Gavin Hardison’s Draft Profile | UTEP, QB Scouting Report

Not many have heard about UTEP QB Gavin Hardison, but the gunslinging passer has a draftable grade for the 2024 NFL Draft. Read his scouting report here.

After seeing 14 quarterbacks taken in the 2023 NFL Draft class, the 2024 class has the opportunity to offer the league again a deep array of developmental talent. One of the more intriguing, lesser-known quarterback prospects in the 2024 draft is UTEP’s Gavin Hardison. We’re breaking down Hardison’s scouting report for next year’s NFL Draft.

Gavin Hardison Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 214
  • School: UTEP
  • Age: 23

Hardison began his football career at New Mexico Military Institute in 2018, playing five games before earning an opportunity at UTEP in 2019. He earned the starting job after the first game of the 2020 season and never looked back, earning Honorable Mention All-Conference USA in 2021. Hardison played in 10 games in 2022, but his season was cut short due to an ankle injury.

Gavin Hardison Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Boasts a strong arm that produces excellent bucket throws even when he’s overly reliant on his arm talent.
  • Effortlessly generates velocity and distance that is capable of completing any pass.
  • Orchestrates an aggressive vertical passing attack that requires him to bear the brunt of the unit and overcome a bad surrounding cast.
  • Mobile enough to roll out and scramble out of the pocket to buy time.
  • Has upside as a rusher to be more productive.
  • Is not deterred by hits or by the mistakes of his teammates.
  • Experienced player who has elevated the UTEP program since arriving.

Weaknesses

  • A career completion rate of 53.3% may not reflect Hardison’s film and talent, but also can’t be completely ignored.
  • Dances too much in the pocket after dealing with a porous offensive line, causing him to fade back in his throwing motion and lose accuracy.
  • Mechanical consistency with marrying his upper and lower body is needed to maximize his talent.
  • Negative rushing-yard total in three of his four seasons due to the number of sacks he’s taken. Concerned he may feel ghosts in the pocket.
  • Is not currently in an offense that translates well to the NFL, so Hardison’s pre-snap and post-snap read process will be a developmental point.
  • Will turn 24 years old in May 2024, so he’ll be considered older for a rookie quarterback.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Over the last two decades, there aren’t many quarterback prospects with a completion rate below 55% who have drawn evaluators’ attention. A few have because of their strong physical traits. Hardison hopes to be viewed more like Josh Allen was than Christian Hackenberg.

It’s undeniable that Hardison is more intriguing than his raw stats suggest. He has a great arm that launches the ball from various platforms and often overcomes sloppy mechanics. He’s unafraid to continue taking deep shots even after seeing his receivers continue to watch the ball slip through their hands, and that mindset isn’t always easy to find.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Watchlist

A decent athlete who often suffers because of a supporting cast often in over its head, Hardison has the tools to be a fun, impactful NFL backup like Ryan Fitzpatrick was for many years. But it’ll take time, and the tools may not be enough to overcome some bad habits formed over his career.

Hardison must stay tough in the pocket and avoid falling away from throws and retreating in clean pockets. He’ll also have to prove capable of quickly picking up an NFL playbook and applying those lessons on the field. With that in mind, he has a late Day 3 grade as a developmental talent.

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