Potential Patriots QBs: Is Tyree Jackson Draft’s Most Overlooked Player?

In a vacuum, it makes sense that University of Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson is commonly viewed as a late-round prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jackson is a tall, uber-athletic signal-caller with a big arm and accuracy issues. He has upside based on his arm strength and movement skills, but an NFL team will need to be willing to work with him and be patient in an attempt to fix his issues.

Here’s the thing, though: Jackson is Josh Allen. And Allen was drafted out of Wyoming by the Buffalo Bills with the seventh overall pick just last year. Jackson is projected as a fifth- or sixth-round pick.

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Let’s break down both quarterbacks from predraft testing and their final college seasons:

Jackson
6-foot-7
249 pounds
34 1/4-inch arms
10 1/4-inch hands
4.59-second 40-yard dash
34.5-inch vertical leap
10-foot broad jump
4.28-second short shuttle
7.09-second 3-cone
2017: 152-270, 56.3 percent, 1,812 yards, 6.7 yards per attempt, 16 touchdowns, six interceptions, 127.9 rating
69 Pro Football Focus grade
64.3 adjusted completion percentage
48.7 adjusted completion percentage vs. pressure
53.4 adjusted completion percentage vs. blitz
37.7 deep adjusted completion percentage
14.3 yards average depth of target

Allen
6-foot-5
237 pounds
33 1/4-inch arms
10 1/8-inch hands
4.75-second 40-yard dash
33.5-inch vertical leap
9-foot, 11-inch broad jump
4.40-second short shuttle
6.9-second 3-cone
2018: 225-407, 55.3 percent, 3,131 yards, 7.7 yards per attempt, 28 yards, 12 interceptions, 136.7 rating
74.1 PFF grade
66.5 adjusted completion percentage
52.6 adjusted completion percentage vs. pressure
60.4 adjusted completion percentage vs. blitz
41.5 deep adjusted completion percentage
11.6 yards average depth of target

Jackson is bigger and more athletic, while Allen’s adjusted completion rates are better across the board. Jackson, however, completed more yards per attempt and had a greater average depth of throw. Jackson’s average depth of target actually rated second among draft-eligible players in 2018.

If teams were looking for big, raw, athletic prospects with strong arms and accuracy issues last season, then why isn’t Jackson more highly regarded this year?

There are definitely safer quarterback prospects in the 2019 class. Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins, West Virginia’s Will Grier, NC State’s Ryan Finley, Boise State’s Brett Rypien and Missouri’s Drew Lock have considerably better adjusted completion rates. But if teams are simply looking for tools, then Jackson might wind up being the quarterback prospect drafted lowest who has the highest upside.

Based entirely off combine testing scores, Jackson is the best fit in the draft for the New England Patriots. Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady has said numerous times he wants to play until he’s 45 years old. He’ll be 42 in 2019. The Patriots should be willing to be patient with their next quarterback. If Jackson really isn’t going to be drafted until the fifth or sixth round, then that’s a solid value when compared against Allen.

It’s possible neither Allen nor Jackson winds up as a quality starting quarterback. But both players have the tools NFL teams seek in passers, and Jackson might wind up being taken 180 picks later than Allen.

For more grades, advanced statistics and more at Pro Football Focus, go to ProFootballFocus.com.

Thumbnail photo via Chuck Cook/USA TODAY Sports Images

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