North Carolina State redshirt senior quarterback Jacoby Brissett is one of the most naturally talented quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft class. At 6’4”, 231 lbs. with 9 ¾” hands, Brissett possesses great size for the position. He will turn 24 during his rookie season.
The first thing that stands out when studying Brissett is his quick feet in the pocket. He is efficient in his setup and displays smooth footwork. He maintains a ready to throw position and shows comfort reading the full field. Field vision is a positive as he typically finds success surveying the field and finding the open man. He has experience playing under center and turning his back to the defense in the play action game.
As a passer, Brissett throws with plenty of velocity to make every throw. His ball placement is streaky to the short and intermediate levels of the field and deep ball touch leaves much room for improvement, as he tends to overthrow his man. Missed throws occurred from time to time due to putting touch on throws that should be bullets and vice versa.
Brissett has a knack for delivering perfect throws between the hashes to the intermediate level of the field on in-breaking routes. He uses his eyes effectively to look off a safety when throwing deep. He will throw his man open and shows the ability to anticipate windows in the intermediate level of the field.
Brissett is a good athlete for his size. He is an effective chain mover, but must learn to do a better job of getting down and protecting himself in the open field. He shows comfort throwing on the run to his right, but struggles to get his shoulders turned and make accurate throws when rolling left. He is strong in the pocket and difficult to bring down.
Many of Brissett’s issues come from bad habits he has developed while facing pressure. Although he displays flashes of impressive pocket presence, he will drop his eyes and try to run when dealing with pressure much too frequently. He senses ghosts in the pocket and bails even when there is no sign of pressure.
When the play breaks down and Brissett begins to adjust to the rush, his mechanics tend to fall apart and his ball placement declines dramatically. He has difficulty with making accurate throws from a muddy pocket, as he will throw off his back foot.
Brissett typically does a good job of being aware of the down and distance and protecting the ball. He shows a willingness to throw it out of bounds when nothing is there and rarely forces throws into harm’s way.
Much improvement must be made in regard to noticing when defenders are showing blitz pre-snap. He took too many unnecessary hits because he did not properly adjust to the rush. As he develops, he must do a better job of deviating from the pre-snap plan and adjusting on the fly to how the defense reacts. On one play from the Wake Forest game, Brissett missed an uncovered receiver in the red zone. This was alarming because he should have noticed that no defender lined up over the wide receiver pre-snap.
Overall, Jacoby Brissett has all the physical tools NFL teams are looking for, but he must improve on some key areas of his game. When playing within the structure of the offense, Brissett shows impressive traits. He has good feet, a strong arm, makes accurate throws to the short and intermediate levels of the field, and anticipates windows in the middle of the field. However, when the play breaks down, Brissett struggles to maintain his composure as he drops his eyes, does not maintain proper mechanics, takes too many hits and sacks, and misses easy throws. If Brissett receives good coaching and works hard to break his bad habits, he has the potential to become a good backup and possibly even a starter in time.
The Cleveland Browns should only consider Jacoby Brissett on the third day of the 2016 NFL Draft. With Hue Jackson’s experience as a quarterback developer, taking a player with Brissett’s natural talent in the fourth or fifth round may be an enticing option for the team. If Jackson could coach the bad habits out of Brissett, the selection could pay off in the long run.
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