Ryan Hilinski 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report
- Transferred from South Carolina program to enroll at Northwestern
- Set multiple school passing records during 11-game run as starter during true freshman season, including most consecutive pass attempts without an interception (180)
- Brother of late Washington State QB Tyler Hilinski and very involved in Hilinski’s Hope Foundation, dedicated to student-athlete mental wellness
- Scheme tendencies: Pro/spread hybrid
- 2022 projected role: Starting QB
Pros: Ryan Hilinski is a big-armed quarterback who showcased plenty of promise as a true freshman at the University of South Carolina. He produced a number of big-time throws against prominent competition in the SEC. With prototypical size and sufficient mobility within the pocket, Hilinski has shown himself capable of extending plays by sliding or drifting away from pressure and allowing his receivers to uncover. But just as important is his mental and physical toughness—he’s shown a willingness to stare down the barrel and take hits if it means his receiver gets the time needed to uncover against man coverage. There are some flashes of anticipation in his game as well to throw to a spot or throw away from leveraged defenders in zone coverage. I can appreciate the football IQ Hilinski offers in understanding calls and protections. He’s an active communicator before the snap and the Northwestern offense gives him an experience that will serve as a firm launch point to the NFL game.
Cons: While Ryan Hilinski has had his flashes, his consistency is simply too erratic at this point to gloss over and assume he’ll outgrow. There are throws that sail high, wide, or one-hop to the target and those issues are typically prominent when his process is rushed. I’m not sure how robust his skill set is to make defenses wrong if things don’t go to script early in the down. He’s been a bit of a risk-taker too and his internal clock is not always reflective of how much urgency (for better or worse) he should truly have. Accuracy in general is a big area of improvement for Hilinski this upcoming season, as he’s completed just 57% of his pass attempts entering 2022 and the previously mentioned errant throws will be hard to look over if he continues on his current trajectory. He’s also thrown just 182 pass attempts over the last two seasons; we need those reps to serve as a springboard to improved play this season.
Ryan Hilinski NFL Draft Scouting Report by Kyle Crabbs