DJ Uiagalelei Draft Profile | Oregon State, QB Scouting Report

The Oregon State Beavers added QB DJ Uiagalelei from Clemson to lead their offense -- does his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report reveal pro upside?

It’s not often that a powerhouse program like Clemson loses their senior quarterback in the transfer portal, but Oregon State nabbed DJ Uiagalelei as fast as they could. The southern California native is a legitimate 2024 NFL Draft prospect, so we’re taking a look at Uiagalelei’s scouting report for next year’s Draft.

DJ Uiagalelei Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 240 pounds
  • Position: Quarterback
  • School: Oregon State
  • Current Year: Junior

After starting his Clemson tenure brilliantly by taking over where Trevor Lawrence left off, Uiagalelei appeared to be a potential future first-round pick. As the Tigers lost their great supporting cast, Uiagalelei suffered an abysmal 2021 campaign.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Top Quarterback Prospects

He bounced back with a respectable campaign in 2022, completing 61.9% of passes for 6.8 yards per attempt, 22 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. 2024 is his last year of eligibility.

DJ Uiagalelei Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Will have tremendous experience under his belt by the end of his career, playing 35 games at Clemson plus garnering the time he’ll have at Oregon State.
  • Massive frame that towers over most teammates besides trench players. He’s difficult to bring down as a rusher and is a red-zone weapon.
  • Shows aggressiveness when targeting downfield receivers, keeping defenses on their toes and unsure as to whether they can afford to stack the box.
  • Touch passes in 2020 and 2022 were better than in 2021.
  • Allows his receivers to compete for the ball relatively well for a variance passer.
  • Brings value as a big-play hunter who can overcome inconsistency to deliver chunk gains in the blink of an eye.
  • Strong arm that fires passes into windows.

Weaknesses

  • Is a statue in the pocket who doesn’t move his feet unless he intends to run downhill to pick up yards. He can be an easy target for defenders who get penetration.
  • Struggled with consistent accuracy at Clemson, largely due to his inability to control the amount of touch he puts on the ball. It’s unpredictable whether the pass will be a soft touch attempt or a bullet.
  • Shows a long, winding passing motion that starts low and has too much room for error. Shortening this could bring stability to his accuracy.
  • More dependent on his supporting cast than he is a creator for the offense, as he’s not a dynamic runner or a reliable enough passer to sustain a consistent offense.
  • Has issues leading his receivers upfield, often throwing to where they are rather than where they’re going.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Uiagalelei will forever be an intriguing athlete. His large frame and power at the position are undeniable, as he can throw a pass as hard as almost anyone or run through the biggest defenders on the field. But for all of that explosive power, he’s been unable to harness it with the soft skills that matter the most for quarterbacks.

Clemson Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) throws against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium.
Nov 5, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) throws against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State offers Uiagalelei the chance to start anew after he couldn’t replicate the best version of himself that was on display as a true freshman in 2020.

A smoother throwing motion that erases the uncertainty of where the ball is going would unlock a new upside for Uiagalelei. The question is whether that comes in 2023 or ever.

Teams should want to develop Uiagalelei because he has a unique skill set and level of experience. His floor is not being an NFL player, but some progress as an accurate, more nuanced passer would give him solid value as a backup.

His rushing ability in short-yardage situations can’t be overlooked. We have a late-round, borderline-draftable grade on Uiagalelei.

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