Scouting Report: QB Kyle Trask 6’5” 240 (Florida)
Film Graded: I watched every throw and run he made in 2020. Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M, LSU, Missouri, Georgia, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Tenacious, tough and competitive instinctive touch passer. Unorthodox. Slightly above average arm strength. Decent accuracy. It is not always pretty, but he gets the job done. This guy does not back off and he does not back down. I really liked what I saw out of him last season in the LSU and Alabama game. He was down, but he kept coming at them. Perseveres. Loaded with intangibles. Trask was the toughest evaluation I did in this year’s draft class because of inconsistencies in accuracy and placement, but through it all, he shines. Productive winner. Mentality of a winner. He keeps moving his team forward. Keeps driving forward. Excels at throwing some absolutely beautiful touch passes. Gets in trouble when he tries to force it in there, especially in tight coverage. At times he throws some errant passes or can fumble in the pocket. Sometimes throws some really errant looking passes or holds the ball too long, but that got better as the season progressed. Will throw some interceptions. Have to take the good with the bad with this one. Trask is at his best when everything breaks down around him. Uncanny accuracy in these situations. Inconsistencies in accuracy and placement. Best at short and long range passes. Led the nation with 43 touchdown passes. Finished 2nd in the nation in passing yards (4,283). Knows how to get his team in the end zone against high level college competition. Showed leadership. Gets visibly excited at times. Passionate. Has some fire. Trask is a cross between Tim Tebow (intangibles) and Brett Favre (unorthodox gunslinger who can throw interceptions). Gets into trouble when he tries to throw into tight coverage in the intermediate part of the field and tries to steer the ball. Occasionally, can throw some really errant and ill-advised passes when he is trying too hard to make something happen.
Kyle Trask ran the Gator’s offense primarily out of the shotgun formation. Did good directing traffic pre-snap. The announcer during the Arkansas game said he thinks Trask is the best “read a defense QB” (pre-snap) in college football. Sometimes locks in with receivers, but also showed he can scan and read the field and go through his progressions. Trask knows where to attack in man and where to go with the ball in zone. He does a very good job buying time in the pocket and sliding around to create route leverage downfield. Trask has an excellent play-action fake that is convincing – it is hard to tell if the back has the ball or he still has the ball. Overused play action on most every throw. Tough as nails in the pocket. Patient. Will hang in there until the last second under heavy pressure and fire. Takes some real shots, but bounces back. Good instincts in the pocket. Feels rush. Tends to take sacks rather than throwing the ball away. Looks the part in the pocket. Looks natural. He is at his best moving around and improvising on the move.
Trask has a decent arm. Sometimes will really try to drive the ball off his back foot into coverage. Sometimes releases from an unbalanced position. Delivery tends to sail high – can sail too high. Does a good job of spreading the ball around.
Excels in the short range when he can make quick decision throws. Take snap, pivot and throw. Trask excels throwing screens to backs and quick slants and shallow crossing routes where he can put the ball out in front of the receivers.
Inconsistencies show up at the intermediate route level. Tends to be at his best when he can hit a wide open receiver or he can just lay it in there with touch.Best when he can put the ball out in front of the receiver and he can go and get it. This is the route level where his lack of arm strength shows up the most. Can put a little zip on the ball when he has to. Can lock in at times at this level, hold the ball too long and receivers have to wait on the ball sometimes. Tends to struggle most at the intermediate route level when he tries to steer, aim or really force it in there into tight coverage. Is much better when he just lays it in there.
Trask throws some beautiful and well placed touch deep passes – even in tighter coverages will just drop it in there when there are two or three defensive backs standing around the receiver. He can really throw it into a bucket from long range. Can also get off target occasionally. Inconsistent, but more good than bad. It is all or nothing with Trask at this range.
He is not going to beat a defense by running. Slightly above average playing speed and he is not elusive, but one thing he is – is tough. Likes to call his own number down by the goal-line and does pick up some of the tougher hard-earned yards. He wants the end zone when running.
Trask grew on me the more I watched him. A real football player. Even punted once in a game. It is easy to pick apart the inconsistencies in his game, but what I really noticed the more I watched him in his full body of work is this guy has got it. Football is important to him and he plays to win. System quarterback that should go to an instinctive offense that features touch and quick decision routes. Does not fit the traditional mold. Offense needs to be tailored to his strengths along the lines of Tebow. Trask is loaded with intangibles. There is something to him and that became more apparent to me the more I watched him.
I found myself saying “wow,” many times on some of his throws – they were special. Threw some incredible looking passes. (College career completion percentage: Trask 67.9%, Wilson 67.6%, Lawrence 66.6% and Lance 65.4%). Trask is highly competitive. Tough, scrappy and gutsy young man from Texas. You can punch him in the mouth and he is coming back for more. His background says he perseveres and he always rises to the top. It may take a little time, but it is a consistent theme with him, he comes out on top in every situation he has been in. Back-up in high school. From 2016-18 started 4 games. Suffered season-ending foot injury in 2018. Started every game since Feleipe Franks’ season-ending injury in 2019. He went six seasons between starts from high school to college. Trask has the look and feel of an unorthodox winner to me. He has what it takes from the neck up. He became the first QB in SEC history to have 4+ touchdowns in 5 straight games. Trask’s grandfather, Orville, played defensive tackle in the NFL for two seasons (1960-1961 with the Houston Oilers). Trask was even named after a football field (Kyle Field Texas A&M). Coached by Dan Mullen at Florida who has developed QBs Alex Smith, Tim Tebow and Dak Prescott. All he needs is a solid opportunity and a team who believes in him and will get behind him.
Where would I draft Kyle Trask?
Daniel Kelly’s Draft Board: Trask is on my board in the first round (10-32). The LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma State games solidified it in my mind. Despite losing those three games this kept slinging it and he never gave up. He did everything he could to win and that is exactly the type of fierce competitor I want under center. Trask is QB3 for my money behind Fields and Jones and the way it will play out we may very well see Trask having the most success of any quarterback in this draft class. Has that about him. Has the most intangibles. My favorite QB from the neck up. I can absolutely see a team like Washington taking him at 19. Easy player for me to love. Really resonates with me. I would pull the trigger on this one and make him my QB.
If I were a GM, this is the question I need to have answered in my mind about Kyle Trask: This is the one and only question I would ask him while staring into his eyes: Are you going to win the Super Bowl?
My Top 6 concerns about Kyle Trask:
- Occasional errant passes and interception risk.
- Arm strength and receivers occasionally looking like they are waiting on passes.
- Intermediate routes.
- Inconsistent accuracy and placement
- Holding the ball too long at times
- Operated exclusively out of the shotgun.
How NFL defenses will beat him: Watch the first half of the LSU game. They showed the world the game plan. Get after him with blitz after blitz after blitz. Aggressively attack him before he gets you. Get on him and seriously disrupt his pocket. Make him throw into tight windows. Be super aggressive. Drop safeties to the deep halves to help take away deeper throws.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.