Aidan O’Connell 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Joined the team in 2017 as a walk-on
- Threw for a school-record 2,741 yards with 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his lone season as the starter.
- Two-sport high school athlete (football and basketball)
- Will be 24 years old in September
- Scheme tendencies: A multiple offense with a mixture of pro-style, spread, pistol, and I-formation
- 2022 projected role: Starting QB
Pros: Quarterbacks that play with swag and moxie always endear themselves to me. Aidan O’Connell is a pure gamer. He doesn’t back down or stop throwing the pigskin no matter the circumstances. His best traits are his accuracy, touch, and ball placement. He anticipates throwing lanes opening before the wide receiver enters the territory. He’s a quick processor of information for a QB in his first year as a starter. He throws a beautiful and catchable pass with the right amount of touch. He puts the pass where his receivers can track it without rushing their process. He’s more than capable of leading his receivers away from the coverage. He has an NFL arm that meets the threshold. He’s a productive deep ball passer, completing 23 of his 47 attempts of 20-plus yards for a completion percentage of 49%. He plays well on schedule within the structure of the designed offense. In the face of pressure, O’Connell keeps his eyes downfield to find potential open receivers.
Cons: Aidan O’Connell does not have the arm to routinely rip off 60-yard bombs. His velocity and anticipation make up for that. He has a tendency to lean or drift backward in the pocket, causing his passes to lose velocity. His turnovers against Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennesse, and Notre Dame were concerning. I would like to see better ball security this season. He tends to bring defenders into the throwing lane by staring down his predetermined target. Despite being an OK athlete, he will not create routine plays with his legs. He isn’t a twitchy or dynamic mover. O’Connell is long-legged and high-hipped, creating issues to evade free runners in his face. Blitzes will speed up his process, forcing sloppy mechanics, rushed, and off-target throws. Physically limited, his profile is maxed out, leading to a limited ceiling in terms of upside at the next level. An older prospect, he will be a 25-year-old rookie next fall.
Aidan O’Connell NFL Draft Scouting Report by Damian Parson