While we often thing of quarterback gurus or coaches that have great track records developing quarterbacks, the name that doesn’t often get brought up is Florida coach Dan Mullen. Throughout his career as a quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator or head coach he’s produced quarterbacks who have gone on to the NFL. Some have been drafted and not had success like Josh Harris and Tim Tebow while guys like Alex Smith and Dak Prescott are enjoying good seasons. Even a guy like Cam Newton spent two years with Mullen (Newton spent one year at Blinn and one at Auburn). His latest quarterback is redshirt junior Feleipe Franks who is entering his second year as the starter prompting us to wonder if he has what it takes to be the next Dan Mullen quarterback to be taken in the NFL Draft.
Why He Can
As you watch Feleipe Franks you can see plenty of potential out of the 6’6 240lb quarterback. Franks shows the ability to make both timing throws while also the ability to drive the ball down the field. On his short to intermediate throws Franks is able to hit receivers on stride while also threading the balls in between defenders. On his deep balls not only does he have the arm strength to drive the ball on a line to the receiver but he also shows the ability to throw with touch. This touch has allowed him to drop the ball over linebackers to his receiver or make a bucket throw as the receiver is running down the field.
Why He Won’t
While Franks shows a lot of the physical talents that could lead to success both in college but also translating to the NFL, he does struggle with consistency. While Franks may hit the receiver on an in breaking route his next throw may be behind or at their feet. He may throw a beautiful laser for a long touchdown and then the time before the ball will be a yard long with the receiver not having a shot at the ball. Franks also shows some inconsistencies when it comes to the mental part of the game. Too often Franks will stare down receivers leading to defenders having a better shot at making a play rather than looking off the safety or linebackers in zone coverage. This past year Franks also wasn’t asked to go through many reads which he’d have to do in the NFL.
Feleipe Franks NFL Draft Potential
Because Franks shows enough physical talent there is potential for him to make his mark in the NFL. But to do so he’ll need to show more on the mental side of the game to do so. That’s what I’ll be watching during the 2019 season. If he can do that there is a shot that he can go in the middle rounds and viewed as a developmental quarterback. But if he doesn’t make that next step he’s a late round pick at best and looking more like an XFL player.