Tommy DeVito QB, Illinois | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Where will Illinois Fighting Illini QB Tommy DeVito be drafted? We break down the senior quarterback's 2023 NFL Draft résumé.

The 2023 NFL Draft will change the fate of every individual drafted and the future of all 32 NFL franchises. Fans are hoping they’ll be watching the next batch of stars making plays for their favorite team. We’re evaluating every player you need to know this draft season so that you’re not surprised to see an unheralded rookie make a difference in the fall.

With Brock Purdy emerging as a starting quarterback after being the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, you can bet evaluators are turning over every stone in hopes of finding the next late-round stud. Could that be Illinois’ Tommy DeVito? With DeVito set to play at the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl, we’re breaking down his NFL draft profile.

Let’s dive into what makes DeVito an intriguing draft prospect and his strengths and weaknesses on the field.

Tommy DeVito NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: QB
  • School: Illinois
  • Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’2″, 210 pounds

DeVito began his career at Syracuse in 2018, playing sparingly across seven games. He peaked in 2019 as a sophomore, starting 12 games and completing 63.2% of his passes for 2,360 yards, 19 touchdowns, and five interceptions. He started only seven more games for the Orange due to a leg injury in 2020 and was benched for Garrett Shrader after starting three games in 2021.

He transferred to Illinois under Bret Bielema for his fifth season and made an immediate impact in their run-heavy offense alongside star back Chase Brown. DeVito completed a career-best 69.6% of passes for 2,650 yards, 15 touchdowns, and four interceptions. He set career highs in games played (13), completions (257), attempts (369), and QB Rating (141.2).

MORE: FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

He finished his career with a 63.1% completion rate, 6,516 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions through the air. He added 253 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground through 39 games played.

DeVito tried to return to Illinois for 2023, but his waiver to play a sixth season was denied. This is probably best for his draft stock since he turns 25 years old in August, and 24 is generally about the oldest age at which teams would like to invest in a rookie.

Tommy DeVito Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Smart passer who doesn’t put the ball in dangerous spots. Avoids turnovers and costly plays without being overly cautious.
  • Keeps the offense on schedule by delivering passes in rhythm. Showed consistent accuracy and comfort when throwing to his first read and with half-field reads.
  • Doesn’t hesitate to throw a pass when he sees an open receiver. Has a quick reaction time and doesn’t second-guess whether he wants to make a decision.
  • Was comfortable throwing beyond the first down marker on conversion downs as opposed to taking the first checkdown possible.
  • Has more mobility than his numbers showed. Capable of getting outside of the pocket or run through lanes if he has to, but wants to throw the ball.
  • Strong arm is capable of delivering accurate passes 50+ yards down the field. Velocity on short and intermediate passes is solid when feet are aligned.
  • Gutsy performer who will take a hit and pop back up. Has visibly positive emotional responses that can be infectious.
  • Experience in both a vertical Air Raid offense and a run-based offense will help him adjust to the NFL.

Areas of Improvement

  • Arm isn’t strong enough to overcome a breakdown in mechanics. There’s a clear wobble on passes he doesn’t drive into, which could also be a sign of having small hands.
  • Adopted more of a sweeping passing motion that zapped velocity but increased release speed — this led to overthrows and missing open targets.
  • Lack of speed and explosiveness makes him a functional runner but not one who can be relied upon to pick up more than a few yards on a scramble. Asking him to roll out more than a few steps will put him at risk of being chased down.
  • Lack of full-field reads limits his ability to reliably process at a high level early in his career. Neither offense he played in asked him to make complex reads.
  • Doesn’t have high-end traits, likely cementing him as a developmental backup who can manage a basic offense to keep the chains moving.

Illinois QB Tommy DeVito Current Draft Projection

DeVito impressed at various times in his career, including his breakout 2019 campaign and again in 2022 with Illinois. He’s not a gifted athlete who does any one thing tremendously well. However, he takes care of the ball without being overly cautious and plays with confidence, and those two things have value when combined.

It’s likely DeVito will be a late-Day 3 pick consideration for teams. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he can improve the consistency in which he has good velocity.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

His time in Dino Babers’ offense at Syracuse highlighted his ability to drive the ball deep, but he took a step back in 2022 with a new motion that cost him velocity on shorter attempts.

He could bring value as a third quarterback and eventually a backup as his mechanics become more consistent. It’s uncommon to find someone with DeVito’s toughness and willingness to throw beyond the sticks who’s also accurate enough to win in the short game.

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast

Listen to the PFN Scouting Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Scouting Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Scouting Podcast on our Scouting YouTube channel.

Related Articles