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Taylor Cornelius

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

Liam Nadler (Low) – Zach Mettenberger (Medium) – Nick Foles (High)


Cornelius comes out of the same offense that third round selection Mason Rudolph came out of last year. Mike Gundy’s bombs away style afforded Cornelius plenty of opportunities to air it out, but he looked much more comfortable working the short game than Rudolph did. He doesn’t have the same level of accolades and winds up with a lower grade than Rudolph received from me last year, but he may have the better ceiling between the two signal callers. Cornelius is not developed from a mental standpoint, and his inability to get beyond his first read will likely be his undoing as a prospect. Cornelius won’t make the wrong decisions, but his processing is not at a speed that will work at the pro level. You won’t often see him testing tight coverages without good reason, but he’ll have to force passes if his first man is covered. The accuracy can fluctuate, but it has improved a huge amount since the early season errors. Being Cornelius’ first season at the helm, his growth as a passer in regards to ball placement and chemistry with his receivers has been outstanding. He’ll have some passes sail or come slamming into the dirt due to mechanical issues, but the natural feel for targeting his guys is there. He understands where passes need to go, and generally puts them there. Arm strength may be another area where Cornelius edges out his predecessor. Although he doesn’t have rare arm talent he can put plenty of zip on passes and hit NFL windows. He knows how to play with touch and take some heat off of his throws, but some of the inconsistent releases seem to hinder his velocity on throws. When everything is synced up properly he is more than capable of tough throws. Mechancially speaking Cornelius has the flaws that many taller quarterbacks run into. His coordination and weight transfer is an issue because of his height, and his entire setup lacks control. He’ll often slip too wide with his throwing motion and have to correct for the ball pulling. While he doesn’t get reckless with the platforms he takes, the bouts of inaccuracy are often directly linked to his upper body. His size isn’t much assistance when he gets snagged in the pocket, as he lacks the balance and strength to fight through contact. He’ll occasionally make someone miss, but Cornelius is far from a pocket commander. He’ll slide into open space to prepare for throws, but doesn’t have the spacial awareness and movement down yet. Although he can break the occasional scramble off he’s far more likely to be contained as the game speeds up.

Reads & Decisions

Was not asked to go through full field progressions. Timing is catered to by the offense he ran. Willing to throw it away if nothing is available. Needs wide open windows to make decisions. Ability to process post-snap is going to be a massive factor for teams. Throws lack the anticipation necessary to get through difficult coverages. Wants to see receivers break on their route before putting the ball out. Telegraphs his intentions to linebackers by staring down his receiver. Rarely worked to checkdowns if vertical game was unavailable. Only found his secondary options when the play broke down and he was forced to create opportunities. Touchdown or bust mentality led to missed opportunties underneath. Does not take unnecessary chances; keeps throws out of crowded coverages.

Accuracy & Ball Placement

Understands utilizing arc to get passes over the heads of defensive backs. Throws a consistently catchable ball. Has an understanding of how to lead receivers across the field. Downfield accuracy waned during the Oklahoma game when pressure was able to get through. Short game accuracy is usually pinpoint. Altered arm angles make his passes incredibly tough to pull in; does not have ability to adjust mid-throw without killing his aim. Shares a lot of qualities from an accuracy standpoint as his predecessor Mason Rudolph; placement is typically good, but receivers save him on the bad ones. High/low variance seems to be an issue. Improved as the year went on, gaining chemistry with his receivers. Tendency to under throw vs. Boise State didn’t follow to Oklahoma.

Pocket Awareness & Scrambling

Giant of a man who towers over the pocket. Movements are often robotic, not organic. Only tends to climb forwards when he is syncing up to throw. Smooth with his adjustments to avoid potential snags during his throwing motion; resets his feet and shuffles away from pressure. Too easily brought down given his measurables; does not often escape a close sack to extend the play. Eyes stay downfield rather than searching for runs prematurely. Does not have the mobility to make plays with his feet as he goes to the NFL level. Pushed the pile well in short yardage situations for the Cowboys; over 100 rushes in his senior year. Reactive mover instead of a proactive mover. Willing to go through open lanes as a scrambler. Internal clock isn’t honed in yet, but functions.

Mechanics & Throwing Motion

Size makes his mechanical processes longer and more hinged. Steps through on his throws, but doesn’t seem to drive off of his lead foot. Release speed seems serviceable. Release point seems to differ frequently on a snap to snap basis, and may be resulting in some of his inaccurate throws. Will go side arm and try to cheat his motion if the timing gets broken up. Loves to pat the ball pre-throw, often times delaying the throwing motion. Throws his body through his delivery rather than smoothly following the motion, occasionally killing passes if his release timing is off. Stays true to his base on most occasions, and won’t force things from an uneven platform. Has a bit of a windmill swing with his motion that loops to the outside. Uncomfortable adjusting for passing lanes, can’t relocate up top.

Arm Strength

Velocity is above average, but nothing special. Has the ability to make throws deep downfield; comfortably gets to 55 yards with some of his passes. Generates enough on his throws on the move to succeed when flushed out of the pocket. Varies speeds to adjust for different situations as a passer. Can hit the outbreaking throws without giving up his receiver’s leverage towards the boundary and allowing undercuts. Capable of putting some serious heat on throws with very little margin for error. Consistency issues with his ball speed may be related to constantly adjusting his mechanical approach throughout games.

Categories: 2019, QB, Scouting report