The MMQB has asked three quarterbacking experts—long-time front-office exec and scout Joey Clinkscales, long-time coach and coordinator Todd Haley, and long-time NFL quarterback Bruce Gradkowski—to assess the top QB prospects of the 2019 draft. The QB Panel Film Room series continues with West Virginia’s Will Grier…
FRONT OFFICE: Joey Clinkscales
Former Director of Player Personnel, Oakland Raiders; Vice President of College Scouting, New York Jets
Will Grier transferred from Florida, were he was a starter but was suspended by NCAA for a positive PED test. He transferred to West Virginia and has been a two-year starter. He has done some really good things at times, has enough arm talent despite not having the biggest arm. He is more of an arm thrower and not a flick of the wrist thrower. Will has the ability to stand in the pocket to deliver and to step up/climb in the pocket vs. edge pressure. He is a good enough athlete, has mobility and can throw on the move outside the pocket. His overall ball placement can be inconsistent at times; he looks more like a guy that throws to a spot rather than to throw the receiver open.
Strengths: Accuracy-short, mobility, pocket presence, toughness, arm angles.
Weaknesses: Base/ balance at times, doesn’t throw guys open, late with ball at times, can be late/slow to pull the trigger.
Player comp: Watching him play he reminds me a lot of Rex Grossman, a lot of similarities in their play style.
Ideal landing spots: Jacksonville, Detroit, Cincinnati, Washington, Seattle.
Can he be a starter in 2019?: I don’t foresee this player as a starter in the 2019 season unless he is forced into action due to injury.
Potential to become a long-term starter: I think he has to improve in a lot of areas which, if he is committed and a student of the game, he can do but at this point I don’t see him in that light.
Potential to become a franchise QB: At this point in time I don’t see this player as a franchise-type player. Some of the traits and attributes I like to see in a face-of-the-franchise type QB I haven’t seen thus far in this player; that could change but today I don’t see it. This player has a lot of stats, has been productive in his system and shows mobility but there are enough concerns and questions on tape to give me pause.
COACH: Todd Haley
Former Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs; Offensive Coordinator, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals
A lot of similarities to Baker Mayfield the way he runs the offense. Does a lot of signaling at line of scrimmage which Baker did a bunch of at Oklahoma. Tough and shows he can be a field general. A wild-card type that a particular team may covet.
Can he be a starter in 2019?: He is more mature than most of the guys in this year’s draft so I could see him finding his way to being a starter. I think the fact that he transferred from Florida will help with the adjustment to NFL, much like it did Baker, because he has had more exposure.
Potential to become a franchise QB: I don’t think he has as high of a ceiling as some of the guys in this draft but his floor is higher. Has chance to be solid player in the league. I really like a lot of Will’s leadership qualities. He shows great command on the field. A lot comes with being a franchise quarterback and I think time will tell. Guys that can command the field the way he does usually have a chance.
QUARTERBACK: Bruce Gradkowski
Former Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Strengths: Grier has charisma and confidence on the field. He’s a guy that’s in charge and in command of his offense who isn’t afraid to be aggressive. He has good touch on intermediate throws and does a nice job getting the ball up and down on Go routes and fades. Grier does a nice job pre-snap knowing where to go with the football. He shows he can use his eyes post-snap to move defenders. Grier has faced adversity, being suspended for a year at Florida then transferring to West Virginia, and found a way to be successful.
Weaknesses: My biggest concern with Grier is his arm strength. He showed the ability to drop some dimes on Go routes but they tend to only be caught between 30-40 yards. In the NFL, a Go ball should be caught between 42-44 yards. He puts all his body into throws down field and the ball tends to hang in the air on him. The throws he will need to make at the next level are 18-20-yard comebacks and 18-20-yard Big In routes. He doesn’t generate a lot of power with his throws and I’ve seen the ball die on him when it gets past 15 yards. Windows will be a lot tighter in the NFL and I’m concerned about some of the contested throws he will have to make.
Player comp: I compare Will Grier to Rex Grossman without the arm strength.
Ideal landing spot: Grier will benefit most in a west coast type offense, a system based on timing and rhythm. He can be accurate on quick-game type throws like slants and quick outs. Grier would also fit in a system like New England where they focus on matchups in the middle of the field with the slot receivers.
Can he be a starter in 2019?: The only way we will see Grier in 2019 is an injury to a starter. He could be a capable backup but would struggle to make some of the necessary throws to be a day one starter.
Potential to become a franchise QB: In the right system Grier could be a successful NFL backup. If he approaches the game in a professional manner and is a good locker room guy he could stick.
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