Post Draft Scouting Report: Danny Etling, QB

Does this 7th round pick have what it takes to be the heir apparent to Tom Brady?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Well, we all thought the Patriots would draft a Quarterback, and that is exactly what they did. Of course, most of us thought it would be five or six rounds earlier, but obviously we were all very wrong. Etling was not a guy who was on my radar. LSU had plenty of talent on both sides of the ball that you would think Etling would have moved the needle at some point, but in that run heavy offense, I never really gave him too much thought. So, I went back and watched all those LSU games again, this time focusing on Etling and his play. Here is what I saw.


 

Positives:

From a physical standpoint, Etling checks the boxes of what teams look for in a draftable QB. He has the frame to handle the punishment NFL defenders can delve out. On the field, Etling is known as a team leader and a very good decision maker. He rarely will throw ill advised balls, which keeps his interceptions down. His throwing mechanics are solid and he has a quick release. He has an above average arm for the short to intermediate throws required to be successful in the NFL. Etling shows above average touch and accuracy on short to intermediate throws. He is not known as a threat as a runner, but can make some plays with his feet when necessary. He has played in several types of offenses and has a lot of experience under center in a traditional pro style offense.

Weaknesses:

I watched a lot of tape, and it seemed like Etling really struggled with arm strength and deep ball accuracy. I was surprised when I saw that he had a decent completion percentage on the deep ball, because it didn’t seem to show up on tape. He has good upper body mechanics, but his footwork is inconsistent. He is very much a rhythm thrower and when things start to break down, his footwork goes out the window. He has far too many throws off his back foot or he is flat footed, even when the pocket is clean. Poor mechanics led to incomplete passes to wide open receivers on all three levels.  He tends to lock onto his first read and needs to work on going through his progressions. There were times he would miss wide open receivers because he didn’t scan the field.

Overall:

For a seventh round pick, Etling has certainly become a polarizing player already for Patriots fans. Is he the future? Is he the next Brady? Most likely not. I think what got him in the door was his toughness, his leadership, his work ethic, and his command of the huddle. Those are things that cannot be taught. The on field stuff can be improved. He is a guy who will put in the work to get better, and that is all you can ask for at this point. He has mechanical issues, but they are fixable. He does not have the strongest arm. The same was said about Brady coming out. Do I think the Patriots struck gold twice with a late round QB that is going to become a Hall of Famer? No. Etling has the basic tools that can be developed and the intangibles teams look for in a QB, but that does not automatically make for a great QB. Let’s not forget, he is a 7th round pick. By August, he may just be a memory. The best we can hope for is that he develops into a serviceable backup who could make a start or two if needed, but even that is a long term projection.

So… I am trying to make my own gifs now, so bear with me if these don’t look good or are not right. I will keep it to a minimum on this first report just in case. At his best, this is what you can expect from Etling. He has very good mechanics on this throw, and the results are very good, despite the drop from the Receiver. If he can learn to do this on a consistent basis, he has a shot. The problem right now is, this is the exception and not the norm.

 

 

 

One Response to “Post Draft Scouting Report: Danny Etling, QB”

  1. kevinz says:

    Take a good look Pats fans here is our New future QB less pressure was drafted late accurate on short to medium Hard worker who wont make many mistakes Hmmm sounds like a Pats type QB to me.. Now im joking but seems like a good fit to me based off this report.

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