Editor’s note: NESN.com will profile intriguing prospects in the days leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft. Next up: Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel.
Jeff Driskel, quarterback, Louisiana Tech
6-foot-4, 234 pounds
Projected round: Seventh
2015 stats: 279 of 448, 4,026 yards, 27 touchdowns, eight interceptions, 62.3 completion percentage; 92 carries, 323 yards, five touchdowns
Testing numbers: 4.56-second 40-yard dash, 1.65-second 10-yard split, 32-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump, 4.25-second short shuttle, 7.19-second three-cone drill
Strengths: The Florida transfer has the best combination of size and athleticism among the 2016 quarterback class. “His confidence was shot at Florida,” a scout told the Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn. “It did take a toll on him. He’s still developing, but there’s a huge ceiling.” Driskel performed well in Senior Bowl practices and in the all-star game, completing 8 of 12 passes for 108 yards with a touchdown. He attempted 92 deep passes, the third-most among draft-eligible quarterbacks last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He completed 31 of those throws for 1,017 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions. Driskel was above average in Pro Football Focus’ accuracy-under-pressure metric, completing 52.2 percent of his passes with no interceptions. Arm strength and release are strengths, according to NFL.com.
Weaknesses: Driskel rated below average in Pro Football Focus’ accuracy percentage metric. Of his 169 incompletions, 24 were drops, 15 were throwaways, six were batted at the line, two were spikes and one came when he was hit while throwing. He “struggles to lead receivers with throws,” according to NFL.com. He completed just 59.4 percent of his passes in his four years at Florida and lost his starting job in 2014 after completing just 53.8 percent of his passes with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Patriots fit: He’s the best fit in the draft for the Patriots based on projected round, size and testing numbers. He would be a quality project to sit behind Jimmy Garoppolo for two years as a potential future No. 2 QB.
Thumbnail photo via Soobum Im/USA TODAY Sports Images