It’s that time of year: When NFL fans start to obsess over things like arm length and hand size. Senior Bowl week kicked off Tuesday and the measurements of players you’ve mostly never heard of started pouring in on Twitter.
The early star of Measurement SZN is Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson, who obliterated all of the thresholds scouts look for in a quarterback…
Jackson is a tank. A tank with a cannon affixed to his right shoulder.
Jackson isn’t just out there slinging it, either. His deep-ball accuracy might be the best among this class of quarterbacks.
And unlike prospects who have fit the “big body, strong arm” mold in recent years, Jackson has shown the ability to be consistently accurate. Tight windows do not scare the 21-year-old.
Jackson isn’t a finished product — which college quarterback is? — but he’s not raw, either. He knows how to manage a pocket and won’t drop his eyes when faced with pressure.
Jackson told reporters at the Senior Bowl that he’s working on his lower body mechanics in the lead-up to the draft, but he already seems to have a solid base when going through his reads. Notice how his feet are in perfect sync with his eyes as he scans the field.
Jackson’s favorite throw is the back-shoulder fade, which shows he’s more than just a thrower and has a good feel for the quarterback position.
There are NFL veterans who have yet to master the art of the back-shoulder fade. Jackson doesn’t quite have it nailed down just yet, but he’s on the right track.
When you put all of those skills together, you get plays like this one, where Jackson makes a throw that only a handful of quarterbacks on the planet are capable of making.
Jackson’s pre-draft journey will be a fascinating one. In all likelihood, he’ll be hit with the stereotypes seemingly every black quarterback has had to deal with throughout the history of the draft. You’ll hear the dreaded anonymous scouts question Jackson’s ability to “win from the pocket.” Some will label him a running quarterback and suggest that a read-option offense would suit him best, ignoring the fact that he’s not very good on those plays and averaged only 2.9 yards-per-carry in 2018.
Some will call him inaccurate and point to his poor completion rate as proof, ignoring his film, which paints an entirely different picture.
There are certainly issues in Jackson’s game. He likes those tight-window throws a little too much and can be reckless with the ball at times. He doesn’t seem to have a feel for what coverage the defense is throwing at him or how best to attack them. And he played in a spread system, which isn’t as big a deal as it was a few years ago but still something scouts will hold against him. But those same things were said about Patrick Mahomes in 2017, and he’s two weeks away from winning NFL MVP.
There is no need to overthink this. The guy who can make any throw while managing pressure in the pocket and can throw accurately despite learning his mechanics from YouTube videos is worth taking a chance on, as early as the first round. Jackson is everything scouts look for in a quarterback prospect. Will they allow themselves to see it?
Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson has more to offer than a big arm.