Positives: Very good height and some mobility. Definitely has room to add more weight and to get stronger. Has a quick release and has good touch on his throws. Seems to have a good feel for how to set up screens and does a good job of drawing the defense in. Isn’t afraid to take a hit to deliver a throw. Seems to have good accuracy when he steps into his throws and throws an accurate deep ball. Flashes a bit of anticipation by throwing his receivers open at times. Has pretty good arm strength and flashes some impressive zip on intermediate throws downfield that he throws on a line. Usually keeps his shoulders squared to the line when scrambling and keeps his eyes downfield.
Negatives: He looks extremely skinny on film and really needs to add weight and get stronger if he is going to be able to stick as a starter. He doesn’t have a lot of starting experience as he transferred from Oregon to Montana. His throwing motion is very quick but it almost seems too quick at times, especially on shorter throws. He seems to be throwing darts. That and his mechanics aren’t consistent on his throws as on longer throws he has a better throwing motion but on short throws it is much shorter and he doesn’t bring the ball back as far. His footwork also needs a lot of work as he will regularly throw off of his back foot or sometimes he will throw flat footed without stepping into his passes. This makes his ball placement inconsistent on any throws short or intermediate. He also worked out of shotgun a lot so he will have to learn how to take snaps from under center and how to execute three, five and seven step drops. Additionally, he doesn’t know how to read defenses well and regularly stares down his primary target. That is the only time he can anticipate a throw and throw his wide receiver open, which is a bit concerning. He also will make bad decisions when pressured at times and throw passes that he shouldn’t because he doesn’t scan the field. That combined with throws off of his back foot contributed a lot to the 11 interceptions he had as a senior. I’m not sure he has much pocket poise either, and the offense he executed involved a lot of screens and dump off throws.
Overall: Roper definitely has some intriguing ability because of his size, the zip he puts on his throws, the accuracy he flashes when his mechanics are relatively sound and because he throws a nice deep ball. However, his fundamentals need a lot of developing and he won’t be ready to be a #2 on a depth chart for a few years, much less a starter. I think if he gets drafted or signed as a UDFA he could stick on a practice squad or maybe as a #3 if he impresses in training camp, and I think that would be ideal. It would allow him to get stronger, to work on his fundamentals and to get coached up. His mechanics need tweaking, he needs to learn how to go through all of his drops, he needs to watch a lot of film to learn how to read defenses better so he can pick up on tendencies and learn how to go through progressions, and hopefully his pocket poise will improve with some better coaching so that he can get a chance to be a starter at some point. Roper is definitely raw but I like some of the ability he flashes, so he could be an intriguing long-term developmental prospect for someone. In all likelihood he will end up a career back-up and may even end up in the CFL at some point, but I think he can stick on a NFL roster if he gets to work with a good, patient QB coach who can develop his fundamentals.
Projection: 6th/7th round or UDFA. It’s hard to predict where some of these later round QB’s will fall because teams that want a QB late could pick them earlier than I expect because this QB class leaves so much to be desired or they could pass up on a QB for that same reason and just see what they can sign in free agency after the draft is over. Roper will be a late round pick or a UDFA, and whether or not he gets drafted I think he can stick on a practice squad as a rookie.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Arm Strength: 3.5
Decision Making: 2.0
Pocket Awareness: 2.0
Thanks for reading!