New York Jets UDFA Breakdown – QB Jake Heaps

Joe Malfa continues our series breaking down the New York Jets undrafted free agents. Don’t miss Seth Plaut’s look at Taiwan Jones. Today, we look at quarterback Jake Heaps…

Position: QB

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 210 LBS

40 Time: 5.08

Vertical: N/A

Broad Jump: 8’10”

Bench Press: 11

Projected Round: Undrafted (Ranked 831st overall according to CBS)

College Career: 5,233 yards, 32 TDs, and 27 INTs (over 4 years with BYU, Kansas, and Miami)

Heaps had a very disappointing college career considering he was a five-star recruit and the top-ranked pocket-passer in his class. He started at BYU as a freshman, but lost his job to Riley Nelson as a sophomore. He transferred to Kansas and sat out a year (as per the NCAA transfer rules) before having mild success as the starter in 2013. He transferred to Miami as a graduate student ahead of last season, but was beat out for the starting job by true freshman Brad Kaaya.

What Others Say

Officially a New York Jet!! It’s truly an incredible feeling to have all the hard work and dedication pay off! #JETS

— Jake Heaps (@jtheaps9) May 11, 2015
The Jets typically sign one or two tryout players out of rookie minicamp. But Heaps [and Copeland] have a long way to go before they make the team or even the practice squad, between the rest of spring workouts and training camp. At this point, they are just additional bodies on the Jets’ offseason roster, before the team must start trimming in August, from 90 players on the roster to 75, and then eventually to 53.

—Darryl Slater May 11, 2015 (NJ.com)

Best Case Scenario: He has a strong showing in camp and can stick on as a 3rd-string QB elsewhere — with Geno Smith, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, and Mat Simms, there is hard to see a future for Heaps in green and white.

Worst Case Scenario: He gets cut early in camp before even getting a chance to prove himself.

Analysis: Guys like Kurt Warner, Jeff Garcia, and Tony Romo do not grow on trees. In order to become a starter after going undrafted, you need either to have a special skill set that just happened to go unnoticed, or make exponential improvements to your game. Heaps is definitely not in that first category of having a special but unnoticed skill set. The five-star recruit out of high school has average arm strength, accuracy issues, and very poor mobility. These deficiencies cost him his starting job at BYU and are the reasons he never had any success at Kansas or Miami after he transferred. For Heaps to become a starter in this league, he is going to have to go the Austin Davis route — improve his game tremendously and hope for some injuries in front of him.