Succeeding the #1 overall pick never sounds like an easy task, but that’s exactly what Davis Webb was forced to as he stepped in for Jared Goff who went atop the 2016 NFL Draft. The Texas Tech graduate transfer, Webb flourished during his lone season as the staple of Cal’s “Bear-Raid” offense. He tossed for 4,295 passing yards and 37 TDs, which ranked 2nd and 5th in the nation, respectively. This past season Webb threw more passes than anyone in the country as he passed the ball 620 times.
Webb enjoyed success following his one year lease at Cal. He was a Senior Bowl standout and went on to be named the game’s MVP after going 11/16 with 165 passing yards and a TD. Last year’s Senior Bowl MVP? Dak Prescott. Webb has built himself quite a hype train this past month or so. An NFL Executive made the bold statement as saying he would be the “best QB in 2017 draft class“. If that comes to fruition, I feel sorry for the rest of the QBs in this year’s class.
Still, a lot can be said about a player who travels from Lubbock, Texas all the way to Berkley, California and puts up the monster production he did, seemingly performing on cue. Webb possesses the arm strength and size scouts drool over, but he needs a lot of grooming if he’s going to be successful at the next level.
Name: Davis Webb
Comparison: Brock Osweiler (Houston Texans)
Draft Grade: 4th Round
Positives: Tall, intimidating stature at 6’5”/219. Throws an attractive deep ball and quite possibly could have the strongest arm in the class. Strong, natural flick on the long pass. Puts good velocity under his vertical shots. Can hit his receiver in stride down the sideline. Delivers a nice drop pass every now and again. Will look off the defensive back. Underrated athleticism. A weapon at the goal line with the ability to barrel it in. Displayed good timing and rhythm in the Senior Bowl (MVP). Age friendly prospect – just turned 22 years old at the beginning of the year.
Negatives: Accuracy is a major concern. Delivers wobbly passes on most of his short-intermediate pass attempts. Passes land too short when throwing towards the sideline. Frequently overthrows when aiming for the endzone. Struggles to thread the needle in split coverage. Unaware of how much zip to put on short passes. Oblivious decision maker. Will throw into clear double coverage and traffic. Forces passes even when the defender wins the position battle and gets in front of the intended receiver. Typically locks on to a single receiver and fails to go through his reads. Doesn’t read defenses well and allows defenders to easily break on the ball. Tends to turn head back and angle body away when pressure is closing. Loose body control on dropback. Unnatural footwork with pressure. Needs to step up in the pocket instead of further falling back when it breaks down. Very fidgety and doesn’t display good ball security. Will wave arms around leaving the ball open to be easily knocked out or dropped. A loose cannon in the redzone. Play style demands he plays outside of congestion. Overall play recognition is a weakness. Confusion with receivers and system was evident on film. Absolutely no experience playing under center.
Outlook: Despite the recent buzz Webb has gained, he’s still a 4th round prospect at best. If a team wants a QB out of this class, they’re going to have to pounce within the top 2 rounds. Webb’s arm strength and size are really the only traits about his game that jump out at you. As recent speculation has suggested, Webb is in line to go much earlier in the draft as he should – some experts even pointing as high as the 2nd round. That doesn’t sound farfetched to me at all for two reasons. 1. Teams love tall QBs with a strong arm. 2. The demand at the position is higher than ever. I very well could see a team select him by the end of Day 2 if they feel he’s the type of QB who they can work with and groom. They’ll have to look through his abysmal decision making and accuracy issues, among other concerns. His game is eerily similar to that of Brock Osweiler’s – we all saw how he turned out in Houston after the offseason hype.