2021 NFL draft prospects: Florida QB Kyle Trask

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Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)
Eric Edholm's criteria for grading NFL draft prospects. (Albert Corona/Yahoo Sports)

Florida QB Kyle Trask

6-foot-5, 240 pounds

Yahoo Sports draft grade: 5.82 — potential starter

TL;DR scouting report: Longtime backup turned shocking QB prospect whose toughness and touch are impressive but whose athleticism most certainly isn’t

Games watched: LSU (2019), Georgia (2020), Kentucky (2020), Texas A&M (2020)

The skinny: A 2-star Rivals recruit, Trask received two scholarship offers: Florida and Houston Baptist. He got on the Gators’ map at one of their camps, having not started in high school since his freshman year (he backed up Houston and Miami QB D’Eriq King). Trask redshirted in 2016 and didn’t see the field in 2017 after suffering a foot injury prior to the season. His first action came in 2018 when Trask backed up Feleipe Franks and completed 14 of 22 passes for 162 yards and one TD, rushing for one TD in four games.

In 2019, Trask replaced an injured Franks and started the final 10 games of the season. He completed 237 of 354 passes (66.9 percent) for 2,941 yards with 25 TDs and seven interceptions and ran for four TDs. Trask upped his game further in 2020 and was a Heisman Trophy finalist. He threw for a Gators-record 43 TD passes and only eight interceptions in completing 301 of 437 passes (68.9 percent) for 4,283 yards, and running for three TDs in 12 starts. Trask committed to play in the Senior Bowl before backing out.

Upside: Extraordinary production for a player who was a backup for six straight years. First SEC player with at least four touchdown passes in six straight games. Set school marks for passing yards and TDs as a senior. Threw for 256 yards or more in 16 of his final 17 college starts. Two or more TD passes in 20 of 22 starts. Noticeable statistical improvement from 2019 to 2020.

Extremely tough mentally and physically. Stepped in for injured Franks trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter and led comeback victory with three TD drives. Went toe to toe against Joe Burrow in 2019 at unbeaten LSU and nearly pulled off the win. Took an absolute beating in 2020 bowl game vs. Oklahoma behind a patchwork offensive line when many offensive teammates opted out.

Handles pressure better than some NFL quarterbacks. Fearless in the pocket and will hang until the very last moment. Unfazed by pressure and actually had better passing numbers against the blitz. Showed in 2020 a better feel for stepping up in muddied pockets. Carries out play-action fakes extremely well.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 30: Quarterback Kyle Trask #11 of the Florida Gators throws against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Florida quarterback Kyle Trask could be a Day 2 pick in 2021. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Trusts his elite playmakers — identifies favorable matchups for his horses and isn’t afraid to go let them make a play. Ball placement usually allows his man a better shot to get it than the defender. Good rhythm passer with excellent downfield touch — can feather the fade, post and flag routes. Showed a willingness to push the ball vertically.

Can wear down man coverage and nickel and dime defenses until bigger opportunities open up. Good posture in the pocket — stands ready to fire. Has enough arm strength to drive into throws outside the numbers. Knows when to throw fastballs, when to throw changeups.

Accuracy to all parts of the field. Keeps eyes downfield and passing platform underneath him, even when on the move. Clean, three-quarters delivery with a quick release.

Prototypical NFL passer build. Faced a battery of stiff tests and routinely stepped up to challenges — big moments look routine. Gave Alabama everything it could handle in the 2020 SEC title game. Has played at a high level the past two seasons without much in the way of game action prior to 2019.

Effective goal-line and short-yardage runner — sturdy enough to power through for a yard if you need him too. Has pooch-punt ability.

Downside: Benefited greatly from elite skill-position talent and Dan Mullen’s exceptional system — threw to two possible first-round targets. Operated in a shotgun-heavy attack. Screen-heavy offense called on him to throw more than 60 percent of his passes within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage (or behind it).

Stats not always indicative of how he played. Dependent on good pass protection and having talented skill-position players around him to be successful. Threw three INTs in the first three possessions of the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma operating with an opt-out-depleted offense.

Not mobile — at all. Wooden feet at times and took sacks he shouldn’t have. Lets pressure get on top of him too often, which won’t work in the NFL. Scrambles maybe once a game — and only when all other options are off the table.

Arm talent isn’t special. Can make most of the throws but doesn’t always zip them in the way they’re needed to be. Velocity drops even more when his feet aren’t set beneath him or he doesn’t step into throws. Will miss some layups — chunked a few “easy” throws most quarterbacks make in their sleep. Decent distance off the tees, but the short game needs tweaking.

Has trouble resetting and throwing — some ugly reps when he’s asked to adjust to chaos in front of him create on the move. Improvisational skills appear quite limited. Decision making must be closely examined — forced some balls into double coverage and had some “what the heck was that?” throws the past two seasons.

Will stare down targets. Must improve his eye manipulation of safeties. A bit slow going through second and third reads (and didn’t need to do it all that much at Florida). Throws his receivers into harm’s way at times. Still learning some of the veteran tricks of the trade.

Ball security a quiet concern — 10 fumbles in his final 22 games. A shade on the older side at 23 years old. Health of left knee must be examined.

Best-suited destination: Trask is a rhythm passer who needs a strong structure in place and talent at the skill positions. Ideally, he’d also be protected behind a strong offensive line to protect against his lack of mobility, even though his toughness is ideal.

Going to a team such as the Steelers, Buccaneers, Falcons or Rams — where he can develop behind an aging starter — would be a best-case scenario. With his poise, Trask could start early in his career, but he’d be a lower-end starter for teams that lacked strong supporting casts.

Did you know: Trask’s parents, Micheal and Melissa attended Texas A&M and named their son after the Aggies’ football stadium — Kyle Field.

Trask’s grandfather, Orville Trask, was the Houston Oilers’ first team captain and helped the franchise win AFL titles in 1960 and 1961.

Player comp: Nick Foles

Expected draft range: Rounds 2 or 3