Photo of James Vandenberg
Grade
48.3 ?
  • 4.92 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 32.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 116.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.95 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.52 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 30 1/4" Arm Length
  • 226LBS. Weight
  • 9 3/4" Hands

Overview

University of Iowa fans finally got to see one of their native sons take the reins of the Hawkeyes in 2011, as Vandenberg became the first Iowan in more than a decade to start for the Black and Gold on opening weekend (2001, Kyle McCann). His first season at the helm was not as successful as was hoped (7-6, with a 31-14 loss to Oklahoma in the Insight Bowl).



The 2007 Iowa High School Offensive Player of the Year owned 12 state passing records by the time of his graduation, including career passing yards (7,709) and touchdown passes (93). As a redshirt freshman, he played in four games, starting two when Ricky Stanzi went down with an injury (he finished the year going 42-for-87 (48.3 percent) for 470 yards and two touchdowns with five interceptions). He saw limited action in three games (5-8, 45 yards, TD) the following year before taking over for Stanzi as a junior, completing 58.7 percent of his passes for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. Vandenberg took a step backwards his senior year. He completed only 57.3 percent of his his passes, with just seven touchdown passes to eight interceptions.

Analysis

Strengths

Arm motion is really top to bottom, almost in an exaggerated way. That throwing style is consistent. Best on intermediate routes between the numbers and hashes. Carries play fake through draw. Flashes as a rhythm passer, especially over the middle of the field if routes are in his line of vision. Holds the ball high in the pocket. Waits on the checkdown when given time to survey downfield coverage.

Weaknesses

Does not always set footwork, even on three step drops. Lacks composure to work through progressions, appears to lock on to a receiver and overthrows if they do not separate. Gets happy feet when that first read is not there, attempts to reset but those throws are consistently poor. Placement is not good despite consistent motion. Rarely puts touch on his passes, makes one-speed throws. Ducks when facing interior pressure at the release point. Tends to sail outside breaking routes rather than leading receiver.

NFL Comparison

Pat Devlin

Bottom Line

This native Iowan, who set many state high school passing records, patiently waited for Ricky Stanzi to graduate before getting the keys to the Hawkeyes’ offense. He didn’t set the college football world on fire with his play as a first-year starter in 2011 (58.7 completion percentage, 3,022 yards, 25 TD, seven INT) and struggled mightly as a senior (57.3 completion percentage, 2,249 yards, seven touchdowns, eight interceptions). Still, Vandenburg has shown the ability to be a rhythm passer who will likely be brought into camp as an undrafted free agent for a team that runs a more up-tempo type of offense.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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