Games Evaluated: 2019 Vs: Oregon, Washington, UCLA
Report By: Roy Countryman
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 7.50
Underrated athleticism. Was a three-time letterman in baseball in high school and it shows with his ability to throw off-platform and from multiple arm angles. Is elusive when trying to escape the pocket and has the wiggle to make a defender miss to extend the play. He does not have elite straight-line speed but has more than enough to pick up first downs if asked to scramble out of broken plays. Impressive spatial awareness within the confines of the pocket and shows the ability to step up or slide laterally to find open throwing lanes. Has a somewhat lean build and will need to add some quality bulk to his frame to withstand the rigors of being hit by NFL defenders.
PASSING SKILLS: 7.60
Quick Release/Mechanics: 9.00
Short Accuracy: 8.50
Intermediate Accuracy: 8.10
Deep Accuracy: 6.50
Big Play Ability: 7.80
Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 7.20
Arm Strength: 7.30
One of the quickest releases I have ever seen and the ball comes out of his hand with the necessary velocity to fit into tight windows. His throwing mechanics from the waist up are impeccable, but he has a long ways to go with his footwork. He noticeably made the majority of his throws with all arm strength and had a bad tendency to completely stop his footwork on a number of plays. Did not consistently transfer weight through throwing motion which caused his accuracy, especially on the deep ball to wane. Due to his quick delivery, he looked almost like a point guard on a basketball court on throws to the short area of the field, as he would get the ball into his playmaker’s hands quickly and into a spot where they can maximize RAC. On intermediate routes, he throws with excellent anticipation and touch to allow his WR opportunities to separate after the catch. His deep ball accuracy was inconsistent due to his flawed footwork but showed excellent ball placement on the plays he did have sound technique. He was a big-play machine at Washington State in his one season of starting due to the ability to let his targets make plays after the catch, but he also would make jaw-dropping throws where he would throw off platform and on the move where he would fit the ball into the tightest of windows. Has more than enough arm strength to make all the necessary throws that you need a starter to make, but doesn't have elite arm strength. He generally was a good decision-maker but would force more throws than you would like, but that could be contributed to a lack of experience and I believe he would throw more passes away with more playing time.
Poise In Pocket: 7.00
Consistency / Motor: 7.50
Improvisational Ability: 7.50
Not afraid to stare down the gun barrel of pressure and deliver a pass on time. His toughness at times gets him into trouble as he tries to extend the play and will allow the ball to be put into a situation for strip-sacks. Sound leadership qualities and showed no brokenness of spirit when he was narrowly beaten out by Gardner Minshew the year prior, rather he took that time to refine his craft in expectation for his next opportunity. Showed the ability to extend the play and can make some magic happen in off-script situations where he will direct his targets to open spots of the field. What makes him even more dangerous in those situations is that he has the ability to throw on the move with accuracy without having to set his feet. A highly motivated and focused player who has no questions with his effort and preparation. He only had one season of outstanding production at Washington State and was a semifinalist for the Dave O'Brien Award which is given to the nation’s best QB as well as leading the country in passing yards per game.
Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 6.60
Decision Making: 7.00
Great feel out on the field as a passer and understands when to use velocity or touch to allow his WRs a chance to maximize yardage. He did not do a lot of pre-snap adjusting in the Air Raid system he was a part of, and a lot of his throws were predetermined or to his first read, but he did show the ability to manipulate safeties out of where he wanted to throw the ball on a number of occasions. He makes sounds decisions on short to intermediate routes, but his accuracy and tendency to make some questionable throws show up when under pressure or to the deep parts of the field. He mastered the Air Raid system but will need to show the ability to learn how to take snaps from under center because he was used exclusively from the gun.
Highly productive, Air Raid QB who excels at making throws from the short to intermediate areas of the field due to his quick release and ability to throw with anticipation. He throws a very catchable ball that allows his WRs the chance to maximize yardage after the catch. Flashes the ability to make a defender miss and break the pocket to make throws off platform with sound accuracy. Is a player who won't sulk at missed opportunities and will move forward and work until his next opportunity arises. Has growth potential to be a high-quality starter in a system that focuses on his strengths.
Lean build will need to be addressed as I am not sure he will be able to withstand the rigors of being hit by NFL defenders. He desperately needs to refine his footwork and will need a QB coach to keep on him to keep his feet moving instead of trying to throw with only his arm. Weight transfer issues rear their head when he is asked to throw the deep ball and his accuracy will wane because of it. Needs to do a better job of throwing the ball away or tucking the ball away from harm when under duress than trying to make every play. Will need more experience as he was only a one-year starter at Washington State.
Anthony Gordon is one of the biggest sleepers in this year's QB class, but he has notable traits to work with and the upside to be a high-quality starter in the right system. He has tremendous character that was evidenced at the Senior Bowl when he approached Director, Jim Nagy about wearing the number 3 for his former teammate, Tyler Hilinski who tragically passed away in honor of his family. I would have no problem picking him in the mid-2nd-early 3rd range, and he would be an ideal target for the Patriots as I see a number of characteristics to their former starter, Tom Brady when he came out of Michigan as an unheralded prospect.