Posted by will_5198, Thu Dec-11-14 10:53 AM
Assuming size and arm strength hit the NFL's baseline limits, I believe there are three traits a prospect needs to sustain success at this position: anticipation, pocket presence and the ability to manipulate. If you're not throwing to a window before the defense knows it's open, you're already too late against NFL speed. If you can't feel 270-pounders with the worst intentions closing around you, and don't know how to take three steps in any direction to avoid them, while keeping your eyes downfield at all times, you're in a world of trouble. And if you can't understand how to use your eyes to hold or move defenders on all three levels of coverage, you can't execute elite-level NFL passing concepts.
Decision-making and reading defenses can be improved. Mechanics can be improved. Even arm strength can be improved. But I think it's incredibly rare for even the most talented prospects to improve their manipulation/anticipation/pocket awareness if they've never shown it at the college level.
I'm on the side that believes those are instincts you have or don't have. You can be schemed away from your weaknesses, you can be on a great team and DLTG, you can even have a run of high-level play, but nobody breaks into the upper tier of quarterbacks without what I've mentioned.
Of course, as historically bad as my quarterback evaluations have been, feel free to disregard this section entirely.