Photo of Ryan Aplin
Grade
49.2 ?

Draft Analysis:

  • 6'1" Height
  • 205LBS. Weight

Overview

Aplin is popular among his teammates but his sister, Carlye, truly owns the hearts of many of the Red Wolves players. She suffers from Smith Magenis Syndrome (missing piece in one of the arm chromosomes), which causes dysmorphic features and self-injurious and/or random behavior patterns, but has taken in like a sister by several of Aplin's teammates whether they're visiting his Tampa home or she's on campus. Though she's entering high school as a special needs student and probably will never live away from home or drive, her trials and tribulations doubtlessly help Aplin's drive on the field and attitude off it. Though not possessing elite size or arm talent, his mobility and toughness will gain him fans among general managers looking for a tough backup candidate in the late rounds.


As a redshirt freshman, Aplin came off the bench to start three of Arkansas State's final four games, making plays with his feet (253 yards, four TD rushing) as well as his feet (completed 65.3 percent of his passes for 889 yards and three TD, with six interceptions). He was voted first-team All-Sun Belt in 2010 as a two-way offensive threat (61.5 completion percentage, 2,939 yards, 21 TD passing, just 11 INT; 477 yards, 11 TD rushing) and then earned the conference Player of the Year award for his 2011 efforts (63.9 completion percentage, 3,588 yards, 19 TD passing, 16 INT; 588 yards, 10 TD rushing). As a senior, Aplin was again named to the first-team All-Sun Belt, and again he won the conference Player of the Year award. As a senior, he completed 275 of his 405 attempts (67.9 percent) for 3,323 yards, and a TD:INT ratio of 24 to 4.

Analysis

Strengths

Has the velocity to make majority of the throws, and best pass may be vertical route that leads the receiver in stride. Best trait is mobility, able to evade pressure at any position of the pocket. Frequently attempts to pump fake to forced defenders to bite. Does not mind throwing while on the move, usually squares shoulders while doing so. If first read is going to be open over the middle, doesn't mind throwing into interior pressure. Consistent ball carrier, shoulders over toes when running into trash.

Weaknesses

Average size, at best, for a professional quarterback. Odd motion and release, never fully extends arm. May be the reason for the sporadic placement on short, intermediate, and downfield targets. Not enough touch on his passes. Most of those placement issues are to targets moving laterally. Predominately a one-read passer, tucks and runs when that target is not available. Drops his eye level on incoming rushers far too often. Allows drop step momentum to force him fall off throws. Accuracy and effectiveness when throwing between the hashes as opposed to out of it is drastic. The latter is much worse.

NFL Comparison

Tyler Thigpen

Bottom Line

The 2011 and 2012 Sun Belt Player of the Year is not only a threat pass, but he's also a threat to scramble. Watching his younger sister, Carlye fight through Smith Magenis Syndrome also gives him the maturity, perspective and work ethic that, combined with his on-field production, makes him a potential late-round pick as a backup for a movement-based NFL offense despite his average size and arm strength.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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