Florida’s offense the last few years under Jim McElwain has been all about the TE/OT double team on zone against the modern DE, who’s generally chosen and developed for his mobility and versatility rather than his ability to take on double teams.
They’ve had to do what they can with the QBs they’ve had, which haven’t been terribly good apart from Will Grier, who’s now at West Virginia. Malik Zaire isn’t much better as a passer than guys like Austin Appleby, in my estimation, but he can run like the wind and their run game certainly won’t be worse running the same zone concepts but with a backside keeper option.
Other peripheral notes concerning Zaire at Florida:
-I don’t think they’ll be ready to beat Michigan in week one, the Wolverines are much stouter on the DL than Florida is counting on to make their run game work.
-Zaire wants to play in the NFL and Florida made a lot of sense as a school with a friendly depth chart that could help him showcase his ability to work some NFL, drop-back passing. I don’t think he’s an NFL QB though, he’s an ideal spread-run game QB that never accepted his true self.
-Texas was never going to get Zaire and he was always going to face a tough challenge trying to beat out Shane Buechele for the starting role. He might’ve been better than Buechele this next year but he was behind after missing spring and Herman would have unquestionably used him more as a running QB than Florida might because that’s how his scheme works when he has a running QB.
-The transfer QB market strikes again! The SEC West and East divisions are probably going to be truly disrupted by the introduction of Zaire and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) to Florida and Auburn this coming season. For the major programs, waiting for a savvier school to pick out QB prospects and then pouncing on transfers to fill needs is an increasingly important strategy.