Why Jared Goff could be an NFL Franchise Quarterback
Name Position School: Jared Goff, Quarterback, California
Games Watched: Utah, USC, Air Force
Measurables: Goff is six foot four which is a good height for a quarterback. He is not in the extremely tall range where quarterbacks often struggle (like Ryan Mallett at six foot six) but he is not too short to struggle in the NFL (sub six foot). His frame is smallish but he survived his time behind a horrendous offensive line at California. A NFL weight room and conditioning program will serve him well as he prepares to start sixteen games. His hands are small at nine inches but it is not an absolute death knell for a quarterback like it is portrayed to be. He ran a 4.82 forty time.
Strengths: Goff is often knocked for playing in the Bear Raid (a take on the Air Raid) but he shows the mental tools needed to succeed in the NFL. He has extremely quick feet as he moves through his progressions. He can work through progressions both in trips formations to one side of the field or in two by two formations (two receivers on each side of the offensive line) looking at the whole field. He often throws his receivers open and anticipates when receivers will be open. An excellent example of this was when he threw a go (streak) route for a touchdown in the Utah game when the receiver was merely half a step ahead of the cornerback and he placed the ball perfectly. In another example from this game, Goff play action fakes to the running back only to find him being trapped by a defender. He spins out of a sack and throws an excellent ball to a receiver ten or so yards down the field on a curl route. Goff can extend a play with his feet both within and outside the confines of an offense. He can roll out and throw with accuracy but he also can scramble to find a receiver or use his feet to gain yards on the ground. He can move within the pocket and has excellent awareness of what is going on in the pocket. His offensive line was porous and his receivers were inconsistent so it was impressive to see him carry the team on his back on the offensive side of the ball. He has very good (think Mariota or better) but not great arm strength (not Cam Newton or Jameis Winston).
Weaknesses: Goff’s frame could cause him to get injured if he cannot pack on weight. While he can throw the receiver open, he also can make a receiver have to adjust for the ball in such ways that it is dropped or they receive a massive hit. His five interception game against Utah looked disastrous on the stat sheet but many of the interceptions were tipped or other freak occurrences that were not his fault.
He had the chance to lead the team to a win at the end of the Utah game but was not able to do so. His arm strength is fine but he plays like his arm is bigger than it is.
Summary: Goff is not a transcendent quarterback that will change a franchise forever, but he is an extremely good quarterback in a class that is allegedly lacking a franchise quarterback. Goff has a high floor and at the very least should be a ‘purgatory’ starter in the NFL. (Purgatory is when the quarterback is too good to replace but not good enough to lead a team to the Super Bowl on his back). He is not a physical specimen and is not an athletic freak but he is an excellent quarterback that a franchise can ask to start day one. He is not a top five pick worthy player but at the most important position in the NFL he could be selected in the top five. Goff is worthy of a first round selection.