Graham Mertz’s Draft Profile | Florida, QB Scouting Report

    Could Florida's Graham Mertz be the veteran QB prospect to come out of nowhere in the 2025 NFL Draft cycle with his scouting report?

    It’s not unheard of for quarterback prospects to come out of nowhere after uninspiring early collegiate careers. Can Florida QB Graham Mertz be the emergent prospect of the 2025 NFL Draft cycle? That’s what we’re here to find out.

    Graham Mertz’s Draft Profile and Measurements

    • Height: 6’3″
    • Weight: 215 pounds
    • Position: Quarterback
    • School: Florida
    • Current Year: Sixth-Year Senior

    Quarterbacks can re-work themselves. That’s one of the biggest lessons that the last few NFL Draft cycles have taught us. Michael Penix Jr. threw just four touchdowns to seven interceptions as recent as 2021, and Bo Nix was a national punchline at Auburn. Both became early first-round picks.

    To be clear, Nix and Penix are exceptions to the rule. But they show that nothing is truly impossible on the path to the NFL Draft. To that end, could Mertz follow in their footsteps and challenge for early-round capital?

    Even after a strong 2023 season, he has more work to do — but if you’d asked that question after his Wisconsin career, it wouldn’t even be a thought.

    Mertz joined the Badgers as a highly-touted recruit — an Elite 11 finalist and a high four-star talent known for his rare arm talent. And in limited action as a freshman in 2019, he impressed with his natural ability as a passer.

    MORE: Top QBs in the 2025 NFL Draft

    But once Mertz became the full-time starter, the rigors of Big Ten play quickly proved overwhelming. Pressure was a commonality, and early deficits pressed Mertz to force the issue. Three years later, he’d thrown 38 TDs to 26 INTs, with under 60% completion, and he transferred to Florida to resurrect his career.

    Mertz’s move to Florida might have been the best thing for him. With the Gators, he had a first-round target in Ricky Pearsall, and he was able to play more to his strengths — rhythm and off-platform passing. The result was a career-best season in 2023.

    Though the Gators only went 5-6 under Mertz’s watch, the quarterback himself was a steady constant under center as a redshirt senior. He completed a career-high 72.9% of his passes at 8.1 yards per attempt, throwing for 2,903 yards, 20 scores, and just three picks.

    After a very difficult four-year stretch at Wisconsin, Mertz is back on the NFL Draft radar. But where does he stand after 2023, and how high can he rise with a good 2024?

    Mertz’s Scouting Report

    Strengths

    • Has enough short-area burst and evasive twitch to escape early pressure threats.
    • Possesses the requisite mobility to execute action rollouts and can throw off-platform.
    • Has the arm strength to drive the football into tight intermediate pockets and lead WRs.
    • Has the high-end arm elasticity to throw from different platforms and elongate windows.
    • Crisp rotational passer with a good corrective failsafe who can keep his shoulders level.
    • Able to uncork lasers into the intermediate and deep thirds while throwing on the run.
    • Has the composite arm talent to layer pace and touch at impressively flat trajectories.
    • Can recognize single-high looks and use pump fakes to draw safeties out of position.
    • Situational awareness and malleability show up in the clutch on high-pressure downs.
    • Flashes stellar situational precision, throwing to WR leverage on seams and crossers.
    • Has efficient, minimalistic footwork on rhythm throws and has great depth discipline.
    • Able to hit quick sit routes in rhythm and lead his WRs away from defenders for RAC.
    • Has good discretion as a passer and doesn’t often put the ball in harm’s way.
    • Smooth handler and meticulous play-fake artist who capitalizes on off-platform ability.
    • Tough and respected team leader willing to lay it on the line for crucial gains.

    Weaknesses

    • Maxes out early as a runner and doesn’t have high-end speed or agility.
    • Doesn’t have the level of creation capacity to be relied upon as a pressure nullifier.
    • Sometimes has more confidence in his athleticism than he should, working into a corner.
    • Arm strength — while very good — isn’t quite elite, as opposite-hash throws can stall out.
    • Can improve his operative quickness and corrective mechanics working under center.
    • Field vision can be questionable, missing open WRs on intermediate crossing routes.
    • In general, has room to be much more consistent as an anticipatory passer.
    • Is more of a see-it, throw-it passer and can be uncomfortable testing tight windows.
    • With angle freedom, can go too far underhand with his release, pushing passes high.
    • Sometimes overcorrects with his arm when idling his base, overthrowing short targets.
    • At times, passes up opportunities to step up into the pocket and stay on progressions.
    • Can be skittish and widen his base with frenetic feet when he feels the pocket condense.
    • Too often fails to find his checkdowns under pressure, and can take unnecessary sacks.
    • Will turn 25 years old late in his rookie season.

    Current Draft Projection and Summary

    Heading into the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Mertz grades out as a mid-to-late Day 3 prospect. On my board, he’s worthy of Day 3 capital. Though he has the tools to potentially work into the early-round range, he’ll have to fix issues that older quarterbacks can have trouble fixing.

    Mertz was undraftable coming out of Wisconsin. His first year at Florida got him back into draftable range. The next test for Mertz will be to see if he can stack that momentum and keep rising or if he’ll settle in at his current range.

    As it stands, Mertz profiles as a quality developmental backup candidate in the later rounds, with a very distant starting upside. He has prototypical size, great toughness and arm talent, enviable off-platform ability, and the smooth ball skills to direct an offense.

    MORE: 2025 NFL Draft Big Board

    However, for a prospect with visibly non-elite athleticism, Mertz isn’t yet consistent enough in structure to buoy a career as a spot starter or eventual starter. His lack of field vision, anticipation, and outlet awareness frequently lead him to hold the ball too long. If he isn’t incubated by quick-game insulation, he can be prone to volatility.

    On one hand, there aren’t many examples of soon-to-be 24-year-old passers who’ve reworked their mental framework this late. On the other hand, Mertz’s development was severely stunted in Wisconsin, and he’s just now getting a chance to correct that damage.

    As mentioned earlier, 2024 will be the test for Mertz to see if he can take the next step. As it stands, he’s a quality rotational addition at QB with his talent and toughness, and he could grow to become a solid NFL backup or spot starter. But the 2024 season may come to define his ultimate ceiling.

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

    Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

    Related Articles