College: West Virgina
Weight: 223 lbs
Injury History: 2018: Leg (Minor), 2017: Finger V. Texas (Season Ending - Required Surgery)
Games Evaluated: 2018: Baylor, Texas, Tennessee, Kansas, Iowa State
Scout: Alexander Amir
Good athleticism to escape immediate pressure. Has a balanced base when rolling out and scrambling. Shows decently quick feet when moving around the pocket. Will not outrun defenders or extend plays for too long, but can pick up yards with his legs.
Shoulders and hips turn smoothly towards targets and he changes direction with little effort. Release is smooth and arm can throw from different angles. When on the move, has an impressive ability to angle his body to his receiver. Sometimes has a shortened delivery, but doesn't seem to be due to lack of flexibility.
Has good vision, which allows him to evade tacklers in space. Quickly turns his shoulders and hips when searching for receivers.
Speed is good enough, but does not have great acceleration. Lacks a strong arm which limits explosive plays. Can extend plays with his legs to help give receivers time to get open.
Pocket Mobility/Avoid Pressure: 6.90
Very comfortable sidestepping and stepping up in the pocket when under pressure. Does too much to extend play after making initial pass rusher miss, resulting in excessive loss of yardage.
Passing Skills: 6.74
Quick Release/Mechanics: 6.90
Releases the ball quickly and from a good height, mitigating the effects of his shorter stature. Holds the ball a little low but didn't have any fumbling issues in college. Good enough zip in short-mid range game, and keeps a wide base while staying square to his target. Arm angle is a bit inconsistent.
Good flexibility in shoulder and hips. Smooth torque but doesn't always follow through on touch throws. Can have inconsistent arm level and shoulder angle, but can also adjust it for the situation at times. Arm generally doesn't flail, keeping good control over the ball. Has a bit of a short-armed delivery, sometimes impacts touch on the ball.
Short Accuracy: 7.70
Great ball placement, leads receiver, knows how to put it high or low to keep it away from the defender. Has plenty of zip to get it there on time. High release points prevents ball from being batted down at line, but quicker defenders at the next level might be able to get a hand on the ball.
Intermediate Accuracy: 7.20
Very impressive touch in the mid range, particularly on over-the-shoulder, sideline throws. Has good enough arm strength to zip it downfield, but generally needs to set his feet or wind up to do so. However, has shown that he can utilize his upper body and make those throws at times while on the run. Varying length of delivery sometimes cause him to overthrow.
Deep Accuracy: 7.00
The arm strength to push it far downfield isn't there, but Grier's deep touch is strong. He has numerous highlight-reel throws in which he just drops it in the bread basket downfield. Occasionally tends to overthrow but not underthrow, which helps him avoid interceptions.
Big Play Ability: 6.20
Has pretty good escapability but lacks top end speed, so won't break off huge runs. Deep accuracy offers big play opportunity, but doesn't have the cannon to push it 60+ yards downfield. But if surrounded by strong skill position players, he will be able to make the most of them.
Avoid Errors/Mistakes: 6.00
This is where Grier needs to improve- he can hold on the ball for too long and tries to do too much in the face of pressure. Gets greedy and can force into coverage, even when he has plenty of time. Loses excessive sack yardage when trying to avoid pressure.
Arm Strength: 6.20
Average arm isn't a problem in short range, but in mid range it's clear that it takes extra effort to put enough zip on the ball. His deep ball is accurate but won't ever be particularly explosive.
Very balanced feet that let him set his base even while on the run. Can throw off balance because his feet get his body in good positioning. Dropback can be a bit choppy.
Can deliver the ball in face of pressure and is willing to take a hit to make a throw. Doesn't have much of an injury history and has a strong frame.
Grier tested positive for PEDs as a freshman in Florida but hasn't had issues since. Has a wife and daughter, so should be mature. Strong leader for West Virginia.
Poise In Pocket: 6.60
Very patient in a clean pocket and will wait for a receiver to get open. However, doesn't step up into the pocket much and has a tendency to retreat too far backwards when under pressure. Does a good job keeping his eyes downfield at all times.
Consistency / Motor: 7.50
Accuracy is very consistent. Grier had two straight strong years and has missed only 2 total games. High energy throughout the game.
Had a solid completion % and a good TD-INT ratio both years in Virginia. Finished 4th in Heisman voting in 2018.
Improvisational Ability: 6.80
Can roll out and deliver the ball off balance from outside the pocket, but doesn't always have the arm strength Enough speed and quickness to make defenders miss and extend plays. Always keeps eyes downfield to find open targets. Most reads are determined pre-snap.
Excellent anticipation of where receivers will be coming out of their breaks, as long as he knows which recevier he's going to. He takes a split second too long in making decisions if he has to go off his primary or secondary read. First instinct is always to throw rather than run, which is a plus. Feels pressure and can avoid it, despite trying to do too much when doing so.
Blitz/Coverage Recognition: 6.90
Operates in a QB friendly spread system in which most reads are established pre-snap. Does a good job of moving on from his first read if covered, but takes time to process beyond his 2nd read. Has good ball placement when defense is in man coverage.
Decision Making: 6.60
Grier's reads are generally the right ones. But he makes some strange decisions to throw into tight coverage- he seems to get greedy and have a bit of a gunslinger mentality. When under pressure he tries to do too much and takes bad sacks rather than throwing the ball away.
Defensive diagnosis isn't bad, but Grier isn't asked to do too much at West Virginia. Showed a bit of improvement from Junior to Senior year, but not huge.
In a clean pocket, Grier is very sound quarterback and extremely smooth. He has quick, balanced feet, which lend themselves well to both establishing a strong base and maintaining accuracy on the move. He is mechanically sound with a high release point, which helps mitigate the effects of a slightly smaller stature. He opens up his shoulders and follows through after most throws, while his upper and lower body work in tandem. He also has shown many times that he can step up in a collapsing pocket and deliver a strike. Grier’s greatest asset has to be his accuracy. He puts balls wherever he wants to all levels of the field, and has outstanding touch on over the shoulder throws. His escapability in the pocket is Russell Wilson-esque, and while he isn’t quite as fast as Wilson, he can extend plays and never gives up. Compared to other college QBs, Grier is more advanced in scanning the field and going through progressions. While that aspect of his game obviously isn’t pro-ready yet, he is much further along than others.
Grier has two main issues, and they both are apparent when he’s under pressure. The first is his lack of arm strength. In a clean pocket Grier can set his feet and have a clean delivery, mitigating his average arm. But when throwing off balance or without a full follow-through he loses some juice, causing the ball to either fall short or sail. His trajectory and touch on deep balls does let him complete those passes with high success, but he won’t be able to air it out 60+ yards downfield. The second big issue is that Grier makes poor decisions when under pressure. He’s a good improviser but tries to do too much. He doesn't step up in the pocket and rolls out or retreats too soon. This leads him to either float balls into the thick of the defense or lose much more sack yardage than he would have otherwise. He also gets skittish in the face of a blitz, despite having shown that he can be poised when necessary. He needs to become a more consistent, quicker decision maker.
Will Grier has been one of college football’s most electrifying players, particularly this year, during which he finished 4th in the Heisman Trophy voting. Grier started his collegiate career with the Florida Gators as a redshirt freshman in 2014, and took the starting job in the 2nd game of 2015. Unfortunately, Grier tested positive for Ligandrol, an illegal substance in the NCAA but one that’s not on their list of banned substances. Nevertheless, Grier served a one year suspension. During his time off he transferred to West Virginia in the hopes of improving his QB skills, and burst onto the national scene once he returned to the field in 2017. He decided to stay another year at WVU instead of declaring for the NFL draft. Scouts’ opinions on Grier have been a mixed bag, but after the success of Baker Mayfield so far this season, they aren’t as eager to dismiss an undersized, average-armed QB as they may have been before. Grier is similar to Mayfield in a number of ways, though Mayfield was a more polished project coming out. If Grier can become a more comfortable decision maker under pressure, he can be a very solid, if unspectacular, pro QB.
Pro Comparison: Baker Mayfield
Team Fits: Denver Broncos, Washington Redskins, New York Giants
Prediction: Mid 2nd Round