Following a loss to Oklahoma in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic, Florida QB Kyle Trask took to Twitter to announce his intention to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Trask has put up impressive numbers all season for the Gators, which has been enough to be named a 2020 Heisman Trophy finalist. However, despite the success that Kyle Trask and the Gators have had this season, there are still massive questions regarding his future in the NFL. More so, where does Kyle Trask’s draft stock go from here? Let’s break it all down.
Forever a Gator. 🐊 pic.twitter.com/dbMaMsl4mz
— Kyle Trask (@ktrask9) December 31, 2020
It’s always fascinating to me to track where Heisman Trophy finalists end up in the NFL Draft. Going back to Baker Mayfield in 2017, we’ve had three straight finalists end up as the top overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, unless something magically happens between now and then, Trask isn’t likely to be drafted first overall. In fact, I don’t find it likely that Trask is drafted in the first round. Rather, I think we’ll eventually see the Gators QB come off the board in the mid-second to late-third round range.
Kyle Trask Game Film
Below, let’s turn on the film and take a look at some of the plays that highlight what Kyle Trask does well.
For the first clip, the Gators are hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks. This passing concept, which Florida ran earlier in the game, is designed perfectly. However, it’s success is contingent on an accurate throw in a small window. Trask delivers this ball perfectly to Tyrie Cleveland from the 27-yard line.
I’ve added another play below. This one, from the SEC Championship game against Alabama, highlights a great throw from Trask that is fit into coverage. Kadarius Toney, the intended receiver, does a fine job of turning to locate the ball in-between defenders. Once again, Kyle Trask has a small window to fit the ball into. It’s a great job by Toney to highpoint the catch, but an even better throw by Trask.
Where does Kyle Trask struggle?
The question that I’ve asked myself throughout the 2020 College Football season is a simple one – Why does Kyle Trask, a Heisman Trophy finalist, have an NFL Draft stock that is so low?
First off, Kyle Trask is, in every sense of the word, a pocket quarterback. Mobility is a massive concern for NFL scouts. Below, I’ve picked out a play against Arkansas that highlights this.
On this play, in which Arkansas rushes three defenders, the defense end is able to break the pocket down. The defensive player is able to get through the offensive line. In what seems like minutes, he is able to bring Trask to the ground.
The clip that I’ve attached below, from the Cotton Bowl Classic against Oklahoma, highlights concerns in Trask’s ability to make typical ‘NFL throws’.
This throw, which is made across the field from the opposite hashmark, is one that the Heisman Trophy candidate will be asked to make frequently. As you can see from the clip, not only does Trask stare down his receiver, but the ball takes far too long to reach it’s target. As a result, the Oklahoma defensive back has ample time to cut the route and intercept the pass.
Who is ahead of Kyle Trask?
Heading into the 2020 College Football season, we had three top quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence, the Junior quarterback from Clemson, has long been considered the top prospect. Coming out of high school, Lawrence was ranked 1st in the country according to 247 Sports and Rivals.
In the same recruiting class, Justin Fields, the quarterback from Ohio State, was ranked just behind Lawrence. This season, despite a limited amount of games played, Fields has closed the gap between Lawrence and himself quite considerably. As the NFL Draft process continues, there is a possibility that Fields is able to become the top overall prospect.
While Lawrence and Fields have been the two most talked about quarterback prospects in this draft class, they certainly aren’t the only ones. Despite only playing one game this season after his conference cancelled their season, North Dakota State QB Trey Lance remains a first round prospect. However, there is some company as BYU’s Zach Wilson’s stock has soared this season. Both of these prospects are dual-threats, racking up yards throw the air, as well as with their legs.
I predict that Kyle Trask will come off the board in the early-to-mid second round range. While it’s possible that a franchise might explore the possibility of moving into the backend of the first round to draft the Gators QB, I find it unlikely.
Kyle Trask has improved greatly this season. Despite this, I still have concerns over his mobility and arm velocity. These two critical factors that are unlikely to change throughout his pro-career. Trask will likely be labeled as a ‘System Quarterback’ that needs a strong supporting cast around him. Nonetheless, Florida QB Kyle Trask is much better than advertised in regards to a second or third round NFL Draft grade.