40: 4.80 (estimated)
Has a good arm and gets good zip on most of his throws. Does a good job moving and sliding around the pocket, avoiding pressure. Can get outside, extend the play, and throws on the run. Does a nice job standing tough in the pocket and will take the hit and deliver the throw as well. Manages the game well. Shows ability to make nice reads with blitzed. Shows ability to check down and go to his second progression.
Decision making can dip at times. Not super accurate or wow you with his arm. Tends to force throws into coverage and tight windows downfield, leading to turnovers, and lacks the arm to really do so. At times seems to press in pressure situations. Doesn't always set his feet and will miss throws from time to time. Will throw across his body at times when rolling outside the pocket, and needs to do a better job squaring his shoulders to improve his accuracy on the run. At times needs to be smarter when giving up on a play and throwing it away.
Stanzi arguably showed the most improvement of any senior QB in the country this year from last year to this. Last year, while he was considered a winner and playmaker, he made a lot of bad decisions. Iowa began his junior year 9-0 until a sprained ankle cost him 2.5 games late in the year. This past year was by far his best, producing an 8-5 record with 64.1% completions on 345 attempts, 3004 yards, 25 TDs, 6 INTs, and 2 more rushing TDs. As a junior, he finished with a 10-1 record as a starter, completing 56.2% of 304 attempts for 2417 yards, 17 TDs, and 15 INTs. As a junior, he started 11 of 13 games, compiling an 8-3 record as a starter with 59.1% completions on 254 attempts, 1956 yards, 14 TDs, and 9 INTs.
Stanzi reminds me a lot of Tony Romo when I watch him play, mainly because he has a good, but not great arm, and his mobility. He's really improved his ability to manage the game and not make the criticial mistakes, although you see flashes of that gambling streak in him when he's asked to throw downfield. It certainly doesn't hurt that he has two solid veteran receivers to catch passes from him, which probably limited the number of turnovers he could have committed as a senior. But you like the fact that he was able to play within the system, manage the game, and allow Iowa's strong rushing attack and defense to do most of the work. He was able to still make plays of course and was much more consistent and efficient. But I have the feeling that if too much is put on his plate early in his career, he'll crumble under the pressure. I think long-term, Stanzi projects better as an NFL backup than a starter. But I do think like Romo in Dallas under Jason Garrett, if he gets three years to learn a system, he can be capable in running it. But like Romo, I think there will be questions of whether he has the innate leadership ability to be a top-level passer or whether or not he's more a product of the talent around him. That seemed to be the case at Iowa, and I don't expect it to change. I like Stanzi, and like Romo with a strong supporting cast around him he can be an above average to good starter and playoff-caliber passer. But he's not a championship caliber guy, and most NFL teams should really target him as a backup with the hope that he can be a nice developmental option and insurance policy down the road. Any team that drafts him with the intention that he should be pushing and challenging for a starting position before his third year is probably setting him up for failure.
Stanzi projects well as a backup in Atlanta, and reminds me a bit of Chris Redman, although I'm not sure his arm is quite as good. But he's more mobile than Redman. I think he could give Wilson a serious run for his money right off the bat if not be the favorite and be a nice middle round trade option down the road if he can get some opportunities to fill in for an injured Ryan three or so years down the line.
While he does have starting potential, he's unlikely to realize it until his second contract, I think a team is better off taking him in the fourth round. But a team that is desperate for some help/depth wouldn't be crazy for snagging him at the end of the third.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 3.5
Decision Making: 2.5
Pocket Awareness: 4.0
Scouting reports of the quarterbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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