Kiper on Jacob Eason: He's a Late First-Rounder
Jacob Eason can stand tall in the pocket against this kind of pressure coming off the edge.
On Wednesday, the former University of Washington quarterback was stamped as a certifiable first-round NFL draft pick and possibly the eventual Tom Brady successor by Mel Kiper, considered the foremost talent analyst.
Kiper predicted Eason will go as a late-round or trade-up selection in the first to the New England Patriots.
Unlike some of the UW fan base, the draft guru gushed rather than picked apart the football ability of Eason, a Lake Stevens product who spent two years with Georgia and two more at Washington, playing a full season for each school.
After a somewhat unsatisfactory 8-5 season for all involved capped by a Las Vegas Bowl victory, Eason announced he would pass up his final season with the Huskies and make himself draft eligible.
Kiper mostly praised Eason as he broke down the QB's pro and cons with ESPN broadcaster Kenny Mayne, ironically a former Seattle-area and UNLV quarterback himself many decades ago:
"I do (expect him to be a first-round pick), with that cannon arm," Kiper said. "That's what he has: He's got that huge 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6, 235-pound frame with the arm strength that's unmatched. And keep in mind, they lost some close games this year. Four of their five losses with Washington were by six points or less. They carried leads against good teams like Utah and Oregon into the fourth quarter. Those were home games.
"He ran a little hot and cold in those games and that's the issue with Jacob Eason. And that's why instead of being an early-to-mid first, he could end up being a late first."
If Eason does end up with the Patriots, and replaces Brady at some point, New England would go from a Northwest quarterback to Brady to another Northwest quarterback.
Brady, of course, stepped in for former Washington State QB Drew Bledsoe as the Patriots starter in 2001 and began what has been an unmatched Hall of Fame-like career. Brady, 42, becomes an unrestricted free agent on March 18.
In the video, former NFL and Huskies quarterback Steve Pelluer discusses what he saw as Eason's exemplary demeanor this past season.