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Jake Fromm: Future Colts Quarterback?

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NFL Combine - Day 3 Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Introduction

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 219 lbs.

Class: Junior

I’ve posted a video that I’ve made for this article, which showcases two of his strengths, his weaknesses and his mechanics.


Strengths

Accuracy & Ball Placement

In the video, his touch passes are featured, but the reality is, he’s extremely accurate on all types of passes to any points on the field. Within 20 yards of the line of scrimmage, Fromm has a 66% competition percentage. However, when doing some research, I’ve come to find out that Fromm’s receiver drop rate is 3.6%, which is quite high and even in the video, I showcase two brutal drops from his receivers off great passes.

He can throw into tight windows, he can lead receivers on passes towards the middle of the field or away from the middle of the field, and he definitely has great touch. This is easily his biggest strength.

Decision Making

Fromm is very smart with the football and doesn’t make many risky passes. Last season, he had 7 turnover worthy plays (according to PFF), which is ranked for 5th best in the country. Fromm operated in a true pro style offense that involved multiple pre-snap reads (safety reads, linebacker positioning, box numbers, etc) like all offenses, but multiple post-snap reads and going through progressions, which is different from many other types of offenses.

Spread offenses for example, cut the field in half and focus on one big pre-snap read and forces the quarterback to act upon that one read post-snap; that’s not the case with Fromm, who is forced to sit in the pocket and read out 2, 3 or even 4 progressions. He does these things extremely well, as seen with his turnover worthy passes and interception numbers. He doesn’t turn the ball over, which is extremely important and impressive considering he goes up against Alabama, LSU and top SEC teams every single year.

Reading & Eye Manipulation

As shown in the examples in the video, Fromm does a good job of scanning the field, making the right reads and looking off the necessary players. In his type of offense, he’s forced to make a lot of post-snap reads which forces him to make 2 or 3 reads on any given play.

Experienced

  • Career record of 36-7; he has played in a lot of big games against top competition.
  • He has played in a College Football National Championship.
  • He passes 5 of the 7 criteria of the Bill Parcells quarterback rules, which are: 3 year starter, start in over 30 games, win at least 23 games, 2-1 TD to INT ratio and have a career competition percentage over 60%. The two criteria he did not pass is that he’s not a senior and did not graduate.

Weaknesses

Arm Strength

Fromm’s biggest knock against him is his arm strength. Critics claim he doesn’t have the arm strength, and it is true that there are many throws that lack zip or downfield velocity. In the video, it’s shown that he has a tendency of one hopping passes and under-throwing them and that’s due to him not stepping into his throws. If he’s able to step into his throws, he can throw 55+ yards and can put a lot of zip on passes. Currently, it’s a weakness, but if a quarterbacks coach works on getting him to step into his throws and fix his weight transfer he can improve.

Throwing on the Run

As shown in the video, he is not a good thrower on the run and that’s due in large part to poor mechanics, which is why I deemed it a fixable weakness. He usually throws with his hips closed, which affects the power he can get on the throw. Fromm needs to get his front shoulder aimed towards his target which will allow him to fully open up his hips, which will help his accuracy and his power and will avoid the ball coming out weirdly. Until it’s fixed, it’s a bad weakness of his.

Limited Athleticism / Poor Improvisation Skills

His 40-yard-dash time of 5.01 seconds and almost non-existent rushing stats won’t excite anyone. He can occasionally make plays with his feet, but essentially on the same level as Matt Ryan, which isn’t anything to write home about.

His limited athleticism means he pretty much needs to win inside the pocket, which has clearly worked for many top quarterbacks over the years, but it puts a lot of pressure on the offensive line for consistently good protection. The Colts are in great shape in that regard, but will they be 3-4 years from now? Who knows?

Poor Play in Losses

In his 7 career losses, all but one against top 15 opponents, Fromm has gone:

138/260 (53.1%) | 1658 Yards (6.4 yards per attempt) | 11 TDs, 10 INTs | 70.96 NFL Pass Rating

In those losses, Georgia lost by an average of 13 points.

Despite having a very good offensive line and skill players around him, he seemed to tense up against strong defenses who brought a lot of pressure.


Mechanics Breakdown

Throwing Motion — 8/10

He has a quick compact throwing motion that is clocked between 0.4 and 0.5 seconds, which is around the NFL average.

Footwork — 9/10

Smooth footwork in the pocket; shows good 3 and 5 step drops with:

  • A strong depth step (first step)
  • Good crossover steps (2nd and 4th steps)
  • Settle step gets him into position

He’s also very smooth on play action and does a great job of getting great separation from the line of scrimmage.

He also is light on his feet and moves well in the pocket.

Shoulder/Body Alignment — 7/10

In general, especially when aimed towards the middle of the field, Fromm is aligned perfectly with his shoulder and lower body aimed towards his target. When aiming to the outside of the field, his shoulder and feet tend to be a bit more misaligned, but not by a wide margin.

Overall body alignment is a good way of seeing if a player is accurate; if his body is often misaligned, then there’s an extremely strong chance he isn’t an accurate passer. This was one of my main points of contention against Connor Cook a few years ago and Josh Allen last season. Fromm is far from those two, but can serve to be more consistent when throwing outside the numbers.

Weight Transfer — 6/10

Fromm doesn’t step into a lot of his throws. When quarterbacks step into throws, it means they make a 6 to 8 inch step with their front foot to help generate power. Fromm has a lot of moments where he is not taking that step.

To put it in perspective, imagine throwing a tennis ball as far as you can without moving your feet and then you take the same ball and throw it with your feet moving, which will go further? The answer is obvious; it’ll go further with your feet moving.

Mechanics Grade — 7.5/10 (75%)

Overall, his mechanics are above average, but in order to unlock his true potential, he’ll need to improve his weight transfer. The rest are NFL ready.


Fit with the Colts

From a rookie quarterback perspective, the Colts might be the best team to join. They have a great offensive oriented coaching staff with former quarterbacks, they have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL with 3 of them under the age of 26, an aging yet still effective starter he can learn behind and a smart general manager who addresses needs effectively.

From a scheme perspective, Fromm should feel comfortable in the Colts system that relies on a combination of:

  • Downhill first-run system that emphasizes play-action chunk plays
  • Timing, rhythmic throws with West Coast principles in the passing game
  • Some Run and Shoot principles in the passing game
  • New RPO wrinkles with some college football carryovers in the passing game

At Georgia, Fromm operated a run first offense that relies a lot on play-action. The RPO and West Coast principles will take some time, especially from a verbiage standpoint (West Coast notoriously has tricky terminology), but if he sits for a year or two, he should be more than ready to take over in 2021 or 2022.


Draft Position

The Colts currently hold two second round picks and one third round pick. With Fromm projected to be drafted within the first 3 rounds, the Colts will need to use one of those three picks to take him.


Should the Colts Target him?

In my opinion, I would look to target Fromm with a trade back from the 44th pick or 75th overall pick and focus on getting offensive weapons with the two second round picks. Fromm, in recent days, has had his stock “buzzing” and could potentially be a riser and end up being a late 1st or early 2nd round pick. If that’s the case, then that’s too rich for the Colts’ blood, but I do believe he’s worth being taken in the second round.