Obviously a 1 game sample isn't enough to fully evaluate somebody, but it's the only Delaware game that was on TV here this season. Anyway, I was able to break down the game this morning, and here are some quick thoughts....
People compare him to Joe Flacco when he came out of Delaware...not seeing it. Flacco has the body of a DE; Devlin is tall at (listed at 6'4), but has significantly less bulk than Flacco. His arm strength is good, but again, not what Flacco has. Stat wise he threw for almost 2K yards less than Flacco and played in a much more conservative, dink and dunk offense. Here's what I got from the game though...
- Most of Devlin's passes are to the right side. All of his bunch sets are to his right, his first read is almost always to the right and the throw usually goes that way. Something he needs to improve upon; way too easy to defend that at the next level.
- Devlin is in shotgun throughout the entire game. Not 100% positive if that was just the gameplan or if it's the offense, but I would assume it's the offense. Being under center, reading defense and setting your feet and all that will obviously be something that will take time to develop.
- His passes to the sideline are real nice; they get there in a hurry and they are an target. When he throws over the middle of the field though, his passes tend to be behind the intended WR, and while it's a catchable ball it's not where it should be to allow the WR to continue running. Ball location is an issue.
- Takes too many sacks. If something is not there he needs to learn to either check it down or throw the ball away.
- Pocket presence is not very good. Once he is under a little bit of pressure he completely takes his eyes away from the field and tries to dance around the pocket to buy time; needs to learn to anticipate and slide through the pocket to buy himself the extra second the way that NFL QB's do.
- Has above average athleticism for a QB. Not a great scrambler, but does have some giddy-up and can run away from DE's on the roll-out.
- Goes through his reads decently well. Usually goes to the primary (which is the case with almost all college QB's), but does show the ability to read coverage and go somewhere else with the ball. When he does go to his 2nd or 3rd read he does a nice job of throwing it as soon as he sees it.
- Good anticipation on comeback routes and hitches. Ball is there quick and is pretty accurate.
- Has pretty good touch when needed. Rifles most passes in there, but did have a couple of nice throws where he displayed good touch.
- Nice quick release with pretty natural throwing motion.
Devlin is a game manager, not a gun slinger. Doesn't take a ton of shots down the field but doesn't turn the ball over either, (only 2 INT's all year). Looking at the stats he also improved tremendously from his Jr. to Sr. year, which is a great sign and something that Henne did not do (Chad's stats are basically identical from his Freshman to Sr. year).
I wouldn't mind bringing him in as a 3rd or 4th round pick to compete and if Henne pans out, may be a good back-up for the future. I don't know if he can be anything more than just an average starter in the NFL. Has some potential, but like Henne doesn't seem to have that IT factor.