers that confidence that is lying dormant within him, I believe we will see a quarterback who has the same talent as former Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck. Jake does a good job following instead of leading, but there were times in almost every game he played in this year that I saw leadership sneaking out in one form or another.

The first time I saw Jake play this year, I could not believe how much he reminded me of Andrew Luck. He plays in the same style of offense as Andrew did in college with the same size, arm strength and overall exceptional athletic talent. The difference was that Jake‘s talent as a quarterback never showed up in any game until he was pushed into an emotional corner by the coaches to produce. Even in the bowl games, Jake would wait to come out of his cocoon to perform. Some of this has to do with the style of offense and the talented players around him. Some of this has to do with Jake’s lack of repetitions and experience as a starting quarterback and some of this has to do with a lack of confidence and the fear of making a mistake that his coaches at Alabama have. But none of it has to do with the talent needed to play the quarterback position at a very high level mentally and physically when it is required for Jake to perform. He did it every time when pushed into that corner and did it without fear that he would make a mistake. He did it with good football intelligence and making excellent decisions in the passing game. Jake is a big game quarterback and some quarterback-needy team like the Patriots, Cardinals, Cowboys, Broncos, Bears, or any team who has the ability to let Jake sit for a year or two will then see that he will be as good as any quarterback in the NFL. It will just take building his confidence and pulling out those leadership qualities that so far have been muted. Jake is my sleeper quarterback for this draft-- hiding in plain sight, but one who has played in a big time program that no one is noticing. No one but me, that is.

Drew Boylhart  JAN.2016