Nothing is harder for a quarterback than to step forward, toward pressure, and deliver a strong throw knowing the hit is coming. Yet, Mark Schofield and other talent evaluators look for that trait in NFL Draft prospects and this week, Jacoby Brissett earns recognition for the throw of the week.
After beginning their season with four consecutive wins, North Carolina State suffered losses to Louisville and Virginia Tech in successive weeks. The Wolfpack and quarterback Jacoby Brissett looked to air out their frustrations ‒ and get their season back on track ‒ at Wake Forest on Saturday. The visitors roared out to four first quarter touchdowns and rode the early lead to a 35-17 victory, and on one of the long scoring plays, Brissett flashed a number of positive traits that evaluators look for in an NFL signal caller.
With a 14-0 lead, the Wolfpack line up for a 1st and 10, with 12 offensive personnel on the field. Brissett is in the pistol formation and four receivers left, with two tight ends in a wing alignment and two wide receivers in slot formation outside. The Demon Deacons deploy a 4-2-5 sub package, showing Cover 6 in the secondary:
Off the snap of the football, the defense rolls into Cover 3, blitzing both a linebacker and a safety toward the left B Gap:
The interior withstands the blitz, but on the edge tight end Jaylen Samuels (#28) gives ground to the defensive end. However, Brissett does a flawless job of climbing the pocket, keeping the play alive and his eyes trained downfield, before unleashing this throw:
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Brissett drops it in the bucket perfectly, over the defensive back and to the outside shoulder of freshman (#7) for the 58-yard score.
There are several impressive traits on display. It begins with the patience and poise to maneuver in the face of edge pressure, rather than bouncing to the outside. Brissett also shows the ability to keep his eyes downfield while moving, something he does very well. Finally, there is the throw, which combines arm strength and deep accuracy traits.
North Carolina State earned their first conference win on Saturday, and needs help to catch up to Clemson in the ACC Atlantic Division. But for Brissett, this play demonstrates improvement on one of the areas of concern surrounding him before the season, specifically keeping his eyes downfield in the face of pressure. More plays like this will keep the Wolfpack QB on the minds of scouts and evaluators as the draft approaches.
Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkSchofield.
Mark Schofield has always loved football. He breaks down film, scouts prospects, and explains the passing game for Inside the Pylon.
All video and images courtesy FOX Sports South.