Big Board

Manny Wilkins

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

Comps – Low/Medium/High

Sefo Liufau (Low) – Danny Etling (Medium) – Graham Harrell (High)


One of the more intriguing late round prospects in this quarterback crop, Wilkins has shown upside as a pocket passer given his calm demeanor and moments of clarity when making choices as a passer. However, his tape does not suggest a player capable of developing beyond a backup role as a pro prospect, and he should be valued more as a career #2 rather than a potential developmental starter. Wilkin’s upper body mechanics are functional, and he alters his release angles to get through narrow throwing lanes. His lower body can get messy at times, as he’ll look to drift through his throws instead of working with precise movements at his base. His accuracy may not always be affected by the mechanical processes he undergoes, but there is enough divergence in it from play to play that it makes natural accuracy difficult. He’ll attempt touch throws and miss the mark by several yards, or try to throw heaters and pull the ball past his designated landing spot. As windows narrow at the pro level and Wilkins is forced to throw with more precision it’s tough to see a path to success without severe improvement in both his mental processing and his ball placement. At this point in his career he throws more for the player than for the spot, and it prevents some big play opportunities where the receiver has gained leverage out of their break. His arm is nothing special, but it can get passes where they need to go if he shows the anticipation needed. The Sun Devil offense did not ask him to frequently work beyond his first read when playing inside of structure. There were flashes of working to his second target when plays broke down or when he spent beyond three seconds protected, but generally he did not work at a pace that would be acceptable for a pro. His mentality as a passer is more focused on avoiding trouble than making plays, which has boosted his production as a college quarterback, but has hindered his overall game from developing. The most prepared part of Wilkins’ game is his pocket presence and ability to navigate the backfield without overextending himself. He takes measured movements that take him out of the way of pressure, but don’t drag him deeper into the mess. Wilkins isn’t quick enough as a scrambler to snag large swaths of yardage, but he can take off when nothing else is available.

Reads & Decisions

Has shown potential to work beyond his first read when plays break down, and has improvisational skill there to be refined. Can go one-two with his progressions if given extensive time to work. Moments of indecision when he isn’t comfortable with the timing of his receivers. Takes the checkdown instead of getting overly aggressive. Was not asked to go downfield frequently despite a great target in N’Keal Harry; coaches unsure of his deep ball? Does not pull defenders out of lanes with his eyes. Wants to see it before throwing it; lacks anticipation to throw prior to the route break. Processing is not at a starter level yet for the next level. Places priority on getting ball out over having picture perfect setups. Decision making was erratic against Michigan State; forced too many shots.

Accuracy & Ball Placement

Needs to give his targets more lead if he wants to create yards after the catch; puts most of his passes directly on top of his target. Accuracy deteriorates once he reaches his second read. Passes tend to sail in the intermediate as he tries to get more heat on them. Rhythm passer who relies more on his receiver than his eyes. Maintains short placement and timing even when adjusting his arm slots. Has enough air to get throws over the top of linebackers. Accuracy starts to dip when he starts getting beat up. Deep ball placement is almost always too far ahead; out of sync with his guys when he has to push down the field. Has his throws drift and go off target when he goes into the wind with arc. Still learning how to appropriately use touch, and will miss easy throws as result.

Pocket Awareness & Scrambling

Capable of finding targets downfield when he breaks the pocket and gets on the move. Spots interior pressure breaking through and moves swiftly to avoid it; comfortable when moving around in the backfield. Climbs the pocket to avoid backside leakage. Functioning internal clock. Listed near 6’2″ and could come in under that during testing; below average size for a quarterback. Rolls the shoulder and slides through arm tackles/sacks. Gets the ball out with pressure in his face. Sees scrambling opportunities arise but not the fastest guy. Steps in the pocket aren’t overzealous or unnecessary. Has experience running read option but could not pick up unblocked yardage without poor tackling. Doesn’t shy away from hits, throwing as they come.

Mechanics & Throwing Motion

Feet don’t stay aligned with his outside targets, forcing him to open up early and misdirect the ball’s path. Needs to settle himself for more throws, as he’ll try to cheat his footwork on shorter passes. Ball path occasionally slips wide and forces him to time the release rather than having it fly off naturally. Base tends to widen too much and mess up weight transfer. Adjusts his arm slotting to account for pressure. Likes to pat the ball prior to many of his throws which allows windows to get narrower. Reduces his throwing motion as the field gets tighter, allowing for quicker releases and a more compact process. Makes a lot of directional adjustments with his upper half. Forced to raise up over line with his arm, taking zip off ball. Too often rolls through his setup instead of speeding up feet.

Arm Strength

Generates enough velocity to make short and intermediate throws off platform. Ball doesn’t come off his hand easy, and he has to rev it up to make some throws that will be considered commonplace. May need to incorporate more of his lower body into throws to maximize his arm. Won’t make the highlight throws but has enough speed on his passes to make NFL throws, as long as the accuracy stays functioning. Passes over the middle of the field can get to their target uninterrupted as long as the mental side of things checks out on a play. May have passes to the boundary encroached upon by aggressive corners. Goes beyond 50 yards while putting necessary air under the ball to drop it over the top.

Categories: 2019, QB