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Jon Gruden knows quarterbacks, no doubt about it. He’s been evaluating them for years and his ESPN TV show Gruden’s QB Camp is a hit among football junkies and casual fans alike.
This year, former Colorado State Rams quarterback Garrett Grayson got to take part in the fun and he clearly impressed the former NFL head coach. Gruden — who coached for years in college and the NFL, and was both the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head man — called Grayson the NFL Draft’s No. 3 quarterback today during a conference call, behind Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, respectively.
Those who followed Colorado State the last four years have seen Grayson develop from a dual-threat guy into a true pocket passer. He really showed off those passing skills in 2014, throwing for 4,006 yards with 32 touchdowns and only seven interceptions.
Before Gruden’s QB Camp debuted, Zach Rodgers of ESPN Stats & Information broke down Grayson’s strengths and weaknesses. Rodgers believes Grayson’s ability to stretch the field, with a second-best in the Draft 9.5 yards per pass attempt, is his greatest asset. Of course, the stat sounds like Grayson was throwing the ball down the field all the time, which he did some and with accuracy, but many of those giant gains came on bubble screens to Rashard Higgins who took them to the house. During 2014, Grayson admitted those plays helped boost his stats and gave the credit to “Hollywood” Higgins in an act of leadership.
That’s one asset he will bring to whatever NFL team takes him; humility. Grayson was never a guy with a giant ego, just a humble leader looking to give credit to his teammates who both respected him and had his back. In his junior season, Grayson gave due to Weston Richburg for leading the team in the locker room, though we later learned Grayson assumed that role at the end of 2013.
As far as a weakness, Rodgers said Grayson’s lack of mobility will hurt. Again, anyone who watched No. 18 progress at QB saw him as a scared youngster more willing to utilize his legs, to tuck the ball and run for gains. That ended up getting him injured with a broken collarbone in 2012. Between that injury and Jim McElwain’s desire to have Grayson throw and not run, he developed into a much better passer. The 26 sacks in his senior season alone sounds a bit alarming, but Ram fans remember four senior starters from that offensive line — including now NFL guard Richburg — graduated post 2013.
For fans of Garrett Grayson and Colorado State football, you have to watch his workout with Gruden. The former NFL coach gets on Grayson and he responds with calmness. Then, in the drill with targets, Grayson shows off amazing accuracy. Watch the clip here.
After seeing that workout clip, it’s clear why Gruden gave the Rams quarterback such high praise; he was certainly impressive.