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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jared Goff, Quarterback, California-Berkley

Jared Goff is one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft as a junior coming out of the University of California-Berkley. 

 

Jared Goff - QB, California-Berkeley

Position: Quarterback
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 215
Year: Junior
Hometown: Novato, CA
Experience: Jr. - 3 year starter

 

Measurables:

40yd dash: 4.82 Seconds
Broad jump: 110.0 Inches
Vertical: 27.0 Inches
3-cone: 7.17 Seconds
20yd. Shuttle: N/A
Bench Press: N/A

 

Career Notes:

     Jared Goff has steadily grown as a passer throughout his career at the University of California-Berkley.  Starting from day one as a Freshman, Goff was thrown into fire with a new head coach at Cal and little supporting cast around him.  His freshman year did not go as planned, as Cal finished a diminutive 1-11 under Sonny Dykes.  Regardless of the Golden Bears' record, Jared Goff was the driving force behind a potent aerial assault, ranking in the top six in pass attempts and completions.  In his sophomore campaign, Goff improved in almost every passing category.  It showed as Cal improved to 5-7 on the year, just missing bowl eligibility due to a loss on a miracle Hail Mary against BYU.  With two years as a full time starter Jared Goff was already being talked about as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation before his junior year.  The experience paid off for the young quarterback as Dykes squad improved to 7-5 in the regular season, capping off Goff's junior year with an astounding six-touchdown game to defeat Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. 

     Cal's star quarterback's growth and understanding of the game directly reflected the Golden Bears' improvements over his three years.  Each year saw improvement in yards, yards/attempt, completion percentage, and touchdowns.  The quarterback never had under 3,500 yards in a season at Cal with an astounding 4,714 this past season.  Goff has finished the last two seasons as the NCAA leader in touchdown passes  He finished his collegiate career as one of the most prolific passers in Pac-12 history breaking Marcus Mariota's career record for touchdowns while supplanting himself in the top five of every major passing category.  Goff earned All-Pac-12 honors in 2015 and finished with 26 school records at Cal.

     Statistics aside, Jared Goff proves to be one of the finest quarterback prospects due to his demeanor and knowledge on and off the field.  From his three league championships at Marin Catholic High School, Goff entered the NCAA as a successful quarterback from a winning program that utilized a pro style offense.  Following a 3-9 season, joining a program undergoing a head coaching change, and starting from day one puts mountains of pressure on a freshman quarterback.  Going 1-11 in his first year couldn't have been much of a confidence booster, either.

     The opposite occurred.  Goff gradually improved his footwork, pocket awareness, and film study over the next two seasons, becoming one of the top quarterbacks in the draft in the process.  Goff's coach at Cal, Sonny Dykes, recognized his quarterback's drive and ability to handle the offense.  During his sophomore year, Goff began calling more and more of his own plays at the line of scrimmage, altering protections and directing the offense.  Dykes commented on the strengths of his young quarterback, "Probably the most important characteristic for a quarterback to have is confidence.  It's the chicken or the egg thing: Do they get confidence by playing well, or do they play well because they have confidence?  The important thing is that they get it".  Goff's experience in Dyke's offense plus his confidence in his own ability turned a good high school quarterback into a local legend, rebuilding his hometown university's football program with his right arm.  Jared Goff's athleticism at the position, knowledge of the game, and calm, yet confident, demeanor has turned that kid into one of the top overall prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft.  

Injury Report: 

Jared Goff started 37 straight games in his three seasons for the Golden Bears, never missing a game due to injury.  Goff showed durability in his college career, and exhibits toughness in the pocket. He's not afraid to take hits while under pressure. Although Goff never missed time due to injury in college, his slender, lanky frame may cause some NFL executives to wonder if a full season in the NFL will take its toll on the young quarterback. 

Career Stats:

For a full breakdown of Jared Goff's career stats click the link below:
http://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/jared-goff-1.html

Analysis:

Arm Strength: 3.5/5.0  There are quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft that definitely have more of a live arm than Jared Goff.  He used more timing and touch patterns in college on his deep throws, leading his receivers into open areas downfield similar to Peyton Manning the last several years.  Many of the spread-zone concepts that Goff utilized in college caused him to throw from awkward angles if pressure was coming.  When having time in the pocket, Goff is able to square his shoulders and drive a ball into a receivers area, a trait that NFL coaches will test as he transitions to the NFL. 

Accuracy: 4.5/5.0   The sheer volume of Goff's pass attempts illustrates how the quarterback can cover any inch of the field.  Goff excels on short and intermediate crossing routes, but he shows the ability to make touch throws down the seam for long gains.  Cal's offense had Goff throwing out of some non-traditional pockets, leading to questionable footwork from Goff at times.  Even when his feet are not completely set or his shoulders are not properly squared up, Jared Goff is able to contort his body and quickly release the ball into tight spaces.  An especially desirable trait is his ability to find tight windows in the red zone.  He has already become a strong student to the backshoulder pass that has become increasingly abundant in today's NFL.  His ball placement in the endzone on fade routes and short outs is impeccable, seemingly always noticing open areas the defenders can't reach. 

Athletic Ability: 2.5/5.0  Not known for being a dual threat in high school or college, Jared Goff is not your most athletic prospect in the draft.  He doesn't have great speed or much fluidity when scrambling from the pocket.  Most positive rushing attempts for Goff came when there were few defenders in his path.  This being said, Goff has great maneuverability in the pocket, constantly moving his feet and sliding to avoid pressure.  When forced to roll away from pressure, Goff shows great awareness and athletic ability to find an open window and deliver the pass regardless of the position his body is in.  

Leadership:4.5/5.0 Jared's leadership skills are underappreciated on the national stage.  Turning around a 1-11 squad to win a bowl game two seasons later, Goff put the 'Bear Raid' offense on his shoulders.  This was Goff's team.  The young man continued to better his mechanics and learn from his mistakes on film as he grew.  Never letting his confidence waiver, Goff continued to believe that his team could win any game.  His knowledge of the system and playbook allowed Goff to call his own plays at the line of scrimmage, a trait not carried by the majority of college signal callers. 

Summary: Goff brings enough athleticism to the position to survive in the NFL.  He won't run over defenders like Cam Newton and lacks breakaway speed, yet Goff has great mobility in the pocket and is able to scramble when the opportunity presents itself.  His arm strength will not wow you, but he has great timing on deep routes that allows him to push the ball the full route tree.  His accuracy only improved over his three seasons at the University of California-Berkley, and he typically places the ball where his receivers are the only ones able to make a play on it.  Jared was very critical of his footwork his freshman year, and he has shown great improvement since.  Perhaps the most gifted aspect of Goff's game is his quick release.  He is decisive with the ball, and once he finds the open receiver, the ball whips out of his hand.  He shows strong leadership on the field as he calls plays from the line of scrimmage and isn't afraid to get hit after release. 

Overall Grade: 4.0/5.0  

 

If drafted by the Packers:

As one of the top overall prospects in the 2016 NFL Draft, there is little chance that Jared Goff will end up drafted by the Packers.  Barring any pre-draft injury or nonsensically fall in the first round as with Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, Goff will almost certainly be drafted in the top 20 picks.  With Aaron Rodgers still  in the prime of his career and a fine, young prospect in Brett Hundley waiting in the wings, General Manager Ted Thompson would have little need to trade up for Jared Goff.  If Goff somehow does slide in the first round to pick 27, Thompson's true best player available draft strategy would almost certainly lead to the drafting of Goff.

     Backup quarterback Scott Tolzien will be a free agent in March, leaving just Hundley to fill in for an injured Aaron Rodgers if the Packers don't resign their backup quarterback.  Entering the draft, Jared Goff is more refined as a signal caller than Hundley was at this stage last year.  Goff would instantly compete with Hundley for the number two quarterback on the roster, and the Packers would have the deepest group of quarterbacks in the NFL.  The 2015 season proved that having a capable backup quarterback is an essential asset to competing in this league.  There is little chance that Jared Goff slides to the Packers in the draft, but the importance of the quarterback position would likely lead to Ted Thompson writing Goff's name on the draft slip with the 27th pick if he's available.  Plus, it wouldn't be the first time a highly scouted quarterback from Cal fell to the Packers in the draft.  

Video:

Jared Goff vs Air Force  (2015):

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