Jacob Eason Likely A Long-Term Backup (2020 NFL Draft)
Jacob Eason, Washington
Weight: 231 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.89 seconds
Hand Size: 9.5 inches
There are quite a few quarterbacks being thrown into the first-round conversation this year, though Eason isn’t one of them. He’s in the second tier of quarterbacks expected to come off the board, and with not very many voids out there at quarterback, he could fall further than anticipated.
After starting for Georgia as a freshman, Eason transferred to Washington in 2018 after losing his job to Jake Fromm (due to a knee injury in 2017). He was forced to sit out 2018 due to NCAA eligibility rules but did return in 2019 to compile 3,132 yards and 23 touchdowns over 13 games, completing 64.2 percent of his passes in his first season there.
Here’s my detailed scouting report on Jacob Eason (ratings out of five stars):
Arm Strength/Throwing Mechanics
He’s a pocket passer who has an above average arm, though it’s nothing out of this world. He’s picturesque when he stands tall in the pocket and delivers the ball, though he’s not consistent in his delivery, often throwing flat-footed or off his back foot. It all comes down to him trusting his arm too much, something that even quarterbacks with elite arms can’t get away with.
RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
He was afforded a lot of time to pass behind his offensive line and it allowed him to wait until his first or second read got open. When throwing from a clean pocket, everyone should be able to hit their throws, and he does that. He also displays the ability to throw a touch pass over a defender while not under duress. His accuracy declines greatly when he’s pressured, as his mechanics go to extremely bad. He also loses all sense of touch, throwing the ball with full force no matter the length of the pass.
RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2
He’s a pocket passer and won’t be running the ball often. Even at a young age, he doesn’t offer the mobility to extend plays very much. No one is drafting him for his mobility.
He needs to keep his feet moving while in the pocket, as I watched him throw while flat-footed on multiple occasions. He senses pressure extremely quickly, almost too fast, leads to poor mechanics and decisions. If he’s given a sturdy offensive line, this won’t seem like a problem, but if he lands on a team with a shoddy offensive line, he’s in trouble.
Will have his mind made up where the ball is going most of the time, which will get him into trouble, as it often leads to him throwing into tight windows. Those windows close much faster in the NFL, so he’ll need to learn to hold onto some of those are go through his progressions. His offensive line gave him plenty of time, but you could tell he looked uncomfortable when forced to look past his first or second option. He’ll also miss safeties coming across the field when he stares down his primary target. His vision of the field is likely the worst part of his game.
RATING: ⭐ 1/2
He doesn’t throw with anticipation but rather waits until his receiver makes his break. His receivers didn’t help him much and it’s worth noting he only worked with them for one year. He does a good job of trying to throw away from the defender who’s covering his receiver, though it sometimes leads his receivers into a bad spot with a crossing safety/linebacker.
RATING: ⭐⭐ 1/2
Projected Draft Spot
While watching the film on Eason, I came away thinking he’s going to be an NFL backup. There’s nothing I watched that screamed he was above average in any area outside of arm strength. He belongs in a west coast offense that doesn’t require him to hold onto the ball very long. When he delivers the ball in rhythm, it’ll have some teams wondering what could be with some development, which leads me to believe he’ll come off the board in the third-round. The Steelers are a team that could make sense, as Ben Roethlisberger may not play much longer.
With his arm strength, you can compare him to someone like Ryan Mallett, the former NFL player who didn’t last long in the league despite having a cannon for an arm. He was another quarterback with great size for the position and it made multiple NFL teams take a shot on him as a backup, though it ultimately didn’t pan out for him in the NFL. Eason should hope to survive as a backup to start his career and grow into an eventual starter.
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