Matt Waldman’s RSP Film Room examines multiple games of Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, a 2019 NFL Draft prospect whose game is painfully close to meriting a spot at the top of this position group.
Mike Leach is known for his tangents during interviews that can span the validity of specific stats to wedding advice. During a session with beat reporters in 2018, the Washington State head veered outside the literal bounds of a question about his quarterbacks’ progress and discussed the topic of accuracy development at the position.
Leach doesn’t believe in the idea that coaches can greatly improve a quarterback’s accuracy. Regardless of how physically enticing a young quarterback’s game may appear, Leach recruits around inaccurate quarterbacks.
He cites examples of college coaches recruiting high school quarterbacks who aren’t accurate thinking that they can fix them and then watching NFL coaches think the same thing about said quarterbacks who were also inaccurate in college.
“They think, ‘I’m going to be the one to fix him,'” says Leach.
Even for a scout, the pull of a talented player with accuracy issues is real. It seems odd because accuracy is a vital component of the position. However, there are so many layers to quarterbacking that the right combinations of skills that can create hope in a prospect whose accuracy isn’t top-notch.
Duke’s Daniel Jones is that quarterback for some of the corporate draft analyst types. For Mark Schofield, Boise State’s Brett Rypien is that guy. After finishing my film study of Rypien, I’m in the same camp as Mark — Rypien is an enticing prospect because of his refined technical skills working under center, maneuvering the pocket, and manipulating coverage.
Add Rypien’s toughness, arm talent, and aggressive and creative bent to the list, and he has most of the characteristics of a top quarterback prospect.
Except for the consistent pinpoint accuracy.
This RSP Film Room explores Rypien’s game and shows why the quarterback’s accuracy is so close, yet so far from what’s necessary for an NFL starter.
If nothing about Rypien’s game changes, he might thrive as a future starter if he works with a strong corps of receivers capable of winning a larger than average share of targets that aren’t pinpoint accurate. There’s also the possibility that Rypien improves his accuracy because, despite Leach’s thoughts on the topic, Rypien isn’t that far away.
He reminds me of a player like Case Keenum but with better arm talent. In terms of what he can do in the pocket and his arm talent, Jake Plummer comes to mind.
Rypien will be a fascinating case study and one I’m hoping can make that small upgrade in a vital area that’s difficult to improve.
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