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NFL Draft Profile: Tanner Morgan, Quarterback, Minnesota Golden Gophers

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan

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#2
Pos: QB
Ht: 6015
Wt: 215
40: 5.03
DOB: 4/17/1999
Hometown: Union, KY
High School: Ryle
Eligibility: 2023

Tanner Morgan
Minnesota Golden Gophers


One-Liner:

Excels at executing RPO-heavy system and can keep the offense on schedule but has average at best arm strength and does a poor job to use his eyes and manipulate defenders to open up throwing windows.

Evaluation:

Tanner Morgan shows nuance and savvy passing in a QB-friendly system at Minnesota. With a heavy influence of RPOs, Morgan displays excellent timing on glance routes and regularly gets the ball out before a break is made. He has an easy projection to a “game manager” role in the NFL who can keep an offense on schedule, be pretty accurate at all three levels and keep the ball safe. Morgan shows flashes of making full-field reads and has quick processing abilities to cross off his initial reads and move on. In addition, he’s a solid athlete who loves to escape the pocket going to his right, but also shows good footwork to decelerate, gain balance and accurately throw on the run. Morgan is a relatively high-floor, low ceiling type of QB who has average at best arm strength. When attacking deep, he needs to really load up and that elongates his throwing process and negates an ability to get a throw off before a big hit. While he’s generally accurate at all three levels, he has a fair share of overthrows on deep balls, likely due to him overcompensating for average arm strength and now putting too much on the ball - it just doesn’t look easy for him. Since Morgan plays in a QB-friendly system with a huge reliance on the RPO game, he lacks nuance in regular 3, 5 or 7 step drops. Morgan does a poor job of using his eyes to deceive safeties and open up throwing windows and there are moments where he doesn’t see defenders entirely, gift-wrapping them an interception. Finally, Morgan is not great versus exterior pressure when he is forced to step up in the pocket or escape entirely due to a lack of agility and elusiveness. He struggles to speed up his throwing motion and get his hips pointed to his target. QB who excels at executing an RPO-heavy system due to timing and accuracy over the middle of the field. Can keep the offense on schedule and for the most part avoid turnover-worthy plays. Morgan has average at best arm strength who struggles to connect on deep balls and does a poor job to use his eyes and manipulate defenders to open up throwing windows. He can be a low-end starter if given great surroundings but should not be drafted until Day 3.

Grade:

UDFA

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Background:

Tanner Morgan was raised in Union, KY and his cousin, Tim Couch played college ball at Kentucky (1996-1998) and in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns (1993-2003). Morgan attended Ryle High School where he passed for 2,747 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior. He was named a finalist for Kentucky’s Mr. Football award and 247Sports ranked him as a 3-Star recruit, the 1185th-best recruit nationally, the 44th-ranked quarterback recruit in the country and the 5th recruit in the state of Kentucky. Morgan committed to Minnesota and redshirted his freshman year in 2017. In 2018, he appeared in nine games and started the final six, passing for 1,401 yards (second-most ever for Gopher freshmen) and nine touchdowns. He was a one-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week and earned Academic All-Big Ten. In 2019, Morgan started all thirteen games and set school single-season records for passing yards(3,253), passing touchdowns(30) and completion percentage(66.0%). Morgan was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team, had two Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, won the Neil Fredenburg Award - Love of the Game and was again named to Academic All-Big Ten. In 2020, Morgan started all seven games and passed for 1,374 yards and seven touchdowns. For his efforts, he garnered an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. Morgan has an impressive mental makeup and preaches his belief in faith and how that empowers him to become the best version of himself. Furthermore, he’s fueled by self-awareness and an understanding of development, knowing that there will be highs and lows but that he’s determined to be great. “You can’t be a perfectionist playing quarterback because not everything’s going to be perfect. One thing that I’ve definitely had to understand is to take the good and the bad from it, but I want to be the best I can every single day, no matter what happens. It’s always about having the mindset that I want to be the best I can be not for me, but for my teammates.” Morgan has always been someone who others see as “beating the odds”. Minnesota Head Coach, P.J., Fleck provides astute details into the mind of Morgan, “When you have an overachiever, nothing’s ever good enough. Whenever they reach a goal or a vision, they’re on to the next one. They’re never satisfied, which can be a crutch and a disease, or it can be something that elevates you to unique heights. What we do with him is, yes, he’s an overachiever.”