It seems like every year we hear the phrase “Texas is Back” after some type of win, but finishing with 10 wins including a Sugar Bowl victory over the Georgia Bulldogs the hype is really starting to flow. A big part of the optimism is that Sam Ehlinger has emerged as the Longhorns quarterback helping lead a rejuvenated offense. With all this talk about Sam Ehlinger we turn to how his game could translate to the NFL and if he’s someone who can hear his name in the NFL Draft.
What Sam Ehlinger Does Well
Within Texas’ spread attack Ehlinger is a big part of his offense because of his tough running style has to keep defenses honest while they are spreading out the defense. But to transition to the NFL Ehlinger has to show that he can win with his arm. As a thrower Ehlinger excels in the short game making quick accurate passes to distribute the ball. Another big part of their offense is the shots they take downfield. Ehlinger has the arm strength to get the ball downfield but he can also show the touch to drop the ball into his receivers as they streak down the field.
Concerns about Ehlinger
While Ehlinger can make some accurate short are throws anything further than those rhythm quick passes is a bit of a struggle for Ehlinger. Far too often his throws are off the mark forcing his receivers to have to make major adjustments or just making it impossible to make catches. Sure he may have completed 64% of his passes in 2018 but he was often bailed out by having Collin Johnson be able to go up and make a play that a normal receiver wouldn’t be able to do. Another huge area of concern is the mental part of the game where Ehlinger will struggle with. Texas offense doesn’t do him any favors as he often is making a one read throw and if it isn’t open he just will take off trying to get yardage with his legs.
Sam Ehlinger NFL Draft Outlook
There are plenty of examples of quality to good college quarterbacks who set records and help with championships in college but just don’t translate well to the NFL. And based on what we’ve seen the last two years Sam Ehlinger is one of those guys. Sure within the spread offense at Texas he can play the Tim Tebow type role and churn out yards between the tackles while hitting schemed open receivers, but he won’t be able to do so in the NFL. Ehlinger just lacks the arm talent to do so and could really stand to make a position switch if he wants to earn an NFL paycheck.