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NFL Draft

The Ascension Of Florida QB Kyle Trask

  • The Draft Network
  • October 15, 2020
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In order to understand Kyle Trask’s journey as a potential early-round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, you have to go back to his days growing up in Manvel, Texas. He’s the son of two Texas A&M Aggies who revered their school so much they named their son after Kyle Field. 

As a young quarterback, he dreamed of being the Aggies’ signal-caller on Kyle Field, but as a backup high school passer, those dreams seemed far fetched.

In fact, the only starts he had in high school were as a freshman. Sure, he’d get mop-up duty behind prized recruit D’Eriq King, but frustrated, Trask allegedly asked his parents if he could transfer to another high school so that he could actually see playing time. They refused to allow him to transfer for the sake of football, and suddenly Trask’s dreams of being a Division I quarterback were starting to fade. 

So, he hit the camp circuit and was ultimately offered scholarships by three schools: Houston Baptist University, Lamar University, and McNeese State University. One day during spring football, King was excused from participating due to his track and field obligations, which allowed Trask to take all the reps. On that same day, the University of Florida’s defensive coordinator was there evaluating a player and asked the head coach, “Who is that?” 

He responded, “Our backup: Kyle Trask.” Florida offered him a scholarship, and the rest is history.

The Evaluation

Trask redshirted his first year (2016). In 2017, he tore his meniscus. In 2018, he played in four games and missed the rest with a foot injury. In 2019, Trask started 10 games. It was the first time he started a game since his freshman year in high school. Untraditional would be one way to describe his arrival, but the player himself is anything but. Trask, at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, is a traditional pocket passer with a prototypical size; he stands strong in the pocket. Although he’s revered for his intellectual capacity, intellect rarely has anything to do with good decision-making. 

Trask has also done a good job taking care of the football. He has poise and resiliency indicative of someone who is self-made and had to earn everything he’s received. Against LSU in 2019, he was hit early and often. Trask responded in a way a team would ideally like to see from its quarterback. He’s an average athlete overall and will not be a threat to defenders as a runner in any zone read situations. However, Trask has subtle movements within the pocket that help him to temporarily evade pressure. 

When the pocket is clean his accuracy is good, and he has a quick, compact release. However, when under duress, his accuracy has room for improvement. Trask is an easy thrower with an effortless throwing motion who spins a catchable ball. For a quarterback of his size, his arm strength is just sufficient. Trask needs to learn to generate more velocity through his base and ultimately on his throws. His pocket presence and feel within the pocket will only improve with repetition and developing an internal timer will be a result. He has instances of holding the ball too long and doesn’t have the athleticism or luxury of buying himself more time.

The Outcome

Trask is only approaching his 13th start. As he goes through the pre-draft process, NFL scouts will be mindful of this as he is an unfinished product. However, this is a projection business. 

Trask’s leadership style will be analyzed, and a team’s best leaders are usually its best players. This aspect of his game is still developing. Trask’s intangibles are intriguing, and he has the decision making and poise that’s required for the position. He will continue to develop at playing the game from the shoulders up, speeding up his timer, and throwing with anticipation. 

This year will be critical to see how he performs against good competition and how he responds to adversity at critical moments in the game. Although he likely won’t extend plays with his legs much, it wouldn’t be surprising if a team took a chance on his upside. It is a projection business, and admittedly from a talent perspective, his traits suggest that he would likely be a top-100 pick. But considering quarterbacks often get pushed up the board, it would not surprise me to see him sneak into the late first round. I have him mocked at No. 26 to the New Orleans Saints. 

Trask would thrive in an offense with west coast principles and would benefit from playing in a system with a legitimate run game, effectively utilizing his ability with play action. Ideally, the Saints wouldn’t require his services right away, and Trask could continue to develop and grow. He is a good candidate to go to the Senior Bowl, and evaluators will quickly find out if he’s wired with the right stuff to succeed. For someone who has had to grind for every opportunity he has, I would not bet against him.

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