If you read this space regularly, you know I don’t care about measurables. It’s not that I don’t think they are important. They clearly are a useful tool in the scouting process. I simply don’t care about them in the same way I don’t care about the Combine (which is actual pornography to measurables people), the salary cap (dead money! dead money!) and weekly power rankings.
Brandon Doughty isn’t going to be Peyton Manning. He isn’t going to be a ten-year NFL starter at quarterback. But when I watched him on the field this season I kept having the same thought over and over again, “This kid can play a little bit.”
I don’t think there is a star quarterback in this draft and I think a few years time will prove that teams reaching for Wentz, Goff, Lynch or Cook will find themselves in Ponder/Locker territory. Doughty needs a few years of serious NFL coaching and the Bears, with an established veteran QB and locked-in coaching staff, might be the perfect destination.
When he feels protected, can play a confident and intelligent brand of football. Strong understanding of the system and his options against every coverage. Reads safeties well and is willing to attack the deep middle. Comes in with a pre-snap plan. Throws catchable ball with good touch. Able to play pitch and catch when he’s in rhythm. Can drop a deep ball in the bucket with good air under it. Works through progressions and isn’t a “Checkdown Charlie.” Hits receivers in stride on vertical throws.
Lacking NFL-caliber arm strength. Doesn’t have enough zip to challenge cornerbacks on field side throws. Will have to learn to live off of timing throws to compensate for lack of velocity. Can be rattled in the pocket and will throw without feet being set rather than sliding around in the pocket. LSU game got too big for him. Appeared to lose confidence and began rushing throws and footwork fell apart. Doesn’t have athleticism to escape the rush or make plays with his legs.
SOURCES TELL US
“I liked him a lot better this year and he really knows how to run that offense but there was a play against North Texas where he scrambled out of the pocket and had a chance to dive in for a touchdown but slid at the 1-yard line rather than take the hit and make the play. That’s not good enough.” — NFC Southeast area consultant
There are several games where Doughty plays with confidence, great accuracy and a winning understanding of his offense. However, when the heat is on he shows a lack of poise that can affect his footwork and touch. Doughty is missing an NFL arm or plus athleticism, but his production and ability to get through his progressions will get him a shot to prove the “system quarterback” label wrong.