Jimmy Garoppolo, QB – Eastern Illinois, 6’2”, 226 LBS
Drafted Round 2, Pick 30, 62nd Overall (New England)
Combine Results: 4.97 Forty | 30.5″ Vertical Jump | 110″ Broad Jump
- Tied for 12th in 40-yard dash among QBs
- Tied for sixth in vertical jump among QBs
- Third in three cone drill among QBs (7.04)
- Walter Payton Award winner in 2013 (given to the top player in the FCS) by going 375-of-568 (66.0%) for 5,050 yards with 53 TDs and nine picks in 14 games
- Is one of only two quarterbacks to throw for more than 5,000 yards in a season (Taylor Heinicke, 2012) in FCS history
- Was named the Offensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Game
- Named an All-American by the Associated Press and Walter Camp
- His 53 touchdowns were the fourth-most in FCS history (three behind the record) while his 5,050 yards is second all-time
- In FCS career history, his 118 touchdowns rank sixth, his 13,156 passing yards are seventh and his 13,089 yards of total offense ranks 10th
- Ranked first nationally in 2013 for passing yards per game (360.7), second in points responsible for per game (25.3), third in total offense (365.1 yards per game), third in passing efficiency (168.3) and fifth in completions per game (26.79)
- Directed Eastern Illinois to the number one ranked offense nationally in terms of both total offense (589.5 yards per game) and scoring offense (48.2 points per game)
NFL Impact: Jimmy Garoppolo is an intriguing prospect from a FCS school that is going to try to take that big leap to the NFL. He is mainly a pocket passer (so his below average speed is not a big issue to me) and has the quickness to escape the pocket if necessary. What is so great about Garoppolo is the fact his release is lightning quick (technically correct) and he has the mental makeup to stand up to big-time pressure that is sure to come to any quarterback in the NFL.
Garoppolo’s positive and mentally strong approach to the game of football is a great sign for a guy that will have a huge leap in competition and game speed when reaching the NFL. He is a confident guy that shows a great competitive streak when on the field. Reports out of Eastern Illinois are that he picked up the new offense at the school quickly and was able to build on that knowledge throughout the year. He will need to do that once again as he will move from a spread scheme to a more NFL-type of system. Garoppolo is able to raise his game to another level in the big games and pushes his teammates to do the same (good leader). He is decisive in his throws like the great gunslinger should be, but that also leads to mistakes and risks that should not be taken.
Garoppolo is solid in the accuracy department and gets the ball where it needs to be most of the time. He uses great anticipation to lead receivers to an open spot on the field. He shows touch on the deep throws (but struggles to get it out past 50 yards) and a strong enough arm to rocket in the short routes. He needs to improve consistency in sideline throws and off-balance throws. Garoppolo has the quick release that is needed in the NFL. He has shown the toughness to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball while taking a big hit. He is able to slide around the pocket to keep upright and keeps the correct balance with his feet to always be ready to fire to receivers. He is good at feeling the pressure around him and can keep his eyes downfield while on the move. He does struggle with fumbles though.
According to ESPN.com’s Stats and Info, FCS quarterbacks taken in the first three rounds in the Common Draft Era have:
- Average career length: 9.6 seasons
- Seven have started the Super Bowl (Four of them won: Terry Bradshaw, Phil Simms, Doug Williams and Joe Flacco)
- 13 started a playoff game (Nine of them won at least one)
- Three won the league MVP (Bradshaw, Ken Anderson, Steve McNair)
- Nine have made the Pro Bowl at least once
The typical comparison for Garoppolo is fellow Eastern Illinois quarterback Tony Romo (the only other EIU player to win the Walter Payton Award). Both quarterbacks do not have the top measurables, but use quick decisions and releases to make plays on the field (both are gunslinger types). There are questions regarding Garoppolo’s size and build, but those are not an issue to me. He performs when the lights are on and that is a guy I want on my team.
Fantasy Impact: Garoppolo is going to be doing a lot of sitting and watching Tom Brady in New England. So, his fantasy value will be way down the line. He has the chance to develop his craft under one of the best quarterbacks in the league and might have an impact five years from now. But, I would not take him in a dynasty league right now (even as a stashed player).