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Nick Fitzgerald has a substantial amount of growth left at the quarterback position. But how does he fair as a gadget player?

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Mississippi State vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Fitzgerald, QB
School: Mississippi State | Conference: SEC
College Experience: RS Senior | Age: 23
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 226 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Round 6-7
NFL Comparison: Taysom Hill, QB, New Orleans Saints

College Statistics

Player Overview

Nick Fitzgerald is a dual-threat playmaker who started for the Mississippi State Bulldogs the past three seasons. He played in a total of 45 games, with 37 starts during his collegiate career. He set 13 school record during his time there too - including career rush yards by a quarterback (3,607), career 100-yard rush games (21), single-season 100-yard rush games by a quarterback, and single-season average yards per rush by a quarterback (7.1). He also earned Maxwell, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, and Davey O’Brien Award consideration during the 2017 campaign.

Strengths

  • Size is a prototype for NFL Quarterbacks
  • Has Arm Strength needed to succeed in NFL
  • Extremely Mobile and Shifty as a runner. Also brings power element - Cam Newton comes to mind as he handles contact (invites the contact).
  • Vision is excellent as a runner too, very good in traffic, and has speed (4.64 40-yard dash) to maximize his gains. Will be great as a redzone threat.

Weaknesses

  • Accuracy is biggest hindrance from being considered a top prospect in the draft. Lacks consistency in this area (finished with more rushing attempts than passing completions in his career). Struggles on intermediate to deep throws on a consistent basis
  • Reckless passer, tends to get in trouble often due to poor decision-making. Locks on to receivers far too consistently, defenders are not fooled if they follow his eyes.
  • Though very good runner, it is instinct, does not trust arm or himself to make a particular throw as he should. Will hinder him in timing plays that require him to get rid of the football very quickly.

Let’s see his work (QB, #7):

Grade

Size (out of 10): Nick fits the mold of the prototypical quarterback and can withstand the hits by NFL defenders.

Grade: 10

Accuracy (out of 15): Nick main issue has been consistency as a passer, accuracy has harmed him throughout his career.

Grade: 5

Arm Strength (out of 10): Nick has the arm strength to succeed in the NFL; however, needs to work on his touch.

Grade: 7

Mobility (out of 10): Mobility is excellent, great runner with great vision.

Grade: 10

Mental Processing (out of 15): Struggles making simple reads at times and results in poor decision-making.

Grade: 5

Mechanics (out of 10): Struggles with the nuances of the quarterback position at time -which includes, dropbacks, stepping up in the pocket, and his balance/throwing motion.

Grade: 4

Leadership (out of 15): Fitzgerald took time to earn the leadership role, but well respected by many of his teammates and even opposing teams within the SEC Conference. There is a good amount of respect for Nick.

Grade: 12

Clutch (out of 15): Fitzgerald is not the most accurate passer but has led Nick to some big wins during his collegiate career.

Grade: 10

Total: 63/100

How He Would Fit on The Redskins

Nick Fitzgerald is a long way away from a starting product, or even a backup quarterback. However, Fitzgerald is an athlete who can contribute right away. In 2018 head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints provided an innovative approach to the utilization of an athletic quarterback in Taysom Hill. With the size of a receiver and the power of a running back, he was capable of playing in multiple positions for the Saints. Not only did the Saints use him like a wildcat quarterback who is a threat to throw the football, but he also lined up at tight end, running back, wide receiver, special teams gunner, and a kick return specialist. The trend does and should not stop at Taysom Hill knowing the way the NFL is adapting to the type of quarterbacks they are drafting out of colleges. With Nick Fitzgerald, along with a couple of other quarterbacks in this draft class, he is a copy cat version of Hill and will immediately benefit a team in situational football or even as a wrinkle in an offense. Washington can afford to use a quarterback like Nick.