Stephen Morris QB Miami #17
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Size/Athleticism: Adequate height. Build has improved during career, but he still has a slender build which heightens injury concerns. Didn’t run much in college, but frequently asked to roll out. Shows decent mobility in the pocket and overall athleticism should definitely be considered an asset. He’s not a read-option quarterback, but he’s athletic enough to play in an offense which mixes in a few plays.
Arm strength/Accuracy: Arm strength is among the best in this year’s draft class. Has the arm to make any throw that will be asked of him at the next level. Accuracy is a serious concern. His ball placement is inconsistent and at least a few times per game he’ll uncork a wildly inaccurate throw which leads to some drive-killing interceptions. He also struggles with the touch on his passes. He needs to know when to take something off the fastball to make his balls more catchable. Accuracy further deteriorates when he’s on the run.
Footwork/Release: Quick feet and he moves well within the pocket. He’s quick to release the ball and generally shows solid all around fundamentals. Under pressure is when his fundamentals start to break down. Too often he’ll attempt throws from an open stance. Mechanics on the run are fairly steady, so long as he has room to operate. Tends to get too creative with his footwork and even jumping when throwing under pressure.
Decision making: Like many strong-armed quarterbacks, he thinks he can do a lot more than he can. He’ll try to squeeze the ball into tight spaces and, due to his accuracy issues, it leads to devastating mistakes. Goes through his progressions, but seems to panic after a certain point and will force throws into coverage. Frequently has miscommunications with his receivers – it’s tough to know who was at fault on any individual play, but it’s noteworthy since it happens with multiple players. At the very least, it’s partially Morris’ job to make sure his receivers know where to go.
Intangibles: Team captain in 2012 and 2013. Two year starter. Showed minimal development from junior to senior year.
Durability: Played through an ankle injury early in senior year. Underwent back surgery prior to junior year.
Comments: Morris has the skills which catch your attention at first glance (arm strength, mobility) but the whole package leaves a lot to be desired. His habit of uncorking wild throws and trusting his accuracy a bit too much is a deadly combination which leads to costly turnovers. His issues with accuracy don’t stem from obvious mechanical flaws, which doesn’t bode well for his future NFL coaching staff’s attempts at fixing the issues. Someone will gamble on him based on his arm but there are too many flaws to warrant a high selection.