Comps – Low/Medium/High
AJ McCarron (Low) – Andy Dalton (Medium) – Kirk Cousins (High)
Does the name Rypien sound familiar? It should, as Brett Rypien’s uncle Mark led the Redskins to two super bowl victories in the 80s and 90s. The NFL seems to gush over bloodlines, but there is good reason to believe the younger Rypien will be a successful quarterback in his own right. There aren’t any outstanding physical gifts such as high end arm talent or great athleticism working in his favor, but Rypien’s ability to survey defenses and make smart decisions will draw the favor of many teams over the course of the draft process. He has proven comfortable working through multiple reads and dishing out the ball quickly as soon as an opening is spotted. There are few mental lapses from Rypien, which show up in his favor in regards to limiting turnovers. But he’s not just a safe passer who dinks and dunks his way up the field. At least two or three times a game Rypien will uncork an accurate deep ball and drop a dime onto a receiver in stride. These throws can occasionally drift due to wind conditions, but they are some of the best deep throws of any quarterback coming out of college football. The biggest risk for turnover from Rypien is in the pocket, as he can get the ball knocked out relatively easy while trying to find targets. He does not have the size to endure hits, and will get ragdolled if contacted squarely. That’s not to say that Rypien opens himself up to getting killed by free rushers. He can dip his shoulders and shrug through arm tackles, but most defensive linemen are able to keep a grip. His work in the pocket overall needs developed further as a pro, as Rypien does not demonstrate the qualities expected of a true pocket passer. He is does not slide into space naturally, instead holding his position until it’s overrun. The scrambling ability is there as a last resort, but he stays disciplined with his eyes and won’t take off unless absolutely necessary. Rypien’s accuracy and mechanics are closely tied together, and they seem ready for the league straight out of the box. His release point is a bit low, but everything else is on point. His motion is sharp without wasted movement. Accuracy wise he will need to improve the height at which the ball arrives along with keeping the ball ahead of his target to maximize yardage, but it’s nothing significant enough to hurt his value.
Reads & Decisions
Capable of working back to checkdown if longer developing routes are unavailable. Reaches second read without any delay. Has a willing mindset as a passer and doesn’t chicken out of throws over the middle of the field. Needs to see things open up before letting his arm loose; must throw with more anticipation prior to the break point. Decisive passer who takes what’s given. Has shown enough competence to be trusted making full field reads. Finds tertiary option multiple times per game without breaking pocket or ad libbing. Mastery of the Boise State offense is evident in control of pace, spacing, and distribution. Would rather throw it away than risk a dumb turnover. Avoids lurking coverages over the middle. Revealing eyes that can stare down targets and tip off defense.
Accuracy & Ball Placement
Good rhythm thrower who has developed optimal timing with his receivers. Passes tend to be on top of the target rather than giving an extra couple of feet to allow for YAC opportunities. Trajectories to beat coverages over the top need work, but he can drop buckets. Alters his passes to account for throwing lanes at the line of scrimmage. Placement needs to be more specific than general, although it’s a minor flaw. Deep ball accuracy is solid. High/low variance can become an issue at times; will occasionally dirt passes in the intermediate game for no particular reason. Lower level of competition is evident in wide open throwing lanes; window throws weren’t frequent or impressive. Like a conductor with his ability to drive the offense. Pulls receivers away from big hits.
Pocket Awareness & Scrambling
Undersized for the position; does not possess the body of a prototype NFL quarterback. Finger is on the trigger as pressure arrives; rarely takes unwarranted sacks. Mobile enough to roll out of the pocket and throw on the run. Sense of backside pressure isn’t there yet. Sells the play-action well. Willing to pull it down and run if nothing is available in the passing game. Eyes are always looking for a receiver even when scrambling. Unafraid of launching it even with a free rusher in his face. Can’t always muscle through arms in the pocket, but won’t become a statue. Rolls shoulders. Ball security needs improvement. Late pocket climber. Pocket movements are all or nothing; needs to take more measured steps. Inconsistency with post-drop movements are inhibitive.
Mechanics & Throwing Motion
Comfortable altering arm slot to get passes off with pressure in his face. Compact release that comes out quick and clean. Throws a nice spiral that rarely wavers if he isn’t contacted at the release. Able to get the ball out from adverse conditions thanks to speed of release. Crisp setup overall that maximizes his physical talents to their fullest potential. Understanding of adjustments in throwing motion deters batted passes. Footwork in his drops is honed in and rarely falters. Feet stay light and ready to adjust at a moment’s notice. Properly realigns his shoulders to keep a balanced upper half when throwing on the run. Lower and upper body are tied together well; mechanics flow. Resets his feet towards the target whenever possible and draws accuracy from it.
Doesn’t pack the desired velocity in the intermediate game to hit windows that are slamming shut. Arm is NFL caliber, but won’t be making every throw on the field. Gets good torque to create zip even if he can’t take a hard drive off of his front foot. Enough juice to hit a 15-yard out without opening up the door for a breaking cornerback. Understands that power comes from the lower half. Doesn’t get lazy and try to cheat with all-arm throws. Gets the job done even when working on the run, assuming his platform is unaltered. Deep passes cool off significantly after about 40 yards; ball does not cut through the wind. Did not frequently attack further than 15 yards down the field, potentially due to concerns about arm strength. Distance maxes out around 60 yards downfield.