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2024 NFL Draft Senior Bowl Primer: Quarterbacks (Fantasy Football)

2024 NFL Draft Senior Bowl Primer: Quarterbacks (Fantasy Football)

NFL Draft SZN is here, baby!

The flagship event that signals the kickoff for prospect season is back. The Reese’s Senior Bowl cranks up with practice sessions starting on January 30th. We’ll be bringing you a TON of content all week at FantasyPros with daily practice recap live streams on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube and written content.

Welcome to the QB Primer, which covers every quarterback prospect that will be at this year’s Senior Bowl. Dynasty rookie draft season is here, too. Let’s dive into these prospects.

2024 NFL Draft Senior Bowl Primer: Quarterbacks

Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 6th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 39th
    • Yards per attempt: 18th
    • Big-time throw rate: 10th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 19th
    • Deep throw rate: 38th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 77th
    • Pressured rate: 115th
  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 10th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 46th
    • Yards per attempt: 31st
    • Big-time throw rate: 57th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 76th
    • Deep throw rate: 69th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 101st
    • Pressured rate: 137th

Scouting report:

  • Penix has good zip on the ball. He’s a max effort thrower and tosses the pigskin like a shot put. In a clean pocket, he can put some nice second-level and layered throws on tape. He doesn’t have any noticeable dropoff in his accuracy or ball placement when throwing on the move.
  • He has pretty good ball placement, but it can be inconsistent. He limits YAC opportunities for his wide receivers on some reps as he delivers a catchable ball, but it’s not in stride with his receivers as they are left waiting on the ball.
  • Penix feels a tick behind on plenty of plays. There are too many instances of him holding the ball on film and missing a receiver running open only to deliver the ball after a corner is closing in. He’s very much a see-it throw-it quarterback at this juncture, as there aren’t enough instances of him throwing with anticipation. His receivers will be at the top of their stem, and the ball should come out, but he’ll hold it until they have cleared a corner.
  • Too often, Penix locks on his first read. While there are a ton of plays where he gets the ball out quickly, those plays, in many instances, are scripted plays or wide receiver screens. When his first read is covered, Penix tends to force the ball to his receiver anyway. There’s plenty to be said for tossing it up and expecting his receivers to win 50/50 balls, but this is more than that. He gets hyper-focused on his first reads and stares them down from the moment the ball is snapped.
  • Penix too often leaves yards on the field. He shies away from using the middle of the field and, many times, won’t see a receiver streaking wide open on a slant or crosser until they cross his face.
  • Penix has decent pocket presence. He’ll roll out to avoid pressure, but rarely will you see him hang in and climb the pocket. He has no issues hanging in versus pressure, though, and taking a big hit to deliver the ball to his receiver. Overall, he feels a tick slow to feel pressure or the pass rush.

Player Comp: A Poor man’s Philip Rivers

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Bo Nix (Oregon)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 1st
    • Adjusted completion rate: 1st
    • Yards per attempt: 5th
    • Big-time throw rate: 78th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 4th
    • Deep throw rate: 12th-lowest
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 1st
    • Pressured rate: the lowest in FBS (15.9%)
  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 35th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 2nd
    • Yards per attempt: 12th
    • Big-time throw rate: 89th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 4th
    • Deep throw rate: 21st-lowest
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 4th
    • Pressured rate: 4th-lowest

Scouting report:

  • The Oregon offense was tailored to get the ball out of Nix’s hands quickly. The backbone of the offense is based on screens and quick passing. In 2023, Nix had the fourth-lowest aDOT, the ninth-lowest time to throw and the ninth-highest screen rate while leading FBS in screen passing yards. This makes evaluating him for the NFL somewhat challenging. Some of these elements have bled into the NFL game but Oregon had them ramped up to 11.
  • Nix displays good mobility and accuracy while throwing on the run. He has good zip on short and intermediate passes even when throwing off platform. He wasn’t asked to go deep often with only 10.9% of his attempts 20 or more yards downfield. Last year 66.7% of his passing attempts where aimed within nine yards of the line of scrimmage with also 27.0% of his attempts behind the line of scrimmage. He has the arm strength to make all of the throws and while his ball placement on deep tosses is ok, it’s not mind melting.
  • Nix stares down his first reads religiously. If his first read is covered it becomes an adventure. In many instances he will immediately go to his check down option or scramble. Nix will drift and roll out from clean pockets at times. His processing and ability to navigate pressure in the NFL are big questions.

Player Comp: Jake Plummer

Joe Milton III (Tennessee)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 64th
    • Adjusted completion rate:
    • Yards per attempt: 50th
    • Big-time throw rate: 106th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 25th-lowest
    • Deep throw rate: 53rd
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 124th
    • Pressured rate: 9th-lowest

Scouting report:

  • Milton has a cannon. He has easy velocity all day. When he’s on, he can put some wow throws on tape. His unwavering belief in his arm can get him into trouble sometimes, though. He has plenty of throws on film where he will force throws and attempt to put the ball in spots he shouldn’t, whether it’s a player in tight coverage or with a defender bearing down on him.
  • The Tennessee offense is like many others in college, with plenty of quick passing to a first read. Milton, like many other passers, tends to lock onto that first read, staring them down lovingly. Milton misses plenty of receivers running wide open that might be the second or third read in a progression. When his first read is taken away, many times, his only outs are to force the ball to that player, take the check-down, or take off running.
  • Milton won’t be a rushing threat in the NFL. He’s a linear runner with below-average speed and limited tackle-breaking ability.
  • Milton throws with anticipation with some reps, but largely, he’s a see-it-throw-it quarterback. His trigger needs to be improved, as it can be a tick behind at times.

Player Comp: Josh Freeman

Spencer Rattler (South Carolina)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 58th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 7th
    • Yards per attempt: 50th
    • Big-time throw rate: 117th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 16th
    • Deep throw rate: 7th-lowest
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 19th
    • Pressured rate: 29th

Scouting report:

  • When Rattler is on, he looks like a legit starting NFL quarterback. He has easy velocity on throws, can hit all three levels, will layer some nice throws against zone and pinpoint some wonderful boundary shots. A worry with Rattler, though, is consistency. He has plenty of YOLO throws and spotty decision-making moments on film, too, where you’ll be left wondering, “What the hell was he thinking?” Consistency for Rattler has to continue to improve.
  • Rattler has good pocket maneuverability. He can throw on the run without losing accuracy, but when he’s pressured, his footwork can lapse and you’ll see him sail some throws. He’s also late to feel the rush at times, which has gotten him blown apart by rushers.
  • Rattler was tasked with half-field reads on many plays. He’s quick to move from his first read to the next, but again, consistency can be an issue; he’ll hang on to his first option for too long and rush his progression on other snaps. Again, when he’s on, he looks like he can be an average to above-average starter in the NFL.

Player Comp: Quincy Carter

Michael Pratt (Tulane)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 52nd
    • Adjusted completion rate: 44th
    • Yards per attempt: 29th
    • Big-time throw rate: 15th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 36th
    • Deep throw rate: 34th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 14th
    • Pressured rate: 88th

Scouting report:

  • Pratt has quiet feet in the pocket. He’a a pure pocket passer who ran some at Tulane, but he doesn’t have the dynamism in the open field for that to translate to the NFL. Pratt has an easy delivery that can get long at times.
  • He has adequate enough arm strength to make every NFL throw, but he’ll never be confused with having an elite cannon attached to his body. He can layer throws over defenders heads but there aren’t a ton of “WOW” throws on him resume. Pratt’s ball placement when working the middle of the field with crossers, etc. is better than when he’s chucking go balls on the perimeter. His ball placement and touch are adequate but not elite.

Player Comp: Matt Cassel

Sam Hartman (Notre Dame)

Stats:

  • 2022 (minimum 150 dropbacks)
    • PFF passing grade: 29th
    • Adjusted completion rate: 52nd
    • Yards per attempt: 18th
    • Big-time throw rate: 8th
  • Deep passing (minimum 20 deep passing attempts)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 35th
    • Deep throw rate: 34th
  • Pressured passing (minimum 50 pressured dropbacks)
    • Adjusted completion rate: 72nd
    • Pressured rate: 39th

Scouting report:

  • Hartman should carve out a solid career as a backup option. Hartman is a good processor that makes sound decisions with a clean pocket. He delivers a good catchable ball, but he lacks elite arm strength. He can make all the throws necessary. Hartman isn’t afraid to toss it up for his guy to go win at the catch point at times.
  • He can get rattled by pressure at times looking to get rid of the ball at the first sniff of a pass rush. Hartman will rush some throws as the pocket collapses around him. His footwork in these situations can wane which leads to accuracy problems.

Player Comp: Case Keenum

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