2016 NFL Draft: Vernon Adams Scout Report – Tactical Anarchist


One of the most interesting stories of the 2015 college football season was quarterback for the Oregon Ducks, running Vernon Adam from the FCS level to filling some of college football’s greatest shoes. The name Marcus Mariota may pique an Eagles fan’s ears like hearing your ex’s name, but Mariota left a gaping hole in Autzen that Vernon Adams was asked to fill. A year after the Oregon quarterback won the Heisman, led Oregon to compete for the national title, and then was replaced by the Titans (not the Eagles), an FCS transfer donned a des Ducks despite a shortened offseason with the team due to certain transfer rules. Adams entered a football culture where the contention of Pac 12 and national title chances were annual expectations.

Adams was no stranger to success, however. His previous college years were spent at FCS Eastern Washington, where he was one of the most dominant players at this level of college football. Two years in a row Adams was a finalist for the Walter Payton Outstanding Player at FCS Level. In those two seasons, Adams threw for almost 8,500 yards and 90 touchdowns while rushing for 890 yards and 10 touchdowns. It was a multidimensional beast.

His career in Oregon, however, got off to a rocky start. In his first few games it was evident that he was still adjusting to attack and the fact that the defenses were moving much faster than he was used to. This was made worse by the nagging injuries suffered and her first few weeks in a duck uniform turned out to be uninspiring. However, Adams turned it on in mid-October and started to look like the player who has dominated East Washington in previous years and led the Ducks to six straight wins and an appearance at the Alamo Bowl where the Ducks probably would have won after winning 35-0 in the first half, but Adams got injured and Oregon allowed a massive victory without Adams to keep the pedal on the gas.

Needless to say, Adams managed to overcome adversity early in his career in Oregon to finish incredibly strong, but then again, he’s no stranger to it. Adams’ time in Oregon is the perfect embodiment of the player he is, one thrives in the face of adversity and breakdown to end a strong game or match.

The 6-0, 200-pound quarterback will have plenty of questions to answer about his height, but the truth is that aside from a few abnormal injuries at Oregon, Adams has been healthy throughout his career at the ‘EWU. He also does a great job of preserving his body when he’s out of the pocket, rarely getting into position to take big hits. Size, for me, is a minor concern for him, but it rarely puts him at a disadvantage.

Have you seen the matrix? Of course you have. Well, Vernon Adams looks a lot like Neo. Even when bullets are flying everywhere, Adams looks cool and serene. He is able to go through his process incredibly quickly and efficiently as a passer, regardless of the presence or absence of structure on a given bottom. He has excellent evasion skills and is consistently able to expand a game far beyond what most quarterbacks are capable of. However, he is not a reckless player. While it may seem like everything is crumbling around him and he dodges balls to get the pass, his decisions seem calculated and his efficiency as a passer reflects his excellent decision making.

People see a guy like Adams playing the way he does and slapping him with a label that he needs out of the chaos to thrive, but the truth is he’s an incredibly cerebral passer. In fact, I would go so far as to call him the smartest quarterback in this category.

As well as being an excellent decision maker and having an impressive composure, Adams is also a very skilled passer. His arm doesn’t have the elite strength, but he’s incredibly precise and has excellent anticipation of his passes. It is very important for quarterbacks with slightly longer arms to compensate with their instincts and this is something you see Adams doing on a regular basis.

The biggest concern with Adams starts at his base. He is constantly moving in the pocket and can sometimes afford to throw from an uneven base. Poor footwork will negatively impact his accuracy, which is the cornerstone of his game. It’s a fixable trait, but something that needs to be taken into consideration. People may be concerned about the offensive he led in Oregon, but like Mariota before him, Adams led the Oregon offensive at an elite level of efficiency despite working with much less talent. than what Mariota had before him. Adams has made plenty of throws that suggest he can hit “pro windows,” but it’s just going to be a matter of learning how to test them more consistently. However, he’s ready to be aggressive as a smuggler, so I’m not worried that he will someday become shy with guns to the next level.

Professional comparison: I see the Russell wilson the comparison is thrown around a lot and that makes a lot of sense to me in some ways. Both quarterbacks have a great escape paired with very calculated approaches to their passing game. However, Wilson is a much more physically gifted player than Adams, possessing much better athletic ability, a stronger build and a bigger arm. Adams is Russell Wilson, stylistically, in the body of Johnny Manziel. He’s a bit lighter with a weaker arm and less straight-line speed, but certainly isn’t the reckless player Manziel was at Texas A&M.

I’m a huge fan of Adams’ skills and think his passing style would be perfect for Doug Pederson’s offense. His ability to anticipate throws and work with precision in the middle play while being able to move an attack with his feet makes him seem tailor-made for Pederson and the Eagles. I’m usually tired of a lot of those quarterbacks in the first round, but Adams could be one of the top two or three passers in this class. If the Eagles were to act aggressively for him on day two, I would totally agree.


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