I talked about Wyoming’s young signal caller Josh Allen over at Football Study Hall today. While he would have likely been a top pick in the 2017 NFL draft he could be THE top pick of the 2018 draft.
What’s interesting is that despite growing up in California and coming in at 6-3, 180 as a high school senior, he was missed in recruiting because he wasn’t participating in the camp circuit or 7-on-7 leagues. Those are quickly becoming the AAU of football, intended to supplement the schools’ ability to develop potential professionals but producing questionable results in terms of producing top QBs.
Instead he played baseball and basketball (point guard) which either point to the kind of varied skill set you need to be a top flight QB, help produce the kind of varied skill set you need, or most likely some combination of the two.
Player development is apparently becoming an issue in baseball as well, with an increasing focus on marketing players rather than building teams. I think this could lead to a further increase in the number of skilled athletes that come into college with very precise abilities (in the passing game at least) but there’s another important skill that every player needs. Understanding how to subordinate his own talent to develop himself in a way that best benefits a given team context. That doesn’t always help to market your other skills, particularly the ones that draw in scouts of top programs, but you won’t succeed the higher levels if you don’t have this skill.
Meanwhile quarterbacking is just a different animal and most people haven’t cracked the formula for how to find and/or develop the next Tom Brady. I think that choosing multi-sport stars who prefer to lead teams to greatness may be a better path to finding the top guys though than basing off camp performances and effective skills marketing.
Or there’s this guy, who has a pretty impressive track record: