With 17 days until the draft, it’s nit-picking time

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The draft will happen in little more than two weeks. For many, the draft boards are set, or damn close to it. So maybe it’s now officially nit-picking time.

That was the reaction during Monday’s PFT Live of Chris Simms to the assessment of Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen by former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who shared with Peter King of SI.com two specific critiques of Allen.

“There’s a couple of times on tape in a game where he’ll get up to the line of scrimmage and he’ll communicate with his offensive line,” Orlovsky said. “It looks like he’s changing your protection or setting your protection one way. . . . There’s a clip against Iowa where he changes a protection. The [weakside] linebacker blitzes and everybody runs hot and Josh Allen does not move till his third step of the drop. What were you thinking? What was going on? And that shows up way too much for me. And again, that stuff is not fixable. You think Dick LeBeau is easier to do it against? When he’s got Star Wars on the back end going on? . . . When the ball is snapped it’s almost like, I don’t know what’s going on. . . . It seems like he doesn’t have a plan and a process, and to get to the NFL level and to not be able to do the little things — if you can’t do the little things, you can’t do the big things. The little things are your plan and your process. The big things are executing against what happens. And so it just seems like he doesn’t have that as part of his DNA, as part of his quarterbacking. And that for me I go, ‘Well, what does it matter how big he is, how athletic he is if you could throw it to the moon, the field’s a hundred yards.’ To not be able to adjust or react to a [weakside] linebacker blitzing is alarming to me. Alarming.”

Simms pointed out that, without knowing what Allen said to his teammates and/or what Allen had been coached to do in those situations, it’s too hard to know exactly why things happened the way they appeared to be. As to Orlovsky’s other concern — that Allen stares down receivers — Simms seemed to give the issue more credence. But Simms pointed out that every incoming quarterback has flaws, and that he’ll need to be coached to iron out his flaws.

For Allen, it may be staring down a receiver. For each of the other top-tier quarterbacks, it’s something else. The challenge becomes figuring out who will overcome those deficiencies and become great players at the next level.

12 responses to “With 17 days until the draft, it’s nit-picking time

  1. QBs always have lower completion percentages in the NFL than in college. Allen’s college % would have made him #31 in the NFL last year. Remember – his NFL completion rate will be LOWER than it was in college.

  2. Orlovsky is right. While some fall in love with the physical attributes, they neglect the fact that the kid can’t play at a high level. He never has and expecting the light to go on at the pro level is how you wind up with a bust. Someone is going to take this guy in the top ten an pay dearly for it.

  3. I read this in King’s column today, and it struck me as really irresponsible journalism, if not downright awful. Why single out one of the QBs for this level of criticism, without any context? Without answering, how often was this a problem? Was it infrequent? How does it compare to the faults of the other QBs? How did the frequency compare? Are they really sure they’ve even correctly identified the issue?

    It’s basically a hit job on one young man, with no real reason. And King tends to not satisfactorily explain himself or give equal time when questioned – it’s one of his major faults as a writer – so there won’t be any repercussions for him.

    It seemed lazy and sloppy, and unfair. I’d say the same if it was any single QB hung out to dry this way, and with this little actual documentation for what’s being claimed.

  4. daysend564 says: “Simms and Orlovsky…those who can’t do, critique?”
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    Just because they didn’t have the physical skills to start as QB in the NFL doesn’t mean they don’t know intimately the traits necessary to succeed. They spent years as back up quarterbacks, meaning they logged thousands of hours in the QB room and helping their starters improve.

    In fact, many HC, OC and QB coaches were backup quarterback lifers (Doug Pederson, Frank Reich, Jason Garrett, Sean Payton, Gary Kubiak, Kellen Moore, etc.

  5. Didn’t Dan Orlovsky bootleg out the back of the end zone on a play during the Lions’ winless season? Should someone who showed that lack of awareness really be critiquing anyone else’s awareness?

  6. daysend564 says:
    Simms and Orlovsky…those who can’t do, critique?
    =============================================================

    What does their lack of success in the NFL have to do with their analysis? They both played football at the highest level and have been around football all their lives. Some posters think that you can only talk if you’re a hall of fame player. Then you get some people like Warren Sapp and Deion Sanders.

  7. If you need a laugh today, just read what the “expert evaluators” said about Terrell Davis (Hall of Fame), Tom Brady, and Antonio Brown, all 6th draft picks, prior to their respective drafts. If drafting was an exact science, this doesn’t happen. Not convinced, how about number 1 picks in their respective drafts like Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, and Tony Mandarich?

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