Summary: Over the past four seasons, Luke Falk was one of the most consistent passers in college football. He led Mike Leach's point-machine offense to put Washington State into a top-25 national ranking. Too often, Falk would get dismissed as a college system quarterback, but team evaluators feel he has NFL potential, and some sources like him as a mid-round pick.
As a freshman, Falk completed 64 percent of his throws for 1,859 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions in limited playing time. In 2015, Falk completed 69 percent of his passes for 4,561 yards with 38 touchdowns and eight interceptions. As a junior, Falk completed 70 percent of his passes for 4,468 yards with 38 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. There were some media reports that Falk would enter the 2017 NFL Draft, but he said those reports were false. Falk eventually decided to return for his senior year. Over 2017, Falk completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,593 yards with 30 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Falk has a lot of good traits that lead to him being a potentially good backup quarterback, and perhaps he could turn into an NFL starter. His best and most impressive trait is his accuracy. Falk is an accurate passer who has very good ball placement. He leads receivers downfield and throws them open with where he locates his passes. Falk possesses above-average arm strength and throws good touch passes. He has pocket presence while throwing with good timing and anticipation. In the red zone, Falk can be deadly with his accuracy and his ability to locate the football. He is a good rhythm passer who would be a nice fit in a West Coast offense.
Falk also needs to work on moving his eyes and working through his progressions rather than locking on to one receiver or on to one side of the field. Too often, he shows a propensity to throw into coverage and missing coverage. Falk got away with it in college, but in the NFL, that could lead to more interceptions. Falk always operated out of the shotgun, so he will need to learn how to work under center and understand the associated footwork with taking three- and five-step drops. Falk will have to learn to call plays in the huddle, too. There are a number of quick throws and bubble screens that the Cougars ran that won't translate to the NFL as well.
In speaking with scouts, they say that Falk has an above-average arm. While his accuracy is his best strength, he does have issues seeing coverage and will throw into it. The same sources also label Falk as a thin-framed player who will need to add weight for the NFL. Additionally, he lacks escapability and mobility for the NFL. Falk could be a mid-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Kirk Cousins. Scouting sources have compared Falk to Cousins, which makes sense. They don't have great skill sets or overpowering arms, but they are accurate rhythm throwers. Falk and Cousins are the same height and both have a thinner frame. Cousins was a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and Falk could go in the same range this year.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, Denver, New York Giants, New York Jets, Washington, Arizona, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Los Angeles Chargers, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and New England
There are a lot of quarterback-needy teams in the NFL, so that demand will help Falk. The Browns need a franchise quarterback, but given how high they are picking, they are likely to go with higher-rated signal-callers. The same goes for the Giants, Jets and Broncos, as they all could fill their quarterback need in the first round, if not free agency. Arizona also needs a long-term quarterback and is just outside of the top 10. Kirk Cousins should take away the need for one of these teams, and if the others value other position players more, they could target a quarterback like Falk in the mid-rounds while also signing a different veteran free agent.
The Redskins, meanwhile, could look to add a quarterback in the mid-rounds to groom behind Alex Smith.
Even if Tyrod Taylor remains, Buffalo has a new regime that is likely to target a new starting quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Chargers have to start thinking of Philip Rivers' eventual replacement, so they could consider Falk as a mid-rounder. The Saints are in the same situation with Drew Brees, as are the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger. All of those teams could think of Falk as a backup with the potential to grow into more than that.
Jacksonville could consider Falk as an option to turn to when it is done with Blake Bortles. The Patriots traded away Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, so they could take Falk in the mid-rounds as a young backup to Tom Brady.