Jared Goff is in the thick of the race to be the top quarterback selected in the NFL draft, but concerns over his win-loss record at Cal, arm strength and now hand size could diminish his draft stock. I went to the tape to see if the traits that originally pushed Goff to this lofty status were evident, and potentially indicative of future fantasy success.
» Really soft touch passes when needed
» Good arm
» Pocket mobility is strong
» Can fit passes into tight windows or drop them in the bucket
Goff certainly looks the part of an NFL quarterback, standing 6-foot-4 in the pocket with a strong arm. While many of Cal's throws were short screens, when asked, Goff could sling it deep and showed great touch on boundary passes. He's comfortable moving around in the pocket to avoid pressure, and is capable of stepping into it and delivering a dime, too.
His arm might not be the strongest in the class, but it looks like it can get the job done. Goff showed the confidence and ability to rifle passes into tight windows, in addition to being able to throw his receivers open to get them away from coverage.
» Minimal experience under center
» Accuracy falls into bad ruts
» Fooled numerous times by zone coverages for INTs
» Not super accurate on the move
The playing under center gripe isn't a huge deal, but it will be a transition for him after running 99.8 precent of his passing snaps from the pistol or shotgun this season. The strings of inaccurate passes were certainly concerning, and were often compounded by his occasional struggles to identify underneath zone defenders. His ability to avoid pressure in the pocket was admirable, but I would have liked to see him connect on more throws while escaping that pressure on the run. Overall, he played it safe/smart in those situations rather than risking potentially disastrous throws.
Ideal NFL fantasy fits
Cleveland is in need of a quarterback of the future, and if they believe Goff is the answer they will undoubtedly go get him. New head coach Hue Jackson did great things working with Andy Dalton the last few years. Dallas needs to find a replacement for Tony Romo eventually, and getting Goff to study behind Romo for a year or two could be extremely beneficial for his development. Goff thrived as a rhythm passer in college, so why not pair him with a coach whose offense is reliant on rhythm and tempo like Chip Kelly?
Early fantasy draft projection
There is plenty to like about Goff as a passer, but he's far from a complete prospect like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were last year. Hopefully, Goff isn't forced into action immediately and can take some time to adjust to the NFL game and learn from a veteran. Dynasty owners searching for a quarterback of the future could throw a late-round rookie pick at Goff and hope he develops as many think he could. Even if he becomes the immediate starter for a franchise, his redraft value is nonexistent for now, making him just a potential streamer in standard formats.