Matt Waldman’s RSP contributor Mark Schofield examines the middle-of-the-field prowess of Washington quarterback and NFL draft prospect Jacob Eason.
It might be time to let you in on a little secret.
I barely watch live football anymore.
Outside of New England Patriots games, which I watch live because I have to do a postgame podcast after each contest, it is rare that I sit down and watch a game. This goes for the NFL as well as the college level.
It reminds me of my time as a lawyer in a sense. My wife (who is also an attorney) loves legal shows. The Practice, Boston Legal, and Law and Order and its various spinoffs were and are among her favorites.
But when I was practicing law, the last thing I wanted to do when it was time to relax was watch something that reminded me of work. Perhaps a similar situation is at play here.
Whatever the reason, I do most of my football watching on the computer, where I can truly study what is happening. That is especially the case with the college game.
What that means is that when I get the chance to study draft quarterbacks, odds are that I enter the process lacking a preconceived position of the player. Of course, there are instances, such as this season with Justin Herbert, where I have studied them in the past. But I do not have a background of watching that player live on broadcasts to cloud my perception of them as a prospect.
Jacob Eason is one such player I am walking into is game blind.
The first contest of his that I watched was against the University of Hawaii and it was a relatively clean performance. Yet, early in the game, I started to have some questions about his ability to read the middle of the field.
This is important because data tells us that the best area of the field to complete downfield throws in the NFL lies along the seams. Which makes sense, given the prevalence of single-high coverage, whether Cover 1 or Cover 3.
But to complete those throws, a quarterback must read the middle of the field effectively. So, it is an important trait to possess.
My concerns were growing as I watched Eason against Hawaii. But then, something cool happened.
This video breaks it all down:
Whether my concerns will continue to lessen as I further my study remains to be seen, but this is a good start.
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