The Texas signal-caller is next in line to go under the microscope in our 2024 NFL Draft preview. Quinn Ewers is a quarterback that was born to play for the Las Vegas Raiders. Where does he rank amongst the best of the best at the position?
“Joe Dirt With A Cannon”
Ewers grew up in Southlake, Texas, and loved sports from the day he was born. He served as a star baseball player at Carroll Senior High, but the gridiron made him a household name around the football world.
The gifted passer earned All-American honors, including the No. 1 overall ranking in the country (via 24/7Sports and Rivals). He originally committed to Ohio State, becoming the first amateur to secure a million-dollar NIL deal.
His time with Ohio State was short, as C.J. Stroud won the QB1 gig in 2021. Knowing Stroud would still be in Columbus the following season, Ewers opted to transfer to Texas in hopes of seizing the starting role from Day 1. That is exactly what he did.
In his first year in Austin, the Longhorn quarterback racked up even more NIL deals. He proved these investments wise by performing like a top-tier talent in 2022. Although Ewers suffered growing pains (and an untimely injury), he powered through and posted respectable stats across the board.
Not to mention a 6-3 team record in games Ewers started and finished. Bijan Robinson carried a lot of weight for Texas, but when Ewers was on, it made Steve Sarkisian’s squad a headache to defend. With Robinson off to the NFL, Ewers must take another leap in development to continue the winning ways for the Burnt Orange.
Advanced Stats From 2022
•16 Big-Time Throws
Ewers’ highlight reel is as good as any quarterback from the 2024 NFL Draft. His deep pass is beautiful and results in some monster gainers downfield, thanks to precise ball placement.
•77.5% Adjusted Completion Rate On Passes Inside 10 Yards
Ewers exhibits superb accuracy over the middle of the field and on out-breaking routes. He displays impeccable timing and leads his receivers well by putting passes out in front of them.
•50% Completion Rate On Passes From 10-19 Yards
As good as Ewers is on short and deep passes, he is equally bad on intermediate looks. He fails to throw with the same anticipation, regularly sailing passes over his receiver’s head or firing it into the turf at their feet.
•12 Turnover-Worthy Plays
Ewers missed three games and left another early, making this statistic a bit misleading. On the surface, 12 turnover-worthy plays are nothing egregious, but more than one per game on average is something NFL front offices — including the Raiders — will want to see cut in half.
•116 Consecutive Snaps Without INT To End Season
While Ewers can still improve more with decision-making, he made significant strides as the season grew older. He looked increasingly comfortable each week and took care of the football with remarkable ball placement and well-timed throwaways.
Why The Raiders Should Consider Quinn Ewers
Arm Talent – There are several supremely talented signal-callers available in the 2024 NFL Draft; Ewers is no different. He has freaky arm strength, including a high-powered fastball and sniper range from deep.
Release – Ewers gets the ball out fast. He is accurate on quick hitters, as is evident by his sparkling completion rate inside ten yards. The offensive line trusts its quarterback to get the ball out before they release up field.
Creative Arm Slots – Ewers’ baseball pedigree shows up in his throwing motion. The Longhorn quarterback looks like a shortstop when contorting his arm to fit passes in unorthodox windows. This trait stops defenders from consistently batting passes down at the line of scrimmage.
Leadership Quality – Leadership is subjective, but it is impossible to ignore the way a team rallies around its starting quarterback. Ewers is a one-of-one personality who loves being the center of attention — in a good way.
Improvement As First-Year Starter – As promising as Ewers is physically, his growth as a processor and leader is just as endearing. Talented passers fail at quarterback all the time. It requires a special personality in tandem with the talent to become a franchise cornerstone on Sundays.
Why The Raiders Could Pass On Quinn Ewers
Ball Placement/Touch – Ewers’ tape is a mixed bag with ball placement and touch. On one play, he fits a window 40 yards downfield that few on Earth could fit. On the very next play, he underthrows his receiver by a mile, allowing the defender to get his hands on the pass. More consistency is necessary in this department, but all the traits are there.
Footwork – Another iffy part of Ewers’ profile is his mechanics, mainly with his lower body. The 207-pound quarterback moves well, but he wastes a lot of footsteps when surveying the field. He must eliminate these choppy steps and keep a wider base to ensure better accuracy and touch.
Decision-Making – If you only look at the stat line, six interceptions are nothing to sound alarms over. However, the misses begin adding up when factoring in his 12 turnover-worthy plays. Ewers cut down on these plays to end the 2022 season, so perhaps we can throw out this red flag in a few months.
Injury History – Ewers has difficulty staying fully healthy — dating back to high school. He has the frame to add more weight and become a sturdier body at quarterback. A full slate without any injury would go a long way toward leaving this concern in the past.
Is Quinn Ewers A Fit For Raiders?
It is easy to see why Josh McDaniels and Co. would fall head over heels for Quinn Ewers. He is a rare talent with a personality capable of leading an NFL locker room. The quick release and creative arm angles fit McDaniels’ vibe, as Ewers can execute the layups in his scheme.
On top of that, the Longhorn alum possesses the zip to fire the ball through traffic. With his deep pass prowess, Ewers could develop into a big-shot taker at the next level. Touted as a quarterback guru, McDaniels would clean up the mechanics and decision-making early in Ewers’ career.
He is a prospect that might require a redshirt year on the sideline. Depending on Jimmy Garoppolo’s health — and performance — Vegas may be in the market for a more ready option behind center. If the front office is willing to develop Ewers, and the fan base is willing to be patient through the development, a pairing makes sense, potentially on Day 2 at the 2024 NFL Draft.
*Top Photo: Aaron E. Martinez/USA Today Network