Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley took college football by storm during his sophomore and junior seasons. He led Penn State to back-to-back 11-win seasons and the team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country at one point. But following the 2018 season and ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft McSorley’s stock has been an interesting topic for a few reasons.
There’s no question that McSorley knows how to win games, as the Nittany Lions went 31-9 over his three seasons as a starter. Between the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the quarterback threw for more than 3,500 yards in both while scoring 75 total touchdowns (57 passing) and had just 18 interceptions. But he took a step back during his senior year, as his completion percentage fell to 53.2 percent and he threw for 2,530 yards with 30 touchdowns (18 passing) and seven interceptions.
McSorley’s struggles with accuracy and decline in yards/touchdown passes have impacted his draft stock quite a bit. We’re going to take a look at the latest on the Penn State quarterback’s outlook and recent projections.
Trace McSorley’s NFL Draft Stock
While it’s expected that McSorley will have to wait to hear his name or even land somewhere as a free agent, ESPN’s Todd McShay offered an outlook that featured a mixed review. This came after early practices during the Senior Bowl, and he cited a few struggles while pointing out that McSorley did showcase impressive footwork.
“Penn State’s Trace McSorley lacks ideal arm strength, and it limits some of the throws he can attempt, especially when the weather becomes an issue. He was really pressing to get the ball out at times and rushing his mechanics on some throws, especially early during 7-on-7s. He threw an interception during team drills, trying to squeeze the ball into a tight window on a slant route and just didn’t get enough air on it to clear the linebacker underneath. But he has been mostly accurate on short-to-intermediate throws, and for what it’s worth, he was the best athlete of the quarterbacks during footwork drills.”
Walter Football graded out McSorley as the No. 15 quarterback prospect in this draft. It’s apparent that the questions about accuracy are big with the 23-year-old. As far as the upside, there’s obvious talent there, but he’ll be a project at the next level.
Trace McSorley’s NFL Draft Projections
Along with the No. 15 ranking from Walter Football cited above, they also provided an evaluation that featured a sixth round to undrafted free agent grade. This seems to be somewhat of a consensus, but the site points out his size as a potential concern.
“For 2018, McSorley completed 53 percent of his passes for 2,530 yards with 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He recorded 12 rushing touchdowns as well. McSorley is a gritty player and would be ranked higher if he weren’t so vastly undersized. “
It’s interesting considering the hype around Kyler Murray, although the Heisman Trophy winner is a different caliber of prospect. Murray has been listed anywhere from roughly 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11, but many are projecting the Oklahoma Sooners star as a first-round pick.
Regardless, McSorley will hope to hear his name in the late rounds of the 2019 draft, but signing as an undrafted free agent could be the safest bet.