2020 NFL Draft: Understanding Overall Draft Grades

It’s Christmas at USN, or erm… Draft Season… so basically Christmas here at USN. Our Christmas tree is game tape, and our gift to all of you is the 2020 USN Draft Guide, we’ll watch the tape (because we have no lives and love it), and break it down for in the #Unfiltered way that only USN can. But, instead of throwing around confusing grades, and numbers and metrics and expecting total understanding, we decided to break down our process a bit. Today we’ll tackle our Overall Draft Grades

How we Calculate Overall Grades

Here at USN, we calculate Overall Grades based solely on the film and the film alone. The Overall Grade is a cumulative average of the individual trait grades which are

  • Accuracy
  • Pocket Presence
  • Decision Making
  • Arm Strength
  • Mobility
  • Intangibles

All traits are evenly weighted and evaluated due to accommodate the diversity of styles and offensive systems. With that said let’s go further, lets dissect what we are saying when we assign the grade and the type of prospect that fits the bill, with examples (including our painful painful painful misses).

The Grades

9.0-10: Rare; Generational Talent

What does this QB Prospect look like? There have only been three in modern NFL history that fit the bill so this is tough to nail down completely. A prospect with this grade will check every single box in terms of all traits, they will be elite in all phases of the game or be so dominant in most phases that they can force themselves in this category.

Who have we scouted that fit the bill? Andrew Luck. That’s it. No one else has come within half a point.

Historical Examples: Peyton Manning, John Elway Special for this tier only

Where are these prospects drafted? First Overall. Every. Single. Time.

8.0-8.9: Pro Bowl/ All Pro Potential

What does this QB Prospect look like? This Prospect checks nearly every box but either has one glaring weakness or has an outside issue reducing his score such as an arrest or an extensive injury history. Prospects with this rating usually are capable of starting early and producing at a high level.

Who have we scouted that fit the bill? Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Vince Young, Josh Rosen, Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Robert Griffin III and many more

Where are these QB’s typically drafted? Depending on the rest of the class these prospects can go anywhere from 1st overall to missing the 1st round completely. But typically they are taken in the top 10 picks.

7.0-7.9: Franchise QB Potential

What does this QB Prospect look like? This tier is all about tools, either they have all the tools in the world but suffer from consistency issues or they are polished players but lack the tools to make it the next tier. These Prospects are capable of staring year one but could struggle initially.

Who have we scouted that fit the bill? Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Derek Carr, Jay Cutler, Matt leinhart, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, Johnny Manziel, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan and many more

Where are they QB’s typically drafted? Typically round one but these QBs can definitely slide.

6.0-6.9: Quality Starter potential

What does this QB Prospect look like? This QB Prospect is like the last tier except they either have a lower ceiling or are even less polished. Prospects in this tier typically need to sit for a season or two in order to develop into starting level players.

Who have we scouted that fit the bill? Blake Bortles, Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Finley, Daniel Jones, Mitchell Trubisky, Chad Kelly and many more

Where are these QB Prospects typically drafted? This tier can be drafted from round one to round 7 because of they typically fit certain schemes better than others. Be cautious, this tier is every often over drafted and can end up as busts because of it.

5.0-5.9: Quality Backup/ Developmental Pick

What does this QB prospect look like? This prospect will typically have a few starter level traits but will either face a steep learning curve or will already be near his ceiling

Who have we scouted that fit the bill? Geno Smith, EJ Manual, Connor Cook, Landry Jones, Matt Barkley

Where are these QB Prospects typically drafted? Typically these players can range from day 3 to undrafted.

0-5.0: Camp Arms/ Long Term Projects

What does this QB Prospect look like? This Prospect will typically have one or two NFL traits which is usually worth a camp look. Sometimes these players stick around. Most of the time they end up as cuts.

Who have we scouted that fits the bill? Reggie Mcneal, BJ Daniels, Marcus Vick

Where are these prospects typically drafted? These players are often drafted in the 7th round or not at all

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