If you were looking for a QB that looks like a pro in the college game last year, Brett Rypien was easy to fall in love with. A four year starter at Boise State, the 6-2 202 lb 22-year old uses his eyes to manipulate coverage and find open receivers. He won from within the pocket on his way to throwing for 13,578 yards and 90 touchdowns during his collegiate career.
But Rypien also has clear physical limitations that will impact his draft stock. He’s coming from the Mountain West conference which is more than a single step down from the NFL game and lacks the sheer arm strength and size that scouts look for. His mind, eyes, and acumen will get him a chance, but his body will always limit him.
-Shows ability to read progressions. Finds his outlets.
-Good with his eyes. Will manipulate safeties.
-Very experienced, which is an exception in this class.
-Very good at anticipating the open receiver.
-He’s tough, will stand tall with rush bearing down and take a lick to deliver the ball.
-Moves well in the phone booth.
-Arm is good enough, but nothing extra.
-Poise under duress, sometimes to a fault.
-Not a scrambler.
-Jump in competition will be a big one.
-Can get reckless at times, going for the triple when a single’s there.
-Meets the minimum physical standards for his position.
What I’ve heard/read
They will likely prevent Rypien from becoming a long-term starter, but I like his chances of developing into a solid QB2 who doesn’t embarrass you when he’s called into action. Rypien is on the smaller side — including small hands — and his arm is more softball than baseball. He doesn’t absorb contact well, he’s only an average athlete, and he isn’t a strong thrower on the move, so he’s mostly confined to the pocket. But while there isn’t a lot of sex appeal here, I like Rypien’s chances of sticking around.
The arm isn’t big, but Rypien knows his limitations. He gets the ball out quickly, is accurate to all levels, and throws a catchable ball. He works the room back there, manipulating the pocket with his feet and defensive backs with his eyes, and remains calm in the face of pressure. Worth a late Day 3 flier, for sure. You have to roster more than one quarterback, after all.
Brett Rypien projects as a system specific starter in the NFL. Rypien doesn’t have the best physical tools from a stature or arm strength perspective but he offers terrific accuracy under duress and flashes some of the most impressive throws from the pocket of any QB in the class. With that said, Rypien can get taken with his first read and stare it down too long and also will struggle with some of the wider field throws tasked of NFL QBs. Rypien’s ceiling is an average starter.
2019 NFL Draft rankings: Everything to know about quarterbacks, from accuracy to arm strength - CBSSports.com
Rypien always keeps his eyes downfield and has natural pocket-drifting ability.
Light on measurables, but high on intangibles, Rypien’s lack of size, mobility and NFL arm talent makes it unlikely that he’ll ever become a serviceable starter. What has a chance to save him is his football intelligence, accuracy and consistency. He stepped right in as a freshman and proved he could not only survive, but thrive and grow. A troubling number of interceptions were due to lack of arm strength so he needs to find a timing-based passing game in order to find a home as a back-end backup.
Why he fits
Have you seen the Broncos QB room? Rypien may step in as the second best quarterback from day one and should develop into a quality backup behind Joe Flacco. He’s poised under pressure and can already read the field to some degree. While he’ll need to improve at this as well as pre-snap reads, he’s the kind of player that will keep the offense running if pressed into duty without trying to do too much. The game shouldn’t overwhelm him, and you can’t say that for some of the quarterbacks coming out in this class.
Why he doesn’t
If Rich Scangarello wants an athlete who can roll out and fire bombs Rypien may not be the best fit from this group. He has the accuracy to get it into the right hands downfield, but will never possess a howitzer. Because this class is so iffy, he may well get overdrafted because he has a relatively high floor. He is what he is, and most of the holes in his game aren’t going anywhere.
I like Rypien a lot and think he has a better chance to last in the league for a decade than many of the guys that will probably be drafted ahead of him. He’s the kind of overachiever that could find a lot of success with an opportunity. I’m not sure I want him to ever start for Denver, but I’d love for him to continue donning orange and blue.
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