Welcome to 20/20. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine later this month, we’ll be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2016 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player Name — Jared Goff
2.) College — California
3.) Height/Weight — 6-foot-4, 215 pounds.
4.) Birth date — 10/14/1994
5.) Class — Junior
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6.) Basic college stats
Goff was a starter during all three of his seasons at Cal, piling up 4,719 yards and 43 touchdowns as a junior. For his career he posted 12,200 yards passing and 96 touchdowns.
7.) NFL Draft round projection — First round. Love him, hate him, or find yourself completely indifferent, Goff is one of this draft’s top prospects at the quarterback position and need will drive him up the board. He’s also far from bereft as far as talent is concerned; he’s got the toolkit to thrive at the NFL level.
8.) Current NFL comp — Teddy Bridgewater. Yea, I’ve done two 20/20 piece as a Viking fan and compared both players to current Vikings. Big whoop; wanna fight about it? Much like Bridgewater, Goff is a highly productive, much hyped prospect who fails to check all of the boxes physically. He’s skinny and lacks a howitzer arm, and wins in which ways which are seldom flashy. He’s likely to have a better draft pedigree than Bridgewater, but is sure to be picked apart throughout the draft process.
9.) Best possible destination — Dallas Cowboys. This is the easy answer for any quarterback, even though you will miss out on immediate returns as he plays apprentice to Tony Romo. You’re generally not relying on young quarterbacks to pile up fantasy points in any event, and while I am not in the camp which believes starting rookie quarterbacks immediately is a recipe for disaster, there’s really no harm in having Goff hold a clipboard for two seasons or so before handing the team over to him. Dallas’ much ballyhooed line is young and should be intact for the start of Goff’s career, and the Cowboys will have a couple of seasons to stockpile weaponry around Goff. He’d be well-equipped to hit the ground running.
10.) Worst possible destination — Los Angeles Rams. Unless the Rams leave Jeff Fisher in St. Louis, I am not exactly bullish on any offensive talent operating under his tutelage. The Rams have a dearth of weapons and have really failed to move the football in a consistently forward fashion ever since the Snead/Fisher combo joined the organization. Even in a passer-friendly climate, Los Angeles does not get me excited.
11.) Best current skill — Functional Mobility. We often get caught up in designating quarterbacks as pure pocket passers or dual-threats who need work with their passing game. There are millions of shades of grey in-between the black and white and Goff fits this description. He’s not blazing past a defense for a long touchdown run, but he shows light feet in the pocket and the ability to throw accurately on the run. He has active feet which allow him to maneuver in the pocket and make throws from numerous platforms. You don’t need to be a supreme athlete to succeed at the position; but you do need escape ability and creativity in the pocket if you’re going to succeed in today’s NFL.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved — Pressing on the perimeter. Despite lacking the flashy big arm, Goff is more than capable of pushing the ball downfield and his velocity in the intermediate game is on point. However, you notice a bit of a difference in timing when Goff attempts to make tight window throws along the sideline. This a key throw to make at the NFL level and it is not something Goff excels at currently. Arm strength is something many players build as they grow and mature at the NFL level, and it is one area of improvement for Goff, even if the nature of the trait is overrated and misunderstood in general.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP — 20th overall and 1st quarterback in February 2016 ADP; 16th overall and 1st quarterback in January 2016 ADP; 27th overall and 1st quarterback in December 2015 ADP
14.) Projected dynasty value — When the dust settles, I expect Goff to be the first quarterback off the board in most rookie drafts. But unless it is a 2QB/Superflex league, interest is likely to be relatively modest. This quarterback crop is not on the level of Winston/Mariota and early returns are unlikely.
15.) The Prototype — Even though Goff lacks ideal bulk, he is a factory-made quarterback with his excellent height and nearly flawless mechanics.
16.) Great Hair — When he’s committed to it, he can have flowing, golden locks, which is scientifically proven to make you a better quarterback.
17.) What’s his weight? — He is listed at 215. What happens if he shows up the NFL Combine just north of 200 pounds? His size will be one of the major concerns surrounding him.
18.) The Spread — People tend to shudder whenever they hear a quarterback played his college ball within the spread offense, but NFL teams are incorporating more and more unique concepts into their offenses these days, which allays some concern about a wildly different system. The big adjustment for Goff will be taking snaps from under center.
19.) Golden Bears: NFL Factory — Cal has quietly become a NFL factory, littering the NFL with plus talent despite seldom being major players in their own conference.
20.) Right Mentality — He’s not shying away from a challenge. He recently stated he’d be excited to the Browns’ next quarterback.
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This may be the year I turn in my Browns fanship. I know we need a QB. But while talented, I’m not convinced Goff is worth the 2nd overall pick in the draft the way Winston/Mariota were last year. The Browns have too many holes and should wait until the second-fourth to pick up a prospect to groom.
Counterpoint to #16: Blaine Gabbert. When the flowing, golden locks were shorn, he became a semi-legitimate NFL starter in San Fran.
But more seriously, this is a good take on Goff. The Bridgewater comp should be discussed more widely, and it may as the pre-draft process goes on.