Comps – Low/Medium/High
Kenny Hill (Low) – Antonio Pipkins (Medium) – Brett Hundley (High)
Ta’amu has earned his time in the spotlight thanks to his usurping of former top recruit Shea Patterson for the Mississippi quarterback job. His air it out tendencies have been undeniably productive, but the media observation of Ta’amu as a potential sleeper should be shortlived. Ta’amu was constantly bailed out by his cast of playmakers that could rival most NFL squads. The trio of DaMarkus Lodge, D.K. Metcalf, and A.J. Brown may be one of the best to ever go through the college levels, and even they failed to save Ta’amu from himself at times. The Mississippi offense did him no favors in regards to developing from the mental side of things, but his moments of anticipation are often snuffed out by long droughts filled with indecisiveness. He was rarely asked to do more than attack with the deep ball, which has slowed his development in hitting throws in the intermediate. He can deliver passes in between the hashes, but they aren’t always pretty, often times preventing his target from picking up yardage after the catch. Even on throws downfield where Ta’amu was asked to make his money he often underthrew his target and forced difficult jump balls for his guys. Some of the accuracy problems may be linked to his mechanics, which are a bit unrefined at this point in his career. Ta’amu doesn’t completely disregard his platform, but will often use rotational force as a means of creating velocity rather than driving off of his base. This tendency leads to a lot of self-correcting during throws, and forces Ta’amu to time his release rather than just letting the ball fly. This is noticeable on his passes as many shorter ones have a downward trajectory that end up at the receiver’s waistline rather than their numbers. Ta’amu may have some hidden arm talent that hasn’t shown through because of his mechanics, but I don’t see it coming out in the near future. He is a peculiar study, as he throws with enough heat on his passes to get them into snug places. That said, he rarely goes beyond 50 yards even if his man will be open deep. When asked to crank up and hit a deep shot he can’t always get the distance necessary. In regards to his pocket presence, there is a lot to be worked with due to his agility and comfort avoiding the pass rush. He isn’t controlled yet with his movements, but the tools are there. He’ll need to find platforms to work from along with working towards passing lanes that may not reveal themselves off the snap.
Accuracy & Ball Placement
Placement is more general than specific. Does not take away play-making opportunities from defensive backs by putting passes away from their leverage. Unable to give his receivers adequate lead on throws both vertically and horizontally. More of a man hitter than a target hitter, which could lead to defenders undercutting his throws in man. Has a significant amount of passes dip below the numbers, forcing his receivers to make difficult catches. Straight line thrower who rarely adjusts trajectories to put throws over the top. Deep ball was often reliant on his guys to make the plays. Nails most of his comeback throws if the field is shortened by rolling out. Had to recalculate many of his throws to adjust for air traffic at the line. May have some of his inaccuracy stem from release.
Pocket Awareness & Scrambling
Feels pressure breaking through and slides away from it without trouble. Mobility within the pocket isn’t always controlled, but it saves him from big shots. Eyes occasionally drop as he looks to run prematurely once his platform is disrupted. Slips away from free rushers without getting snagged. Slightly undersized for the prototype of the position. Climbs forward for the delivery, avoiding the backside danger. Doesn’t back out of throws even if he’s going to take a hit. Frame isn’t going to hold up if he takes a lot of shots as a pro. Not the type to take off quick, but has enough speed to pick up yardage with his legs when given wide open lanes. Play extension ability is an obvious plus in his tape. Lacks the strength to pull through contact once a defender has latched on. Imprecise movements.
Mechanics & Throwing Motion
Doesn’t have any fatal flaws in regards to setup or delivery. Could stand to drive harder off of his lead foot. Had multiple passes tipped at the line during the Alabama game. Feet aren’t correctly angled on some of his outside throws, forcing him to create unnecessary torque to offset. Base width varies snap to snap. Release speed is adequate. Capable of resetting and getting the ball out with immediacy. Forced to time his release rather than letting the ball glide out naturally as a result of throwing style. Flows through some setups rather than locking the platform and then delivering. Active feet allow for adjustments as he prepares; stays bouncing. Path through the release often swings wide and turns into a 3/4 release rather than coming over the top. Cuts off his follow-through to shift into manual.
Has enough arm strength to hit 50 without having to wind up significantly. Throws with enough velocity off platform to make things work downfield. Power generation needs to begin lower rather than being created through upper body rotation. Will need to drive his throws harder from his base if passes are going to get arc while maintaining distance. Surprising difference between distance and speed. Has passes start to die out early if they get a lot of height. Won’t make up for bouts of hesitation with his natural tools.