New York Jets NFL Draft Deep Dive – James Morgan

Greg Armstrong with a deep dive on New York Jets 4th round pick quarterback James Morgan

Check out today’s deep dive on New York Jets 4th round pick, quarterback James Morgan…

James Morgan

  • 23 years old
  • 6’4″ 229 pounds
  • 57.2% completion, 8,654 yards, 7.1 Y/A, 65 TDs & 34 interceptions

The pick at the time was a head scratcher. Taking a guy in that round who shouldn’t see the field in the foreseeable future was shocking considering who was on the board and what needs the Jets had that were more important than a backup QB.

Getting into Morgans tape, it’s tough to see him really project as anything more than a backup. I don’t feel confident that he would do anything better than what happened when Luke Falk and Trevor Siemian had to start actual NFL games last season. Now granted, the supporting cast around him in college wasn’t anything extraordinary so that does sway his production negatively. However, there were a lot of things on the football field that simply don’t get me excited.

Positives

He does have the arm talent to an extent to make some difficult throws. There are some plays where it looks like the ball was shot out of a cannon albeit mostly in the short and intermediate game. Morgan doesn’t make a lot of difficult throws but you can see there’s something to work with when he does push the ball down the field.

The work ethic and character are definitely positive traits but at the same time, they seem to be talked about too much in that regard on a more general note. You want a guy that is going to put the time in while also having the self awareness to realize that he’s not going to get meaningful snaps unless something has gone horribly wrong.

Morgans mechanics are fine. Overall, there’s really nothing that stands out as a red flag for him in that area. The one thing I did notice is that it takes a long windup for him to really get some juice on deep balls. It didn’t happen all the time but enough to notice. Thankfully the Jets run a lot of stuff horizontally.

The short and intermediate game was where Morgan really shined. He has good placement on throws over the middle and did put his backs and receivers in a position to run upfield on screen plays.

Negatives

Morgan isn’t great at throwing guys open. Making that jump from college defensive speed to NFL defensive speed is going to be difficult for him. I didn’t see a lot against weaker competition that makes you think he can do it against NFL guys.

His processing speed is not up to par. There are times where it takes him too long to go through progressions while also not realizing that the pocket was collapsing. The offensive line didn’t do him many favors (the Miami game in ’18 was a bloodbath) but at some point you have to realize that the ball needs to come out quicker and that clock needs to accelerate. Taking what the defense gives you is certainly a skill and it takes him too long to figure that part out too much. Definitely needs work in this area.

Morgan is a very conservative QB. I’m not sure if it was because his surrounding cast wasn’t as good or maybe he didn’t trust himself in that aspect but pushing the ball down the field was certainly on the back burner. There were some games where Florida International was trailing by a lot. And at that point, what is there to lose? Push that puppy and see if you can make things happen. Too often he’d settle for the underneath stuff which isn’t bad but at some point you have to take some shots.

He doesn’t have great natural touch. While he does have the arm talent on a general basis, too many times he rifles a ball when just a regular throw would have gotten the job done. I found myself saying out loud a bunch of times to relax. Not every throw needs to be a fastball. It was a weird dynamic where, while having the arm talent and having some good placement he would would hurt himself sometimes with the velocity on his throws.

Overall after watching Morgan more closely, it’s even more shocking that the Jets took him where they did. If he was a 6th or 7th round guy, then it would make more sense as a camp arm. Maybe Joe Douglas sees something that I don’t (which is 1000% the case because I’m just a guy with a computer and a notepad and not the GM of an NFL team). I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t make it through camp cuts especially with how far behind rookies already will be with the current COVID situation.