Comps – Low/Medium/High
Cooper Rush (Low) – Connor Cook (Medium) – Trevor Siemian (High)
The framework necessary to find success as a professional quarterback is there for Ryan Finley, but the mechanical flaws and mental lapses go a long way in damaging his stock. Finley’s arm strength concerns have been the biggest piece of discussion for most of draft media, but I believe it is better than advertised. Although he hinders his natural ability with poor lower body mechanics, I believe his arm is good enough to make most throws, assuming he plays with elite anticipation. The problem is that he does not play with elite anticipation, often times waiting for the receiver to be clearly open before delivering the ball. Finley trusts his eyes a lot more than his mind when it comes to the operation of the offense, and it gets him into trouble frequently. He does not move through progressions well, even though he has shown the ability to go beyond his first read. Some of his errors in regards to hitting multiple reads are made up for by a quick trigger, but that gets him in trouble as well. Finley often misses underneath linebackers waiting to poach his passes in between the hashes. Most of his turnovers come in this fashion rather than misplaced passes. He does not see things post snap yet despite being 24 years old and having plenty of experience coming out of the college game. Finley’s frame is questionable, as he’s a thin 210 pounds, so he’ll need to overcome some questions about his strength in the pocket. While he isn’t a physically imposing player in the backfield, he is a smart one. Finley navigates traffic well and slides into open throwing lanes with ease. His internal clock functions great, and he does not frequently get caught off guard by pass rushers. He’s not a good enough athlete to get yardage on the ground, but he will create opportunities to throw on the run, which is something he does nicely. Mechanically speaking, throwing on the run is the only time Finley looks like all the pieces come together. His tendency to slide back into his throws and release while fading away from the line of scrimmage causes his passes to sail the wrong way. His throws are created with his arm strength, not a good base with his legs. Rather than drive from the bottom up he tries to create rotational velocity on throws that need some heat. These issues with falling away from passes results in a lot of dangerous plays where more gifted defenders could make a play on the ball. He is a decently accurate quarterback despite these mechanical issues though. While Finley does not deliver perfect passes to where only the receiver can make a play, he usually makes sure that every ball is catchable or at least impossible to take away.
Reads & Decisions
Does not throw with desired anticipation; waits to see the break before unloading the ball. Holds safeties with his eyes and draws them out of deep throwing lanes. Processing speed doesn’t show up in ability to go through progressions, but he makes snap decisions. Too willing to attack one-on-one opportunities without his man being free. Makes a few horrendous decisions each game when put into pressure situations; too trigger happy in search of making a play. Blatantly disregards underneath defenders. Able to go one-two with his reads but would rather try forcing passes than switch targets. Does not find checkdowns frequently enough, but he’s capable of it. Offensive scheming was rather ineffective against Clemson, making his game look worse in the box score than on tape.
Accuracy & Ball Placement
Placement in the short game is adequate for the pros. Leads his receivers into space. Deep ball is in need of refinement, but he tries to throws it away from leveraging to avoid turnovers. Game consists more of general accuracy than putting throws in undefendable places; gets into trouble when coverages tighten up in man. Passes don’t have much touch to them; not yet developed in adjusting ball trajectory. Crafty with some of his back shoulder throws. Turnovers seem to be the result of mental mistakes, not accuracy problems. Downfield misfires may be timing based, not variance. Effectiveness on the move is shocking. Consistently throws one of the most catchable balls in the class. Accuracy usually deteriorates when asked to make throws under severe pressure.
Pocket Awareness & Scrambling
Comfortable throwing on the run despite having clear mobility limitations. Does not have the speed to scramble away from most edge rushers. Has the stones to take off for yardage with his legs when nothing is available through the air, but won’t have many opportunities to do so in NFL with his athletic profile. Gets down immediately to avoid unnecessary hits when he does use his legs. Somewhat slender frame for his size. Feels backside pressure and climbs the pocket instantly. Eyes stay downfield at all times searching for an outlet throw. Tries to fade from throws with pressure in his face, but has proven willingness to take a shot to get them out. Controlled movements within the pocket may be his best quality; navigates with confidence and intent in his steps.
Mechanics & Throwing Motion
Inconsistent arm slotting with his release point, but has developed well with the manipulation of it. Does not have a constant and crisp over the top release. Serviceable speed through his motion; no significant windup. Creates most of his throwing power with upper body torque instead of starting at the bottom, although it doesn’t seem to hinder his accuracy. Accounts for potential hazards at the line of scrimmage and adjusts his release point to deal with them. Mechanics on the run are balanced with no wasted motion. Lanky frame causes typical problems, but he counteracts them well. Footwork needs to speed up from snap to delivery; takes too long to adjust to target. Fades away from a lot of his throws at the back of his drop. Has trouble staying in rhythm with his steps.
Ball velocity is nothing to write home about, but he throws a quality spiral that cuts through the air. Arm strength concerns may be linked more to poor lower body mechanics than to natural disadvantage; does not drive off of his front foot. Passes tend to die out quickly when forced to throw from difficult platforms. Arm is not at a high enough level to drive the ball to all levels of the field against faster competition. Knows when he really needs to crank up; won’t throw floaters when he needs a fastball. Maximum distance in live action may be around 55 yards, but he rarely waits until the deep ball is out of range to take his shots. Ability to hit tight window throws is still a question mark that will need resolved during draft circuit.