Positives: Stanzi has solid size as he is pretty tall at an official 6’4” even if he does look skinny on film. He has underrated mobility and can be really tough to sack when trying to arm tackle him. He is very evasive in the pocket and has an uncanny ability to dip his shoulder or spin away from tacklers trying to take him down in the backfield. Stanzi also has a very good feel for the pocket and while he took more sacks this year than I remember seeing him take his junior year that was usually caused (in my opinion at least) by his receivers struggling to create separation, particularly against man coverage. So instead of forcing passes downfield against good coverage constantly like he did as a junior he would hold onto the ball and take a sack, which is definitely better than risking a turnover. I was also impressed by Stanzi’s arm strength. I thought it was alright, but it is actually quite good and it allows him to make every NFL throw. He can also fit the ball into tight windows because he can put enough zip on it to get it to his receiver before the defenders near him can close. This makes Stanzi particularly effective in zone coverage because even if they read his eyes quickly enough and start to break on the ball he has the arm strength to get it to his receiver before they can shut the window, and I have seen him make throws like this many times. He is also surprisingly accurate. He doesn’t have amazing accuracy, but it is definitely good. He also throws a pretty good ball on the run, though he tends to miss high on the run I have noticed. His footwork is good and he has plenty of experience in a pro style offense because of his two years of starting experience at Iowa, he is very comfortable with play action fakes, reading plays from under center and he makes pre-snap adjustments regularly as well. I am also inclined to believe that Stanzi has good intangibles, is a good teammate and a good leader. He also has pretty good footwork and while his throwing motion isn’t the fastest it is definitely not slow, but could be tweaked a bit and made faster.
Negatives: First and foremost Stanzi struggles a lot with the deep ball. I have not been particularly impressed with him throwing the fade route or on deep balls in general. He improved his decision making dramatically from his Junior season but he will still force throws into good coverage (often double coverage) downfield and because he doesn’t have a rocket arm he often puts a lot of air under his throws. That gives the coverage even more time to adjust and break on the ball, leading to a lot of tipped balls and near interceptions. So while he has come a long way in the decision making department he still has some improvement to make, especially when it comes to taking shots downfield. Stanzi’s accuracy is good overall, but at times it can be inconsistent and he rarely places the ball well on deep throws. While I believe Stanzi has a good feel for the pocket and buys time very well in the pocket he took a lot of sacks this year (or at least it seemed that way) and I think that was because he had decided not to force as many throws into coverage so he wouldn’t be at risk for as many turnovers. That is good, and it shows maturity, but now the next step is continuing to check down (which he did very well as a senior) and finding ways to get the ball out quicker, or just throwing the ball away. I have rarely seen him throw the ball away but I think that with the progression he has shown he can absolutely learn to do it, especially if he gets a year or two to develop. I have also not seen Stanzi “throw” his receivers open and sometimes his anticipation on his throws leaves something to be desired. He could also use work on going through some of his progressions because at times he seems to know where he is going with the ball before it is snapped. That can be good on a quick throw but bad on plays that take longer to develop.
Overall: I like Stanzi a lot as a prospect, especially because this quarterback class is so weak. He may not have a rocket arm, but his short and intermediate passes have plenty of zip and he has good enough accuracy to challenge defenses on 15+ yard throws downfield with quality passes. He will struggle to truly stretch the field over the top though because he does not have an accurate deep ball and doesn’t have the requisite arm strength to lead his receivers beyond safety help. The only quality deep passes I have seen him throw were passes with little or no over the top safety help where he could float the ball and let his receiver run under it. But Stanzi worked very hard to improve as a Senior and it showed in his stats, and I think he has the potential to be a very effective leader in the NFL as he was at Iowa. I don’t think he will ever be a Pro-Bowler just because he doesn’t have an abundance of natural talent, but he will get the most out of his ability because of his work ethic and attitude. He will probably still make some bad decisions and bad throws on deep passes in the NFL, but he can definitely be a quality starter despite the occasional mistakes downfield. He has the arm strength to keep defenses honest so they can’t just take away the short routes that he throws well. Plus I think he has a good feel for the pocket and buys time without leaving the pocket quite well.
Projection: 3rd round. He is a bit underrated in my opinion but I would definitely pick him in the 3rd. Like I said, he probably won’t ever be a Pro-Bowler but I think you can win a Super Bowl with him, especially with his intangibles and work ethic.
SKILLS 1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 3.5
Decision Making: 3.5
Pocket Awareness: 4.0
Hopefully you enjoyed my Stanzi scouting report. As promised Marcell Dareus is still being worked on, and I will finish up some more quarterback reports here in the near future. Thanks for reading!