Notre Dame quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees is already putting in major work on quarterbacks in the 2023 class, which is absolutely loaded. Below is my evaluation of the highest ranked quarterback, New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman signal caller Arch Manning.
In the above video we look at the film of Manning and talk about what makes him an elite prospect.
ARCH MANNING PROFILE
Hometown: New Orleans, La.
High School: Isidore Newman
IB Grade: 4.5 (Top 50 caliber prospect)
Upside Grade: 5.0
Offers: Notre Dame, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Texas, Florida State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arkansas, Duke
Football IQ/Feel For The Game - As you'd expect, Manning is a high IQ player that makes up for his lack of elite arm talent with his mind and feel for the game. His timing as a passer is advanced for his age, and his ability to process reads grades out extremely high.
Release/Mechanics - Manning has very clean mechanics in the pocket, and it starts with his footwork. He is nimble, plays with a good base and he's always in position to quickly set up and get the ball out. He has a quick, compact delivery that he can speed up when necessarily. It's a very repeatable and clean delivery, but he can also coil up and get more on it when necessary.
Accuracy - Ball placement is absolutely a strength for Manning. He can put the ball wherever he wants it when he has a clean pocket, but what truly surprised me, and stood out on film, is how effective he is putting the ball into tight spots or placing it properly when he has to speed up his mechanics, when he's on the move or when throwing off platform.
Pocket Mobility - Manning isn't the kind of athlete that is going to scare teams as a runner. I do, however, like Manning's ability to handle the pocket athletically. He stays light on his feet in the pocket, shows an impressive feel for the rush for his age and he can get out of pressure and make throws effectively on the run. Manning also isn't afraid to stay in the pocket and take a hit if it means getting the ball out for a big play.
Playmaking - Manning's playmaking comes from a combination of the traits discussed above along with his confidence as a player. Manning has excellent downfield visit as a passer, but he's also confident in his ability and as discussed above shows the ability to make downfield throws on the run.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Arm Strength - Manning has a lot of excellent tools, but his raw arm power isn't on the same level as other top quarterbacks on the board for Notre Dame. It's not weak by any means, but he must rely on timing much more than other quarterbacks, much like we saw from Alabama quarterback Mac Jones.
Must Fill Out His Frame - Manning is on the thin side and will need to fill out his frame while also adding more strength. There's potential for his arm to get stronger, and as he fills out that should happen. If he makes the arm strength gains I expect his grade and ranking will improve.
Manning is wide open right now, and while Notre Dame is likely to get a visit from him as part of a Midwestern swing I do not anticipate the Irish being a major player for him. Of course that could change if the Irish staff is able to make a strong presentation, but I'd look for other programs to be bigger players.
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