Frustrated, disillusioned, and contemplating a position change just one year ago, being a quarterback prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft was probably not a thought for Phil Jurkovec. However, just 12 months later, things have changed significantly. As the unquenchable thirst to find the next breakout QB dominates the NFL Draft conversation, could the Boston College signal-caller emerge as an early-round contender? Let’s break down Jurkovec’s scouting report to find out!
Phil Jurkovec NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Quarterback
- School: Boston College
- Current Year: Redshirt Junior
- Height: 6’5″
- Weight: 226 pounds
Phil Jurkovec Scouting Report
After last year’s impressive quarterback class, the 2022 NFL Draft landscape at the position is less clear. North Carolina’s Sam Howell and Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler are widely regarded as the top of the class. However, behind them is a myriad of passers with a season of action to help elevate their stock.
Jurkovec is one of them who is in a situation that should help him succeed. Let’s begin his scouting report with the attributes that make him a desirable NFL Draft prospect.
Firstly, Jurkovec possesses NFL size. Of course, this is somewhat of a myth, as smaller quarterbacks have found success in the league. However, at 6’5″ and nearly 230 pounds, the Boston College QB has a prototypical frame for the position. Unsurprisingly, since he was raised in Pittsburgh, he has often drawn physical comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger (despite weighing in at almost 25 pounds less than the Steelers signal-caller) coming out of high school.
Jurkovec also possesses NFL-caliber arm strength. Although there are some inconsistencies with his deep ball accuracy, there’s no denying he can sling the ball downfield. There were some beautiful examples of him putting it in the bucket in the deep third during the games studied.
Arm talent, mobility, and toughness
The Boston College quarterback also displays arm talent on short-to-intermediate throws. He routinely puts the ball in position for his receiver to succeed, demonstrating good ball placement and throwing with anticipation. His throwing motion isn’t always the most majestic thing to watch, but he’s successful regardless.
As the NFL evolves, being a statue in the pocket won’t get the job done. The league values mobility and quarterbacks who can extend the play with their legs. Jurkovec will never be mistaken for Lamar Jackson or Russell Wilson, but he can get the job done on the ground when required. Furthermore, he regularly uses his mobility to evade pressure in the pocket.
As you’d expect from a player of his build, Jurkovec is blessed with toughness. That presents itself in many forms. The Boston College product can take a hit, dust himself off, and get back after it. Additionally, he puts his size and toughness to good use in short-yardage situations.
Areas for improvement
Although Jurkovec has some desirable attributes as an NFL Draft prospect, there are some areas for improvement on his scouting report.
Despite showing impressive mobility to maneuver in the pocket, the Boston College QB needs to demonstrate increased pocket awareness this fall. There were too many examples where he didn’t sense pressure and took unnecessary hits.
This lack of awareness is also apparent when he takes off to run. If he is to be deemed a true dual-threat, he needs to develop better vision as a ball carrier. There were several plays where he ran straight into defenders.
By his admission, Jurkovec’s footwork regressed during his time at Notre Dame. This is something he’ll need to work on this season if he is to elevate his NFL Draft stock.
Phil Jurkovec Player Profile
Although Jurkovec could be considered an under-the-radar prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, his early football career was far from it. A product of Pine-Richland High School in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvanian passer was a prolific performer.
Despite losing half of his sophomore season to a thumb injury, Jurkovec put up phenomenal numbers. In 30 months of high school football, he threw for 8,202 yards and 71 touchdowns. Furthermore, Jurkovec superbly demonstrated his prowess as a dual-threat quarterback with 2,942 rushing yards. Jurkovec’s 11,144 all-purpose yards were the second most in WPIA league history.
Meanwhile, he became only the second QB in league history to throw 3,000+ yards while rushing for 1,000+ yards during a senior season where Pine-Richmond went undefeated and captured a PIAA Class 6A state title. In addition to earning a place in the 2018 US Army All-American Game, Jurkovec was named the 2017 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player of the Year.
Naturally, Jurkovec was highly sought-after by college football programs. He was a four-star recruit and the fourth-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the 2018 class. As the No. 2-ranked player in Pennsylvania, he attracted offers from Pittsburgh and Penn State. However, his reputation spread far and wide, with offers coming from heavy hitters like Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson.
Despite the interest, his heart resided in South Bend. Notre Dame had offered in November 2015, and Jurkovec committed in May 2016, making several visits to the program through his junior and senior seasons.
“It’s just the right fit for me,” the quarterback said at the time of his commitment. “The whole university and everything that it offers. I just fell in love with it.”
College football career
Over the next two years, the love affair between Jurkovec and Notre Dame would turn sour. It’s more common than not that a freshman quarterback sees limited time in their first season. That was the case for Jurkovec in 2018, sitting behind Ian Book and Brandon Wimbush.
He took snaps against Wake Forest and Florida State but ultimately redshirted his first season with the program.
His second year didn’t fare much better. With Book entrenched as the starter, Jurkovec played in six games but only made 16 throws. He secured his first touchdown pass against Bowling Green while adding another in defeat to Michigan.
Jurkovec tallied just 222 passing yards in two seasons, with an additional 139 yards on the ground. With Book opting to return for the 2020 college football season, the opportunity to start at quarterback for Notre Dame vanished. A competitor, not a quitter, he considered making a position change to see more playing time.
Jurkovec parts ways with Notre Dame following his second season in South Bend
However, with the love that had guided him to Notre Dame gone, only one option really remained.
“I had to leave,” Jurkovec told Mike White at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “And after I decided to leave it was very hard. You understand you’re leaving your dream school. But, I didn’t really know what Notre Dame was like. I committed to the dream and not everything else.”
Jurkovec entered the transfer portal following the 2019 college football season. There was plenty of interest and opportunity, including to return home to the University of Pittsburgh. However, Jurkovec transferred to Boston College, with the chance to make the starting job his own despite initial reservations.
“Honestly, I never watched Boston College in my life. I never rooted for them and I did not give one crap about Boston College. My first reaction was no. Nothing about it was appealing.”
The opinion was understandable given the Eagles’ power-run offensive history. Yet, the quarterback wasn’t the only new piece in town. The arrival of Jeff Haffley and Frank Cignetti revolutionized the Boston College offense.
Subsequently, it kick-started Jurkovec’s career
In his 10 starts during the 2020 college football season, he threw for 2,558 passing yards with 17 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions. Of his 5 interceptions, 4 came within the opening five games, with 2 in one game against Virginia Tech. The dual-threat quarterback also added 150 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.
Due to the run-first nature of the Eagles’ offense in recent history, Jurkovec also set program milestones. He became the first quarterback in program history to have four 300+ yard games in his first five games. Furthermore, the landmark was the most at the program since Matt Ryan in 2007.
Jurkovec also set the most completions by a sophomore quarterback for the Eagles while equalling a program record for single-game completions that had stood since 1968. Although he set that mark against North Carolina, the Boston College QB set his career-high passing yard total with 358 yards against Pittsburgh.
After his performances last fall, Jurkovec is a contender to be the 2022 NFL Draft equivalent of Joe Burrow or Zach Wilson. He has the big-arm talent to wow evaluators. Jurkovec will also be playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the nation this season. Moreover, Zay Flowers leads a wide receiver room that is stacked with talent.
Emulating Matt Ryan’s No. 3 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft may be out of the question, but Jurkovec should be the program’s first quarterback selected in 14 years.