Eagles Scouting Report: California Golden Bears QB Jared Goff


It’s never too early to look ahead in the NFL. This Eagles Scouting Report on California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff. It’s obvious the Eagles are in dire need of a quarterback again.

The Philadelphia Eagles 2015 season is ostensibly over. As frustrating it is for the fan base to see those words in print, it doesn’t invalidate the fact that the Eagles will need a miracle to resuscitate their playoff hopes. Now, at 4-7 and fast approaching the point of no return, the season offers very little for a reeling fan base desperate for inspiration in the present. With that in mind, now is as good a time as any to look forward to the 2016 NFL Draft, and the potential that it holds. Given the state of the franchise and the uncertainty at the quarterback position, it’s only natural that our first glimpse at the class of 2016 starts with Cal quarterback Jared Goff.

Goff is perhaps the most widely and wildly hyped player in the class, and just so happens to play the most prominent position in sports. That being said, he’s certainly accumulated his fair share of detractors over recent months, and figures to be central to countless debates leading up to draft night. Naturally, I was eager to sit down and take a look at Goff and form my own opinion on him as a prospect. It’s admittedly early in the process, but I’m comfortable in saying that I’m a fan of Goff’s, and feel as though he projects well to the Eagles offense.

The Positives

The first thing that jumps out when you throw on the tape is Goff’s impressive accuracy. Goff consistently delivers a tight and accurate ball, and displays the ability to have success placing passes at both the deep and intermediate levels. On shallow throws, he’s quick and decisive and typically leads his receivers for optimal YAC. Chip Kelly has discussed the quarterback position at length in the past, and among his criteria for a successful passer is repetitive accuracy. Goff has that in spades, and will be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league the moment he’s drafted.

Goff’s penchant for repetitive accuracy stems from his ability to repeat his delivery with great precision. Simply put, while Goff may have some mechanical issues at times, his arm circle/slot is insanely consistent, almost to the point of being robotic (in a good way). Because his delivery is ultra consistent, so is his touch and accuracy. Goff’s natural arm slot and ability to repeat his delivery has given him an innate feel for his release that few prospects possess, and is what can make him so lethal delivering the football. Goff manipulates the ball with ease, and consistently drops the ball in the bucket on difficult touch passes, seldom missing on opportunities to make a play.

In addition to Goff’s repetitive accuracy, which I’d consider his dominant trait, he possesses a number of other quality traits that will endear him to the fan base.

No one will ever mistake Jared Goff for Cam Newton, but he can escape the pocket and make things happen with his legs. I’d describe Goff as a good athlete with functional mobility, who can at least force the defense to acknowledge his presence on the read option.

Goff can extend plays with his athleticism, however, what’s really intriguing is his escapability. Goff occasionally flashes Romo-like qualities in this regard, and consequently, the ability to create something from nothing. The ability to create is a trait that high-level quarterbacks such as Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo all share, and is an invaluable tool in their respective repertoires. Turning a negative into a positive can sometimes be the key difference between a win and a loss, and Jared Goff has demonstrated this skill.

The Negatives

While I’d argue that Goff has very good overall arm talent, in terms of pure arm strength he’s less than impressive. Goff doesn’t have a hose ala Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson, so he often falls short when throwing from an awkward platform. If he’s taken off his spot and forced to throw off-balance, he doesn’t have the pure arm speed/strength to compensate, or to consistently make the “wow” throws that require exceptional velocity. In addition, a number of Goff’s interceptions have come when he’s off balance and trying to fit a ball into a tight window. Goff will face plenty of pressure as a pro, and defensive backs will be able to close much more quickly than in the PAC12, so he’ll need to clean up his decision making in this regard; his arm strength limitations will never afford him the ability to get away with forcing these types of throws.

Contributing to this velocity issue is Goff’s uneven footwork. He can sometimes get frenetic in the pocket, and appears rigid, uncomfortable, and robotic (in a bad way) at times. Instead of standing tall in the pocket and maneuvering with a semi-wide, athletic base, Goff often resorts to a stiff-legged ultra-wide base that can disrupt his throws. Goff’s squatty stance can minimize the advantage of his 6’4″ frame, and appears to be a contributing factor on the occasional batted pass. Moreover, the lower-body stiffness does not compliment his upper-body well, and hurts the synergy he hopes to create between his upper and lower halves, as well as slow his footwork.

Goff typically makes very good reads and processes information quickly, however, I sometimes question his willingness to allow plays to develop. Goff sometimes checks down early in his progressions despite facing little to no pressure. It’s a small critique, but something that could be a problem if he ever has issues dealing with pressure in the pros (likely).

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Final Thoughts

I like Goff quite a bit. He’s confident, sees the field well, makes good decisions, and has top-flight accuracy. The arm strength limitations give me pause, but it’s prudent to remember that players like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Joe Montana and late career Peyton Manning have been insanely successful despite lacking a cannon for an arm. Goff is going to have to augment his mechanics, and will likely require the help of a private coach leading up to the combine, however, his potential is undeniable. Goff will be a high pick –more than likely a very high pick– although at the rate the Eagles are going, he may not be far from their reach. I’d imagine that Chip Kelly is a going to be a big Jared Goff fan come draft time, and could pull the trigger given the opportunity. I’m still a proponent of Bradford’s, however, Kelly was inclined to make a run at Marcus Mariota despite his presence, so there’s a solid chance he’d still be interested in Goff. Frankly, I’m all for investing heavy in the quarterback position until the problem is resolved, so targeting Goff is a prospect that I’d heavily consider as well.

NOTE: All observations were made with the help of Draftbreakdown.com. If you’re not familiar with their work give it a whirl. They do an awesome job breaking down player film into palatable snippets for easier analysis.