Rookie Scouting Report: Quarterback Will Grier
Will Grier, West Virginia
Weight: 217 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.84 seconds
Hand Size: 9.4 inches
When most talk about the 2019 class of quarterbacks, they’re often limited to Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, and Drew Lock, but should Grier be in the conversation? He’s got a resume that’s similar to that of Lock, which is longer than both Murray and Haskins. He’s another traditional quarterback who’s not going to do much for you on the ground, though he often thinks he can.
While at West Virginia (went to Florida his freshman year), Grier started 22 games, posted a 65.7 percent completion rate, 9.4 yards per attempt, and 71 touchdowns compared to 20 interceptions. His 2018 season was easily his best to date, though, as he averaged 9.7 yards per attempt while throwing 37 touchdowns to just eight interceptions. It’s also worth noting that of those eight interceptions, three of them came in one game against Kansas (could have simply been a bad game), so he was much better at taking care of the football than he’d been in past years. There was also just one game all season where he completed less than 63.0 percent of his passes, so he was consistent, too.
Arm Strength/Throwing Mechanics: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Doesn’t have a strong arm, labors to get the ball across the field or to the sideline. His arm strength will limit the ceiling he’s able to reach, as there’s just not enough velocity on the ball. His mechanics are good when throwing in rhythm, so it’s not that he’s not stepping into his throws that’s causing his weak velocity.
Accuracy: 3.5 out of 5 stars
He has very good touch on his passes, which is good considering his lack of arm strength. His accuracy is much better on timing routes than it is on improvisational routes. When there’s an area of the field he’s supposed to throw to, whether it be a back-shoulder throw, slant route, or a deep ball along the sideline, his accuracy is above average.
Mobility: 1.0 out of 5 stars
He’s not fast, and he likely knows that, but he also thinks he’s faster than he is. You continually watch him try to scramble away from pressure, sometimes running back 10-plus yards, only to get caught from behind and tackled for a big loss. Most pocket passers understand their limitations and know when it’s time to concede, but Grier hasn’t learned that yet. He’s someone who actually costs his team yards with his lack of mobility and mindset that he can get away from defenders. This is the worst part of his game.
Pocket Awareness: 2.0 out of 5 stars
This ties in with his mobility score because he needs to be more aware of what he’s able/not able to do. He senses pressure and rarely gets cracked without knowing it, but he’s too slow to beat the pressure when scrambling. He needs to work on stepping into a pocket and side-stepping pressure when it’s on just one of his sides. There were plenty of times when the rusher was coming right at him, which is nearly impossible to escape, but he’d try running backwards and wind up losing a ton of yardage. Coaches in the NFL are not going to allow him to play if he continues to do that. Even at the end of the game versus Iowa State, he had three defenders squarely in front of him, yet he turned backwards and took a safety because of it. He does feel the pressure, so his awareness is there, but he doesn’t manage it well at all.
Vision/Decision-Making: 1.5 out of 5 stars
It’s a thing of beauty when you see Grier hit the top of his drop, set his feet and throw in rhythm. That’s when you see him play his best football. When the play breaks down and he’s forced to scramble, that’s when things go off the rails. Once he moves out of the pocket, his decision-making is poor, as he’ll throw into double- and triple-coverage at times. He’ll look down the field before checking down, but he’ll often stare down his receiver, making it obvious where he’s looking to go. There were times he’d look off a safety, but it wasn’t often enough. His decision-making needs to improve over time, especially when he’s forced to improvise.
Anticipation: 2.5 out of 5 stars
He’s not so much an anticipatory thrower, but rather one who throws right at the break in a route. He’s not as bad as some and doesn’t always need to see the man wide open before throwing, but he’s still more of a timed route guy. When looking at a zone defense, he does well timing his throws and putting them into tight windows.
Potential Landing Spot
Everyone and their grandmother knows that this is one of the weaker quarterback classes in some time, but there’s still a craving for them in the NFL, especially when you have someone with the accuracy of Grier when throwing in-sync. He’s not likely going to cost a first-round pick, so there’s many more possibilities for a team to snag him. One team that could be a possibility is the Patriots, as they still need Tom Brady‘s replacement, and if they were able to land Grier at the end of the second round, it wouldn’t handicap their franchise if he didn’t pan out. The Bengals are another team to watch in the Grier sweepstakes.
It’s tough coming up with a comparison to a player you don’t view as a starter in the NFL right now, but if required to pick one, I’d go with someone like Andy Dalton. They can throw to a target when they have a clean pocket, but all things go south once they’re forced to scramble. Dalton is definitely a capable NFL quarterback, but he probably shouldn’t have been a long-time NFL starter and trusted as a franchise’s build-around piece. Both he and Grier can likely be good enough with a solid offensive coordinator, they can also burn without one. Grier is likely going to be a backup upon entering the league.