Ask five NFL executives their opinion on any college player. If a couple of them give you the same player as a comparison, it's probably a good match. If all five executives compare a prospect to the same NFL player, the comparison is probably pretty accurate. That exact thing happened with California quarterback Jared Goff. Five NFL executives were asked about Goff, and every single one compared him to NFL quarterback Matt Ryan. While some have mentioned Goff in the same sentence as Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, I would agree with the NFL executives who see Ryan as a better match.
Jared Goff is rising in the polls, and has quickly gained ground on the other quarterbacks in the 2016 Draft class. By Spring, Goff may be the first quarterback taken by a quarterback-needy team such as the Texans or the Bears. While many college quarterbacks have a bad habit of quickly locking on to one or two receivers, Goff is a patient passer who works through all his reads. He consistently scans the field and is a good decision maker who has the talent to make an impact at the next level.
One big knock that will be leveled against Goff is the fact that he played in a spread offense in college. As is the case with all college quarterback prospects who transfer from a spread system, critics will question their NFL-readiness. Coaches and critics may argue that Goff's college production was largely a result of his system, rather than his talent. That argument is a bit of a straw-man argument, since a quarterback's stats will ALWAYS be a product of the system he plays in. Goff has the ability to read defenses and make intelligent decisions. These intelligent decisions often develop into big plays.
How does Goff project at the next level? He's probably going to end up as a first round pick in 2016 and may be the first quarterback off the board. I don't see him as a top five NFL quarterback, but the talent is there for him to be better than average. He has the upside to develop into something more, but at worst, with Goff you're getting a serviceable NFL starter. For some NFL teams, that's good enough to warrant pulling the trigger. More than likely, though, Goff will be a player that you can build your franchise around. Here's some film.
My favorite feature of Goff's game film is his poise under pressure. He adjusts as the pocket collapses around him and still gets a throw off. That's something that is difficult to learn, but tends to follow a player as he transitions into the NFL if it's an ability that the player possesses. That will help Goff, especially if he winds up on an NFL team with holes in their offensive line. The bottom line is that Goff has the talent and upside to help an NFL team immediately. That should get him selected relatively early in the first round in 2016.
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