Rams 2023 Draft Prospect Profile: Jake Haener (QB, Fresno State)
When looking at the current makeup of the Los Angeles Rams, it’s evident that they need to add a reliable, preferably long-term option at the backup quarterback spot. Matthew Stafford will be back under center next season, while the No. 2 on the depth chart is undetermined with Baker Mayfield and John Wolford being free agents.
The Rams could elect to address the need for a backup signal-caller in free agency or the 2023 NFL draft. Even though the Rams don’t possess a first-round pick, they’ll have a handful of opportunities to select one in the draft.
If the Rams do happen to add a quarterback via the draft, Jake Haener out of Fresno State is a name to watch.
Haener attended Washington to begin his collegiate career in 2018, but he was unable to beat out Jacob Eason for the starting job. As a result, he would transfer to Fresno State and he became a productive quarterback for the Bulldogs.
Throughout his three seasons at Fresno State, Haener compiled a total of 9,013 passing yards, 67 passing touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. Haener made First-Team All-Mountain West in 2022 and he will turn 24 years old over a month before the draft.
How he fits the Rams
There’s no doubt that Haener is an undersized quarterback at 6-foot-1 and around 195 pounds, but he does possess solid accuracy at the quarterback position. While he isn’t the most electric athlete, he has enough athleticism that allows him to make plays outside of the pocket and with his legs.
Sean McVay has shown a tendency of moving his quarterbacks around on play-action plays (outside of Stafford) and Haener is capable of doing that. Haener also doesn’t have the strongest arm, though, getting to work behind Stafford and in McVay’s offensive scheme could be beneficial for the incoming rookie.
It’s always difficult trying to predict where certain quarterbacks will go when they are considered undersized and are older when their rookie season begins. Ahead of the draft, most mock drafts have Haener going on Day 3 of, meaning Round 4-7.
The Rams have shown a willingness to target players in the Senior Bowl and Haener played in the game this year. While the Rams don’t have a fourth-round pick, they have two fifth-round picks and eight of their 10 total picks come on Day 3.