Recapping Tyler Buchner's Elite 11 Performance
Notre Dame 2021 quarterback commit Tyler Buchner was considered one of the nation’s premier quarterbacks in the country heading into this week’s Elite 11 finals.
The talented San Diego native is still one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, but according to the Sports Illustrated analysts in attendance, Buchner’s performance at the event was a disappointment.
Heading into the event, Buchner was ranked as the fourth best quarterback by SI All-American director of recruiting John Garcia. Here is what SIAA wrote prior to the event:
“Ultra-productive passer and runner with dynamic features.”
After the first day of work, Buchner ranked near the bottom of the 20 quarterbacks in attendance. The Irish commit ranked 17th based on his opening day performance. Here's the analysis from SI All-American:
"The Californian's delivery remained low throughout the night and the velocity didn't match what we've seen on tape. Still, the Notre Dame commitment can flash in the intermediate game."
"Tyler Buchner (Calif.) came in at fourth in the initial SI All-American Rankings, but his unorthodox delivery and overall arm strength did not match what we watched on tape. He will have time to recover throughout the day, but he did not start as expected today."
Buchner was said to have a bit of a bounce back performance after day two, but he still ranked near the bottom.
"The Notre Dame commitment started off much like where he left off yesterday - with room for improvement. His timing looked better as the workout wore on and the intermediate accuracy followed. His best ball came on the run on one of the deeper shots of the script."
"Was projected as at top 5 participant heading into the camp, but he struggled yesterday. His delivery and mechanics were not close to what he showed on film, but he looked and adjusted more efficiently during Day 2. His delivery was still off, but his timing only improved as the workout waged on, and he never seemed to fatigue. He was most efficient in the intermediate level."
On day three Buchner finished 18th out of 20 quarterbacks in the accuracy gauntlet.
I normally roll my eyes and ignore when I read comments about a quarterback's throwing motion being an issue. Most analysts don't really know how to evaluate if a throwing motion is correct or not, because quarterbacks all have different motions, and the only time it matters is if it impacts the success of throws.
Based on what Buchner showed on film and at Notre Dame's camp two summers ago his throwing motion is not an issue, at all. He has a fast release and the ball jumps out of his arm, and his ball placement is outstanding. All of those factors were why I grade him out as a five-star recruit.
My reaction to that criticism changed when I saw video clips of Buchner from the event. He's clearly lowered his arm angle when he throws, and it caused his elbow to lead through the throwing zone more than it should. That caused the ball to dip back as he worked through the zone.
This caused his hand to come through the zone late, and the ball did not come out of his hand clean. It also did not come out of his hand with the explosiveness that he shows on film. This is problematic because your hand dragging like that is not only going to decrease power for Buchner, it's going to cause more of a looping follow through that is going to create accuracy issues, and that's what a criticism of him from the SI folks was this week.
He was throwing almost sidearm, which is fine for quarterbacks who have always done it that way, but that's not what Buchner's natural motion was, and it was obviously impacting his throws.
Whoever is working with Buchner needs to stop whatever alterations they made to his throwing motion, get him back to what he was before and focus on his footwork. The concern for me is the longer a quarterback uses a faulty delivery that isn't natural for him the more it becomes natural over time and becomes more of a muscle memory situation, which then makes it harder to deprogram.
If Buchner abandons the current course he's on he should be fine, but if he continues working with this "new release" it's going to hurt his development as a quarterback.
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