Trace McSorley making throw

With March Madness wrapping up and the college football season still in the distance, Student Union Sports finds a way to bring you content. The NFL Draft is approaching and as always everyone has their sights set on one position in particular. Quarterbacks. Although this QB class might not be the deepest, we still have plenty of arm talent to discuss. One player in particular seems to have become accustomed to being overshadowed and counted out. In comes Trace McSorley.

Throughout his football career, Trace McSorley faced doubt and criticism game in and game out. This never changed during his four years at PSU. He experienced ups and downs as a Nittany Lion, but in the end he left State College as one of the greatest to wear the blue and white. He holds the career records for wins, completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns, and several more. With that in mind, I decided to look back at McSorley’s career and give my own draft evaluation.

The three-year starter has many great memories with PSU.

Measurables:

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 202 lbs
  • Arms: 31″
  • Hands: 9 1/8″

Games Reviewed:

@ Ohio State 2017: 17/29, 192 passing yards, 49 rush yards, 3 TDs

vs Washington 2017: 32/41, 342 passing yards, 60 rush yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs

@ Pittsburgh 2018: 14/30, 145 passing yards, 36 rush yards, 3 TDs

vs Ohio State 2018: 16/32, 286 passing yards, 175 rush yards, 2 TDs

Pros:

  • McSorley’s intangibles are off the charts which is great for a QB especially. He leads by example and knows when it is the appropriate time to be more vocal. He beings energy and effort on every down.
  • McSorley performs well when rolling out of the pocket and escaping pressure. His mobility and pocket awareness have allowed him to succeed even when the offensive line breaks down.
  • As previously mentioned, he is a proven dual-threat quarterback. He has shown that he knows when to tuck the ball and take what the defense provides. McSorley demonstrates great quickness and a powerful running style.
  • McSorley acts with decisiveness and little hesitation. He’s bold in his decision-making. I considered this a strength because in the heat of the moment you need someone who will take action. It also shows his trust and belief in his teammates’ abilities to make plays.
  • His combination of eye work on defenders and quick release allows him to sometimes make throws that his arm talent alone usually wouldn’t allow.

Cons:

  • The obvious fault that people immediately point out is McSorley’s height. He is undersized at six-feet tall; however, he isn’t the smallest QB in this draft.
  • Throwing inconsistencies have affected McSorley his entire career. It seemed like his accuracy varied from game to game. As a result, his ball placement was questionable at times. Leading his targets with consistency is something he can improve upon.
  • Deep ball accuracy wavers in a tighter pocket. With a lack of arm strength, McSorley needs more space to step into his throws. For this reason, he can experience difficulties pushing the ball down the field when the pocket is compromised.
  • In the past, McSorley has taken the challenge of throwing into some tight windows whether it was the right decision or not. Due to the lack of arm talent, his margin of error is much smaller than that of other QBs. The main concern is that a NFL secondary will be able to exploit McSorley’s decisions. Hopefully, with some work on the practice field he’ll be able leave this worry in the dust.
  • Due to the offensive style that Penn State ran, it was difficult to determine how much influence McSorley had in the play calling and pre snap adjusts. This leads to questions about his ability to recognize a defense and call an audible.

Overview:

Whether you like Trace McSorley or not, it’s hard not to be impressed by the numbers he put up in his career. Many people have put labels on him, but at the end of the day the guy is just a gamer. He plays with an edge and is simply toughness personified. Regardless of what others may have to say about his size, McSorley has shown signs of greatness and will make some NFL team very happy. Only time will tell what role he will fill as a professional.

Overall, I feel that McSorley is a developmental quarterback and would be most likely to fall in the late rounds of the NFL Draft. He shows promise with his running abilities and desire to compete. But, I think it will take time to adjust to a team’s offensive scheme and he’d be best served as a backup. At least for now that is. After seeing all that McSorley has accomplished, I am in no place to put limitations on him.

Potential Suitors:

  • Miami Dolphins
  • Washington Redskins
  • Los Angeles Chargers

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