Luke Falk, QB
School: Washington State | Conference: PAC 12
College Experience: rSr | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 215 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: Jared Goff
Luke Falk gave a verbal commitment to Cornell University in 2012 as a two-star prospect. A coaching change at the school made him de-commit from the Ivy League school. The Washington State coaching staff convinced Falk to walk on to the program where he was given a redshirt his freshman year. Falk got his first start as an RS Freshman filling in for an injured Connor Halliday. Falk ran with the starting gig ever since and has executed the Air Raid offense he was in to perfection at times. Falk will have to prove he is more than an Air Raid QB though at the NFL level. He has never taken a snap under center in college and the coach never called running plays. He is due for a big adjustment in the NFL in many regards. Falk has a decent enough quality NFL arm and in general is a very accurate passer. At times he delivers dimes, is able to stand tall in the pocket under pressure and deliver strikes. Other times he is inexplicably late in his diagnosis of the defense and lackadaisically throws passes into coverage. He is an inconsistent player that will likely experience a steep learning curve at the NFL level. Because of his base skills and talent if he can get past that curve he has the potential to be a starter.
- Refined footwork and overall throwing mechanics. Release is efficient and he can get it out of his hand quickly.
- Overall a very accurate passer. He can hit short, intermediate, and deep routes. Capable of hitting dimes with touch and velocity.
- Plays with poise in the pocket and hangs in there even when he was about to get walloped.
- Goes through his progressions and is not afraid to take what the defense gives him or go for it all if the throw presents itself.
- Played with a bad o-line but pocket maneuverability and awareness is a question. Sacked 125 times in his career.
- Plays a little too lax at times. Defaults to poor form at times on short throws because he thinks its easy. Results in stupid dumb INTs. Waits too long for things to develop especially when the defense is in a more complex coverage or blitzing which leads to off-target throws and plays into this notion that he is a poor anticipatory thrower. Needs to play with a bit more urgency at times.
- Never taken a snap under center in college and will have a steep learning curve to an NFL offense. Air Raid QBs don't have a great success rate so far in the NFL despite more and more prospects being drafted out of that offense. Several articles here and here.
- Not a mobile guy and only ran (or tried to) when absolutely pressured to awareness and diagnosis are going to have to go up several ticks for that to fly in the NFL or he'll be Tom Savage.
Let’s see his work:
A team asked Luke Falk who calls the runs at Washington State? Falk said Head Coach Mike Leach ONLY calls passes, all the runs are done at the line of scrimmage. Now that is an amazing set up.— Michael Lombardi (@mlombardiNFL) March 8, 2018
This, however, is a big boy throw and Falk paid the price for it too. He gets smoked. But puts this ball right where it needs to be. #washingtonstate #lukefalk pic.twitter.com/XbNaCcezg2— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) March 5, 2018
Tentative, floating passes into coverage like this one from Luke Falk are hard for NFL scouts to forget. pic.twitter.com/LQGkLAktqr— Rob Rang (@RobRang) October 14, 2017
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Falk is a big project who is going to require several years on the bench just to digest NFL offenses and learn how to diagnose NFL defenses. He has to learn not to default to his bad habits and play technically on every rep. His recognition and hesitation issues are his biggest concerns. Redskins fans may be familiar with those growing pains if they recall Robert Griffin and even Kirk Cousins early in their careers. Falk is bound to have those same issues before he gets better. I hope Falk goes to a team where the entire staff is 100% sold on him because we see guys every year like him discarded as soon as they make mistakes you know they are going to make. Falk needs several years to bake in the oven and with Alex Smith in Washington for at least the next 3 seasons the Redskins can provide that for him. The team that drafts Falk also has the obvious risk that he will never develop enough to overcome those flaws and at best he might just be a guy that looks good on paper as a backup. I always tend to give prospects the benefit of the doubt so yes if Falk can improve all those weaknesses he could be a decent starter for a team for several years though it's hard to see him being ‘great’. If the Redskins had a 3rd round pick to spend I think I might be on board. With a run on the top prospects at the position likely to happen in the 1st round and with spotty depth at the position overall, and considering all the good he brings, I doubt Falk drops out of the 3rd round.