Texas Christian Senior
Has a good arm with good zip that can make all of the throws. Has nice athleticism and is comfortable outside the pocket. Does a good job on rollouts and throwing on the run, as well as picking up yards when the pass breaks down. Shows toughness as a runner, and is willing to also throw a block for the ballcarrier on a reverse. Works well with the quick, short, passing game. Has flexibility to call audibles and make calls at the line of scrimmage. Utilizes the pump fake well. Shows ability to show good touch on his throws, able to drop it in the bucket and let his receiver run under it. Able to go to his second read. Makes quick decisions with the ball, showing nice anticipation on routes and coverages. Shows some ability to slide and move within the pocket.
Works almost exclusively out of the shotgun, and needs some work with his footwork in the pocket. Doesn't always show consistent accuracy, particularly when throwing down the field. Will overthrow receivers at times, but more often underthrows them. Deep passes tend to hang up. Will throw into coverage, and seems to have trouble at times looking off the safety. Often goes to his first read. Can be more prone to make mistakes when pressured.
Dalton is a smart, experience quarterback that has all the tools you look for in an NFL quarterback, except he doesn't stand out in any way. But he was productive at TCU and they won a lot of games with him as their quarterback. The past two years were his best, where he helped lead TCU to a 25-1 record, combining for 63.8% completions on 639 attempts for 5613 yards, 50 TDs, and 14 INTs. The previous two years, he combined for 17-6 record with 59.6% completions on 678 attempts for 4701 yards, 21 TDs, and 16 INTs. He also rushed for 1611 yards (3.9 avg) and 22 touchdowns during his career. He missed two starts as a sophomore with a shoulder injury, and was injured late this past year with an elbow injury, but didn't miss a game.
Dalton is going to make a very good backup at the next level. I also think he can be developed into a good starter because he's smart, manages the game well, and can run most NFL offenses. But I don't think he has the skillset that he's an ideal starter. The thing to really like about Dalton that he probably does as good as anybody in this draft class, is making those initial pre-snap reads. He almost always knows where the ball is going when he snaps it, and thus he's able to make quick decisions with the ball and it's why TCU's offense was so efficient the past few years. That ability right there is critical for success as a passer at the next level. What I'm not so in love with as far as Dalton goes is that he still throws too many passes into coverage despite this. But I do think in the long run, that he's going to be a smart, accurate passer that can shine in a dink and dunk offense. Give him a running game and a defense like he had at TCU, and you have what can be a very good game manager. He has experience, leadership ability, and thus grades well in the intangibles. But he's not a franchise passer. But a team that probably sits him for two or so years, is going to be benefited with a good, solid starting quarterback. The comparison I would make is a poor man's Matt Ryan. I think like Ryan, he'll be limited somewhat by the fact that he's not good in a vertical passing attack, but I don't think he grades as highly in the intangibles department, particularly when it comes to clutch performance. But that's not a knock on Dalton, because I think he has clutch capabilities. Five years from now, I could see him being a Top 15 QB because he's efficient and doesn't make a lot of mistakes. But he's more of the Matt Schaub/Chad Pennington/Trent Green type of QB that grows into a starting position, than someone that I think is ready to start off the bat. While I think he can handle being a rookie starter, I don't think it's something that is going to make him better. His game is too limited to think he would be good as a rookie. He needs time to grow and develop and mature from a spread attack to a more pro-style attack. I'm confident he can and will mature, but it's not something that he should be forced to do in his first or second year in the league. PLaying him too early, you're more likely to get Max Hall than you are going to get Matt Ryan.
Dalton would be a nice backup here because he fits well in the Falcons more ball-control oriented passing game. He's not going to stretch the field very much, but can be smart and efficient on the shorter throws. And three or four years down the line, the Falcons can trade him for picks.
Dalton probably has a talent level comparable to most third round picks, but because his intangibles mean he has pretty good long-term upside means that his value is pushed up into the second round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 3.0
Decision Making: 3.5
Pocket Awareness: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.