J.T. Barrett 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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J.T. Barrett

Overview
Position
: Quarterback
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 220 pounds
School: Ohio State Buckeyes

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.70 seconds (second among quarterbacks)
Vertical jump: 30 inches
Broad jump: 9 feet
Three-cone drill: 7.38 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.44 seconds

J.T. Barrett 2018 NFL Draft Profile

There are few quarterbacks in the history of college football that’s had the career arc of J.T. Barrett. He’s experienced the highs of playing a part in leading his team to a national title. There have also been lows, including the season-ending injury he sustained during that championship-winning season. Through it all, he’s proceeded to rewrite the record books both at Ohio State and within the Big Ten Conference. That’s impressive in and of itself considering some of the records he broke belonged to a future first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer in Drew Brees.

Barrett committed to the Buckeyes way back on April 20, 2012. He was part of Urban Meyer‘s second recruiting class as Ohio State head coach, one that included soon-to-be third-year Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Wichita Falls, TX native, rated the seventh-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals, redshirted in 2013. Heading into preseason camp the following season, playing time looked bleak with Braxton Miller as the established starter. But after Miller suffered a shoulder injury that ended his season before it began, Meyer turned to Barrett to lead the team behind center.

That redshirt freshman season began with speedbumps but looked to be veering into open road down the stretch. Then Barrett broke his ankle in a win against archrival Michigan. Cardale Jones subsequently took over and led OSU on a three-game run for the ages en route to the program’s first title since 2002. A year later, the two were embroiled in a quarterback controversy that Barrett eventually won late in the year. For the remainder of his college career, nobody supplanted Barrett as the go-to guy at quarterback for the Scarlet and Gray.

Those final two years had their fair share of ups and downs. Barrett led his team to within a win of a second CFP final appearance in three seasons in 2016. But he had a disaster of a performance in the semis against Clemson. The following year, his 328 pass yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions helped precipitate a comeback win against Penn State. The following week, he threw four picks in a blowout loss to Iowa that likely kept the Buckeyes from a second straight CFP berth. Still, his college career ended with a Cotton Bowl win over USC, a game where he finished with a higher quarterback rating than Sam Darnold.

Barrett currently owns 34 school records, is a three-time Big Ten quarterback of the year, and ranks seventh all-time at Ohio State in career rushing yards.

Strengths

  • a natural leader as evidenced by the fact he’s the only three-time captain in OSU history;
  • a capable runner who can extend plays with his feet;
  • ball comes out of his hand with good velocity;
  • fairly adept at timing throws to find receivers in zone windows;
  • accurate thrower of touch passes such as back shoulder throws;
  • could benefit from increased incorporation of zone read into NFL offenses;
  • can convert third and fourth downs on the ground if pocket collapses or receivers are covered downfield.

Weaknesses

  • undersized for the position;
  • tends to key on his primary read without cycling through progressions;
  • telegraphs his throws with his eyes;
  • inconsistent footwork on dropbacks;
  • too often resorts to scrambling instead of letting receivers get open;
  • deep ball accuracy is below average;
  • low release angle on short and intermediate throws down the middle, resulting in batted balls;
  • forces the issue into coverage way too often;
  • Iowa tape from last year was a disaster;
  • medical history includes major injuries to his ankle and knee.

NFL Comparison: Brett Hundley

Teams With Need at Position: Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Washington Redskins

Projection: Seventh round/priority free agent

note: given Barrett’s projection, he fits teams which need depth at the quarterback position, not necessarily a starting caliber player.

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that Barrett carved out a unique place in college football history during his four-year Ohio State career. That much is certain when you break records previously held by Brees. But it’s hard to see Barrett mimicking Brees’ exploits at the next level. Though his dual-threat capability is unquestioned and his leadership skills are exactly what NFL teams look for, his tape shows too much inconsistency. He makes too many rash throws into coverage, is quick to scramble instead of letting pass plays develop, and is too much of a one-read passer. Barrett will provide solid depth and a good locker room presence. But whether he can progress past anything more than a career backup remains up in the air.

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