Photo of Mitch Leidner
Grade
4.85 ?
  • 4.93 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 34.5 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 123.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.96 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.25 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'3" Height
  • 33 3/4" Arm Length
  • 226LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Overview

Mitch and Matt Leidner didn't get to play together much during their time with the Gophers. Mitch was a three-plus-year starter at quarterback, but Matt was a third-team center most of 2016. Injuries in the pivot put them both on the field against Washington State in the Holiday Bowl, which the Gophers won 17-12. Mitch got four starts in 10 games as a redshirt freshman (43-78, 619 yards, three TDs passing: 102-407, seven TDs rushing) before earning the full-time job the next season (51.5 completion pct., 1,798 yards, 11 TDs, eight INTs; 452 rush yards, 10 TDs). He had his best season in 2015, starting every game (59.5 completion pct, 2,701 yards, 14 TDs, 11 INT; 270 yards, six TDs rushing). Leidner regressed a bit his senior season, completing just 56.4 percent of his passes for 2,169 yards and eight scores (throwing 12 interceptions) while rushing for 366 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Analysis

Strengths

Possesses NFL size with broad shoulders, good strength in his lower half, and big hands. Has experience under center and in a pro-style attack. Can roll left or right and throws with squared shoulders. Good ball-handling in his play-fakes and can throw with adequate touch on the long balls. Gets rid of the ball rather than taking the sack. Will stand in and take the hit to deliver his throw. Competitive runner and good decision-maker when asked to operate zone-reads. Logged 33 rushing touchdowns over his four-year career.

Weaknesses

Intermediate accuracy was very poor. Stares down his targets allowing linebackers and safeties to jump the throws early. Set-up and release are too slow which tends to neutralize field-side anticipation throws. Inconsistent at leading receivers. Had underthrown deep balls rob him of long touchdown passes. Too hesitant to cut the ball loose and challenge safeties over the top. Finished with just 37 pass attempts of 21-plus yards. Velocity is below average and throws tend to nose-dive. Muscles his throws with upper-body. Pats ball pre-delivery.

Bottom Line

Leidner has NFL size and has some traits that warrant a trip into camp, but he lacks timing, decision-making and confidence as a passer. Leidner doesn't seem to have an advanced feel for his game-plan post snap and that tends to limit him to checkdowns and too many contested throws. In the end, he's more likely a camp invite than legitimate NFL backup.
-Lance Zierlein
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.