Friday, May 31, 2013

Updated Aaron Murray (QB Georgia) Scouting Report

By Justis Mosqueda

2009: Redshirted his first year at Georgia.
2010: He and Zach Mettenberger (now LSU's starting quarterback) battled for the starting spot before Mettenberger was kicked off the team. Murray was named to several freshman All-American teams after his 2010 season.
2011: In his second year as a starter, Murray earned 2nd team All-SEC behind Tyler Wilson (2013 Raiders 4th round pick).
2012: Had a slight slump in progression in 2012 and was named to several 3rd team All-SEC teams, behind the Heisman-winning Johnny "Football" Manziel and back to back National Champion, A.J. McCarron.
2013: Projected to start for his forth year. 

Aaron Murray is much smaller than the prototypical quarterback. He's listed as 6'1", but it wouldn't surprise anyone if he was measured in at 6'0". That is a problem, but it can be overcome. While I'm not willing to let it just slide, I don't think it carries as much weight as many think it does.

I don't really understand the Aaron Murray hype, to be honest. Gil Brandt and Tony Dungy both said he's their number one senior quarterback of the class. While I respect both of them, I don't agree.

Dungy even went on about Murray's work-ethic, saying it was Peyton-like. You can see it in some parts of Murray's game, like the play action. Murray has one of the best fake hand-offs outside of Denver, but selling the run alone does not make a quarterback.

Actually, for as efficient as Murray is (most TDs and least interceptions in the 2nd half of games in 2012, by QB's with 100+ passing attempts), he really looks like he's more comfortable outside of the pocket than inside of it. Murray played in a hybrid under-center/shotgun system, but when he took under-center snaps the PA and rollout game really helped him. He doesn't have the biggest arm and the rollout helps him gain momentum (power) to throw the deep ball. His non-rollout deep balls seemed to have too much air under them. His footwork gets out of whack when he's inside the pocket, too. Sometimes he doesn't get his feet reset quick enough, and ends up throwing off a back foot.

Aaron Murray is slightly athletic. Not the zone read type, but he's "functionally mobile". Unfortunately for him, he tucks the ball vs the rush like he's an elite athlete. He's not very good under pressure, and that's because he doesn't really get the ball off. Instead of throwing vs fewer men in coverage, he tucks the ball and often gets sacked. That leads me into another issue I have with Murray: he locks onto receivers. I know Dungy compared Murray to Peyton, but the way Murray reads defenses seems so far away from what Manning does I just can't buy it.

If you would have told me Murray has the most yards per drop back of any senior quarterback in the class, I wouldn't believe it. If you would have told me Murray had the most second half touchdowns of anyone in college football, I wouldn't believe it. If you would have told me Murray had the least second half interceptions for a quarterback with over 100 passes, I wouldn't believe it. That's just not his game, and I'm not sure how he's managed to put up those numbers in SEC play, to be totally honest. Part of that I chalk up to the talent around him. Guys like King, who didn't get hype until last year's Shrine Game, are rarely appreciated for the quality of work they put in during 2012. Murray is surrounded by solid skill players and linemen.

I took the liberty to chart a couple of Aaron Murray's games and refined numbers to get these charts:

Overall, Murray is just a quarterback that is average to slightly above average in about every category. He's got an okay arm, he's got okay accuracy, he's got okay feet, but he can't really read defenses well enough to take advantage of what they give him. If you're a 6'1"/6'0" quarterback in the SEC, you have to take everything that the defense gives you. He's just a quarterback that peaked early, won an SEC starting quarterback spot as a freshman, and has been riding on SEC hype since he won the starting job. I wouldn't touch him until Day 3, to be totally honest.

Justis Mosqueda's current 2013 quarterback rankings:
David Fales San Jose State 1st Round grade
A.J. McCarron Alabama Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Tajh Boyd Clemson Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Aaron Murray Georgia Day 3 grade
Logan Thomas Virginia Tech Day 3 grade

Justis Mosqueda is a Journalism student that writes for, and cuts videos of NFL Draft prospects for

You can follow Justis on Twitter:

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Comparing the Cowboys "Leaked" Big Board to the Packers 2013 Draft

By Justis Mosqueda

Today the guys at SBNation's Blogging the Boys released the "leaked" Cowboys big board, by piecing together parts of the sections that were seen by TV cameras. Here is the link:

I searched for the Packers players and this is what their grades were (in order which they were drafted by the Packers):

1 Datone Jones DE UCLA (3rd round pick)

2 Eddie Lacy RB Alabama (2nd round pick)

4 David Bakhtiari OT Colorado (4th round pick)

4 J.C. Tretter OG Cornell (UDFA)

5 Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA (5th round pick)

5 Micah Hyde CB Iowa (UDFA)

5 Josh Boyd DE Mississippi State (5th round pick)

6 Nate Palmer OLB Illinois State (UDFA)

7 Charles Johnson WR Grand Valley State (UDFA)

7 Kevin Dorsey WR Maryland (UDFA)

7 Sam Barrington ILB South Florida (5th round pick)

So out of all 11 Packers picks, the only "value pick" the Packers made in April (judging by the Cowboys board) was Sam Barrington in the late seventh round. Jerry Jones's board even had Datone Jones, a player who was considered a steal at #26, as a third round pick. Jerry Jones wouldn't have even spent picks on J.C. Tretter, Micah Hyde, Nate Palmer, Charles Johnson, or Kevin Dorsey.

Days like today make me thankful Jerry Jones doesn't run my team. In Ted We Trust.

Justis Mosqueda is a Journalism student that writes for, and cuts videos of NFL Draft prospects for

You can follow Justis on Twitter:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Updated Tajh Boyd (QB Clemson) Scouting Report

By Justis Mosqueda

2009: Redshirted his first year at Clemson.
2010: Lost out the starting QB battle to Kyle Parker, also a redshirt freshman, who broke several freshman records for Clemson. Clemson's staff still really like Boyd and had him pretty active for a #2 QB.
2011: Kyle Parker was drafted #26 overall in the MLB Draft after his freshman season, so he left. Boyd took over as the starter for the first time and earned 1st team ACC honors.
2012: In his second year as a starter for Clemson he earned his second 1st team ACC honor.
2013: Projected to start for his third year.

The biggest thing that stands out to me based on his metrics is how much he gets sacks. While he is a thicker quarterback, he shouldn't be taking so many hits. When you watch Clemson you will see them using him in another unconventional way: running right up the middle. They run the inline zone read in a way that will have him take the ball, instead of handing off to the slot receiver that's "jetting", and ram it up the middle of the line. We have seen what quarterbacks like Russell Wilson can do at the next level, but he's not taking that many hits. Actually, no one really is. To put it in perspective I counted rush attempts and sacks over the careers of each of the quarterbacks drafted in the 2013 Draft. While not every attempt is a hit (could be a kneel down or slide) and there are hits that don't register on the stat sheet (hits when a quarterback got the ball away), it's the easiest way to get everyone on an even-ish field.

Tajh Boyd already has more rushing attempts than nine of the eleven quarterbacks who got drafted in 2013. If Boyd continues to run the ball like he has the past two years he will pass Zac Dysert (Broncos 7th round pick), leaving B.J. Daniels (49ers 7th round pick) the only "quarterback" who rushed more than he did in college. I use the term "quarterback" loosely, because Daniels is a quarterback/running back hybrid that will most likely not be spending his NFL tenure throwing the football.

Boyd's sack numbers are middle of the pack compared to the 2013 class, but he's still got a year to go. If he gets sacks 31 times (like he has the past two years), then he should be at 98. That would leave him tied with Brad Sorensen (Chargers 7th round pick) and behind Zac Dysert.

Part of Boyd's sack problem is that he holds the ball too long. Take this play for example:

He's Boyd before the play, only four players looked like they are blitzing.

The left end gets loose, but he's got time to make the pass. Boyd is staring at the linebacker, who is forced to freeze, while his tight end gets open to the left.

He looks quickly at his tight end, but his eyes drop to the pass rush. His tight end is still free in the open, but he's too focused on the rush to do anything. He ends up taking a sack here, instead of throwing it to the open man.

Another good example of this comes near the end of the LSU game:

Boyd rolled right on a goal line down, with his tight and wide receiver in scoring position. LSU's linebacker messed up by turning his back, basically taking him out of position to make a play right away, if Boyd makes the pass before he catches up. That leaves a single defensive back to cover two potential touchdown scorers. With an unblocked defender rushing Boyd, he needed to make a decision quickly.

Instead of making a decision quickly, Boyd rolled out 7-8 more yards and one hopped the ball to the endzone as the rusher got to him.

I actually rarely saw a deep ball by Boyd that was not either 1) overthrown by a good amount or 2) held too long which forced the target to make it a "moment of truth" "50/50" ball.

Here's some of the overthrows in the LSU game:

He had a lot of skill position talent around that helped make up those poor deep balls by winning "50/50" jump balls.

One thing he does well, though, is get the ball out in medium/short range passes. He's got the velocity and accuracy to hit all those screens, bubbles, and slants that Clemson runs so much. Unfortunately for him, the NFL's lineman can't be down-field, even if a pass is behind the line of scrimmage, which means those throws are much rarer on the next level. His arm strength is on par with his accuracy, but his trigger on the deep ball is out-of-whack.

For reference here are Tajh Boyd's passing charts from games provided by

They totaled up to this chart:

Using "advanced metrics" we can breakdown his comp %, YPA, and usage rate in each of those sections on the field:

A lot of people are comparing Boyd to Wilson, but I just don't see it. Is Boyd a small, stocky quarterback that is elusive with the ball in his hands? Yes, but I'd have Wilson a notch better in that category and in almost every passing category coming out of college. If Russell Wilson got drafted in the third round, what makes us think Boyd will get drafted higher than him?

Boyd is an exciting passer that evades rushers by stepping up in the pocket or simply outrunning them. He throws hard, but doesn't always have the best timing, which leads his targets to make the play. He runs the zone read out of the pistol, which are quickly becoming the newest trends in the NFL. So did Matt Scott. Undrafted free agent, Matt Scott. I understand all of that will excite people when they watch Boyd, but he still holds the ball too long and isn't very good deep.

Overall he's not a bad quarterback prospect, but he's far from the first rounder some are projecting him as. I'd take him as a very late Day 2, most likely Day 3 project quarterback that needs time to refine his ability. Russell Wilson got picked 75th overall. I'm going to go on record saying Boyd gets drafted after #75 in the 2014 NFL Draft. Boyd losing his starting running back and a starting receiver won't help his stock.

Justis Mosqueda's current 2013 quarterback rankings:
David Fales San Jose State 1st Round grade
A.J. McCarron Alabama Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Tajh Boyd Clemson Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Aaron Murray Georgia Day 3 grade
Logan Thomas Virginia Tech Day 3 grade

Justis Mosqueda is a Journalism student that writes for, and cuts videos of NFL Draft prospects for

You can follow Justis on Twitter:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Updated David Fales (QB San Jose) Scouting Report

By Justis Mosqueda

2009: Redshirted his freshman season at Nevada behind Colin Kaepernick (49ers 2nd round pick).
2010: Transferred from Nevada due to their option offense. Started his redshirt freshman year at Monterey Peninsula College under a former Michigan State quarterback.
2011: After spending the Summer classes at the University of Wyoming, Fales left his non-scholarship spot that was offered to go back to Monterey Peninsula College.
2012: After Tate Forcier made it known that he wasn't going to be at San Jose State for the 2012 season, the school offered David Fales and Ryan Katz (a Oregon State transfer who ended up at San Diego State, now a UDFA with the Denver Broncos). He was voted 2nd Team WAC behind Colby Cameron (Panthers UDFA) and Chuckie Keeton (Utah State QB) during his first year with the San Jose State.
2013: Projected to start his second year with the Spartans, his forth in total.

Fales two biggest issues are, and will be, two things he can't control: his height and the quality of his opponents.

While San Jose State's website lists Fales as a 6'3" quarterback, his former head coach, Mike MacIntyre, said he's 6'2" in an interview since becoming the head coach of Colorado. When watching Fales, it looks like he actually may be closer to 6'1" than 6'3". It wouldn't shock me to see him measured in the 6016 range come combine time. His height is virtually a non-issue in San Jose State's hybrid shotgun/pistol/under-center offense, though. In the five games I watched of him prior to writing this, only two passes were batted down in total. One was on a screen, the other on a corner blitz.

As for his strength of schedule, you have to take it for what it is. Last season, Fales opened up against Stanford (the Rose Bowl Champions) and completed almost 70% of his passes against a very tough secondary. Over the course of the same season he faced UC Davis (FCS), UTSA (just made the FBS jump), Texas State (just made the FBS jump), and Idaho (is making the move down to FCS). With San Jose State making the move from the WAC to the Mountain West next season, I expect the quality of his competition to go up. While the Mountain West isn't a BCS conference, there are still plenty of good teams for the Spartans and Fales to play. Fresno State, Minnesota, and Hawaii were the 5th, 11th, and 14th best defenses against the pass per game in 2012. This isn't including Stanford, who they face in Week 2. Don't fret, Fales will be playing against plenty of quality opponents in 2013.

Outside of those two setbacks, there is very little to complain about Fales's game. He doesn't have the biggest arm, but he's got good zip, and he's great between 10-20 yards. Most passes in the NFL aren't 53 yard passes, contrary to popular belief.

After charting his passes in the Stanford, BYU, Louisiana Tech, and Bowling Green games (146 total passes) these were the results:

I should also note that the interception in the Stanford game was when SJSU was down, on 4th and 10, with less than a minute left.

Looking into the number more deeply, I cranked out these stats. The first is a breakdown of pass comp % and yards per attempt, the second is usage rate (as in how often he went to that area of the field:

He's shown that he's an accurate passer. He's athletic enough to gain yards or escape the rush with his legs, if needed. He hits his guys in stride or even throws them open. Combining all of that with very, very nice footwork and you have the potential 1st round pick that Fales is.

If there was another knock for me to have on Fales it would be that he's a little too confident in his throws. Some of his passes he throws into very small windows, but he makes more completions off of those throws than a majority of quarterbacks do. The reason for this is his ridiculous ability of ball placement. He just puts the ball in places where his receiver has the ability to go up and grab it, but the defender is just out of range, or has their back turned.

Here are some examples:

This next play is not only a testament to his ball placement, but his arm strength, too. Fales throws this ball with his back foot and the ball near the 10 yard line.

He throws it with enough zip to catch his target in stride almost 50 yards from where he threw it.

Here's another angle so that you could see more clearly that he's on the 10.

And here's another angle showing the target catching the ball in stride.

For fun I took more screen caps of great ball placement from Fales from the same game against Colorado State.

But like I said, sometimes he's a little too confident. His receiver got both hands on the ball on the next play, but there was no reason to throw it into triple-coverage.

Those type of passes might be fine against WAC opponents, but NFL defenses will eat someone up that makes decisions like that. Fales needs to work on that more than anything in 2013.

Another reason NFL teams might fall in love with Fales is his scheme versatility. While he did leave Nevada for this reason, he played in a pistol read system that is becoming more popular. At the JuCo he transferred to, he played in more of a pro system under a head coach that was a former BCS-conference quarterback. At San Jose State he played in various formations, including under-center, in the shotgun, and in the pistol.

While his former SJSU head coach compared him to Eli Manning, who he also coached, many people (including myself) like the Matt Ryan comparison more. Much like Ryan, Fales has taken his program to a whole new level. Since Fales enrolled at Nevada in 2009, the Spatans have gone 2-10, 1-12, 5-7, and 11-2. In his one year with San Jose State he helped the team win three more games than the other three years combined. Hopefully Ron Caragher from San Diego (who stepped in as the head coach after Jim Harbaugh left) taking the reins of the program doesn't change much for Fales in 2013.

Justis Mosqueda's current 2013 quarterback rankings:
David Fales San Jose State 1st Round grade
A.J. McCarron Alabama Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Tajh Boyd Clemson Late Day 2/Day 3 grade
Aaron Murray Georgia Day 3 grade
Logan Thomas Virginia Tech Day 3 grade

Justis Mosqueda is a Journalism student that writes for, and cuts videos of NFL Draft prospects for

You can follow Justis on Twitter: