Nick Fitzgerald

/draft-prospects/nick-fitzgerald

College: Mississippi State

Height: 6'5"

SCOUTING GRADE

Weight: 229 lbs

Injury History: 2017: Ankle V. Ole Miss (Required Surgery - Season Ending)

Scout: Ryan Lippert

Scouting Report

Athleticism: 6.90

Q.A.B.: 7.00

 

Uses his quickness to his advantage to roll outside on the pocket. His agility and balance are mainly shown when making plays as a runner.

 

Flexibility: 6.50

 

Has pretty quick/loose hips when having to open his body when throwing on the run.

C.O.D.: 6.20

 

Shows his C.O.D. when making playss in the run game, he stops/starts with a good amount of ease/fluidity

Explosiveness/Speed: 8.00

 

Speed is a trait that sets Fitzgerald apart. He keeps the ball a lot in RPO situations and is a major threat running downhill

Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 6.80

 

Uses his speed and quikness to move around in the pocket to avoid pressure. He is very slippery in the pocket and hard to take down on the first attempt .

 

Passing Skills: 5.96

Quick Release/Mechanics: 6.60

 

Fitzgerald has a good quick release. He hold the ball at a medium height, could hold higher but releases at a effective point.

Delivery: 6.30

 

Has a fluid delivery for the most part. Comes out too low in his delivery at times which could hurt him at the next level.

Short Accuracy: 6.20

 

Hits his targets on the money in the short game at a quick enough rate that helps them catch the ball and make a move in open space.

Intermediate Accuracy: 5.70

 

He is less accurate in the intermediate passing rate. Seems to force passes across the middle which leads to incompletions and interceptions.

 

Deep Accuracy: 5.30

 

Overthrows his receivers in the deep game. Also tends to miss a lot on sideline passes, will lead his receivers out of bounds.

Big Play Ability: 6.30

 

While most of his big plays come running the ball, Fitzgerald can step up and deliver as a passer as well.

Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 5.00

 

Forces the balll a lot. This is especially true when under pressure. Most of his interceptions come across the middle as he is trying to get rid of the ball to avoid pressure.

Arm Strength: 6.20

 

Has decent arm strength but not to the point where he will hurt teams with it.

 

Footwork: 6.00

 

Has a fluid, quick 3-step drop when it is used. Ran a lot of RPO in college, so must get used to dropping back at the next level.

Competitiveness: 6.68

 

Toughness: 7.30

 

Fitzgerald is a very tough quarterback. He has a lot of quarterback keeps in this offense so he takes on a ton of hits in the run game. He continues to keep running hard regardless of the hits on his body.

Intangibles/Leadership: 7.30

 

He is the true leader of this offense and it shows as the offensive playcalling is built around his skill set.

Poise In Pocket: 5.70

 

He could get better in this area of his game. Tends to panic at times when a blitz comes through which leads to incompletions and interceptions.

 

Consistency / Motor: 5.70

 

Fitzgerald is up and down a lot in his play. He has a good motor but his consistency isn't always at the level it needs to be.

Production: 7.50

 

As the starting quarterback, this offense has only gone as far as Fitzgerald's production has taken them. He has been very productive as both a passer and runner in this offense.

 

Improvisational Ability: 6.60

 

He shows his ability to roll out of the pocket or take off on the run when plays break down in the passing game.

Intelligence: 5.75

Instincts: 7.00

 

Shows great instincts when it comes to deciding when to run the ball instead of staying in the pocket. This makes Fitzgerald a huge threat for defenses that don't like to blitz.

 

Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 5.00

 

He struggles in this area tremendously. Blitzes will come through and disrupt him in his progression, leading to either a sack or a poorly thrown ball.

Decision Making: 5.50

 

He makes decent decisions when not under pressure. When under pressure, he will force the majority of his passes.

Learn/Retain: 5.5

 

Is up and down a lot in this category. Sometimes he will learn from his mistakes and other times, they will pile up.

STRENGTHS:

Fitzgerald's biggest strength is as a runner. Due to his speed and quickness, Missippi State has been able to run their RPO offense effectively during his time as the starter. He is very good at deciding when to take off when the pass isn't there. With this speed, he is a major homerun threat on the ground which gives an opposing defense more to prepare for. Fitzgerald is also a tremendous leader and will produce when his offense needs him the most.

WEAKNESSES:

As good as he is in a dual-threat situation, Fitzgerald must improve as a passer in order to be successful at the next level. The turnover problem has to be fixed as there are too many times that he forces the ball into coverage and pays for it. He also must get used to becoming a dropback passer in the league, as he played in a mainly RPO system in college. His deep accuracy is also a concern in which he will definitely need at the next level as he hasn't been a huge threat in the deep game in college.

BIG PICTURE: 

Nick Fitzgerald is in his third year of what has been a very successful career as the starting quarterback for the Missippi State Bulldogs. As a freshman, Fitzgerald benefited tremendously from learning behind eventual NFL Rookie of the Year and starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott. Following the departure of Prescott, Fitzgerald took over as a sophomore and has his most successful season as a starter, finishing with 2,423 passing yards and 21 touchdowns, along with 1,375 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. However, the Bulldogs barely made a bowl game finishing with a record of 6-7. As a junior, his stats took a small drop with 1,782 passing yards and 15 touchdowns, with 984 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Although his stats took a drop, he was able to lead Missippi State to a 9-4 record and a Top 20 finish in the polls. Fitzgerald was a player that many said could be in the Heisman discussion coming into the 2018 season but that hasn't been the case unfortunately due to great performances from other quareterbacks and few tough losses for the Bulldogs. Although I believe his success his been partly due to the system he has been in, I think that Fitzgerald will still make a roster and be a solid backup in the league. With a little improvement and solid coaching, he could possibly become a starter at the next level.

Projected Round: 5-6 round

Team Fits: Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders

Pro Comparison: Dak Prescott

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