Quarterback Haul

SyracuseFan.com broke down film on both Jonny Miller and John Kinder this week to look at what the Orange are getting in each prospect and what could happen with both while they're on campus.

Every high school player is going to have plenty of little flaws in their game, so before I get into some evaluation, understand I'm not going to pick kids apart at this level. If I see something that is of great concern I'll bring it up, but otherwise, the focus will be on the positives Syracuse is getting in the player.

Jonny Miller doesn't have a huge frame at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, but he's plenty big enough and more importantly, uses his lower body and hips to produce torque on the ball and get good velocity on his passes. He has a bit of a hitch out of his drop, but he steps into his passes and gets a consistent zip on the ball that is crucial with the increased speed of collegiate football.

Everyone looks for different things in quarterbacks that they really get excited about and for me it's their feet. I love a quarterback with quick feet, even if he's not a scrambler because that means he can move around and by his receivers time. The first thing I noticed about Miller was how quick he drops back from center and how well he moved around and outside of the pocket. When people talk about elusive quarterbacks, names like Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb come up because they can run, but being elusive in the pocket has nothing to do with speed, it's feeling the rush and moving your feet. Watch Tom Brady or Peyton Manning move around in the pocket and you'll see what I'm talking about. Miller does a good job of moving his feet, anticipating the rush and then stepping up into the pocket or simply fleeing.

Miller runs about as close to a pro-style offense as you'll see in high school and operates it well. He does a good job distributing the ball and hitting receivers in stride, especially on short and intermediate routes, but my biggest problem with him is that he consistently stares down his target and will then try to force the issue. In college, that's a pick-six, so it will need to be corrected. Miller needs to learn how to get through reads quicker, look safeties off and more importantly, just get the ball to whoever he can that's open.

John Kinder is a completely different animal than Miller and frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Syracuse brought him in. I'm not saying he's not talented because he certainly is, but when I watch him I see a kid I would have expected Rich Rodriquez to have recruited when he was at West Virginia. Frankly, he reminds me a bit of Jarrett Brown and not Pat White, simply because I do see that Kinder has a very strong arm and potential as a passer where Pat White really didn't.

As a passer, Kinder is very raw, but looks to have pretty impressive arm strength. When you watch him deliver the ball he throws off his back foot, leans forward and flings the ball with great velocity and power. Some of his passes on film were over 50 yards in the air and on target, so anyone that looks at him as a "running quarterback" needs to step back a minute and realize that there's more there. Kinder is running a spread attack with a lot of read-option in the running game and looks to have one passing target as an option or he can bring the ball down and take off. Point blank, unless Syracuse will be moving to that type of offense I think it will take him a while to learn a traditional system. Now, if you want to use two quarterbacks, Kinder could be a great weapon, especially in the Wildcat.

He is a very good runner and clearly has very good instincts and vision in the open field. Kinder is elusive when he gets out in space and has the speed to take the ball to the house. His running isn't something I worry about, his accuracy and learning a traditional offense are things to work on.

Overall, Syracuse had a solid quarterback haul. They brought in two very different prospects and I'm a bit intrigued as to how they'll use them. If you take a look at what Michigan did this year with Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson, I wonder if that is a possibility.

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