Who is DeVante Kincade?
Kincade was a four-star recruit coming out of high school, committing to Ole Miss. However, in 2014 his mom suffered a stroke, started to suffer from blood clots in her legs, and had an aneurysm. Kincade hadn’t seen the field in two seasons at Ole Miss and was consistently making a 16-hour trip to visit his mom, so he chose to transfer. Moving to Grambling State meant that he would be the uncontested starter since Jonathan Williams had recently graduated and could shorten his drive to his mom by nine hours. Since he was moving from FBS to FCS, he would be immediately eligible to play. He helped lead the Tigers to an 11-1 record while throwing for 3,022 yards and 31 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions. Kincade enters his senior season having lost his top target in Chad Williams to the NFL, but returns top running back Martez Carter and a good group around him. Kincade is confident in the team around him, recently saying “Our ultimate goal is to go 13-0, and I’m confident we’ll do it.”
Class: Redshirt Senior
Please note that this ranking of Kincade is subject to change and that if he is injured or under-performs in 2017, he will be ranked lower than this for me. I do like to take note of the developmental process; thus 2017 tape holds more value than 2016 tape from me because it shows how the player is most currently. With that being said, enjoy the report.
Arm Strength: Arm strength is far above average for his size and stature and is more than ample for the position. Able to push the ball down the field with a small window and a flick of the wrist. Often works from along the sideline and is able to throw across his body and to receivers on the run with surprisingly good accuracy. Is able to stretch the field with consistent 40+ yard bombs to receivers and can function from an unbalanced platform and under pressure.
Trait Grade: 16.5/20
— Will Stevenson (@DraftMarvel) May 15, 2017
Arm Accuracy: Kincade has above average accuracy at all three levels of the field, especially with his ability to push the ball down the field. His ability to fit passes into tight windows and maintain accuracy while throwing on the run is something that most quarterbacks don’t possess. At the intermediate level, Kincade is able to lead receivers with his passes so that they can maintain speed and separation while also being able to create yards after the catch.
Trait Grade: 15.5/20
Decision Making: As a passer, Kincade is a sound decision maker for someone who is as physically gifted as a runner as he is. In many scenarios, I was surprised that Kincade didn’t rely on his feet when moving around the pocket and instead trusted his arm – something that mobile quarterbacks often do not do, especially at the college level. The Grambling State offense is surprisingly complicated and entrusted Kincade with making plenty of reads at the line of scrimmage and had a complex play design from a route and angle perspective, so the fact that he has commanded it so well is a testament to his sound decision making. From a statistical standpoint, Kincade also only threw 4 interceptions in his one year of starting, so the decision making is backed up from both a trait and statistic-based perspective.
Trait Grade: 12.5/15
Placement and accuracy from Kincade is absolutely amazing. pic.twitter.com/ah40J4KzPL
— Riley Auman (@junioraumanac) May 22, 2017
Pocket Presence: Kincade does a very nice job of moving around and climbing the pocket while also maintaining full vision of the field and keeping his eyes downfield. He also is able to anticipate how his offensive linemen will hold blocks and where he should move based on that. The main knock from him in this area is that his anticipation of how long he has to move around the pocket often causes him to rush his decisions or not take a lane or path that would move to lower pressure. Sometimes the plays on which he rolls out and throws across his body are not translatable to the next level and will get him into trouble.
Trait Grade: 11.5/15
Anticipation: When throwing 25+ yards downfield, Kincade can struggle to throw it with less zip and more touch and can leave his receiver losing separation and susceptible to injury. However, most of the time he does a very nice job of “putting it in the bucket” so that the receiver can catch it in stride and continue momentum and speed. On a recent episode of “NFL Draft First Sound” by Inside the Pylon’s Mark Schofield, a former college quarterback who has a vast understanding of how quarterback play works, Schofield said of Kincade, “He’s generally pretty accurate, but one of the things that stands out watching him is that he has the fastball … (just) sometimes you’d like to see him use just a little bit more touch, get a little bit of more accurate placement.” This is probably the area Kincade needs to work on most and Schofield sums it up very well. There will be a link at the end of the article to the episode of NFL Draft First Sound as well.
Trait Grade: 10/15
— Will Stevenson (@DraftMarvel) May 23, 2017
Mechanics/Footwork: Kincade is fairly clean from a mechanical perspective. At times he is guilty of creating an unbalanced platform for himself or not throwing with a clean motion. However, his footwork in terms of taking a consistent drop following the snap, making sure to lead with his plant foot, and other basics for the position are more than fine. As is for many quarterbacks with his playing style, Kincade will need to adjust to the NFL where it might not be as easy to float passes into tight windows or throw across your body or off your back foot.
Trait Grade: 10/15
Overall Grade: 76/100 (Mid Third Round)
The Bottom Line
While Kincade will face questions about his anticipation, touch, pocket presence, and his small frame for the position, his ability to see the field and maintain his eyes downfield while moving around the pocket and dynamicity that he has a runner will entice teams. He’s still fairly raw, but having the cannon of the arm that he has with that accuracy will give him NFL looks. Grambling State will certainly face plenty of questions this year but has a very nice path to get to the FCS Playoffs and for Kincade to receive national attention; which is what he may need more than anything else at this point. His traits and production stack up well in this class and considering that two years ago a FCS quarterback who started 20 career games was drafted second overall, it isn’t outrageous to think that Kincade could warrant late Day 2 or Early Day 3 consideration.
2018 NFL Draft First Sound – Devante Kincade: