Size: He is listed at 6’3”, 237 pounds but he doesn’t look that big on film to me. Would estimate him at 6’2”, 230 pounds just based on how big he looks on film. Looks pretty skinny and doesn’t look that tall to me. He has the size to be a NFL QB, even if he’s a little taller and bigger than he looks to me on film, but he looks more like a smaller, scrambling quarterback than a big, filled out pocket passer.
Arm Strength: Sorensen has a NFL arm, there’s no doubt about that. He has a live arm and can make all the throws with quality velocity. I’ve watched him throw passes from the left hash to the right sideline on a rope, he flashed a deep ball a time or two, and he makes plenty of impressive throws without his feet set both in the pocket and when he scrambles outside of the tackle box. His arm strength is definitely impressive, and it’s one of his best assets. I do have questions about his ability to challenge the deep half of the field, just because I only saw him do it a couple times, but I think he has the arm strength to do it.
Accuracy: Sorensen’s accuracy isn’t elite, but I believe it is NFL caliber without a doubt. He will miss the occasional throw like any quarterback will, but he regularly throws accurate passes both on short and intermediate throws. He very often places the ball on the correct shoulder and leads his receivers correctly so that they can catch the ball and immediately turn up field for RAC opportunities. He rarely challenged the deep half of the field, but when he did the throws weren’t as accurate as his other throws. They weren’t always thrown to the correct shoulder and at times were thrown too far inside, making it difficult for the receiver to make a play on it but easier for the defender. However, I was very impressed with his ability to make accurate, well placed throws without his feet set both inside and outside of the pocket. Sorensen definitely has NFL accuracy.
Mechanics: I’m not wild about Sorensen’s mechanics. This isn’t a significant issue at his listed height of 6’3” or even 6’4” which I have seen, but he has a ¾ release and that may cause some of his passes to get batted down at the LOS. He has a quick release, though too often he throws off balance and at times fades away from throws in the face of pressure. This isn’t a consistent thing, but I’ve seen it. He doesn’t have great footwork and rarely drops back straight from center so it’s hard to evaluate his footwork on his drops from under center. When he scrambles he shows the ability to keep his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, but also throws with inconsistent mechanics when he is scrambling which is why his ball placement in spite of his mechanics is particularly impressive.
Athleticism: Because I saw a listed height and weight for Sorensen at 6’4”, 237 pounds (which is about the same size as me) I did not expect him to be so athletic and mobile, but I was consistently impressed with his ability to avoid the rush, change directions quickly and with burst, and to extend plays/get yardage with his legs. He’s not a great/elite runner, but he is a lot more mobile than I anticipated before I had watched him. He definitely has the mobility to extend plays at the next level and made some very impressive moves evading rushers that almost reminded me of a FCS level Tyrod Taylor.
Pre/Post-Snap Reads: This is one of my big concerns with Sorensen’s game coming into his senior season. He has a solid feel for pre-snap reads and makes checks at the line of scrimmage at times, but he makes a lot of pre-determined throws. He almost always throws to his primary read on the play, and constantly stares down one side of the field or even one receiver. This makes it easier for defensive backs to make plays on the ball, and if FCS defenders are breaking on passes and causing incompletions you have to worry about what will happen when he’s facing powerhouse D-1 athletes or even worse NFL caliber athletes in the secondary. It’s a very bad habit, but he does FLASH (I can’t emphasize that enough) that he can come off his primary read and make a throw, but it is anything but consistent. That is the thing I will be looking for improvement in as much as anything. Far too often he takes the snap (in shotgun on top of that), stares down one side of the field, makes a quick throw if it’s open, holds onto it if it’s not and either forces it or drops his eyes and tries to escape or takes a sack. That’s a serious problem, and I want to see him improve his ability to go through his reads. Because right now his post-snap reads are in their very early development stage, they’re barely there but they exist. He frequently misses open receivers because he stares down one side of the field and ignores the other side. You can’t make those mistakes that consistently and survive at the next level. However, he does show a level of anticipation when he is throwing to his primary read, though he rarely (if ever) showed me that he could throw with anticipation on secondary reads. He regularly delivers throws with good timing and has shown that he can throw his receivers open with his ball placement and timing. That’s very encouraging despite his issues missing open receivers. However, I really want to see him improve his ability to read a Cover-2 defense, because he regularly struggled to attack significant holes between the corner and safety when defenses presented him with these coverages. They were there, he just rarely hit them. That has something to do with his issues staring receivers down, but there were a number of times he had a 10+ yard window between the corner and safety and he didn’t take advantage of it, usually preferring to check down instead of pushing the ball downfield. He could have thrown it a little late and still gotten away with it due to his arm strength but he just never saw it. I’ll be paying close attention to how he progresses in these areas when I get the chance to watch him during his senior year.
Pocket Poise: This is another of my concerns with Brad Sorensen’s game. He doesn’t have much pocket poise currently and that results in him making one read and then dropping his eyes to scramble and run. That’s a very bad habit for a quarterback to have and it does not project well to the NFL in any way, shape or form. He needs to break that habit and go through more of his progressions if he wants to make it as a NFL quarterback. To be fair, his offensive line is not a good unit and he doesn’t always have quality pass protection, and that likely has something to do with his internal clock running out faster than it should. Still, he has good enough protection that it doesn’t excuse him doing this as often as he does, and he doesn’t show me consistent ability to manipulate the pocket without dropping his eyes and scrambling. He FLASHES the ability to step up in the pocket and seems to have a solid feel for the rush at times, but instead of stepping up just enough to force the rush wide he will keep stepping up in the pocket and throw off balance with his chest parallel to the LOS like he was getting ready to scramble. He needs to work on side-stepping the rush, stepping up in the pocket without leaving it prematurely, and not dropping his eyes so often when his primary read isn’t there. This is one of the most concerning parts about his game, because mobile quarterbacks that play in spreads often struggle to kick these bad habits, and if he can’t then his game won’t translate to the NFL.
Decision Making: I was actually relatively satisfied with Sorensen’s decision making. He will force passes against solid or good coverage because of his struggles to make complete reads but doesn’t seem to panic and force bad passes as a result of pressure. He would be a much better decision maker if he could see the whole field instead of just 1/3 of it on any given play. But he will take sacks instead of forcing a throw he shouldn’t, and while that isn’t ideal, I think it reflects some level of understanding that a sack is usually better than a turnover. This part of his game could improve, but if he improves his ability to make reads and progressions post-snap and learns to manipulate the pocket better his decision making will look better and improve naturally.
Intangibles: I can’t speak to Sorensen’s intangibles, but he does make checks at the line of scrimmage regularly and helps get his teammates lined up at times. I also think he has some mental toughness and doesn’t unravel if he makes a mistake or misses a throw. For example, in the game I watched against Northern Arizona it was a tight game and his team was down 17-3 at one point after he turned the ball over on an inaccurate throw and he marched the team down to the opposing red zone. The team ended up in a 3rd and 20 on the opposing 27 yard line and it looked like the drive was going to stall for a field goal or no points, but Sorensen stepped up to avoid the rush, delivered a strike on a deep corner route and while it was a little underthrown (traveling 30 yards downfield from the right hash to the left numbers) it was accurate, his WR caught it, and immediately turned upfield avoiding the defensive back covering him and scored a touchdown. That play changed the game, and it was the pocket manipulation, arm strength, placement and mental toughness from Sorensen that made it possible. NFL quarterbacks make mistakes, but they have to walk back onto the field and walk their team down the field and respond when they do. Sorensen proved to me that he is at least capable of that, and that matters.
Character: I don’t have any insight into Sorensen’s character beyond that I could tell he really hates losing and wants to win. He didn’t show much outward frustration even when his receivers were dropping passes that were bouncing right off their hands after Sorensen made a good throw, he didn’t get mad when he was under consistent pressure as a result of his offensive line, and he didn’t collapse when his team was down two scores and he turned the ball over. He led the team back for a touchdown right before the end of the first half, changing the entire momentum of the game, and ended up winning the game 27-24 in part because he made a gorgeous NFL throw on the move on a 3rd and 10 with 2 minutes left when he was backed up in his own territory. That conversion enabled them to keep the ball, run the ball three times for a first down, and then kneel it twice to seal the win. He’s definitely got the ability to make a key play when his team needs it most, and that is something I never discount when I’m scouting a football player. You can’t teach that, you either have it or you don’t. I think Sorensen does.
Overall: Sorensen has plenty of NFL talent and there are a number of things to like about him. He has enough size to be a NFL quarterback even if he is only 6’2” like I am hypothesizing. He has more than enough mobility to survive in the NFL and I think he can even be a threat to pick up some yardage when a play breaks down, and I would estimate him in the 4.75 range for the 40 yard dash. Not a burner, but agile enough to make you pay if you play man coverage and don’t keep an eye on him. He has a NFL arm without a doubt in my mind, and while he doesn’t have a howitzer I would give him a good grade for his arm strength and velocity, especially because he can make throws with impressive velocity without his feet set or while he is throwing on the move. On top of that he shows consistently good ball placement on short and intermediate throws, whether he is in the pocket or throwing without his feet set. I am also intrigued by his intangibles and I think he is a pretty good decision maker for a player who struggles to or doesn’t make NFL level reads. I was encouraged by his ability to show anticipation on his primary reads, and I want to see him improve on that and start to do that on secondary reads. But his issues staying in the pocket, dropping his eyes to scramble after making a single read, missing open receivers in various coverages (but particularly Cover-2 and Cover-3) and staring down his primary read are all very concerning. He has another year to improve on these flaws, but a couple of them are serious red flags for me when I’m scouting a quarterback prospect. I’ll reserve judgment until he has played his remaining year of football, but I need to see significant progress in those problem areas before I can give him a Day Two grade.
Projection: 5th round. Sorensen has NFL ability and I would be surprised if he didn’t get drafted, but if he were in the draft right now he would be a guy with a NFL arm that, to quote Trent Dilfer from the Elite 11 show, needs to work on being a surgeon instead of a butcher. He has the mobility to get away with his lack of pocket poise and his non-existent progressions, but his athleticism won’t mask his deficiencies in those areas at the NFL level, so he needs to start working to improve in those areas if he wants to be viewed as anything beyond a talented project. I like him and his tools, but he has some serious question marks that I need to see improvement on before I’ll hop on the bandwagon.
Thanks for reading! Logan Thomas and Geno Smith scouting reports are in the pipeline.