The number one rated quarterback in the 2016 recruiting class Jacob Eason had a who’s who of teams trying to get him to commit. Despite being from Washington, Eason focused mainly on SEC schools an picked Georgia over Florida. Eason quickly established himself as the top quarterback for the Bulldogs and was named the starter as a true freshman.
Eason didn’t have eye popping numbers during his first year as he completed 55% of his passes for 2,430 yards with 16 touchdowns to 8 interceptions. But for a true freshman in a run heavy offense playing int he toughest conference in college football, Eason showed he has all the tools to be an elite NFL Draft prospect. But then everything changed.
After his freshman year head coach Mark Richt was fired and Kirby Smart was brought in. Smart signed 5 Star quarerback Jake Fromm who was the 3rd rated quarterback in his class. Eason was still the starter at the beginning of the 2017 season but an injury cost him to miss time and Jake Fromm never relinquished the position.
Knowing that Fromm had lead the Bulldogs to the National Title Game, it was going to be very difficult for Eason to retain his starting role he decided to transfer back to his home state of Washington and start over for the Huskies.
Eason now enters his junior year after sitting out last year and running Washington’s scout team and is the presumed starter. Let’s take a look at what traits Eason has to offer and what his future could be.
What Jacob Eason Does Well
The first thing that stands out when you watch Eason is that he has a cannon for an arm. While arm strength is not the most important trait to have as a quarterback, Eason uses the velocity he creates to drive the ball at all levels and make throws that not every quarterback can make. While the arm strength is what you first notice, his ability to throw with anticipation is his most important trait. Not a lot of young quarterbacks possess good anticipation skills, but Eason has shown the ability to make several throws as or before his receivers make their cuts which makes it very difficult for the defender to make a play on the ball. The above clip is a perfect example as Eason made the throw as the TE was about to sit down in his route and the defensive back had no shot to break up the touchdown catch.
What Jacob Eason Needs to Show
While Eason shows some high level traits there is still plenty of growth that he needs to demonstrates if he is going to be considered one of the top quarterback prospects in this class. The two main areas that I’ll be looking for when Eason plays this upcoming year are touch and recognition.
Too often Eason will stare down his receiver before making his throws. Now that was early in his career and with more experience under your belt quarterbacks will get better. But the high end prospects can manipulate defenses with their eyes. Another by product of his strong arm is that he tends to laser the ball to the ball to his receivers way too often. A lot of the time it works, but to improve on his completion percentage he has to show more touch. This is especially true on deeper throws that can be too difficult to catch when they don’t drop into the receivers rather than have to go up for a fast ball.
Overall there is a ton to like about Jacob Eason and the potential is there. While Washington has not yet named him the starter (as of this writing) he should win the job. Eason will give the Huskies a different element to their offense as the noodle armed Jake Browning was good in the mental game, but was limited physically. If Eason is able to improve on his touch and recognition the sky is the limit and has has #1 Overall Pick potential. But that comes with development.