Although we’re set to see a historic quarterback class in this year’s draft, outside the five potential first-round signal-callers, there is a lot of uncertainty at the position. One of the passers in the mix to be a later-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft is Shane Buechele. Once the next big hope for the Texas Longhorns, can he translate a prolific two-year career as the SMU quarterback into hearing his name called in Cleveland?
Shane Buechele NFL Draft Player Profile
- Position: Quarterback
- School: Southern Methodist
- Current Year: Redshirt-Senior
- Height: 6’0 1/2″
- Weight: 212 pounds
Tony Pauline’s Shane Buechele Scouting Report
Positives: Texas transfer who was a productive quarterback at SMU the past two seasons. Mentally sharp, accurate, and displays the ability to place passes where only his receivers can make the reception. Effectively commands the offense, shows patience in the pocket, and buys time for wideouts. Sells the ball fakes, displays a sense of timing on throws, and does not have receivers waiting for the pass to arrive.
Sits in the pocket until the very last moment, does not make adverse decisions under the rush, and remains poised. Competitive and always in control of the situation. Displays enough mobility to escape the rush and elude defenders. Does a good job protecting the football. Puts air under deep passes and gives receivers a chance to come away with the throw. Scans the field, goes through progressions, and stays with the action.
Negatives: Lacks the deep arm and cannot drive throws. Passes tend to die in the air. Lacks a quick release and has an elongated throwing motion.
Analysis: Buechele was a terrific college quarterback and has great wherewithal for the position, but he lacks next-level physical skills. His greatest value could be as an extra set of eyes on the sidelines.
Shane Buechele Player Profile
From a young age, it seemed inevitable that Buechele would develop into an athlete. His father, Steve, was an 11-year MLB veteran, while his brother played at a high level for Oklahoma. Shane himself had his days on the diamond, but he excelled with a football in his hand. During his playing career at Lamar High School, he was a three-time All-District and two-time All-State honoree.
Earning All-State recognition in the state of Texas is no small feat. However, Buechele was no ordinary high school quarterback. Ranked as the number three dual-threat QB in the 2016 recruiting class, he threw for 6,739 yards and 73 touchdowns at Lamar. Furthermore, he flashed his ability with his legs, racking up 1,805 yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground.
A four-star recruit, Buechele earned double-digit offers, with many coming from in-state. Although family ties to Oklahoma led to the belief that he would become a Sooner, he landed on the other side of the Red River Rivalry with the University of Texas.
Buechele’s college football career at Texas
The Longhorns were aggressive in their search for a quarterback, extending 11 scholarship offers to players at the position. As such, it was no surprise that Buechele came in as the immediate starter. He didn’t simply come in and start for the Longhorns, either. He tore up the record books as a true freshman.
In just starting the season opener, he became the first Texas freshman QB to do so since 1944. His 2,958 passing yards accrued in the 2016 season was a freshman record for the program. In addition to his 21 passing touchdowns, his passing yardage helped contribute to him receiving an honorable mention for Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year.
Despite his success, the quest to find the next great Texas signal-caller shifted focus to Sam Ehlinger. Although Buechele played in 9 games with 7 starts in 2017, he began to cede playing time to Ehlinger. Making nearly 180 fewer passing attempts than the previous year, he threw for just 1,405 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Transferring to be the starting quarterback at SMU
The writing was on the wall heading into his junior season. Buechele saw action in just two games in relief of the injured Ehlinger. Although he led the team with impressive performances — 30/44 passing, 273 yards, and 2 touchdowns — he entered the transfer portal at the end of the 2018 season.
SMU was one of the original teams that tried to secure Buechele’s signature out of Lamar. As a graduate transfer, he would be eligible to start immediately in the 2019 season.
It turned out to be an inspired move for both the quarterback and program. Making 13 starts in his first season at SMU, Buechele reprised his role as a record-breaker. His 3,929 passing yards lead the AAC and broke the SMU single-season record. The same could be said for his 34 touchdowns in 2019. His 6 passing touchdowns against Temple set the single-game record. Unsurprisingly, he earned first-team All-AAC honors upon the conclusion of the season.
Despite the disrupted 2020 college football season, Buechele continued his dominance of the conference. In three fewer games, he still accounted for 3,095 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. With the 2021 NFL Draft on the horizon, the SMU quarterback received invites to the Shrine Bowl and Hula Bowl.
Shane Buechele’s best fits in the 2021 NFL Draft
After a productive college football career, does the SMU quarterback have what it takes to be selected in the 2021 NFL Draft? He’s an intelligent passer who combines intelligence and accuracy to make few mistakes. Buechele also has an element of mobility that can help him evade pressure in the pocket. That being said, he lacks the requisite arm to be a perennial starter in the NFL.
He’s demonstrated that he can command an offense, and that may see a team use a late-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on him. Some teams that fit Buechele’s skillset include the Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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