Shea Patterson Michigan Debut | Scouting Notes

Coming into the season there was a lot of hype and anticipation for how Shea Patterson was going to do with the Michigan Wolverines. I for one was on board for Patterson having success as my initial viewing of his game tape from Ole Miss was very positive giving him a first round grade and having him as my number one quarterback in my initial rankings. Heck I even compared him to Baker Mayfield. With his skill showed in his limited time at Mississippi and the fact that he was going to team up with John Harbaugh the though that Patterson could develop into a top quarterback had everybody talking. But in their first game against Notre Dame the Wolverines struggled and lost. Here I was able to break down how did Shea Patterson Michigan Debut go and what we can learn from the tape both good and bad.

 

How Did the Shea Patterson Michigan Debut Go

 

What Went Well

Michigan’s offense struggled throughout the game and while Patterson had his issues, he still did a lot of good. Patterson had the most of his success on his short to intermediate throws showing good timing and ball placement. Whether it was sitting in the pocket or rolling to his sides he was able to deliver the ball where the receiver needed to make the catch. Patterson also displayed his ability to go through his progressions and the willingness to check down. Notre Dame clearly was trying to take away the big plays down the field and Patterson didn’t force the issue often times moving his eyes down and hitting either the running back or even another receiver working underneath.

 

One of Patterson’s best traits is his ability to make plays with his feet. Much like we’ve seen with Baker Mayfield, Patterson can move within the pocket or present that fear in teams than when he rolls out he could tuck the ball and run. In Michigan’s offense they tended to keep Patterson within the pocket and he had his ups and downs. But late in the game when Michigan was trying to tie the game, Patterson was used more out on the edge and his playmaking ability kicked in and the Wolverines offense had a bit more explosiveness to it. For Patterson to win in the NFL he’ll need to make plays from the pocket, but look for Michigan to take advantage of his feet more going forward.

 

What Didn’t Go Well

Notre Dame’s defense clearly got the best of the Wolverines whose offense line struggled to block the Irish all night. This lead to consistent pressure on Patterson. Whether he rushed some throws, threw off his back foot or even took a handful of sacks, his body took a beating in the game. Patterson didn’t handle the pressure very well as he didn’t see defenders coming, tried to make throws while being hit and even threw across his body trying to make a completion. He has to get better in this area. Patterson was also inaccurate down the field as he over threw a couple of receivers and his only completion was a couple yards inside of the recevier who had to adjust and then leave his feet to make the catch.

 

What does this all mean

There is plenty of season yet to be played and Patterson didn’t play as bad as some are saying. Adding more games will only give him more experience in the system and allow him to get more comfortable. That being said I really want to watch how he throws the ball downfield with touch and anticipation. That was a bit of a concern in watching him against Auburn in 2017 and it showed again here against Notre Dame. Patterson is still the top rated quarterback at the time of this writing, but it will be interesting to see if that continues.

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