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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Will Grier, Quarterback, West Virginia

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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Will Grier, Quarterback, West Virginia


Will Grier - West Virginia


Position: QB

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 217 lbs.

Year: RS Senior

Hometown: Davidson, NC

Experience: 2-Year Starter




40yd dash: 4.84s

Broad jump: 112 in.

Vertical: 34 in.

3-cone: 7.09s

20yd. Shuttle: 4.28s

Bench Press: DNP


Career Notes:


Grier’s career started at Florida in 2015 after redshirting his first year on campus. He saw action in six games, starting five of those. The redshirt freshman Grier lost the starting job to sophomore Treon Harris halfway through the season. After seeing he wasn’t in Florida’s future plans, he transferred to West Virginia, sitting out a year before returning to the field in 2017 as a redshirt junior.


Dana Holgorsen’s punishing run-first offense was a strong fit for the mobile Grier in 2017. Though his best work was done in the pocket, his ability to rollout and hit receivers on the run opened up the Mountaineers’ offense. He found favorite targets in David Sills V and Gary Jennings Jr. There were hiccups, however, like dropping their season-opener to Tremaine Edmunds’s Virginia Tech Hokies, throwing 4 picks against Oklahoma State in a late October home game, and getting hurt early in the last game of the season against Big 12 rival, Texas. In spite of the trials and learning a new offense, he ended the season with nearly a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio and helped West Virginia to a 7-4 record.


Returning for his final year in 2018, Grier came out of the gates firing, wollopping Tennessee in the season-opener, throwing 5 touchdowns for 429 yards with no interceptions. This was just one of six games in which Grier wouldn’t throw a pick, and one of five games in which he threw four or more touchdowns. The Mountaineers still had their struggles and finished 8-3 in the regular season, losing their final two games of the season against Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. There is plenty of blame to go around for a disappointing two game stretch at the end of a hard-fought season, but it’s hard to place all that blame on Grier, who threw for a combined six touchdowns and no interceptions in those games.


Injury Report:


Grier’s only injury was to his throwing hand against Texas in the final regular season game of 2017. He missed the rest of that game and the Mountaineers’ bowl game against Utah.


Career Stats: 65.7% completion, 8,556 yards, 81 Touchdowns, 23 Interceptions




Arm Strength 3.0/5.0: Grier’s arm strength was mostly on display zipping short and mid-level throws to the sidelines. Under-thrown passes were few and far between. The bulk of his passes came inside of 10 yards, but he showed a proficiency at placing the ball 15 yards and deeper when he had the chance. The limits of his velocity showed up on plays where he had to drop it in over a receiver’s shoulder down the field. In these instances, he seemed to favor bullet passes rather than lofted timing passes. He did nail a few passes with some arc on them down the field, which is encouraging from a development standpoint. He looked to have an arm that can make any pass, the trick appeared to be improving consistency on various types of throws.


Accuracy 4.0/5.0: Throws inside of twenty yards were all but guaranteed to be on target. He hit sideline comebacks just as well as he hit backside digs coming across the middle of the field. Grier showed the kind of accuracy that matched the swagger with which he played quarterback. He appeared to know exactly which spots he could hit and trusted his wide receivers to snag contested catches in tight windows. He threw on-target passes far more than his completion percentage showed. What can’t be quantified as easily as on-target passes is the anticipation with which he threw. At least a couple times per game, he helped create first downs against tight coverage by placing the ball where his receivers could accelerate through the catch. He showed an ability to hit guys on target down the field, but it was not as consistent as his work inside of 20 yards where he was dependable.


Athleticism 3.25/5.0: Grier’s agility and speed made him a viable threat at the mesh point which reading defensive ends had to honor on option plays. His speed had apparent limits which were easy to see at times when he tried to run away from pass-rushers. His advantageous core strength and flexibility were most apparent on throws off his back foot where an uneven throwing platform delivered accurate passes. He leveraged his athletic gifts between his tackles to step up and shift the pocket against pressure off the edge.


Leadership 4.5/5.0: On the field, Grier was a confident guy (his opponents might say “arrogant” as they were on the business end of this confidence). He trusted his arm and his receivers no matter the coverage. The one time he faltered and looked uncomfortable was against Iowa State in 2018, when the Cyclones brought creative pressure a few times per drive and took big risks that paid off in stunting the Mountaineers’ offense. Even then, Grier didn’t shy away from hurling passes with defenders moments away from putting a helmet in his chest. He read plays before the snap and often made decisions that made it clear he understood defenses. Sometimes he tried to create opportunities where there were none by throwing to perfectly covered receivers and running away from pressure rather than throwing the ball away (resulting in interceptable passes and strip-sack fumbles). At his best, he is gutsy and confident. At worst, he has short-term memory for mistakes and follows up turnovers with conservative (but not vanilla) decision-making.


Summary: Grier flourished in an offense which sorely missed him against Syracuse in West Virginia’s bowl game. His specific brand of tight-window accuracy and mobility helped max out an offense that can falsely appear to be an offense that just any quarterback can run. Grier was the straw that stirred the drink in Morgantown. His ability to throw just about anywhere on the field opened up the run game for an offense that averaged 4.59 yards per carry in 2018. Their bowl game saw a notable drop in production with only 4.1 yards per carry. The passing game was even more limited, racking up its second-lowest total for a passing game this season. Grier proved to be a pocket-passer who took advantage of soft zone defenses with mid-level throws. When facing man coverage he could fit the ball into tight windows or leak out and steal yards that weren’t there.


As stated, he opened up the Mountaineers offense, but the offense also did him quite a few favors as well. He was good within the framework of the offensive scheme. When plays completely broke down, however, he struggled. He needed to get the ball out of his hands far more than he did. He had a tendency to put his offensive line in precarious positions by rolling out when pressure was nowhere to be found. When pressure came, his ability to react was hit-or-miss. In a 3-point loss to Oklahoma, he gave up two strip-sack fumbles, both of which were returned for touchdowns. Grier looked to try to make plays early and often, which sometimes resulted in incredible passes, and sometimes resulted in tough turnovers.


Overall Grade 3.69/5.0


If drafted by the Packers:


Because of his age (Grier will be 24 on draft day) and Rodgers’s contract (which goes through 2022), this would be a head-scratcher of a pick, undoubtedly if he were taken in the second or third round. Depending on where the scouting rumor mill takes his draft stock following GM meetings, he may fall a bit in the draft. If he’s around in the fourth, he’d be a valuable pickup to compete against the 23-year old DeShone Kizer for a backup spot. The high end of his velocity and accuracy are rare enough that he’s an option to tap later in the draft.


Grier would likely signal a shift in the offensive scheme away from creating one-on-one matchups and letting the quarterback determine the best matchup towards an aggressive run-first offense which uses the threat of the pass to open up the field. Grier would bring an interesting read-option threat alongside Jamaal Williams and/or Aaron Jones. But that’s looking way down the road. Though unlikely to don the green and gold, he would be an asset if other areas of concern like safety, receiver, and pass-rusher are shored up first.




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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Lare's picture

Not sure if it's this year, but at some point the Packers have to start preparing for LAA (Life After Aaron). I haven't seen anything to convince me that Kizer or Boyle are legitimate options, so I wouldn't be opposed to the Packers using a mid-late round draft pick to bring in some competition at the position. But it has to be somebody that fits LaFleur's offensive scheme.

Regardless, the Packers have to prioritize improving the offensive line. Otherwise it doesn't really matter who they have at QB or any of the other offensive positions.

Skip greenBayless's picture

" I haven't seen anything to convince me that Kizer or Boyle are legitimate options"

What Lare has failed to disclose is that he's legally blind. Are you kidding me? What Boyle did in training camp and during the preseason was almost unprecedented for a rookie qb. I can't wait to see him explode out of the gates this year. My guess is he'll probably give Rodgers a run for his money. No draft pick is going to come close to Boyle this season. It will be a waste to even consider drafting a qb this year.


PeteK's picture

How many INTs did he throw in that final pre season game? I hope he develops , but he has a long way to go.

Guam's picture

Concur Lare that neither Kizer nor Boyle are long term solutions as AR's replacement. That said, we have so many other holes that I think we can delay the search for a replacement for another year. I would like to see our draft dedicated to shoring up the many other areas of weakness including OL.

oceanstrength's picture

Rodgers is done. Wont compete for a championship again in his career. Reasons: unwilling to adapt to change. Age and injury require him to be a pocket passer like the truely great qb's, but he will continue to think he can run around; and therefore will be injury prone. Opponents have his number and no his weaknesses, But most important, he has lost arm strength and accuracy due to injury, overuse with age, and decrease physical preparation. He no longer has the total fire to win. His outside interests have gradually replaced his total committment to team. He acts the part but feels his legacy is built and is playing mostly for the money. He is shifted focus from single-minded devotion, to social justice and diverse endeavors. Packers should expect upper-middle mediocrity.

Samson's picture

Gotta love it. -- The most knowledgeable minds in the NFL would never even consider making such an asinine comment as above. -- Only a bias fan with little if any expertise would $hit all over himself with such BS.

The TKstinator's picture

Agreed on all except it troubles me the league can “no his weaknesses”.
Gotta do a better job with the self scouting.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

a little over kill even for me and that's pretty bad.

ScaryGary's picture

i gotta hand it to u everything u said is wrong that was impressive. rodgers is not done. we will compete for a championship this year and beyond. aaron will no longer have to run around in the mashed potato offense like a man with a cape. he will go back to the man with a title belt. those collar bone injuries bought green bay an extra season in the long run. he has the total fire to win and his commitment to team is unquestioned. he doesnt act the part he speaks his mind. he is in it for the rings not the money. his focus will be on the superbowl starting in about april. let a guy live a little. packers fans and players expect titles the bears, lions, and vikings expect mediocrity( i gotta admit as an iowa hawkeye fan i can relate to to those three)

sam1's picture

Sounds like a trolling Viking fan!

Since '61's picture

Agree, probably a trolling Viqueen fan. His comment is among the worst if not the worst that I have seen in nearly ten years of posting between Jersey Al' ALLGBP and CHTV. "Opponents have his number and no his weaknesses". IIRC we learned the difference between know and no in the second or third grade. Based on his post I guess he didn't make it that far.
Thanks, Since '61

AgrippaLII's picture

I like that he doesn't throw picks and his completion percentage...but I don't think the Packers should even consider taking "any" QB before the fifth round.

MarkinMadison's picture

I don't hear anyone raving about the talent pool at QB this year. Guys will get pushed up because someone always needs another QB, and the value won't be there. Deal with another season of Boyle and even Kizer. Target a round 1-3 QB maybe next year.

Daren726's picture

This isn’t the year to draft our QB after Rodgers. While Kiser is a waste of time, Boyle may be serviceable as a backup. Too early to tell. I would look to pick up an experienced free agent to fill the gap until It’s closer to the end of Rodgers career, then find that next guy in the draft.

sam1's picture

Scary question is " when is the end f Rodgers career"?

4thand1's picture

To the Rodgers doubters, be careful what you wish for. Most teams would kill for the QB play we've had for the last 2+ decades. AR will be around for a few more years and we as fans should thank our lucky stars. Fill the holes around him and the Pack will be back competing for a title.

Since '61's picture

To me picking a QB in this draft would be a total luxury pick which I don't think that we can afford.

Let's get the OL solidified and continue to improve the defense. If we can do that we should have at least another 2 seasons before we need to draft Rodgers replacement.

In the short term if we can find a better #2 QB to replace Kizer I would be all for it. Boyle should be OK as an emergency #3 QB. Hopefully we never reach the point where we need him to play more than a few snaps in a mop up role. Thanks, Since '61

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
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