The curious case of Trace McSorley takes another turn as he recently declined to work out at defensive back as some teams had requested at the NFL combine. McSorley led Penn State to back to back 11 win seasons, culminating in a Fiesta Bowl victory after the 2017 season. Despite being a proven winner at college football’s highest level, McSorely struggled with both his accuracy and arm strength, leading scouts to devalue him compared to some other quarterback prospects.
Trace McSorley 2019 NFL Draft Stock
Most mock drafts have Trace McSorley falling to either the late rounds of the draft or going undrafted entirely and signing on somewhere as a free agent. Walter Football projects McSorley to be the 14th rated quarterback prospect in the draft, going off the board sometime after the 6th round. To his credit, McSorley did run the fastest 40-yard dash among quarterbacks at the combine clocking in at a blazing 4.57.
McSorley looks to have the best athleticism in the quarterback class and as a result, teams have been trying to get McSorley to work out at positions outside of quarterback. Despite the worries of NFL scouts on McSorley’s ability to produce under center at the NFL level, McSorley strongly believes that his success at the college level will translate to the NFL and that he is an NFL quarterback through and through.
Trace McSorley 2019 NFL Draft Projections
McSorley’s lack of size and completion percentage have hurt him in the draft process. Many will point to his completion percentage as the biggest red flag, but McSorley actually threw an above average number of deep balls which likely stunted that number a bit. McSorley aggressively threw the ball downfield despite lacking top-shelf arm strength and was known for making clutch throws when the Nittany Lions needed him most. When factoring this in, McSorley and his elite athleticism actually make for an intriguing quarterback prospect.
ESPN’s Todd McShay said of McSorley after the Senior Bowl:
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.
True to McShay’s analysis back in January, McSorley still has yet to show much improvement on the passing front. However, he has further cemented himself as arguably the most athletic quarterback in the draft and should he decide to eventually work out at defensive back for teams, may be able to increase his relatively low draft stock on the back of versatility alone.
Despite his impressive 40 yard dash at the combine, McSorley likely won’t see his draft stock rise as a quarterback until he shows increased accuracy. While he will never be a master of the deep ball, McSorley needs to improve specifically on short and intermediate throws in order to carve out a spot on an NFL roster.