Jake Browning

Jake Browning

Scouting Report done by Mark Jarvis. See all his work at What’s on Draft. Support his work on Patreon.  See the full Jake Browning report here.

Comps – Low/Medium/High

Cody Sokol (Low) – Matt Johnson (Medium) – Nathan Peterman (High)

Overview

Browning came into the season with a seventh round grade from me, but after further analyzing his game I’m baffled I gave him such high regard. Browning has moments of accuracy on his deep ball, but it’s often masked by some of the worst decision making skills in the college game. He tries to make plays that simply aren’t there to be made, often costing his team points or field position in the process. Rather than take sacks and play the long game, he’d prefer to lob the ball up as he goes to the dirt, allowing any defender nearby to have a shot at the interception. Between throwing off platform and doing laps in the backfield, Browning does a lot of damage to his offense’s output. He has shown the ability to occasionally extend plays at the college level, but his lack of athleticism is going to prevent him from escaping NFL defenders. As it stands, extending plays is his best shot at making something happen, considering his poor pocket presence and inability to work through progressions. He was not asked to move beyond his first read on a frequent basis in the Washington offense, and does not have many example plays of finding secondary targets without rolling out. While the offense did not use him a lot on play-action, he was most effective in that role, as it allowed the shorter field to neutralize his arm talent concerns. The mechanics aren’t an issue when he is allowed free throws, but degrade quickly when he comes under fire. Rather than deliver through shots with his typical throwing motion, Browning attempts to alter it around the defender, resulting in passes coming up dangerously short. Browning is not a quick processor, which shows up in his inability to dissect the middle of the field or throw with anticipation into traffic. Things need to be wide open for Browning to make proper decisions. The statistical output from his sophomore season will be enticing to some evaluators, but the truth is that Browning has continued to regress throughout his college career. His physical tools are unacceptable for an NFL quarterback. He does not have the arm strength needed to make difficult throws at the pro level, and it shows in his inability to generate velocity both on and off platform. He’ll fail to meet the 6’2″ mark that many teams want their quarterbacks to be at, and he doesn’t have the ability to find throwing lanes that is necessary for undersized quarterback prospects.

Reads & Decisions

Typically content to roll with his first option, but has shown progression ability when forced to extend the play and exit the pocket. Makes some downright boneheaded throws in an attempt to play hero ball. Hesitates to make decisions and puts himself into unwinnable situations as a result. Will have NFL windows slamming shut on his fingers due to slow processing. Stares down his target, making his intentions obvious for opponents. Does not throw prior to the break, waiting for his man to come clearly open before attempting the pass. Struggles with anticipation issues. Glosses over linebackers sitting underneath crossing routes. Chemistry with his wideouts is obvious on tape. Not content with the checkdown option. Second guesses himself. Rarely worked full-field progressions at UW.

Accuracy & Ball Placement

Has an understanding of how to leverage one-on-one situations downfield, often times putting the ball where only the receiver can get it. Able to alter trajectories to get passes over the top of defensive backs. Routinely dirts passes if he is forced to throw off platform. Does not always lead his receiver properly when working horizontally; throws to his man, not a spot. Accuracy is timing based, not natural. Quality deep ball placement makes no sense. Allows his receiver opportunities to climb the ladder and play the jump ball. Touch on throws will occasionally show up on boundary work. Lack of arm talent calls into question whether his back shoulder throws are intentional or just a result of underthrowing his target. Plenty of high/low variance on his passes underneath.

Pocket Awareness & Scrambling

Internal clock seems to function. Senses pressure stirring from any direction it comes. Quick recognition of potential breakthrough often borders paranoia. Does not have the athletic gifts to avoid pass rushers in pursuit; will be run down from behind. Digs his own grave by going backwards when plays break down. One of the most reckless retreaters I’ve ever scouted, although he does it in search of making a play. Keeps his eyes downfield once he gets scrambling. Wild man when he has a free rusher in his face, often times eluding the hit but putting himself in place to get smoked by the next guy. Looks to exit the pocket prematurely rather than holding his ground; doesn’t own the space. Rarely picks up first downs with his legs. Size won’t meet benchmarks for some teams.

Mechanics & Throwing Motion

Throwing motion tends to loop towards the hip rather than staying compact. Good weight distribution when he has time to set up in full. Angles his feet towards the target prior to making the throw. Mechanical approach under pressure is atrocious; throws while falling away, jumping, and anything in between. Forced to cock his body at an abnormal angle to even attempt deep throws due to how weak his arm is. Seems to fear contact during the throwing process, and won’t deliver with his normal motion if it means taking a hit. Gets complacent with some throws behind the line of scrimmage, using a sidearm motion and limiting ball speed. Release height and general size disadvantage results in deflected passes. May need larger throwing lanes than his counterparts.

Arm Strength

One of the weakest arms in the entire 2019 draft class. Passes float so long that every former defensive back within a ten mile radius can run under them. Incorporates his lower body to maximize his arm, although it doesn’t do much for him. Boundary throws will be ripe for the picking if corners are willing to get aggressive. Cannot be trusted to make the difficult NFL caliber throws that will be expected out of a starter. Windup is prominent and wasteful when trying to get beyond 40 yards downfield. Becomes completely ineffective in difficult weather conditions; can’t knife the ball through the wind. Lack of velocity causes mostly all of his throws to turn into touch passes.

Categories: 2019, QB, Scouting report
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