Last year a lot of people were enamored with a small school prospect by the name of Zac Dysert. I was one of those people. Dysert went to Miami (OH), the very same school that Ben Roethlisberger went to, and he beat many of Big Ben's records. Unfortunately for many of us, Dysert was drafted in the 7th round by the Broncos who really don't need a quarterback that is at least somewhat competent.
Have no fear Jets fans! There's another small school guy that will make your hearts melt. I mean seriously he will, he's gorgeous.
Oh man, just look at him! This stud muffin up here is Jimmy Garoppolo. He's my new man crush. Before I get into any details of his actual play, let me just say his situation is similar to Dysert's in some ways. He goes to a small school, a famous current starter went to that school, and this quarterback beat all of the records previously held by that quarterback. The other famous quarterback who played for Eastern Illinois is the less good looking Tony Romo. In case you forgot what he looks like for some reason, here is a picture of Romo with former girlfriend, Jessica Simpson.
Okay so I don't want to harp on the fact that he is going to the school that Romo went to, because honestly it means nothing. They played under different coaches in different systems about 8 years apart. Every draft analyst will harp on the fact that they went to the same school so I won't for my analysis. Okay, on to the serious analysis.
Apparently the Eastern Illinois Panthers use a similar system to Baylor and as a result use nicknames for their players (like RGIII). Jimmy G is called JG1 which is as
terrible awesome of a nickname you can come up with. Since his name is too long to type out, I'll just refer to him as JG, or J-Sizzle. Another result of the Baylor offense is a lot of read option plays. Oh yeah, and he won the Walter Payton Award which is awarded to the best offensive player in the FCS.
His career stats are as follow:
JG improved all of his major stats by his senior season. in 2 more games than his junior season, he completed 1200 more yards, 22 more touchdowns, and with 6 fewer interceptions. He was only 3 touchdowns shy of tying the FCS record for touchdowns in a single season. He also has a pretty decent completion percentage. He also averaged 38 yards on 2 punts which is a vital QB statistic.
The biggest problem with analyzing JG is that I can barely find any tape on him. Most of the footage of him are highlights of games created by the football team's YouTube account. They aren't even his highlights, just of the games in general. So because of this, I might be missing out on a decent amount of footage that can really determine if he is a good QB. Yes he has great highlights and amazing hair, but how is he during the rest of the game? How does he handle pressure on each play? How does he handle a couple of bad drives? These things I can't really determine from the tape.
The things I like best from him: I guess this is really his strengths, but for some reason feels better saying it this way. Anyway, here's what I like:
- Accuracy: He throws the ball in stride and actually does pretty well outside the numbers. He finds a way to throw the undefendable ball on the outside of coverage
- He can float the ball: It's really interesting watching his passes. He doesn't have the greatest arm strength but still seems to throw deep balls in the perfect spots. Often times, the receiver is wide open, but many times they aren't. Regardless, he makes the throw that is hard to defend and is caught in stride, Many of the TDs I've seen him throw were like this.
- He doesn't stare down his receivers: This is something I really like out of his play. We've had lots of problems with Geno staring down his receivers and causing interceptions so it's good to see a guy who typically checks around the field before throwing the ball. My only concern is that these are designed check downs and not JG scanning the field on his own.
- He doesn't have a lot of zip on his ball: I don't know if this is because most of his touchdowns are lofty passes and most touchdowns make the highlight reels, but it doesn't seem like he throws a hard, fast ball all too often. That's pretty important in the NFL when you face guys who run faster than the fastest guy on most of JG's opposing teams. Speaking of which....
- His weak competition: This is pretty self explanatory. He's never really had any big games. Most of the fields he plays his games on are glorified high school fields with pretty much the same crowd. San Diego State was probably the toughest opponent they had this year (Fun fact: Sean Payton graduated from EIU and later coached for SDS. It's like a sign or something).
Where will he land? Most people have him going somewhere in the middle to late rounds. CBS Sports considered him a 3rd round pick near the middle of the season. Some people have said that he would be a good WCO quarterback. What a coincidence, the Jets run a WCO! I think he'll probably end up being a later round pick, but the whole Tony Romo comparison will give him a lot more spotlight and may cause some teams to give him some extra attention. I feel like the analysts will really inflate his draft stock and he will probably be a 6th or 7th rounder.
Here are some videos and articles to make you realize that we need to draft this guy.
Sports Illustrated This article is a lot more in depth into his personal life and goes into detail about his coaching and the offense they run at EIU, which like I said before is similar to Baylor's
At the 8 minute mark in this video you can see pretty much all of J-Sizzle's touchdown passes. It's good if you want to basically see what you would see if you looked up any other video, except it's all consolidated into one video. It's also good if you want to hear the commentator shout "Touchdown Eastern Illinois!" About 50 times.
Jimmy Garoppolo 2013 Senior Season Feature 122013 (via pantherathletics)
Here's a link to a YouTube playlist with a bunch of different QBs. Hopefully it works but there are a couple of games showing JG.