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NFL Draft Profile: Kedon Slovis, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Panthers

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Pittsburgh QB Kedon Slovis

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#9
Pos: QB
Ht: 6021
Wt: 200
DOB: 4/11/2001
Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ
High School: Desert Mountain
Eligibility: 2023

Kedon Slovis
Pittsburgh Panthers


One-Liners

An experienced and pro-ready signal caller, Kedon Slovis boasts the requisite ball placement, pocket management and intelligence to start early in the NFL. That said, his ceiling is somewhat limited by his lack of differentiating athletic traits.

Evaluation:

Of the various high-profile quarterbacks in college football entering 2021, few receive as much national attention as USC’s signal-caller. Despite having a “down year” after his incredible freshman season in 2019, Kedon Slovis exhibited various positive traits in 2020. The Arizona native employs excellent lower body mechanics. What’s more, Slovis is an intelligent passer who regularly goes through his reads and works passing concepts. Similarly, the star passer processes and reacts to the defense in real-time, factoring each defender’s movements into his decision-making. The USC quarterback, likewise, has the wherewithal to throw the ball away when the play is compromised. Slovis’s calling card since stepping into the Los Angeles spotlight has been his composure. He operates well within and outside of structure. Further, the Trojans’ signal-caller boasts impressive pocket presence and is proficient at escaping pressure. While Slovis has sufficient movement skills to make a play with his legs, he typically scrambles to pass. Arguably the USC star’s most appealing trait is his ball placement. Slovis is accurate to all levels of the field and has an excellent feel for touch. He regularly leads his receivers away from contact and can layer the ball between levels of the defense. Slovis also plays with anticipation and routinely throws to space. Finally, the college star has respectable velocity at the short-to-intermediate levels of the field and can push the ball downfield with accuracy and touch. Slovis’s apparent regression in arm strength and confidence from 2019 to 2020 corroborates the rumors of his season-long throwing shoulder injury. Despite his various positive traits, USC’s star quarterback is far from a perfect prospect. Slovis lacks outstanding athletic traits, boasting solid-but-unspectacular arm strength and movement skills. In 2020, he struggled to put velocity on the ball. Consequently, he avoided out routes to the field side and seemingly preferred checking down to working the ball downfield. Still, Slovis tends to trust his arm too much to put the ball through windows. Further, the experienced starter often locks onto his first read and telegraphs his passes. Conversely, Slovis can be slow to process and release the ball late. As a result, defenders can jump routes and close on the ball. Additionally, Slovis’s ball placement and arm strength are functionally worsened when his mechanics waver. He also loses control over the ball if he attempts to put too much velocity on his passes. What’s more, the Trojans’ signal-caller also has a slight kink in his throwing motion. This slight elongation, combined with his tendency to stare down his target, invites defenders to tip his passes at the line. Finally, Slovis has a troubling injury history. He missed time in 2019, reportedly played through 2020 with a throwing shoulder injury and injured his throwing shoulder on the last play of the 2020 season. Slovis does some things that will get a QB coach excited. He’s extremely advanced with his footwork and pocket mobility. Clearly is a good tape study. Sees the field like a true QB. Delivers an accurate and “catchable” football. All while displaying the leadership qualities teams love. Unfortunately, he will have a high hurdle to jump if he wants to be a starter at the next level. His arm strength severely limits his ability to drive the ball sideline to sideline and NFL defenders will have plenty of time to react. Listed at 6’2 200, Slovis has trouble seeing over the line at times and that issue will become more prevalent at the next level. A lack of true mobility and a gunslinger mindset further complicate the issues at hand. There is potential starter upside in the right situation, but tough to envision a true franchise-type QB. Will need to show improvements at winning in translatable ways in ‘21/’22 and playing more within his means. But coaching staffs will love the technical side, processing speed and accuracy.

Grade:

6th Round

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Quotes:

“I was so excited when Coach [Pat] Narduzzi called, because I knew that Pitt and this program were the right fit for me to keep developing into the best leader I can be. I can’t wait to prove myself again on this stage.” -- Kedon Slovis on his transfer to Pittsburgh

Background:

Born in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kedon Slovis was an athletic standout at Desert Mountain High School. As a junior, the talented passer was awarded USA Today All-Arizona honorable mention. In his senior year, he was named 2018 PrepStar All-Western Region, USA Today All-Arizona honorable mention and Sports360AZ All-Academic honorable mention. Slovis’s high school quarterback coach was NFL Hall of Famer, Kurt Warner. The two are still in touch. 247Sports Composite Rankings rewarded Slovis for his impressive career with a three-star ranking. The same outlet listed the Arizona native as the 705th-best recruit in the nation, the 26th-ranked pro-style quarterback in his class and the 13th-overall recruit in the state of Arizona. Slovis was not expected to find the field during his freshman season; however, an injury to the team’s incumbent starter (former five-star recruit and current Georgia Bulldogs starter, JT Daniels) forced the freshman passer into action. The gifted signal-caller thrived under pressure. On top of various player of the week awards, Slovis was named the 2019 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and AP Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. He was also awarded All-Pac-12 honorable mention. Additionally, the former three-star recruit was a 2019 FWAA National Freshman of the Year semifinalist and made the FWAA Freshman All-American first team. Pro Football Focus named Slovis to its All-American third team in 2019. Living up to the lofty expectations that accompanied his superstar level of success would prove a difficult feat. Despite the reigning narrative that Slovis registered a “down year,” he was named to the 2020 All-Pac-12 first team, AP All-Pac-12 first team, Phil Steele All-Pac-12 first team and Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 third team. He was also named a team captain. Slovis has struggled with injuries throughout his college career and suffered a sprained shoulder in the last play of the Oregon game in 2020. He has since thrown at USC’s Pro Day. Slovis is a communications major in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; he has a 3.31 GPA.