College: N.C. State
Weight: 208 lbs
Injury History: 2016: Concussion (No Missed Time)
Games Evaluated: 2018: Clemson, Boston College, FSU, Marshall, Georgia St.
Scout: Alexander Amir
Nothing particularly special about his athleticism. Can roll out and has decent pocket mobility, but won't make much of a mark when rushing. Balance isn't bad when throwing on the run and good when dropping back.
Pretty good flexibility in his arm, shoulder, and hips when throwing on the run. Doesn't rotate his hips enough when passing from the pocket, but that doesn't seem to be due to a lack of flexibility.
Won't make people miss in open space and doesn't have quick enough feet to make sharp cuts. Flashes anticipation at times to avoid defenders.
Relatively good arm strength offers the potential for big plays. A bit faster than you'd expect, ran the read option to moderate, albeit limited, success.
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 5.90
Has enough mobility to shift around the pocket but is inconsistent with avoiding pressure. Has extremely inconsistent accuracy and decision making when under pressure and rolling out to avoid it.
Passing Skills: 6.56
Quick Release/Mechanics: 6.60
Releases the ball pretty quickly and has a nice, balanced drop back. Holds the ball up high enough. Inconsistent release point and base. Has a bad tendency to throw off his back foot sometimes even when not under pressure.
Fluid arm motion but does not utilize his lower body often enough to generate torque. That lack of connection between the lower and upper body gets worse under pressure, which leads to very bad accuracy issues.
Short Accuracy: 6.80
Generally good accuracy in the short range. Ball can get a bit high at times but usually not to the extent that it becomes uncatchable. Usually leads his receiver well but at times can throw behind, limiting the yards after catch. Velocity in the short range is usually fine.
Intermediate Accuracy: 6.40
Finley is accurate in the broad sense of the term, as he usually puts the ball in a catchable spot. However, he is far from a precision passer and has deficiencies throwing to the intermediate area of the field. His arm's velocity is inconsistent, primarily from delivery issues. He can also struggle to hit receivers directly in stride and misses high, leaving the ball susceptible to defenders.
Deep Accuracy: 6.50
Deep accuracy isn't bad, but it is far too inconsistent. What works in Finley's favor is that he tends to throw high, which always puts the receiver in a better position to make the catch.
Big Play Ability: 6.60
Strong enough arm to create big plays downfield and can extend plays just long enough for receivers to get open. Needs to become more consistent with his accuracy if he wants to consistently offer big play potential.
Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 6.30
Generally pretty conservative decision maker, but still stares down his #1 target and tries to force it into coverage unnecessarily. Takes a long time to move through his secondary reads and challenges tight man coverage too often.
Arm Strength: 6.60
Velocity is there but inconsistent — lower body engagement would definitely help that. Throw is particularly weak under pressure because he has a tendency to throw off his back foot. His deep ball won't wow anyone but he has enough juice to push it down the field.
Balanced drop back, and maintains balance when rolling out. His base is generally wide enough but it can narrow under pressure. Also has a tendency to throw off his back foot when he is uncomfortable against the rush.
Willing to deliver the ball while taking a hit. When he runs he occasionally lowers his shoulder to get extra yardage. Gets uncomfortable under pressure and can rush a throw when he feels it.
He's been around college football for 6 years and is very seasoned. He's also a great student and spends tons of time off the field getting better. Extremely competitive.
Poise In Pocket: 6.50
Has a good sense of pressure around him and can move around the pocket, but doesn't step up nearly as much as he should, choosing to just stay in his spot. He throws off his back foot too often and rushes his throws under pressure.
Consistency / Motor: 7.50
Has posted improved numbers each year at NC State. Never takes plays off and hustles even at the end of games. His accuracy is not great, but it isn't inconsistent.
Fairly productive in three straight seasons, though not to the extent of the rest of the QBs in the draft. His numbers are consistent game to game, and he has shown the ability to create big plays.
Improvisational Ability: 6.00
Has bad accuracy when on the move and consistently locks on to one target. Has some mobility but not enough to turn a broken play into something big. Also lacks the arm strength to find receivers in all areas of the field with consistent accuracy.
Has a decent sense of pressure around him and can sometimes throw with touch and anticipation. He needs to slow down his processing when under pressure. He also needs to get more comfortable moving through his progressions and knowing when to move past a receiver.
Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 6.20
Doesn't do much pre-snap diagnosis and has a severe tendency to lock onto his first read. Has a good feel for the blitz but again, doesn't change much pre-snap.
Decision Making: 6.30
Makes some very questionable decisions when throwing into tight man coverage. He thinks he can get the ball to certain places when he really can't. In zone coverage he sees the field a bit better and make better decisions. Under pressure he tries too hard to get the ball to someone and makes bad decisions as well.
Very smart and would likely be able to pick up an NFL system well, but his skills are not as refined as you would hope given the amount of time he spent playing college football.
Finley has been playing college football for a long time, and that experience should benefit him if he takes the field in the NFL. His competitiveness, leadership, and work ethic are exactly what you look for in a QB. While not pinpoint accurate Finley generally does put the ball in a catchable spot at all levels of the field. He has a balanced dropback and sound footwork, releasing the ball quickly with a fluid arm motion. He has underrated speed and ran the read option to a bit of success in college. Also does well against zone coverage as he can see the field and anticipate open targets.
Despite his extensive experience, Finley is not as refined as you would hope. His decision making, poise, and ability to move through his progressions should be better. He is only generally accurate, which means it is tough for him to fit the ball into tight windows. That lack of accuracy compounded with questionable decision makes it very hard to see Finley as a starting NFL QB. He also lacks the arm strength and/or athleticism to compensate for his lesser accuracy. While his speed is underrated it's not high-end by any means, and he doesn't have the quickness to make people miss in space. His lack of arm strength stems from his delivery, as there is little connection between his lower and upper body.
Ryan Finley is a rare 6-year college athlete at the QB position, having played 3 years at Boise State and then three at NC State. He posted a 64.3 career completion percentage at NC State, which is a school record. He also ranks 2nd in career passing yards and 4th in career passing touchdowns at NC State. Finley fits squarely in the discussion as a backup QB at the NFL level. He has plenty of experience and enough general accuracy to fill in for an injured starter, but he likely won't be a full-time, franchise QB.
NFL Comparison: Christian Ponder
Team Fits: New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers
Projected Round: 3rd-4th Round