Jimmy Garoppolo QB Eastern Illinois #10
Size/Athleticism: Average height. Fairly well built for his size. Mobility is limited. He can move on designed roll outs and makes some movement within the pocket to avoid pressure, but he’s definitely not a threat to run. His movements are very stiff and mechanical.
Arm strength/Accuracy: Arm strength is a notch below elite, but still very good. He has no issue making all the throws and can even throw the ball on a rope to the intermediate routes when he’s unable to set his feet. Accuracy is solid at all levels and he maintains it on the short and intermediate routes when he’s on the run. Ball placement is above average for a draft prospect. Knows how to place the ball to throw his receiver open.
Footwork/Release: Has a very quick release which is one of his best assets. Footwork within the pocket is very good, but also very mechanical. In a clean pocket he has nearly perfect footwork with ideal weight transfer to get all of his power into his throws. Under pressure though, he looks awkward. His movements are very mechanical, and when he doesn’t have a clean pocket to execute his movements he’s choppy and just looks very unathletic.
Decision making: Locks on to his first read and stares him down. He looks like a first round pick when his first read breaks free, but when he doesn’t it gets ugly. Does not look comfortable sitting in the pocket and going through his progressions. He starts to panic when his first read isn’t open and often leaves the pocket due to phantom pressure. Needs to learn how to see the whole field. Often locks on to one receiver and doesn’t even turn to the other side of the field despite not having an open option.
Intangibles: Starter for majority of his four years, but very little experience against top competition.
Durability: No known issues.
Comments: Garoppolo has all the physical tools but his performance raises some questions about his mental makeup. A four-year starter with NFL physical tools should have been able to sit in the pocket and pick apart FCS defenses, but it just didn’t happen. The overwhelming majority of his successful plays came on quick one-look reads and he got antsy and uncomfortable the longer he had to sit in the pocket. I wouldn’t trust him on the field as a rookie, but the physical tools are clearly NFL caliber and he is an intriguing developmental prospect. All of his issues are fixable, so assuming he interviews well, someone will call his name on the second day of the draft.