8. Nathan Peterman (Sr.) – Pittsburgh
Height: 6-2 Weight: 225
40-yard Dash: 4.82
5,236 passing yards, 47 TDs, 17 INTs, 60.1 comp. %
Player Comparison: Blake Bortles
Projected Draft Round: 2-4
Peterman has almost every trait you could want in an NFL quarterback, other than above average arm strength. He has a great frame (6-2, 225) with huge hands and has had a ton of college coaching in his five year collegiate career. During his last two seasons at Pitt after transferring from the University of Tennessee, Peterman played in an offense that prepared him to transition seamlessly to more complex NFL offenses. He has solid mobility inside and outside of the pocket if he’s forced to improvise. His throwing mechanics are precise and mostly compact; some would say they’re “pro ready”. When he’s playing with confidence and rhythm, like he did all week at the Senior Bowl, he projects as a replacement-level NFL starting quarterback. I see the comparisons to last year’s draft darling Dak Prescott, but I don’t think I can go that far.
What They’re Saying:
“When I watch Nathan Peterman, he reminds me of Kirk Cousins. Neither quarterback has a big frame, but they stand in the pocket and deliver multiple throws, even with serious amounts of pressure. Peterman’s pocket mobility is what really stands out to me. He averages about six rushing attempts per game with an average of 3.5 yards per carry. But, he can extend plays with his feet and trusts his arm to deliver a great pass down field.”
-Russell Brown (NFLmocks.com)
“With solid, not overly impressive arm talent, Peterman thrives on timing and anticipation, and is a rhythm passer that offers inconsistent but, when set, quality vertical bucket throws. His arm talent diminishes his ability to create big plays when the pocket breaks down and relies on short-area passing to both move the offense and set up any downfield opportunities. His maturity, instincts and confidence, as well as major college experience and top coaching, have allowed his football IQ and poise to develop substantially, and his play at the Senior Bowl was one of the most impressive weeks this decade.”
-Eric Galko (Optimum Scouting)
“Peterman’s experience in a pro-style passing attack gives him a head start headed into the league. His physical attributes are just average, but his accuracy, composure and anticipation are what sets him apart from some of the more physically gifted quarterbacks in this year’s draft.”
Because the Bills simply need to add another quarterback for training camp and have yet to show any legitimate interest in bringing in a veteran free agent, I think they’ll address the position at some point during the second or third day of the draft. Peterman would fit comfortably in Buffalo’s new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison’s rookie-friendly system (see Trevor Siemian last season). He’s a well-coached, good character guy that has the tools to step in year one. Although I believe he probably maxes out as a career backup, in the right situation, he could certainly grow into a replacement-level starter in the NFL.
This is probably my favorite play from Peterman on film. He displays great timing and anticipation. This is a confident throw, and it’s made possible by his flawless footwork and ball placement. These are the types of throws he’ll have to continue to make at the next level, and this one in particular is a great example of why I believe he’ll fit well in Dennison’s offense.
These next two plays show the sort of toughness and courage you want to see from your signal caller. In both plays he hangs in the pocket until the very last second and delivers a pair of beautifully placed balls, and he takes a lick for his troubles. I really like his ball placement on both throws, especially in the first play, even though the receiver ended up dropping it.
On film, Peterman didn’t make a habit of poor decision making, but I wanted to show an example. He’s extremely comfortable when he gets outside the pocket and has to throw on the run, but in this instance he forces a ball to his receiver far too late. This is the sort of run/pass option he’ll need to run flawlessly at the next level. In an ideal world, you’d like him to dump it down to the tight end or full back that was chopped down, then got back into the play.
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