The Buffalo Bills have several needs on both sides of the ball that they’ll look to address during free agency and the 2016 NFL Draft. However, General Manager Doug Whaley has stated on numerous occasions that despite Tyrod Taylor’s success in his first year as a starter, the team will add another quarterback in the draft. Today, we’ll look at Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott.
Prescott, a Louisiana native was redshirted upon his arrival to Mississippi State in 2011. He had spot duty in 2012, amassing 194 yards passing, 4 touchdowns passing and rushing with zero interception. In 2013 Prescott was the backup to Tyler Russell, but replaced him through injury. He passed for 1,940 yards with 10 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and rushed for 829 yards and 13 touchdowns. Prescott also was the Liberty Bowl MVP after destroying Rice 44-7.
2014 was his first true year as starter and Prescott didn’t disappoint – to the tune of 3,449 passing yards, 27 touchdowns passing (41 overall) and 11 interceptions. At the time, some thought that he would enter the draft – with the spectre of “Tebow lite” being bandied about. However, Dak would return for his redshirt senior season.
2015 was a great going away party for Dak (other than getting a bottle chucked at him during spring break prior) – having career highs in yards (3,793) completion percentage (66.2) while lowering his interceptions to 5. He also set a school single game record vs Arkansas being responsible for 7 touchdowns in a game – 5 passing and 2 rushing.
(No one tell Al Bundy.)
Prescott ends his collegiate career 4th in SEC history with 107 total touchdowns (passing, rushing or receiving) and 5th in SEC history in yards with 11,153.
Dak Prescott is 6’2 and 226 pounds and looks sturdy in the pocket. His arm strength is a plus, as well as his ability to escape from the pocket. Prescott isn’t afraid of contact, nor will he put himself in line for a “kill him” shot from the defense. That keeps him on the field and allows him to be at his most productive as a result.
Dak Prescott Arm Talent
Dak Prescott has compact release and plus arm strength. There isn’t a throw I would worry about Prescott not making in the NFL. A lot of the questions that Prescott had last year were in line with “is he another Tebow” due to his success in the same system. This year 84% of Prescott’s attempts were from the pocket (good for 68% accuracy) and 8.1 yards per attempt. To me, this is not a “gimmick” player at QB – this is a young man that can be developed.
Prescott isn’t just a “chucker” of the ball. He also is able to take RPMs off if he needs to place it in a spot for his WR:
As I mentioned above, Dak Prescott’s senior year was one in which he progressed away from the Tebow comparisons and became a highly functional QB in the pocket. Consider this play, where he’s calmly going through his read and hitting a dig out of the cut:
That’s a throw that’s avoiding four defenders with little margin for error and it seems easy for them. As much as the first gif made me sit up arm-strength wise, this clip made me stop and clap.
This play was great to see, because in the NFL, interior pressure and compressing the pocket on a mobile QB will be move one by a good defensive coach. With no room to step up, Prescott still fires a shot over the middle that is completed and gives the team a short 2nd down.
I really enjoyed how Prescott grew as a passer in terms of keeping his eyes downfield in scrambles as well. Unlike prior years where he would just seek to get out of Dodge and get up the field, this year Dak made a concerted effort to look for great while he still had the “good” (positive yards scrambling):
Prescott also passes my “go to guy” check – when he needed him, he could find De’Runnya Wilson wherever he was on the field. And that focus (in this case on back to back plays) typically led to good things:
Overview/Potential Fit With Buffalo Bills
Prescott at his core is a quarterback with a lot of tools for a coach to fall in love with. The goal would be for him to get with a staff that believes in him as a finished product, not the guy you’re getting day 1. Because of that, a place like Buffalo would be good for Dak, to allow him to learn and grow and not worry about being forced into the fire.
If Buffalo did draft Prescott, he would need a year or two of seasoning prior to being put out in the fire, so for his best interests – and that of the team – having a vet ahead of him at least his rookie year would be a great way to let him develop without the pressure to start him if Tyrod were injured.