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2025 NFL Draft first impression: Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

Next up in the summer scouting series is a quarterback who was considered in play for the 2024 NFL draft before opting to return to college. Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers certainly garnered some buzz for leading the Longhorns and a talented group of skill position players into the College Football Playoff during the 2023 season.

Ewers, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound righty, is a fixture in the first round of the “too early” mock drafts for the 2025 NFL Draft. I went back and watched five Texas games from last season to focus on Ewers with a more scouting-centric eye than just casually watching the team. Of course, with four skill position players selected in the top 101 picks in April surrounding him on offense, there was certainly a familiarity with Ewers’ game.

The first thing that stands out with Ewers is his arm strength. He’s got a high-caliber rifle, but one that he can control. In contrast to Georgia’s Carson Beck, Ewers can take something off the ball and still deliver an accurate, shorter throw. He can also quickly find his best option and manipulate the defense and coverage, as he did here against Alabama:

This kind of delivery and decisive use of field vision is inconsistent with Ewers, but he’s proven capable of doing things like this against elite defenses. There just needs to be more of it, more consistently.

On the above rep, Ewers stood confidently in the face of a rush and delivered a strike to a moving target. Unfortunately, that proved to be more of an exception than the norm with the 21-year-old Ohio State transfer. Too often, Ewers doesn’t stick with reads and routes like this one when he gets pressure in his face or near his feet. Again, the ability is there but it’s not consistent and never got better over the course of 2023.

Ewers has some running ability, and he generally makes smart choices on when to tuck and run. One thing he needs to improve is protecting himself at the end of the run, however. He took at least one unnecessary hard hit in every game I watched. There’s a fine line between being inspirationally courageous and carelessly injured, and Ewers needs to find that line a bit better.

There isn’t a quarterback prospect who doesn’t need to improve on handling pressure and making better decisions under fire, but that’s an area where Ewers wilts more than normal. He either freezes up and takes a bad sack (first drive in the Iowa State game, and later in the Rice game are prime examples) or rushes his mechanics and loses control of his accuracy.

Often the biggest selling point for a big-armed QB is the deep ball. In the games I watched, that unfortunately shows Ewers at his worst. He might have a big arm, but it sure doesn’t show all that well on deep throws outside the numbers.

There are far too many misfires on Ewers’ tape to even entertain the notion that he would have been a top-50 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Take this deep shot against Rice, where everything is perfect for this play except his ducky lollipop of a throw. This is very reminiscent of Cody Kessler in his Browns days:

He just doesn’t have the downfield command for NFL defenses to take Ewers seriously. His receivers had to work too hard to make plays and were often thrown out of being open because of a combination of a lack of confident zip or just poor ball placement on longer throws from Ewers.

Coming off the QB draft class we just saw, Ewers would have ranked below Spencer Rattler (fifth round, No. 150 overall) as a prospect in my evaluation here. The good news for Ewers is that he’s got another college season to improve and grow as a prospect. Hopefully he puts that to good use.

Story originally appeared on Draft Wire