Florida State QB Jordan Travis has shown flashes throughout his collegiate career. But in 2022, he’s pushing his way into the NFL draft conversation. What does Travis’ scouting report say about his pro potential?
Jordan Travis NFL Draft Profile
- Position: QB
- School: Florida State
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height/Weight: 6’1″, 212 pounds
Travis’ path to the NFL draft is more akin to a countryside dirt road than the Autobahn. His dual-threat skill set was on full display at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida. In his last two seasons, Travis passed for 4,000+ yards and 45 touchdowns, rushed for 1,000+ yards and 27 scores and earned back-to-back Conference Player of the Year honors.
As a three-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite, Travis received multiple scholarship offers. However, he committed to Louisville in June of his senior year and never reneged, even with Florida making a late push.
But after appearing in four games and showing promise, Travis opted to redshirt and entered the transfer portal. His destination: Florida State. The Florida native saw an opportunity not only to play early on but move closer to home. It also helped that the Travis family was familiar with the Seminoles, as Jordan’s older brother Devon played baseball at FSU from 2010-2012.
Fast forward to 2022, Travis has started 20 games and has improved his completion rate, TD:INT ratio, and yards per attempt with each passing season. He even ran his way into Florida State’s record books, owning the top marks for QB rushing yards and TDs. But that’s college — how does Travis project to the NFL?
Jordan Travis Scouting Report
By all accounts, Travis entered the 2022 campaign fresh off a stellar offseason.
“He went through fall camp with a smile on his face,” HC Mike Norvell said. “I’m excited for Jordan. I really believe that he’s got something special in front of him because of the work and that investment.”
FSU QB coach Tony Tokarz also sounded off on Travis’ potential prior to the season:
“I don’t want to say anything, but let’s just say it could be very scary. Because you’re talking about a guy that has elite mobility. You’re talking about a guy who can truly push the ball downfield. … I’ll just say that I believe Jordan has the ability to be an NFL quarterback.”
You may think that’s just coach speak, but it isn’t.
Travis is playing closer to the sum of his parts this year, and it’s made Florida State an easy team to root for. He’s getting the ball out quicker, taking fewer sacks, and not tucking and running as frequently. In fact, the linear progression Travis has exhibited over his career is usually reserved for Madden.
Name any raw physical tool you want from a starting QB, and the Florida native has it. Arm strength to launch bombs downfield? Check. Velocity to fit passes into tight spaces in a hurry? Check. Athleticism to threaten defenses on the ground? Triple check. Simply put, Travis’ physical tools rival those at the top of the position in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Travis isn’t an athlete who plays quarterback — he’s an uber-athletic quarterback. If defenders give in an inch in holes or outside, he’ll take them for a mile-long run.
In the open field, the FSU QB’s flexibility offers control when making quick cuts and starting/stopping on a dime. And he’ll make tacklers look like their controller died by using their momentum against them.
Yet, the FSU QB’s athleticism stems far beyond his rushing ability. He’s learned to harness it in the pocket, owning the maneuverability and improvisation skills to extend plays and create off-script.
His short-area quickness causes nightmares for pass rushers, as Travis has slipped countless would-be sacks. He’s also shown the propensity to conflict climb, stepping up and putting his body between the defender and the ball.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
On the move, Travis has the upper/lower body separation to step toward his target and kick his non-throwing side leg through to generate torque while keeping his shoulders square to ensure an accurate ball. Additionally, he routinely opts to keep his eyes downfield and direct traffic rather than rush forward.
We know the FSU QB can use his legs, but what about his right arm? There are multiple reps from 2020 and 2021 (when his mechanics were much less consistent) where Travis slung it 50+ yards on his arm alone. It’s not a pass you will see too often, but the fact the potential is there is a definite plus. He has also demonstrated the arm talent to throw with velocity from various angles, which has almost become a requirement in the league.
Mechanically, Travis has a compact release for snappy passes. He generates plenty of power with his hip/shoulder disassociation, cleanly bringing his hip through before reaching his release point. Standing and delivering strikes with pressure barreling down isn’t his forte, but the FSU QB has reps doing just that this season.
In 2022, Travis has improved in going through progressions and hitting his second/third reads as well as his checkdown. And his placement on back-shoulder throws and into tight windows in the middle of the field is impressive. Travis is a QB who elevates the talent around him, playing point guard under center. He’s flashed touch and anticipation, which will create fans among NFL decision-makers.
Travis’ Areas for Improvement
If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of Travis’ game, but there is no turning a blind eye to his pitfalls. The biggest knock on Travis is his lower-body mechanics, and boy, is it a big one. His footwork and base have marginally improved in his fifth collegiate season and third as a starter. In contrast, his upper body is routinely in the proper position to make accurate passes all over the field.
Florida State’s staff said their emphasis this offseason was on Travis’ lower body … then why is he still throwing off his back foot? Take this clip from practice on October 8, for instance, where Travis reaches the top of his drop and immediately pulls the trigger. Instead, as No. 18 does, he should hitch up and get his weight on his back foot for maximum weight transfer.
We’ll get in the weeds a bit, but understanding Travis’ mechanical faults is necessary for his NFL projection. QBs are rotational athletes — most of the power they channel comes from rotating the hips, transferring weight from the back to the front, and using the arm as an extension. Travis relies on his natural arm strength too much for his own good, resulting in inconsistency with ball placement and power.
The FSU QB throws off his right foot and fades back far more than you’d expect from a player with his experience. Watch Tom Brady or Joe Burrow; you will see their hip rotation leading their arm through extension. This maximizes velocity and accuracy with full upper/lower body synergy. Throwing off your back foot locks the hip, forcing the QB to exude more energy from their arm.
Long term, this can cause injuries to the rotator cuff, and short term, it leads to erratic release points. Another way to view it is Travis pushes off the ground to generate power rather than shifting the weight from his back quad to the front. On tape, you’ll see his back leg come up and fling forward, whereas you’d want to see his foot “kiss the grass” while staying balanced.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft QB Class
Overstriding can also be a problem, where Travis opens his front leg too far for his back hip to come through. Truthfully, these are all “coachable” issues that can be trained. But it’s fair to wonder why that hasn’t happened to this point. Working on resetting his base and keeping it inside his frame is key to his professional development.
While that’s the key, there is more the FSU QB can work on. First, a few quick-hitters that he has already shown improvement in: sliding when running, keeping the ball tight to the body on the move, and stepping up in the pocket rather than taking off against pressure. Moreover, Travis possesses a slim frame (listed at 212 pounds) and has already dealt with multiple injuries in his career.
Now for the habits that will take more time and effort to correct. Travis has to know when to take sacks instead of forcing throws between the tackles or in space. Statistically, he greatly favors the right side of the field, although FSU’s offense plays into that, with many of their bootlegs and “moving pockets” operating on the right side of the field.
The Seminoles’ scheme is heavily based on first-read, half-field-read, and pre-snap-read plays, as well as scripted calls and RPOs. Thus, there is a severe lack of true pass sets on Travis’ film, making it difficult to analyze his ability to process and progress through routes.
However, on the true pass sets witnessed, the FSU QB can stick to his first option too long, becoming late on passes and not leading his target.
Current draft projection for Florida State QB Jordan Travis
There are so many translatable, coveted tools in Travis’ repertoire, but there are just as many mechanical inefficiencies. This was a frustrating scouting report because most of his issues appear fixable by proper coaching. I’m sure FSU’s staff has done their best with Travis’ base and lower-body procedures. But whatever they have done isn’t enough.
The FSU QB is a Day 2 prospect on physical gifts alone. Yet, there is much more to scouting and spending draft capital on a player. As of now, Travis is a mid-Day 3 selection. He is squarely in the “project” category — a dart throw teams can take at developing behind an entrenched starter. But Travis’ ceiling is stratospheric if he can reign in his talent and plant his flag like Osceola and Renegade.
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