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View Full Version : Looking Back: Scouting reports on T.J. Yates


ckparrothead
12-17-2011, 09:44 AM
Hey guys. I come in peace.

I'm a Draft analyst for Universal Draft and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. I post a lot of work in those two places as well as various Miami Dolphins-based websites such as Finheaven.com, ThePhins.com and FinsNation.com. Last year with the South Florida Sun Sentinel we did several QB profiles on guys like Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Ryan Mallett, etc. They got some national publicity from people like Peter King, Dan Patrick, Michael Lombardi, etc. I even ended up on the NFL Network discussing one of them.

I just thought I'd share with you this look back at two scouting reports on T.J. Yates that I wrote back in December 2010 and March 2011. You might find them informative, or not. I know that there's got to be this sense that Yates kind of came out of nowhere, in the sense that it seems like nobody believed in him prior to the Draft. Certainly he never got any respect on the boards of guys like Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, or even Chad Reuter/Rob Rang or Wes Bunting.

I don't believe quarterbacks come from nowhere. Guys that truly come from nowhere and never had anyone pounding the table for them, they are in my opinion usually just flash in the pan guys. That's why I'm posting this for you guys...to show you that some people DID see franchise quarterback potential in T.J. Yates and have been talking about it for over a year. I see recently that the Bengals claim that if they missed out on Andy Dalton, Yates would have probably been the guy they target. Bill Polian claims they had Yates targeted but the Texans took him before they could.

http://www.universaldraft.com/2011/12/11/a-look-back-qb-t-j-yates-of-north-carolina/

I'm not trying to hawk traffic. I'd like to post the full text of the article right here in the thread but character limits are preventing me from doing so...so instead I'll post some excerpts...

I think that if the Miami Dolphins drafted T.J. Yates in the 2nd Round of the 2011 Draft, there would be a lot of boos. I would not be among them, and I would argue hard to soothe peoples’ anger over that. In my heart, he’s that caliber a prospect.

...

His ability on the deep vertical is one of the more amazing aspects of his game. When he misses, he only JUST misses. He leads his receiver excellently.

...

Yates gets his arm up on bigger throws, and like I said his release is quick and mechanically very sound. He steps into his throws, as [some] point out, he stays over his front foot. On his deep throws, his shoulder aiming is ideal.

...

Pocket Mechanics: This is the most fundamentally sound technician in the Draft at the quarterback position, overall.

...

At quarterback you want a guy that owns the football, and he owns the football. He is able to quickly get control of bad shotgun snaps, and on other shotgun snaps his ability to get control of the ball looks effortless. His manipulation of defensive players on screens is very good.

...

He seems particularly good at running the offense through the 2 minute drill. He executed one of the most impressive 60 second drills I’ve seen this season college or pro in his first game of the 2010 season against LSU.

...

One thing that he shows that I really like is the ability to stay on the same page and read the improvisation of his receivers. His receiver we’ll point somewhere, he’ll SEE IT, and he’ll make the throw. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s pretty rare for a quarterback to be able to see everything on the field and have the game be slow for him to where he can make those kinds of reads and decisions on the fly.

...

His timing and anticipation are about as good as it gets at this level.

...

Under Pressure: This is his biggest weakness, really. He’s a safe decision maker under pressure, but he will also get sacked.

...

His touch on short passes is natural, and on the deep verticals is downright perfect. The ball doesn’t sail, he gets the nose of the football down. If you want to see a deep passing CLINIC, then watch his game against Florida State this year.

...

He is very calm on the field, communicates well. I don’t see him angry, don’t sense selfish throws or selfish plays. He seems to get excited along with his players. I just don’t sense an issue this way.

...

He’s much quicker than Chad Henne in this way, because the feet match the speed of his mind, and he’s a quicker thinker than Chad Henne.

...

We talk a lot about upside in the Draft game. The quarterback is a unique position, because it’s one where discussions of upside are not exclusive to the subject of a guy’s size, his arm strength, his inherent accuracy, or his feet. With a quarterback there is an upside associated with how much information a guy can process at one time. There is an upside in how dedicated a guy is at getting every minute detail of the position down. There is an upside associated with how hard a guy is willing to work in order to prepare each week for the game. Those are T.J. Yates’ weapons. They’re his tools. They’re the reason he should continue to get better, the same reason why even when everyone thought guys like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady were maxed out by their fourth or fifth years in the league…they continued to get even better and better. I don’t know how good T.J. Yates will end up. What I do know is he’s really good right now, and even though I think you’re going to hear some people claim that his upside is limited, or he’s as good as he’s going to be, I can guarantee that he’ll get better…because he has the commitment to the details and the art of playing the game. Oh, and the size, arm strength, accuracy, all that? Not bad, either.


Evidently for whatever reason he was asked to throw 112 passes at his Pro Day…and he completed 110 of them.

...

I’ve been doing a lot of work on QBs and part of it is comparative work, putting clips up of similar throws from different players, which sort of highlights in your mind the difference between the players.

I have to say, Yates’ footwork is FREAK-ISH. I mean downright FREAK quality.

...

But Yates had the SMALLEST discrepancy between foot-up and arm-up motions….of any QB I measured. His feet just move that fast and his weight transferrance is that efficient. He can shuffle and reset his feet inside the pocket, and then throw the ball like boxer punch, quicker than any player in this draft.

...

The problem is, in his ultra-conservative offense, you didn’t see him throw a bunch of those intermediate sized 25 to 35 yard throws (thru the air, as the crow flies). You have to put together reams of tape to isolate enough of those throws to get a good sense for his accuracy. Luckily, nobody’s ever accused me of being lazy, when it comes to Draft stuff. I’ve found that on those throws he has what I consider requisite accuracy, which is about 80 percent hitting the WR’s hands.

And did I mention, he probably has THE most accurate deep ball in the Draft? Even more accurate than Newton or Mallett. When he played basketball, he was a star 3-point shooter. It shows in his deep ball as he drops that ball right in the bucket with great placement, timing and arc.

...

He’s an excellent game manager. That’s not a bad thing. That’s a good thing. He manages the clock. He manages situations. I don’t know if there’s a quarterback in this Draft that I would take over him if I had less than 2 minutes remaining with no timeouts and I needed to drive 50 or 60 yards to either get a touchdown or field goal to prevent losing the game. That’s saying a LOT.

...

But I see Yates as like another Trent Green, similar footwork, similar effective deep ball.


And here's a video I created on Yates last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36vRZG9ntgc

Enjoy.

ckparrothead
12-17-2011, 09:47 AM
Something I alluded to in one of my pre-Draft reports, and described in more detail in other pre-Draft writings on Yates, is the speed of his release.

I time releases. I have video software that helps me do it. It's not an exact science. You have to make some decisions about which throws you're going to isolate to time, as there are different kinds of throws and each type of throw will carry it's own unique release. I try and isolate about a dozen for each prospect throws that I feel are uniform in type and distance.

While it's easy to decide when to STOP the timer (ball is off the hand), it's tough to decide when to start the timer. That is what led me to create two release times for every prospect. There's a wind-up release measurement (which tends to take less time) and a lead-foot release measurement (which tends to take more time).

T.J. Yates' average lead-foot total release neasurement was by far the fastest in last year's Draft. By a long shot. There were good, quick releases, and then there was T.J. Yates.

This can be a big deal. Normal quarterbacks have about a 0.45 to 0.50 second release time. A guy like Colin Kaepernick who had a notoriously slow release ends up more in the 0.55 to 0.65 range. And then you've got T.J. Yates punching the ball out there with the quickness of a professional boxer at about 0.25 to 0.35 seconds.

At the speed that defensive backs close on the football, especially the ones with good closing speed, a mere two tenths of a second shaved off your release can translate to 4 to 6 extra feet of separation. That can be the difference between a caught ball and an interception. It can be the difference between catching the ball and being tackled immediately, or catching the ball and gaining 20 yards after the catch. It can be the difference between a touchdown in the tight red area, or kicking a field goal.

Just one of the tools in Yates' tool box. He uses it well. Look at that touchdown he threw to Joel Dreessen in the Falcons game. That doesn't happen without that quick release.

ArlingtonTexan
12-17-2011, 09:53 AM
:goodpost:

Thanks for sharing. We have college football draft section on this site. I am sure that those guys would appreciate any contribution and information about some of your methodogy. Look forward to seeing more.

Playoffs
12-17-2011, 10:16 AM
Good stuff.

I'd be interested to see where you had Dalton's release?

Not sure I saw it in college, but I've seen some wicked quick decision/release times from Andy in the NFL -- Marino-esque.

b0ng
12-17-2011, 10:28 AM
You're from finheaven I've seen your posts. Good call on Yates, I personally did not think he was going to even passable as an NFL QB, especially in his first year.

IDEXAN
12-17-2011, 10:29 AM
One of the more surprising and really remarkable stats on Yates is that he's not just a multi-year starter in college, not just a 3 year atarter, but a 4-year starter at North Carolina. And he's a QB. When is the last time you've heard of a 4-year starting QB in college, and a major college conference at that ? OK NC isn't the SEC, but it's the ACC which is major-league in college football last time I checked ?

thunderkyss
12-17-2011, 10:40 AM
Something I alluded to in one of my pre-Draft reports, and described in more detail in other pre-Draft writings on Yates, is the speed of his release.

Just one of the tools in Yates' tool box. He uses it well. Look at that touchdown he threw to Joel Dreessen in the Falcons game. That doesn't happen without that quick release.

Wow, I was already feeling good & optimistic about Tj Yates... now I think I'm in love.

:cow:

ObsiWan
12-17-2011, 10:43 AM
Hey guys. I come in peace.

I'm a Draft analyst for Universal Draft and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. I post a lot of work in those two places as well as various Miami Dolphins-based websites such as Finheaven.com, ThePhins.com and FinsNation.com. Last year with the South Florida Sun Sentinel we did several QB profiles on guys like Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Ryan Mallett, etc. They got some national publicity from people like Peter King, Dan Patrick, Michael Lombardi, etc. I even ended up on the NFL Network discussing one of them.

I just thought I'd share with you this look back at two scouting reports on T.J. Yates that I wrote back in December 2010 and March 2011. You might find them informative, or not. I know that there's got to be this sense that Yates kind of came out of nowhere, in the sense that it seems like nobody believed in him prior to the Draft. Certainly he never got any respect on the boards of guys like Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, or even Chad Reuter/Rob Rang or Wes Bunting.

I don't believe quarterbacks come from nowhere. Guys that truly come from nowhere and never had anyone pounding the table for them, they are in my opinion usually just flash in the pan guys. That's why I'm posting this for you guys...to show you that some people DID see franchise quarterback potential in T.J. Yates and have been talking about it for over a year. I see recently that the Bengals claim that if they missed out on Andy Dalton, Yates would have probably been the guy they target. Bill Polian claims they had Yates targeted but the Texans took him before they could.

http://www.universaldraft.com/2011/12/11/a-look-back-qb-t-j-yates-of-north-carolina/

I'm not trying to hawk traffic. I'd like to post the full text of the article right here in the thread but character limits are preventing me from doing so...so instead I'll post some excerpts...





And here's a video I created on Yates last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36vRZG9ntgc

Enjoy.

thanks for sharing... especially the video links.

Brisco_County
12-17-2011, 10:45 AM
Thanks for posting. I agree that Yates has more upside due to his quick release and footwork. And for the Texans, one of his best attributes was his knowledge of the framework of the offense. It's like our karmic reward from the football gods for sacrificing so many players to them.

But because of the raw abilities, I do think he is our QB of the future.

And Mel Kiper is like the Charley Casserly of draft gurus. When was the last time he was right about anything?

CloakNNNdagger
12-17-2011, 10:47 AM
Welcome to the board. Nice post.

As TJ continues to gain additional experience and progresses as expected, your analyses could very well also end up reading as an NFL EPILOGUE for this young man.

beerlover
12-17-2011, 11:15 AM
Something I alluded to in one of my pre-Draft reports, and described in more detail in other pre-Draft writings on Yates, is the speed of his release.

I time releases. I have video software that helps me do it. It's not an exact science. You have to make some decisions about which throws you're going to isolate to time, as there are different kinds of throws and each type of throw will carry it's own unique release. I try and isolate about a dozen for each prospect throws that I feel are uniform in type and distance.

While it's easy to decide when to STOP the timer (ball is off the hand), it's tough to decide when to start the timer. That is what led me to create two release times for every prospect. There's a wind-up release measurement (which tends to take less time) and a lead-foot release measurement (which tends to take more time).

T.J. Yates' average lead-foot total release neasurement was by far the fastest in last year's Draft. By a long shot. There were good, quick releases, and then there was T.J. Yates.

This can be a big deal. Normal quarterbacks have about a 0.45 to 0.50 second release time. A guy like Colin Kaepernick who had a notoriously slow release ends up more in the 0.55 to 0.65 range. And then you've got T.J. Yates punching the ball out there with the quickness of a professional boxer at about 0.25 to 0.35 seconds.

At the speed that defensive backs close on the football, especially the ones with good closing speed, a mere two tenths of a second shaved off your release can translate to 4 to 6 extra feet of separation. That can be the difference between a caught ball and an interception. It can be the difference between catching the ball and being tackled immediately, or catching the ball and gaining 20 yards after the catch. It can be the difference between a touchdown in the tight red area, or kicking a field goal.

Just one of the tools in Yates' tool box. He uses it well. Look at that touchdown he threw to Joel Dreessen in the Falcons game. That doesn't happen without that quick release.

Really interesting stuff man. Could you tell us how Yates release time compares to say Aaron Rodgers? Sure seems to me this is Aaron Rodgers biggest asset in his toolbox, if so says only good things for Yates moving forward :)

drs23
12-17-2011, 12:37 PM
:goodpost:

Great read. Thanks for posting. For some reason I feel even better going forward.

TJ, TJ, TJ :texflag:

Rey
12-17-2011, 12:46 PM
Excellent information. Great posts. Need to digest.

GuerillaBlack
12-17-2011, 01:30 PM
A lot of the things I'm reading in the article have already come true. I'm really starting to believe that TJ Yates is truly legit, and will be our franchise QB sooner than most think...

The Pencil Neck
12-17-2011, 01:32 PM
Great stuff.

Many of us were surprised when Yates was drafted. Most of us hadn't expected a QB to be taken, let alone that early in the draft.

There was a lot of confusing stuff out there. Some guys liked him, some guys didn't. Some people said he had poor arm strength and other flaws.

But when I looked at some of his plays, I really liked what I saw. Except for what looked like a low release point, I liked the quickness of his release and the zip on his ball. I didn't see the arm strength issues some people had claimed.

Most of us, after a bit of reflection, ended up liking the pick.

Right now, he's looking really solid in this offense. I think he ended up in the perfect place for him.

False Start
12-17-2011, 01:35 PM
Thanks a lot for this. Great reading all these good things about TJ. The last TJ we had was a waste of space, I have feeling this TJ will be a great player for years to come! :texflag:

SAMURAITEXAN
12-17-2011, 02:46 PM
Thank you for excellent post. I look forward to your sharing info of college football players at our draft section on this site in the future.

TexansLucky13
12-18-2011, 11:32 AM
I don’t know if there’s a quarterback in this Draft that I would take over him if I had less than 2 minutes remaining with no timeouts and I needed to drive 50 or 60 yards to either get a touchdown or field goal to prevent losing the game.

I'm pretty sure every Texans fan can agree with that!!!