The next quarterback analyzed in this series of way too early scouting profiles is Brian Lewerke from Michigan State. I have been hearing a lot of good things about him lately and can’t wait to dive into his 2017 tape.
Brian Lewerke, Michigan State:
Games Watched: Minnesota (2017), Ohio State (2017), Penn State (2017), Northwestern (2017).
-Footwork: Very impressive footwork on dropbacks and on the move, clean and smooth.
-Throw on the run: He seems to be MORE accurate when on the run then when he is in the pocket.
-Good pocket movement: Lewerke moves very well inside the pocket avoiding rushers and keeping his eyes downfield when he decides to stay in the pocket.
-Escapability: Defenders must really hate Lewerke, his ability to escape a seemingly sure sack is amazing. What’s even more impressive is that he still looks for the pass after evading the rusher and leaving the pocket, to have that as an instinct is rare and in most cases it has to be taught.
-Short accuracy into the middle of the field: He makes really good reads to this area of the field, which allows him to identify the perfect place to make some really good throws. His timing on this types of throws is really good too.
– Above average athleticism: Time has changed, not so long ago most quarterbacks were mostly slow pocket passers, now most quarterbacks have decent wheels and Lewerke is not an exception. He has very good acceleration which allows him to leave the defensive lineman behind and extend the play.
-Goes through progressions: He routinely goes through multiple progressions and doesn’t lock in to one receiver too often.
-Poise: What stood out to me the most was Lewerke’s poise under pressure not only when facing the blitz (where he does’t shy away from the hit and still delivers the ball where it needs to go), but also late in the game or in overtime, he is just so calm.
-Decision making: I still don’t know if he just makes really poor decisions sometimes or if he struggles to read a certain look. Either way Lewerke has a tendency to throw the ball into double or triple coverage sometimes straight into the defensive strength of that play. His INT total aren’t that high but I guess that the fact his throws were mostly short (6.7 ypa) helped with that stat.
-Accuracy on deep throws: Lewerke’s biggest issue in his 2017 tape is his deep ball. He did make a few that were really good, so you know he is capable. The thing is he overthrows his receivers deep almost every time, way out of the area of which his receivers can make a play. It’s probably the main reason his completion percentage is under 60%, because Lewerke isn’t an inaccurate thrower overall, but this area of his game needs improvement. A good portion of a good deep ball is timing. Being able to throw deep is very important (obviously), because it forces the safeties to be on the lookout and they know you could make them pay if they cheat up.
-Just average arm strength: This class has a lot of quarterbacks with rocket arms, and while Lewerke’s arm isn’t weak, I have doubts he can push it 60+yards with velocity. This may be nitpicking but it was worth noting. A good reason for his overthrowing habit might be to try to compensate not having a cannon by putting more than what he needed.
-6.7 yds per attempt: This stat itself doesn’t tell me much (6.7 ypa its not ideal), but it does tell me where the majority of his passes go, and he is throwing short most of the time. The difference between his running back ypc (4.5) and his aren’t that far apart and that is really far from ideal.
What I want to see from him this year:
First off I want to see him making better decisions (he will be a junior he has time), and reading the defense better. I would also like him not only taking more shots +15 yards but also getting that timing right on his deep passes. Overall I’m very pleased where he is right now as a sophomore (RS), he wasn’t on my radar before but he certainly is now. I can’t wait to analyze his progression into his junior (RS) year.