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 North Carolina State’s Jacoby Brissett.
Brissett started his collegiate career at Florida but eventually transferred to N.C. State where he made 26 starts in his final two seasons, completing 60.6% of his passes for 5,268 yards, throwing 43 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Previous Prospect Breakdowns
Jacoby Brissett’s Physical Tools
Standing 6’4” and weighing 236 pounds, Jacoby Brissett has the prototypical size teams look for in a passer. His big frame helps him in the pocket, as he has the height to see the whole field and the bulk to shrug off oncoming rushers.
He’s got a big arm and can deliver the ball when rolling out to either direction, but he has the mobility that will keep defenses honest and can pick up chunks of yards on the ground as well.
Jacoby Brissett Arm Talent
Jacoby Brissett has a ridiculously strong arm and is a threat to attack all three levels of the field. That arm strength is put on display in the following clip as he rolls out to the right hash, before throwing it about 20 yards downfield to the opposite sideline.
Brissett is a tough evaluation because he didn’t have much of a supporting cast around him, so he would look for the big play probably more often than he should. He’s an aggressive passer that knows how strong his arm is and while this mentality leads to eye-opening splash plays, it also results in sacks, turnovers and missing underneath receivers and leaving yards on the field.
In the following clip, Brissett drops back and is under pressure from three Florida State defenders. Instead of checking down to his hot target, he leaves his feet and heaves the ball downfield, overthrowing the wide receiver running a go-route.
While he has a strong arm, Brissett isn’t very accurate when throwing deep outside the hashes, as he’ll often throw the ball way out of bounds, rarely giving his receiver a chance to make a play.
While Brissett thrives when plays break down, he can struggle when operating within the confines of the offense. In the following play against Virginia Tech, Brissett has a clean pocket, but underthrows a seam route into triple coverage and is picked off.
He’ll need to work on throwing with anticipation, as Brissett can be late getting the ball out at times, but he shows the ability to “throw the receiver open” in the following play against Louisville.
Pocket Presence/ Mobility
Jacoby Brissett is a joy to watch in the pocket. The 6’4” 236 pounder is fearless and has the mobility to extend plays with his legs.
N.C. State’s offense ran a lot of zone read, read option and triple option to utilize Brissett’s mobility, but he also showed the ability to escape the pocket when it collapses and move the chains. Here, the pocket collapses at the top of his dropback and Brissett Is forced to escape. He maneuvers his way to a first down, but still keeps his eyes downfield before crossing the line of scrimmage to keep the threat of a pass alive.
Brissett seemed at his best when plays broke down and he was able to improvise. In one of the more impressive plays I saw of his, Brissett is forced out of the pocket, breaks two tackles and scrambles to the sideline. He keeps his eyes downfield and delivers a strike into a tight window for a touchdown. (Note: video is 1.5x speed because of how long it took to develop)
Here on 3rd-and-9 against Virginia Tech, Brissett uses his mobility to avoid the rush and finds a receiver for a first down.
Against Florida State, Brissett steps up in the pocket to avoid two free rushers and finds the tight end down the seam for a touchdown.
Jacoby Brissett is one of the toughest quarterbacks in the 2016 class. While he’s mobile enough to shake off rushers and scramble, he’ll also stand tall and get rid of the ball while taking a hit.
Overview/Potential Fit With Buffalo Bills
Jacoby Brissett definitely has the tools of an NFL quarterback and an aggressive mentality that you want to see at the position. Bills fans have witnessed the “safe” approach to the passing game far too often with players like Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, EJ Manuel and others who were often scared to pull the trigger.
Brissett’s aggressiveness doesn’t always work in his favor, as you can see in the following play against Florida State. Under pressure, Brissett waits too long for the deep route to develop, rather than checking down and winds up fumbling, giving the Seminoles the ball in the red zone.
The Buffalo Bills aren’t looking for someone to come in and start from day one, which is why I’m intrigued by Jacoby Brissett’s fit here. In a run-first offense, Greg Roman has been able to simplify passing concepts by utilizing half-field and defined reads, which is similar to what Brissett did at N.C. State, although it was in a spread offense. Brissett will take time to develop and will need to sit for at least a season before stepping on the field, as he works to improve his anticipation and get rid of the ball quicker. However, his ability to attack defenses and make plays with his legs, on top of his fearlessness in the pocket make him an attractive option in the mid-to-late rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft.