The 2020 NFL draft gets underway on April 23 and will look a lot different than it has in recent years. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the NFL to audible its planned three-day extravaganza in Las Vegas and will instead likely hold a studio show without the fanfare that normally accompanies the realization of a lifelong dream for the more than 250 prospects who will hear their name called.
In this running series, we'll profile several of those players. Up next: Georgia quarterback, Jake Fromm.
Fromm, 21, attended Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Georgia, where he threw for 12,745 yards and 116 touchdowns during his decorated five-star career. Fromm chose Georgia after originally committing to Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. He was rated a top-10 quarterback in his recruiting class. While he goes by 'Jake,' his first name is actually William.
Fromm's career as Georgia's starter came in Week 1 of his freshman season (2017) after replacing fellow draft prospect Jacob Eason after Eason suffered a shoulder injury. Fromm would remain the starter for the rest of the year and threw for 2,615 yards, 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was steady and consistent as the Bulldogs' starter the following two seasons. In 2018, he threw for 2,761 yards, 30 touchdowns and six interceptions and finished last season with 2,860 yards, 24 touchdowns and five interceptions. He was named Georgia's MVP in 2019.
Physically, Fromm meets the minimum requirements for an NFL quarterback. He checked-in at 6-2, 219 pounds at the NFL Combine and has a thickly built frame that should help him absorb the kind of contact that naturally comes with playing the position.
Athletically, Fromm isn't the fleetest of foot. He won't be a dual-threat as a pro nor will he be the kind of quarterback who can keep plays alive for long once the pocket breaks down. He has enough lateral movement skills to side-step oncoming pass rushers and won't just crumble in the face of pressure, but he'll need an effective offensive line to maximize his skill set as a passer.
Fromm's best trait is his decision-making, which is something NFL teams will value. His accuracy is above-average too, but his lack of arm strength will hinder his ability to make window throws int he NFL. His passes hang in the air too long; harmless incompletions in the SEC will turn into interceptions in the NFL because of his lack of velocity.
Fromm isn't an incredibly challenging evaluation. He's a smart and instinctive quarterback who does most of his damage before the snap. He'll make the right reads and he'll target the right receiver. He's an on-target passer who needs time in the pocket to allow his receivers to gain an extra step of separation to make up for his lacking arm talent. Fromm has starter's upside as long as the rest of the offense can compensate for his shortcomings; he'll need twitchy route-runners who can separate on intermediate routes. If Fromm is forced to throw into tight coverage or down the field (aside from an occasional home run shot or busted play), he won't last long with the first team.
Fromm appears destined to be a backup with spot starter's ability. I wouldn't entirely count him out, though. Guys like Fromm -- players who win above the shoulders -- tend to make it in the NFL despite their apparent physical limitations. If he lands in a system that plays to his strengths, he could be a surprisingly effective NFL starter. But he shouldn't be drafted to be that guy. Instead, his best chance for success is to join a roster as an unassuming backup with a chance to outwork and outplay an incumbent starter.
GRADE: 4th round