Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the second annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 280 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2020 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). New features for this year include unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, and—for the first time ever—the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.
In the coming weeks, we will be going position-by-position and previewing this year’s draft class and the most logical place to start is with the quarterbacks. Before we get into the reports though, it’s important that we explain how our grading scale works. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).
Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect. The final quarterback scale is as follows:
|9.0-7.0||Pro Bowl level player. Difference-maker.|
|6.9-6.7||Strong starter. One of the reasons you win.|
|6.6-6.5||Sufficient starter. You can win with him.|
|6.4-6.2||Circumstantial starter or high-quality backup.|
|6.1-6.0||Developmental. Top traits but needs time.|
|5.9-5.8||Backup with limited upside.|
|5.7||3rd-string or practice squad candidate|
Joe Burrow: QB Rank 1 of 17 | Final Grade: 6.9
Report by Jordan Edwards
Burrow is an accurate thrower with outstanding leadership and the ability to be a true difference-maker at the next level.
Burrow led LSU’s spread RPO offense which consisted of mostly half-field reads that got the ball out of the QB’s hand quickly. Burrow started all 28 games for the Tigers after transferring from Ohio State where he served as a backup and only saw game action in 10 contests over three years. He suffered a broken hand going into his redshirt sophomore season, which set him back in the ongoing heated backup competition with future first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, ultimately leading to his transfer. Burrow has good size and athleticism for the position. His toughness and competitive nature immediately jump out on film. He isn’t afraid to take a hit as a runner, and his willingness to stand in the pocket and make throws under pressure is exceptional.
Burrow’s accuracy as a passer is almost always spot-on, especially on short-to-intermediate throws. His accuracy throwing downfield has improved drastically throughout his career at LSU. He has good ball placement on deep throws and puts it where only his receiver can get to it. Burrow makes good decisions and takes care of the ball, and any poor choices stem from staring down receivers. He reads progressions well when working half the field, but does not manipulate defenders with his eyes consistently. He could get away with some of this in college due to the talent of the teammates around him and the incredibly effective scheme he worked within, but he’ll need to improve in this area at the next level.
He has a good feel for pressure in the pocket. He isn’t afraid to stare down rushers and make throws while taking hits. He keeps his eyes downfield when extending plays out of the pocket and has made some huge throws on the move. Burrow isn’t a powerful thrower, but his arm strength is more than sufficient. He holds the ball low on his frame which can affect the quickness of his release, but his release is consistent and not slow by any means. Burrow has raised his game even further against top competition on his way to a National Championship, and he makes plays consistently when the game is on the line for his team.
Burrow is not a prototypical dual-threat QB by any means, but his athleticism as a runner is not something to be questioned. He shows plenty of ability to extend plays with his feet. He can also be used in the read-option game occasionally. He isn’t afraid to take a hit when scrambling but at the next level, he needs to protect himself better by sliding or getting out of bounds.
Burrow will have to prove he isn’t a one-year wonder as he moves on to the NFL. His increased production and effectiveness over his two years at LSU is unprecedented, and evaluators will need to gauge their comfort with his middling play in 2018. However, he projects to be a “win because of” QB at the next level, who could develop into being an elite starter over time.
|Clutch Performance||One year of production|
|Year||Att||Comp||Comp%||Yds||Y/A||ADoT||ADoC||TD / INT||Sacks||Rating|
|2016||28||22||79%||226||8.1||4.4||3.3||2 / 0||1||124.1|
|2017||11||7||64%||61||5.5||7.5||4.3||0 / 0||0||78.2|
|2018||379||219||58%||2894||7.6||10||7.8||16 / 5||35||90.6|
|2019||527||402||76%||5671||10.8||9.1||7.7||60 / 6||35||143.7|
|Career||945||650||69%||8852||9.4||9.3||7.5||78 / 11||71||121.1|
|Passing Analytics||Rushing (Excluding Scrambles)||Dropbacks|
|IQR Detail||Total Points|
|Year||Deep Throws||vs. Blitz||Under Pressure||No Pressure||vs. Man||vs. Zone||Pass||Rush||Total|