Let’s start with a simple premise.
When he finishes his career at the Ohio State University, J.T. Barrett will go down as one of the most prolific quarterbacks to ever wear the Scarlet and Grey. Barrett has been a two-time First Team All-Big Ten selection. He was a third Team AP All-American in 2014. He was the Thompson-Randel El Freshman of the Year. He was the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year in both 2014 and 2016, and is the only player in school history to be elected a captain for three-straight seasons.
However, the football landscape is littered with great college quarterbacks whose games could not translate to the NFL. Tim Tebow. Ty Detmer. Colt Brennan. Timmy Chang. Andre Ware. The list goes on and on. As the calendar approaches December and we start thinking in earnest about the Senior Bowl and the draft, we can revisit players like Barrett and see how they have progressed to this point, and start to truly evaluate a potential progression into the NFL.
Back in the summer, I watched a crazy amount of potential quarterback prospect to get a baseline on them for their 2017 seasons. One of the areas of concern I highlighted with Barrett was his play speed. There were times when he was slow to make up his mind on where to go with the football, and slow to get through his progression reads. Not on every play, but it happened enough that it warranted consideration.
Has that improved in 2017?
This video looks at two plays from Ohio State’s game against Iowa. The first is a curls/spacing concept, the second has a post/wheel combination on the front side and a back side hitch route. On both, Barrett is slow to make up his mind, and refuses to take what the defense gives him as he looks at his initial reads. One play goes for an interception and the other goes for a big gain for the offense, but both are cause for concern.