Jake Browning – Dynasty Value Projection

Jake Browning is about as highly touted as they come. Winning a California Gatorade player of the year award would already have been enough to garner some national attention, but Browning didn’t stop there. In his senior year, he threw for 5,760 yards and a national record 91 touchdowns. He was named as a USA Today All American and won his second straight California Gatorade player of the year award. After his incredible and honestly unbelievable high school career, Browning chose Washington over offers from the likes of Alabama and Oklahoma State.

Browning had to be aware of the opportunity to start as a true freshman if he opted for Washington. He did just that. He became the first true freshman to start a season opener for Washington. Browing took some lumps during his freshman campaign. He threw a very pedestrian 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but did lead the Huskies to a 7-6 record and a bowl game victory. The statistical improvement from Freshman to Sophomore year is what really made him a household name going into 2017. Browning put up a stat line of 3430 yards, 43 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, and 9.9 yards per attempt.

Although Browning wasn’t quite a Heisman finalist, he earned Pac 12 offensive player of the year honors. Browning’s stat line downright scary good, as he led Washington to a 12-2 record and College Football Playoff Berth. Going into his Junior year, Browning is widely being considered as an early Heisman contender. So now that we’ve met Browning the player, let’s break down his game piece by piece and discuss where he stands as an NFL Draft and dynasty prospect.

Strengths:

Decision Making: I know, I know, 9 interceptions isn’t exactly an eye-popping number. However, 43 Touchdowns and a 4.78 TD/Int ratio are. A lot of times the term “good decision maker” is tagged on a “game manager”, but Browning resembles a play maker rather than a “game manager”. Now that Washington’s best playmaker is gone in John Ross, it’ll be up to Browning to take advantage of a cast including Myles Gaskin, Dante Pettis, and Chico McClatcher.

Pocket Presence: Watch Jake Browning, and you’ll see a quarterback who makes the most of what he has athletically. Browning senses pressure particularly well and is even better at escaping from a collapsing pocket. One of the “silver linings” from Browning’s sub-par athleticism is that it forces him to keep his eyes downfield when outside the pocket, and that’s exactly what coaches want their quarterbacks to do. Lastly, what do you get when you combine a quarterback whose main strengths are decision making and pocket presence? A quarterback who rarely takes sacks.

Weaknesses:

Mechanics: When a quarterback is releasing the ball, their arm should be straight, and their elbow should be 4-6 inches above their shoulder.

As you can see, not only is Browning’s arm not 4-6 inches above his shoulder, it barely even reaches it. Mechanically, this could limit Browning going forward in both accuracy and power, and mechanics can be hard to fix. Was a shoulder injury that Browning dealt with partially or completely to blame? That is a possibility.

Throw Power: Maybe as much as mechanics, a shoulder injury is really going to hamper a quarterback in terms of throw power. But injuries or no injuries, Browning has a fairly weak arm. As you probably know, throw power is more than the ability to throw a 60 yard “Hail Mary”. It’s the ability to hit the X receiver on a 12 yard out route. It’s the ability to hit the WR on a screen just a tenth of a second earlier to allow him a crucial head start. As you can see a quarterback with a weak arm doesn’t just affect an offense when it’s hail mary time, it can be a consistent weakness.

Mobility: Browning simply isn’t a super athlete. By no means is Browning a statue in the pocket, but don’t expect NFL coaches to design runs for him. Lamar Jackson, he is not. We all know that running ability isn’t essential to be a franchise quarterback, but it sure is nice. Tom Brady and Drew Brees are current and historically good QB’s who aren’t known for their running ability, but both have “golden” arms that Browning just doesn’t seem to have. They also have the ability to move within the pocket. Sure, because of his strong pocket presence Browning tends to make the most of his athleticism, but don’t expect to see him make much of an impact in the NFL running with the ball.

Summary: Jake Browning is one of the most accomplished quarterback prospects in recent memory, but unfortunately, Browning is a prospect who’s resume looks far better than his NFL traits. Let’s make this clear, Browning has an excellent shot at being a finalist for the Heisman trophy and will lead a Washington offense that should be among the country’s best. Nevertheless, his struggles in terms of mechanics, throw power, and mobility paints a picture of a future NFL backup.

Going into 2017 I can’t wait to see how his shoulder looks fresh off of surgery, and if it helps patch up some of those holes in his game we’ve talked about. Right now, early in the draft process, I have Browning as a 5th round prospect with a wide range of possibility (3-7) once the uncertainty of his throwing shoulder is cleared up. As for Dynasty purposes, only draft Browning if you’re in a league deep enough where you can afford to stash a prospect who has a good chance of being a career backup.

 

California: http://draftbreakdown.com/2017/04/16/jake-browning-vs-cal-2016/

Arizona State: http://draftbreakdown.com/2017/08/14/baker-mayfield-vs-arizona-state-2016/

Alabama: http://draftbreakdown.com/2017/08/14/jake-browning-vs-alabama-2016/

Thank you for reading and give me a follow @NFL_drafthub.

 

bylitalo

Bradley Ylitalo, Minneapolis MN. Bethel Football Student Coach. Scouting/Devy writer for the Dynasty Football Factory. Follow me on twitter @NFL_drafthub or find me on facebook: Bradley Ylitalo

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