Being the starting quarterback of the Florida Gators isn’t a guaranteed one-way ticket to the NFL draft. In fact, the Gators haven’t sent a signal-caller to the annual selection event since Tim Tebow in 2010. Beyond him, you have to go back to Rex Grossman and Danny Wuerffel to find drafted Gators who played quarterback. After a prolific senior season, is Kyle Trask set to join them in the 2021 NFL Draft?
Kyle Trask NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Quarterback
- School: Florida
- Year: Redshirt Senior
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 240 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Kyle Trask Scouting Report
Positives: Smart, accurate pocket passer who displayed consistent progress in his game through the years. Patient, remains poised as the pocket collapses around him, and consistently scans the field going through progressions. Senses the rush, moves outside the pocket to buy time, and throws with a fluid over over-the-top delivery. Locates the open wideout and goes to the safe, underneath outlet if necessary.
Consistently keeps his eyes downfield and distributes the ball using all his targets. Consistently identifies the open wideout, anticipates where his receivers will be, and hits targets in stride. Accurate and does not make pass catchers work hard based on his ability to place throws. Effective setting up screen throws. Does a great job commanding and controlling the offense.
Negatives: Not a mobile or elusive quarterback. Slow and ineffective on designed quarterback runs. Possesses solid arm strength but not big-time arm talent.
Analysis: Trask is a traditional pocket passer with great vision, instincts, and wherewithal. He’s accurate with a terrific sense for what’s happening on the field, but the lack of foot quickness and leg speed limits him to just a few offensive systems.
Kyle Trask Player Profile
Kyle Trask is not your average college football quarterback. Unlike fellow 2021 NFL Draft prospects Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields, Trask wasn’t a highly-ranked, heavily-recruited high school quarterback. His meteoric rise to college football fame is more corresponding to Joe Burrow following his transfer from Ohio State. Yet, despite the over-used comparison to the last quarterback who set the Southeastern Conference on fire, Trask is different from Burrow in many ways.
Trask’s journey is far more unlikely, and his 2021 NFL Draft projection is far more complicated
Kyle Trask has traveled his path to the NFL draft in the shadows rather than the spotlight. He spent his high school career as the backup to D’Eriq King. Although he started as a freshman for the Manvel High Mavericks, Trask spent more time riding the pine than putting up points.
That’s not to say he wasn’t successful when the opportunity arose. During his junior and senior season at Manvel, he threw sixteen touchdowns to zero interceptions. Despite not starting a single game, he put up 1,545 passing yards. Trask provided a glimpse into his most valuable trait — accuracy, with a completion percentage over 70% in his final two years at Manvel.
A lack of tape proved pivotal for Kyle Trask as he transitioned from high school to college football
As a three-star recruit and just the 92nd-ranked pro-style quarterback in his recruiting class, offers were few and far between for Trask. As a result, Florida was his only opportunity to play Power Five football.
A combination of injury and fellow 2016 Florida quarterback recruit Feleipe Franks kept Trask mired in the shadows. He played just three games in three years before an injury to Franks in the 2019 season gave him his opportunity.
Trask grabbed the opportunity with both hands, throwing for 25 touchdowns and putting up 2,941 passing yards. Due to Trask’s performance, Franks transferred from the program, leaving Trask as the starter for the 2020 season.
NFL draft stock skyrockets for Kyle Trask in 2020 season
Last season, Joe Burrow came out of nowhere to lead LSU to a National Championship and was taken with the first overall pick of the NFL draft. A lot of preseason discussions focused on which player would make that rise in the 2020 season. Although the first overall pick is practically inked in as Trevor Lawrence, it’s difficult to argue that any other player has increased their 2021 NFL Draft stock more than Florida quarterback Kyle Trask.
Trask opened the season with six touchdowns against Ole Miss and has proceeded to rip up the SEC record books. Through six games, he broke the record for most passing touchdowns in a single campaign, although a conference-only schedule limits its value. Trask also set the record for touchdowns thrown in conference play.
Record-setting 2020 performance
In addition to the SEC records, Trask made Florida quarterback history in the 2020 season. Most notably, he eclipsed Danny Wuerffel’s single-season program record of 39 touchdowns from 1996. The following season, Wuerffel was selected in the third round of the NFL draft by the New Orleans Saints.
He ended the season with 46 touchdowns and 4,125 passing yards. Additionally, he orchestrated seven games with 4 or more passing touchdowns and five games where he threw for over 400 passing yards. His performance was comparable to Joe Burrow’s Heisman winning season from 2019.
Despite this, Trask is by no means a consensus first-round quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Why not?
Kyle Trask’s skill set as an NFL draft prospect
There are two notable differences between Joe Burrow and Kyle Trask when you evaluate them as NFL draft prospects.
For as impressive as Trask has been throwing the ball in the 2020 season, he lacks the mobility and athletic ability that is almost a prerequisite for success in the modern-day NFL. He has enough mobility to manipulate the pocket and evade pressure, but that’s about as far as it goes. Trask isn’t going to escape the pocket and extend a play with his legs, and he isn’t going to provide you with a consistent dual-threat in the red zone either.
Trask also lacks the deep ball arm strength of an elite NFL quarterback. The majority of his success at Florida comes from short and intermediate passes that give the wide receiver the opportunity to make yardage after the catch. If he is to be considered a future starting NFL quarterback, that will need to be his main area of improvement.
There is a lot to like in Trask’s game, regardless of his limitations
Trask has the ideal size for an NFL quarterback and has competitive toughness. The journey that the Florida quarterback has taken to get to this point is evidence of his mental toughness. Trask has excellent football intelligence and uses this to make good decisions on the field, as evidenced by his consistently low interception numbers throughout his career.
NFL teams should love that element of Trask’s game combined with his accuracy. Trask also has the advantage of having played under center, out of the shotgun, and in the pistol. A large percentage of college football quarterbacks have never taken a snap under center and many struggle to adjust. Teams won’t have that problem with Trask.
2021 NFL Draft team fits
Although there are a lot of teams with a quarterback need, as Tony Pauline alludes to, the options for Kyle Trask in the NFL are limited. The Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets are a lock to select Trevor Lawrence and one of Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance. The 49ers, meanwhile, will take one of the ones still standing at third overall. The Colts’ trade for Carson Wentz also took another landing spot off the board.
In fact, Trask now sits behind at least six quarterbacks as an option in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The best fits for Kyle Trask will be in an offense that doesn’t demand him to force the ball down the field. Currently, the New England Patriots and Washington Football Team would meet that scheme fit. However, both teams recently invested in one-year contracts for veteran quarterbacks. That would suggest that at best Trask may be a later-round developmental quarterback.
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Oliver Hodgkinson is an NFL Draft and NFL analytics contributor for the Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter @ojhodgkinson.