The NFL draft begins on Thursday night, with Cal quarterback Jared Goff expected by many to be the No. 1 pick.
In the lead–up to the draft, Goff has been the center of a quarterback debate pitting him against North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz. The Rams and Eagles both traded away numerous drat picks in exchange for the No. 1 and No. 2 overall selections, respectively, so if one of those teams picks Goff—as is widely expected—the pressure to deliver will be enormous.
Goff threw for 4,714 yards and 43 touchdowns with 13 interceptions last season, his junior year. Over his three–year career at Cal, Goff tossed 96 touchdowns and 30 interceptions.
So who is Jared Goff exactly? We’ve compiled some facts about the potential No. 1 pick so you can get to know him before he blows up—or busts.
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1. He's not the family's only athlete
Goff’s dad Jerry was a catcher for the Expos, Pirates and Astros. He hit .215 in his MLB career, hitting seven home runs. He earned the nickname “Jack” in college, and in 2001, played semi-pro baseball for the Novato Knicks while also working as a firefighter.
2. Just call him Bear Grylls
Goff appeared on an episode of Gridiron Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel. Here’s the episode description: “Mike and Heisman hopeful Cal QB Jared Goff take to the hills of California's central valley for Jared's first hunt ever. Jared's dad, former MLB catcher Jerry is along to enjoy his son's intro to the outdoors.”
3. He broke a lot of records at Cal
In 2015, Goff led Cal to its first winning season since 2011. He broke his own single-season records for yards, touchdown passes and total offense. He also set the record for passing yards in a single season by a Pac-12 quarterback and a conference record for touchdown passes.
Goff also became the only quarterback in Cal history to start as a true freshman in Week 1, and he played relatively well: Goff threw for 450 yards and two touchdowns against No. 22 Northwestern, though he also threw three costly interceptions.
4. He's in good company
Goff became the first Golden Bears quarterback to make the All-Pac-12 team since Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, by the way, passed for 43 touchdowns over two full seasons with Cal—the same amount as Goff had in his junior season alone.
5. His high school stats are (predictably) amazing
In three years of varsity football at high school, Goff threw for 7,687 yards, with 93 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.
6. A big payday is in the works
Goff grew up in Novato, Calif., where the government is projected to spend $17,336,002 in the 2016/2017 fiscal year on salaries. Last year's No. 1 pick, Jameis Winston, signed a rookie contract worth an average of more than $6 million annually—more than a third of what Novato will spend this year on salaries. Goff's contract has absolutely nothing to do with Novato's expenditures, but we decided to make the comparison anyway.
7. Several Pac-12 schools missed out on his talent
Goff chose to attend Cal over other schools such as Washington State, Boise State, Washington, Oregon, Oregon State and USC.