2016 Scouting Report: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

Ball Placement

Goff displays incredible ball placement at all levels of the field. His accuracy in this draft class is unmatched.

Short Passes(0-20 yards)

On short passes Goff displays some great ball placement, leading his receivers well most of the time, and putting the ball where the defense can’t get to it.

On these first few plays he does a great job of recognizing the coverage his receiver is in and places the ball well enough for only his receivers to make the catch.

On the next play Goff feels the pressure coming from his blindside and steps up into the pocket, and through the gap created by the pass rusher to his right. He runs forward and sees his receiver get open downfield. The defense is running a form of Cover 2 where the linebackers and safeties will line up about 10 yards deep to protect the first down line and try to encourage a checkdown throw. He has to thread this pass between two defenders while he’s on the run and does so perfectly. He knows the corner on the right is expecting a dump off to the swing route so he has an opening to the receiver behind him being covered by the linebacker. This is exceptional thinking on the fly by him and shows off his improvisation skills.

Here he throws a backshoulder pass for his receiver.

Intermediate Passes(20-40 yards)

On his intermediate throws Goff has some great touch and can still fire the ball into tight spaces.

On this first throw Goff progresses to his second read and finds him open on the dig route. Goff knows he needs to place this ball high so that the linebacker in underneath coverage can’t swat the ball. He raises his release point slightly and just barely gets this ball over the linebacker to complete the throw to his receiver. A great example of his touch over the middle.

On these next two throws Goff does not get the result he wants, but he still places the ball extremely well so that only his receivers can make a play on it.

This next pass is a thing of beauty. He runs play action which doesn’t really fool the defense, but Goff recognizes the coverage and knows exactly where to go the minute the ball is snapped. He floats a beautiful pass to the endzone and puts it right to his receiver’s chest for the touchdown.

This next play is a great example of a typical NFL play. Cal runs a smash route concept where the outside receiver runs a hitch or quick out and the inside receiver runs a deep corner route. The intention of this play is to force the corner to commit to either the deep route or the short route leaving one receiver open if the safeties play the middle of the field. On this play the corner is in man coverage against the outside receiver while the outside linebacker is in man coverage on the tight end. The linebacker is too far inside to cover the corner route leaving a soft spot in the defense where the tight end runs to. Goff does a great job on this play of freezing the safeties to keep them in the middle of the field and then quickly firing to the sideline where his tight end makes a great catch.

On these next two throws Goff shows some good touch to the sideline and to the middle of the field.

On this last intermediate pass, Goff runs play action and quickly identifies the coverage. The deep safety is trying to cover the deep pass to the right sideline, but the tight end gets the inside seam on the linebacker leaving the middle of the field wide open for him to throw to. He puts some great touch on this pass and his tight end makes the easy catch. He does a great job on this play of identifying the coverage quickly and getting the ball out quick. He only needs a quick glace to see his tight end get open and see the safety playing too far to the sideline to make the decision to throw this pass, and he puts the right amount of touch on this throw to complete the pass.

Deep Passes(40+ yards)

On his deep passes Goff does a great job of leading his receivers and putting the ball out of the way of defenders. Here’s some examples of his deep ball.

Decision Making

Goff shows a good ability to read defenses and make good decisions on film. While he has some head scratching throws, Goff tends to make the correct reads and runs the offense. First we’ll take a look at his progression.

Goff does not go through his progressions very often on film. While at Cal Goff ran what is known as the “Bear Raid” offense, a variation on the Air Raid offense. The Bear Raid is not much different from most Air Raid offenses. The quarterback is still very much in charge of the offense, with Goff often times making his own calls at the line. The no-huddle is also used in the Bear Raid, as are many of the quick pass concepts that characterize the offense. With Goff at QB the Bear Raid was run with more emphasis on the deep pass than your typical Air Raid. While most of the screens and quick sideline passes are still included and run very often, Goff was given more freedom to take chances in this offense than most Air Raid QBs are.

With that said, let’s observe a couple of Goff’s progressions in detail.

On this first play Goff does a good job of scanning the field. He moves from his first read to his second, and then to his third where he knows there is a soft spot in the defense for him to throw to. His quick release comes in handy here as he quickly gets the pass off. He keeps this ball low so that his receiver is the only player capable of making the catch.

Here Goff makes a quick transition from his first read to his second and does a great job of identifying the coverage and finding a throwing lane. Goff’s first read is running a go route and Goff correctly identifies the off-man coverage that the corner is playing, giving his receiver no chance of beating him deep, so Goff moves to his next read. Goff’s second read is running over the middle on a crossing route. Goff inadvertently draws the linebacker to the middle of the field when he turns to his second read. The linebacker attempts to get into tight coverage on the receiver, but instead opens up a large window for Goff to throw into. Goff makes a great throw into the open space on this play for an easy completion.

For these next few plays we’ll look at how Goff throws when his receiver is still covered.

Here Goff has a receiver running a slant route and getting bumped. Goff does an excellent job on this play of recognizing that the corner is not going to be able to stay tight on the receiver and that the safety is playing deep enough to open up a small window to throw into. Goff fits this ball into a very small window for his receiver and hits him right in the chest. This is the type of throw that Goff will be asked to make in the NFL, and he shows an excellent ability to complete them.

On this play Goff shows some great decision making by quickly freezing the safeties at midfield and then turning and firing to his receiver on the sidelines. Goff has to make this throw very quickly and does a great job of freezing the safeties and making this throw.

For this play Goff is making a quick read on the defense. He sees his receiver running the slant and uses the linebacker in coverage like a screen to open up his passing lane. His receiver just needs to make this catch.

On these next three plays we’re going to take a look at what Goff does when he makes the wrong decision.

First, Goff’s receiver is running a comeback route. Goff tries to throw it to his receiver anyway even though he’s in very tight coverage. The corner gets a better jump on this ball than the receiver and makes the interception. Goff trusted his receiver far too much on this play and made a throw that he simply shouldn’t have made. This type of coverage is hard to make a catch with in the first place, even if the receiver is able to get away from the corner in time to make the catch.

Next, Goff just makes a bad decision under pressure. Backing away from the defense, and throwing off his back foot, Goff makes a very bad decision trying to get this pass to a receiver in good coverage.

Finally, you can see how Goff locks onto his receiver running a deep post and how he tries to force this pass in to his receiver. From the first angle you can see how he has a receiver open over the middle, but tries to force this ball in to his deep man. From the second angle you get a better idea of what he saw on the play. You can see the corner in coverage the entire time with the receiver. This an extremely bad decision by Goff and shows that while he can make some great decisions, he will still lock onto his receivers and make very bad decisions once he convinces himself of the throw he has to make.

It’s also important to understand what kind of decisions Goff makes when under pressure. We’ve already seen a few passes from Goff when he’s under pressure, but let’s take a slightly closer look at his decision making when under pressure.

On this first play Air Force gets some very good pressure with two free rushers coming from both sides of the line. He notices the first rusher coming from his right and correctly moves up and to his left to avoid the pressure. However, he quickly sees the second rusher coming from his left and drops back into the pocket to avoid the rush. His split second decision freezes the first rusher and gives Goff enough time to make a dump off pass to his checkdown. Even while under pressure Goff finds a way to fit this pass in for his receiver to make the play, and ends up negating the loss of yards with a positive gain.

On this play Goff is under pressure almost immediately. He tries to fake out the rusher by stepping forward and then dropping back again to buy himself some more time. However, as soon as he avoids the first rusher a second rusher gets through and Goff knows he’s beat. He makes a good decision on this play to throw the ball away and avoid the sack.

On the next page we’ll look at Goff’s footwork and athleticism

Dylan Seals

Dylan is a true Texan. Born in Texas. Raised in Texas. Cheers for the Texans. Has an ego the size of Texas, and a love of football to match it. Dylan got his start on Madden where he would find ways to out strategize the game and still lose. He's taken that interest in football to the real world and turned it into a passion for scouting and the strategy of the game. Follow me <strong><a href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?original_referer=http%3A%2F%2Fnflbreakdowns.com%2F%3Fp%3D3022%26page%3D2%26preview%3Dtrue&screen_name=dseals2013&tw_p=followbutton">@dseals2013</a></strong>. For all of Dylan's articles: <strong><a href="http://nflbreakdowns.com/author/DylanSeals/">Click Here</a>.</strong>