2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jake Fromm
By Charlie Campbell
Summary: Jacob Eason was supposed to be the first star quarterback of the Kirby Smart era at Georgia, but an injury to Eason thrust Fromm onto the field as a freshman, and Fromm seized the opportunity to lead the Bulldogs all the way to the National Championship in his debut as a starter. Fromm was an excellent game-manager, making some clutch throws while protecting the football to allow his potent rushing attack and superb defense to control games. On the year, Fromm completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,615 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Fromm was even better as a sophomore, completing 67 percent of his passes in 2018 for 2,749 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Fromm regressed in 2019. The junior's accuracy was subpar, and he seemed to lose confidence in the second half of the season. Earlier in the year, he made some clutch throws to lead Georgia to a tough win over Notre Dame, but had four turnovers in a loss to South Carolina. Fromm bounced back to lead the Bulldogs to a win over Florida, being superb on third down. However, he struggled after that putting together ugly games with pass-completion rates of less than 50 percent against Missouri, Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU. He completed 61 percent of his passes in 2019 for 2,860 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Some in the media blamed Fromm's regression on the supporting cast, but that is a flawed argument. In Fromm's defense, Georgia's wide receivers were a real weakness and struggled all year. On the flip side, Fromm had a phenomenal offensive line with a top-10 left tackle in Andrew Thomas and potentially two other first-round picks in guard Solomon Kindley and right tackle Isaiah Wilson. Center Trey Hill and right guard Cade Mays could be first-round picks in 2021 or 2022. Even the Bulldog's backup rotational offensive linemen could be future draft picks. To go along with the best offensive line in college football, Fromm had a first-round pick at running back in D'Andre Swift plus other talented runners who rotated into the game. Thus, saying Fromm suffered from a poor supporting cast is nonsense.
Fromm has a backup quarterback skill set for the NFL. His arm strength is average at best. As a pro, he is going to struggle to challenge defenses downfield with his arm. He also does not have the ability to fire a fastball into a tight window. Every throw from Fromm is a touch pass because he does't have the arm strength to drive the ball. On top of not having a strong arm, Fromm is not a running threat and he won't be able to make plays with his feet at the pro level.
At Georgia, Fromm was a game manager and not a play-maker. He is not a quarterback who can create plays on his own like an Aaron Rodgers, Pat Mahomes, Lamar Jackson or Deshaun Watson. Fromm is a good distributor of the football who generally has good ball security and makes good decisions.
While Fromm does not have arm strength or play-making ability with his feet, he is an accurate passer. He places his ball well, putting it in position for his receiver to make catches while avoiding putting the ball in danger of being intercepted. Fromm is a wise decision-maker who protects the ball well and doesn't get careless or panic. As a freshman and sophomore, Fromm was a dangerous play-action passer who came through with some clutch throws in crunch time.
Over his Georgia career, Fromm was generally a confident, calm, poised and efficient pocket passer. He stood tall in the pocket and was a consistent passer distributing the ball. He demonstrated good timing and precision to hit his receivers through windows in coverage while leading them to produce more yards after the catch. His calm and poised approach lended to him showing field vision in the pocket, as he would move his eyes and work off his primary read. For a young quarterback, Fromm had impressive field vision at the start of his time at Georgia. As a pro, he would be a would be a good fit in a west coast offense.
Team sources rave about Fromm's intangibles. They say he is a great kid with excellent character, work ethic, and intelligence. Fromm's intangibles could cause some coaches to fall in love during the draft process.
In this draft analyst's opinion, Fromm is a fringe starter and more of a backup-caliber quarterback for the NFL. I just don't believe he has the physical tools to be dynamic starter. For Fromm to be a good NFL starter, he will need an excellent core around him to let him distribute the ball to play-making receivers while relying on a potent rushing attack.
In the 2020 NFL Draft, Fromm has a wide range on where he could go. His skill set suggests he should go on the second day of the draft, but his intelligence and intangibles are that of a first-rounder. There have been quarterbacks who some teams have graded in the fourth round - Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel - go in the first round, and there have been quarterbacks with higher grades who slide lower because a draft just evolves that way. Thus, Fromm could go on the opening night if a team falls in love with him, or he could be in store for a draft-day slide.
Player Comparison: Matt Barkley. In the NFL, I think Fromm could end up being a quarterback similar to Barkley. I mentioned that comparison to a general manager, and they said it was a good match. Barkley (6-2, 234) and Fromm are almost identical in size and have similar limitations in arm strength and athleticism.
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