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Allen, Mayfield live up to hype at RSB

Sat, Feb 24, 2018

Executive Director Phil Savage spent 20 years in the National Football League as a coach, scout, executive and general manager. Prior to the Combine, he will evaluate the Reese’s Senior Bowl practice sessions and game, position-by-position, for both the North and South squads.

In what proved to be a very deep quarterback class, this 2018 group of signal-callers brought an assortment of skillsets to Mobile. Here is his analysis based on tape study from the practices and game.

Eventual Starters

#17 Josh Allen/Wyoming (N)                      6047/237        H-10 1/8         A-33 4/8          WS-78 6/8

With his prototypical size and arm strength, Josh presents an intriguing package of talent to prospective NFL teams. During the week, he had several “wow” throws to the deep outsides, but also a number of errant misses that make evaluators scratch their heads. The good news is that he improved each day and culminated his week with an impressive showing during the game. The question is not what a team is going to get in 2018, but rather what will he look like in 18 to 24 months with some incubation time, because he has tremendous overall throwing ability and likely the most upside of all the candidates in this year’s draft.

Game Stats: 9-of-13/158 yards/2 touchdowns

Reese’s Pieces: Interestingly enough, Josh had no FBS scholarship offers out of Firebaugh (CA) High School, so he went to Reedley College where he played during the 2014 season. In two-plus seasons as the starter at Wyoming, Josh completed 56.3% of his 649 career passes for 5,066 yards, 44 touchdowns and 21 interceptions.

#6 Baker Mayfield/Oklahoma (N) 6003/216        H-9 4/8           A-30 4/8          WS-73 3/8

Baker’s reputation is built on his competitive nature and playmaking skills and both showed up during his week in Mobile. The proverbial “point guard” quarterback, when pressured, he will get the football out of his hand, but when the defense tries to play “coverage”, he will drive the lane and take off down the middle of the field as a runner. In the practices, he distributed the football to all parts of the field with anticipation and with different trajectories. He may not be for every team in the league, but the club tha selects him must be fully committed to accommodating a 6’0 quarterback over the long haul by wrapping their offense around this dynamo of a player.

Game Stats: 3-of-7/9 yards

Reese’s Pieces: After transferring from Texas Tech, in three seasons at OU, he completed 808-of-1,157 (69.8%) for 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns and only 21 interceptions.

Potential Starters

#5 Kyle Lauletta/Richmond (S)      6025/217        H-9 5/8           A-30 6/8          WS-76

This FCS-level prospect has a sense of timing and understanding of the position that belies his small school status. Kyle seemed to respond to the Texans’ coaching staff as he elevated his play each day and emerged from the game as the winner of the Reese’s Cup MVP Trophy when he threw three touchdown passes in a little over a quarter’s worth of play time. He does not have an explosive arm, but does have enough velocity to reach all parts of the field, especially when he is in rhythm.

Game Stats: 8-of-12/198 yards/3 touchdowns

Reese’s Pieces: Kyle hails from a “QB Family” in that his father played the position at the Naval Academy and both of his brothers were signal-callers at Downingtown East High School. In three years of starting at UR, he hit 758-of-1,194 passes (63.5%) for 10,465 yards, 73 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.

#14 Mike White/Western Kentucky (S) 6041/221            H-9 3/8           A-32 5/8          WS-77 5/8

Maybe the purest spinner of the football in the RSB game, Mike is a classic drop-back passer with a big arm. If he can improve his foot quickness within the pocket, he is a strong developmental candidate to potentially start in the future. He was particularly effective in the red zone during the practices by throwing darts to the inside of the field and showing touch on the fade ball to the perimeter. He has learned how to value the football while playing in a pro-style offense at WKU the past two seasons.

Game Stats:  8-of-11/128 yards/1td

Reese’s Pieces: Mike began his career at South Florida after only playing one year of high school football as a QB. Once he transferred to WKU, he proceeded to complete 648-of-976 passes (66.4%) for 8,540, 63 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions.

#3 Luke Falk/Washington State (N)          6036/211        H-9 3/8           A-32 1/8          WS-77 6/8

A smooth passer, Luke is a favorite amongst quarterback coaches because of his ability to process and get the football delivered. Not blessed with a huge arm or explosive athleticism, all he does is complete passes. With his lean frame and somewhat gawky gait, the comparisons to a now famous, but then skinny quarterback with a fluid motion are inevitable ahead of the draft.

Game Stats:  DNP (due to memorial service for WSU teammate, Tyler Hilinski)

Reese’s Pieces: Began his career as a walk-on and ended it as the PAC-12’s all-time leading passer by connecting on 1,403-of-2,054 passes (68.3%) for 14,481 yards, 119 touchdowns and 39 interceptions.

Likely Backups

#13 Tanner Lee/Nebraska (N)                    6041/218        H-10 1/8         A-32 1/8          WS-76 3/8

With the injury to Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph ahead of RSB week, a spot opened up for Tanner who only played one season at Nebraska. He has NFL-level arm strength and possesses a quick release, however, his inconsistent accuracy is a concern for teams looking to draft and develop him. Tanner flashes a quick release and can often times put the football into tight spaces, but he also displayed some tunnel vision and did not see defenders out in front of several crossing routes.

Game Stats: 8-of-19/86 yards/1 interception

Reese’s Pieces: Tanner redshirted at Tulane in 2013, then started 19 games before transferring to Nebraska and sitting out the 2016 season. In his one season of starting for the Huskers, he completed 246-of-428 passes (57.5%) for 3,143 yards, 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

#12 Brandon Silvers/Troy (S)                      6023/224        H-9 1/8           A-29 4/8          WS-73 3/8

Brandon had a solid showing during the practice week. He has more than enough arm strength to compete at the next level, but must raise his carriage of the football over the spring and quicken his release. Without a Combine invite, his pro day at Troy will be important to his overall evaluation and a good indication as to which teams are interested in him.

Game Stats:  1-of-2/9 yards

Reese’s Pieces: A local product from Gulf Shores (AL) High School, he was a four-year starter at Troy. As a redshirt freshman in 2014, he broke Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford’s NCAA completion % record for a freshman when he connected on 70.5% of his passes. For his career, Brandon threw for 10,677 yards (64.4%) with 71 touchdowns and 29 interceptions.

#6 Kurt Benkert/Virginia (S)                       6025/214        H-9 5/8           A-31 1/8          WS-74 2/8

Kurt has quick feet and a tight, circular release, but can be streaky as a passer within a practice or a game. He has an interesting set of tools when it comes to his ability to move around and throw to all parts of the field. Played his way on to the NFL radar at UVA by setting school records for passing yards in a game (455 vs. UConn) and for a season (3,207 in 2017).

Game Stats:  4-of-11/90 yards/1td/1int

Reese’s Pieces: Began his career at East Carolina before making the move to UVA as a graduate and becoming a two-year starter for the Cavaliers. He completed 526-of-915 passes (57.5%) for 5,759 yards, 46 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.