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20th July 2019

Lazy Scout: Tyree Jackson (QB)

Tyree Jackson is the quarterback everyone should be falling over. Hailing from Norton Shores, Michigan, Jackson was a quarterbacking sensation for his High School team (Mona Shores).

In his junior and senior season Jackson lead his team to historic levels of success as they fought there way, against the odds, to their first state championship game in over half a century. Throughout both his junior and senior seasons Jackson threw for just under 4,500 yards and 50TDs. He added 13 rushing touchdowns amassing a total rushing yardage of 1,064 yards which ranked him top 5 in state history in career touchdown passes, completions and passing yards.

As a true freshman he redshirted in 2015. His freshman playing year in 2016 saw him take to the field on 10 occasions (starting on 9). He finished the season with a respectable rookie record going 165-311 and 1,772 yards (9TDs and 9INTs). He was the Buffalo Bulls 2nd leading rusher in that season with 472 yard and 5 rushing touchdowns.

His first time seeing the turf at the UB Stadium came in the 2nd quarter of their 2016 season opener vs Albany. Jackson came in and threw for 125 and a TD whilst also amassing 60 yards on the ground. Not long after he threw for 130 yards another TD and he also rush for a ridiculous 87 yards with another touchdown.

In a match up vs Army Jackson, he really came into his own as he lead the bulls to a comeback victory (throwing for 178 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 34 yards and two more scores). His performance didn’t go unnoticed as he was named Mid American Conference East Division player of the week

In October 2016 Jackson took to the field against Ball State and became the first ever Buffalo Bull to throw for 300 yards in a single game. A few weeks later saw his dominant performances continue as he rushed for 60 yards and two TDs, throwing for 140 and a TD cs Akron.

His freshman season ended with another solid performance on November 3rd as he went 23 for 38 with a total yardage of 302 (With a TD) vs Ohio.

His stats aren’t crazy good as I’m sure you’ve noticed but it’s his size and raw power which makes Tyree such an exciting prospect. At 6’8 and 245lbs you could certainly see the draw towards him.

Throughout his career to date he’s played 32 collegiate games completing 533 from 955 passing attempts (It’s important to note that the Buffalo Bulls are a run heavy team). His passing completion dipped heavily this year to 55.3% (60.3% in 2017). He’s totalled 49TDs and 24 interceptions which has earned him a QBR of 128.3.

The bottom line here really is that Tyree Jackson is a tank of a quarterback with a nuclear bomb of an arm fixed to his right shoulder. The misconception with many QBs this size is that they’re all power without accuracy but Jackson might just have the best deep ball I’ve ever seen at the college level.

At such a young age (21) Jackson has proven to be deadly accurate. His ability to fit the ball through tight windows is something he relishes.

Just like every quarterback since Andrew Luck, Jackson isn’t a finished product, but he’s not as raw as the tall quarterbacks that have come before him (Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch specifically). He knows his way around the pocket and he always keeps his eyes down field regardless of the pressure he’s facing.

Interestingly, Jackson’s strongest part of his game is his lower body mechanics. But in the lead up to the draft he insisted it’s an area he really wants to improve.

Everytime you watch his throws you can easily notice how his feet are perfectly set and his eyes are constantly reading the field.

From the 6 games I’ve seen Jackson play, he tends to favour the back-shoulder fade throw which implies he has fantastic touch for such a big arm. Many quarterbacks in the NFL struggle with it but Jackson pulls it off with ease considering where he is in his development.

Steve Frederick of Optimumscouting.com was in attendance as Jackson threw an absolute dime on 3rd down. How many QBs can throw 58 yards on the run?



As you can see, when you put his skill set together you end up with plays like the above. Jackson makes throws that nobody else on the planet can make on a regular basis.

His small school stature and lack of a passing focal point from his offence, not too mention sub-par receivers will make his journey to the draft fascinating.

I imagine Tyree will suffer a similar fate to the likes of Lamar Jackson and Michael Vick who had to deal with constant questions regarding his ability to play from the pocket. You’ll no doubt here scouts label him as a run first QB and thus a RPO QB only (despite the fact he only averages 2.8YPC on RPO plays).

Many armchair scouts will point to his low completion rate as proof that he’ll never make it in the big times. Those that do have never watched him play a snap. His game film shows you a QB which in my opinion could just be the best of the lot this year.

Jackson isn’t without faults, his biggest issues come with ball security and his love for a tight window throw can cost him in big moments. He struggles at times with finding soft zones in coverage and is far better when playing against man.

He’s also come from a spread system which means he’ll have to learn the pro-style game from scratch but then again we all said the same about Patrick Mahomes and he was a drive away from being in the Super Bowl.

Tyree Jackson is the kind of quarterback you shouldn’t overthink, he’s a guy who can make any throw imaginable with complete ease despite being pressured from within the pocket. His accuracy is very good and as he improves his mechanics further that is only going to improve.  

In my honest opinion Jackson is the type of quarterback that you take a chance on at the end of the first round. He’s certainly for 1st round talent although I fully expect him to be a day 2 or 3 selection.

Another added bonus here is that Jordan Palmer (the man responsible for Josh Allen, De’Shaun Watson and Sam Darnold) has been training Tyree Jackson on a regular basis. If anybody knows how to develop a QB to be NFL ready it’s Palmer.

As Jackson gets closer to draft day, Palmer will be doing all he can to make sure the UoB cannon is more than a nice 40-time with good interview skills. If his past record is anything to go by he’ll drill the fundamentals into Jackson’s game but perhaps more important he’ll get Jackson ready to cope with the Schematic designs and mental pressures of the modern game.

I like to train one or two of the guys who, I think, really need my help in all the different factions of being a quarterback,” said Palmer, a former UTEP quarterback who spent eight seasons in the NFL and is the younger brother of former NFL star Carson Palmer. “They haven’t been coached enough or they haven’t played a lot, and Tyree has never had a private coach or been part of a private quarterback training program, and he wasn’t in any of the big all-star games or in the Elite 11 quarterback competition”.

“These are the type of guys who need my help, and who need exposure to the kind of guys who are high-caliber quarterbacks.”.

I want to make the simple things that he does be easier and more consistent for him,” Palmer said of Jackson.

“He has the ability to run around and make incredible things happen, but can he go 100 for 100 on throws, and do it with the right mechanics and patterns? That’s a new concept, and it’s something that college coaches don’t have all the time to do, because they’re limited to 20 hours a week with players. And that is not an indictment on the Buffalo coaches, at all.

“But this is the first time he’s had time to do things for two months, consistently. I want to raise his ceiling and his floor, and for what he will be able to do, his ceiling is high.”

I fully expect Jackson to be a day three guy to sit behind an experience and aging starter. The L.A Chargers would be an ideal home for Jackson although I could equally see him performing as a day 1 starter for the likes of Denver or Washington.

Strengths:

  • He has incredible size
  • The ability to make throws nobody else can
  • His vertical game is incredibly accurate
  • Evades pressure well with his athleticism
  • He’s an intelligent player
  • Working with Jordan Palmer will be a gamechanger
  • Has fantastic touch

Weaknesses:

  • Can be trigger happy with his long ball game
  • His throws can sometimes lean towards the sideline as opposed to infield
  • Will need to learn the pro-system
  • Has never had tremendous success in an RPO System

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