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Cal QB Jared Goff has skills, NFL-ready talent to warrant being Rams' No. 1 pick

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  • Cal QB Jared Goff has skills, NFL-ready talent to warrant being Rams' No. 1 pick

    Cal QB Jared Goff has skills, NFL-ready talent to warrant being Rams' No. 1 pick

    April 16, 2016


    Updated April 17, 2016 10:43 a.m.


    1 of 1
    California quarterback Jared Goff looks for an open receiver against Air Force during the first half of the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29. Goff's pocket presence is considered one of his strengths. RON JENKINS, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



    As far as college quarterbacks go, Jared Goff is not among the most decorated.

    He racked up gaudy numbers, but did so in an Air Raid-styled spread offense. He was never in serious discussion for any major national awards and had to share his All-Pac-12 first-team nod this past season. He finished with a career record of 14-23.

    None of that, however, should prevent the Rams from drafting him No. 1 overall over North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz at the end of this month.

    “I went into every game thinking I’m the best player on the field,” Goff said last summer. “Because I think you have to.”

    He was reflecting on his 2013 debut at Cal, when he became the first true freshman quarterback in program history to start a season opener. That first campaign in Berkeley was miserable, with the Golden Bears winning just a single game under new coach Sonny Dykes.

    But to those who would knock Goff for not being a “winner,” consider this: The 21-year-old is already mentally prepared for the hardships of an NFL transition. He is unlikely to see his confidence shaken by even the worst losses, unlikely to be fazed by the pressure of being anointed the savior of Los Angeles pro football.

    He also checks off several other boxes, having improved his passer rating by double digits in every season. CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler and NBC Sports’ Josh Norris both rank the Bay Area product as the more attractive prospect, as does Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller said in a recent radio appearance that he would take Goff over Wentz “without a doubt.”

    Even NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, who prefers Wentz for his tools and upside, has called Goff the “most ready-to-play quarterback in this draft.”

    “You just don’t see very often college quarterbacks who have his ability both mentally and physically,” Brugler said. “His ability to throw guys open, that passing anticipating. You saw that a little bit with Jameis Winston, but he brings something different to the table – something that projects very well to the NFL level.”

    Of course, it’s easy enough to find those on the other side of the aisle, too. Wentz is still the favorite to go No. 1 on a litany of mock drafts, including one from Cris Collinsworth that predicted the Rams’ blockbuster trade a month before it was finalized.

    The case for Wentz is simple enough to understand. The Bismarck, N.D., native stands at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, giving him an inch and 20 pounds over Goff. He can heave the ball downfield like no other prospect in the draft, whereas Goff’s arm strength is only good, not great. In terms of NFL quarterback builds, it’s hard to find a better prototype than Wentz. Goff, on the other hand, has been dinged for 9-inch hands and his relatively slim frame.

    But Wentz also presents more question marks, the least of which is the fact that he faced inferior competition at an FCS program. Plenty of other quarterbacks have flourished in the NFL despite their small-school resumes: Delaware’s Joe Flacco, Northern Iowa’s Kurt Warner and Alcorn State’s Steve McNair all come to mind. Jeff Fisher was also the Houston Oilers coach when they drafted McNair third overall in 1995, which sets some precedent for the Rams to take another risk.

    The issue is that taking Wentz would almost certainly mean more risk, compounding the one that the Rams already took by trading six draft picks to the Tennessee Titans earlier this week. Fisher and General Manager Les Snead are both entering the final year of their original contracts. As much as they insist that the pick will be about the long-term future, it’s difficult to imagine their job security not factoring into the decision.

    And what Goff lacks in pure physical tools, he could make up with timing and accuracy. He didn’t play in a pro system at Cal, but the Bears’ coaching staff entrusted him to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage based on how he read the defense. And although he often had four receivers lined up, the quick decision-making required of him should translate to the next level. Goff also threw 1,568 career passes, more than double Wentz’s 612.

    Concerns about Goff’s frame may also be overblown. He was able to put on significant weight through his college career, and could add another 10 or 15 pounds as a pro. While he may not absorb big hits as well as Wentz, his fine-tuned pocket presence could help him avoid those hits in the first place.

    "I always want to go out there with something to prove,” Goff said at the NFL scouting combine. “I always have a chip on my shoulder and I always want to go out there and prove people wrong, prove people right, whatever it is.”


  • #2
    He finished with a career record of 14-23.
    But to those who would knock Goff for not being a “winner,” consider this: The 21-year-old is already mentally prepared for the hardships of an NFL transition. He is unlikely to see his confidence shaken by even the worst losses, unlikely to be fazed by the pressure of being anointed the savior of Los Angeles pro football.
    This is an interesting take. Is Goff mentally prepared for the hardships in the NFL because he was a loser in college? I'm not sure that's a great selling point, unless you're planning on losing.

    Comment


    • #3
      I've gone back and forth on this. For most of "draft season," I had Goff at the top of my board. Then, I must admit, I was won over by the Wentz upside bandwagon. Now that the Rams have the first pick, though, I've read, watched and listened to a lot of commentary, film, etc. on both, and I'm going back to my original view:

      Goff

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post



        This is an interesting take. Is Goff mentally prepared for the hardships in the NFL because he was a loser in college? I'm not sure that's a great selling point, unless you're planning on losing.
        Honestly Mike I don't think wins and losses in the college game translate to the NFL. Case-in-point, with all the wins he amassed at Alabama is AJ McCarren a star, or Cardale Jones from OSU, or Matt Barkley from USC or name me any UMiami QB who did even moderately well in the NFL other than Vinny Testaverde, back in their glory days. Today's better QB's such as Brady at Michigan, Rodgers at Cal and Brees at Purdue or Manning & Manning at Tenn & Ole Miss were not challenging for a National Championship. They did win a lot of games as Goff has done. That got them noticed. In my mind its mechanics and decision making plus playing against solid defenses and still posting impressive stats if not wins.

        I clearly agree with the article and hope that we select Goff and get him on the field as soon as he's ready. This Rams coaching staff doesn't strike me as being all that good at QB development which is why Wentz would do well in Cleveland with Hue Jackson and Lynch in NY or Denver with Chan Gailey or Gary Kubiak. Just my opinion, but did we improve Nick Foles or Case Keenum when they struggled?

        Go Rams!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post



          This is an interesting take. Is Goff mentally prepared for the hardships in the NFL because he was a loser in college? I'm not sure that's a great selling point, unless you're planning on losing.
          I'd look at it differently. If Goff can play at a school that was frequently outmanned and still distinguish himself as one of the top 2 players at his position, that says something about his talent level.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post
            Honestly Mike I don't think wins and losses in the college game translate to the NFL. Case-in-point, with all the wins he amassed at Alabama is AJ McCarren a star, or Cardale Jones from OSU, or Matt Barkley from USC or name me any UMiami QB who did even moderately well in the NFL other than Vinny Testaverde, back in their glory days. Today's better QB's such as Brady at Michigan, Rodgers at Cal and Brees at Purdue or Manning & Manning at Tenn & Ole Miss were not challenging for a National Championship. They did win a lot of games as Goff has done. That got them noticed. In my mind its mechanics and decision making plus playing against solid defenses and still posting impressive stats if not wins.

            I clearly agree with the article and hope that we select Goff and get him on the field as soon as he's ready. This Rams coaching staff doesn't strike me as being all that good at QB development which is why Wentz would do well in Cleveland with Hue Jackson and Lynch in NY or Denver with Chan Gailey or Gary Kubiak. Just my opinion, but did we improve Nick Foles or Case Keenum when they struggled?
            Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Goff for being on a losing team in college, I just think the statement that he's "already mentally prepared for the hardships of an NFL transition" because he's experienced losing, is rather ridiculous.

            The opinions from "experts" are all over the place as to who the most "pro-ready" prospect is. In another article I posted, Jon Gruden was quoted as saying Wentz is "
            the most NFL-ready quarterback in years"


            I'm torn between who the Rams should take, and although I prefer Wentz, I'd be happy with either.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post



              This is an interesting take. Is Goff mentally prepared for the hardships in the NFL because he was a loser in college? I'm not sure that's a great selling point, unless you're planning on losing.
              I get he's mentally prepared but can he take the physical pounding he most likely will take as a rookie and not start to look like a dear in the head lights like Foles did after playing behind this O line? That's my fear...

              Comment


              • #8
                I literally still have no idea who I want. If we could combine the two QBs, he would be the ideal passer. Sigh.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rambos View Post

                  I get he's mentally prepared but can he take the physical pounding he most likely will take as a rookie and not start to look like a dear in the head lights like Foles did after playing behind this O line? That's my fear...
                  Well, he was sacked 81 times in college, and he's still standing at the top of most draft boards.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Rambos View Post
                    I get he's mentally prepared but can he take the physical pounding he most likely will take as a rookie and not start to look like a dear in the head lights like Foles did after playing behind this O line? That's my fear...
                    Jared Goff was sacked at a higher rate at Cal last season than Rams QBs were behind last year's OL.

                    Just sayin'.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nick View Post

                      Jared Goff was sacked at a higher rate at Cal last season than Rams QBs were behind last year's OL.

                      Just sayin'.
                      Didn't he injure his shoulder during a sack at some point? I really would have to have another glass QB after the Bradford experience.....

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Couple thoughts here.

                        If Goff possessed just a bit more arm strength, I would not hesitate to grab him at #1. I have seen multiple occasions where he throws a deep ball and the WR has to slow down to wait for the ball to arrive. It may work in the Pac-12 but that won't work in the NFL.

                        I love Wentz's intangibles and leadership skills. One thing that concerns me is that sometimes he makes decisions a step too slow. He often times has the arm strength to make up for it but I want to see him make smarter decisions quicker.


                        Meh. It's going to be an interesting draft day.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post



                          This is an interesting take. Is Goff mentally prepared for the hardships in the NFL because he was a loser in college? I'm not sure that's a great selling point, unless you're planning on losing.
                          We are talking about the RAMS, after all. I think they have about perfected how to find ways to lose over the past 12 years.


                          gap

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by clarasDK View Post
                            Didn't he injure his shoulder during a sack at some point? I really would have to have another glass QB after the Bradford experience.....
                            Not sure what you're talking about. Goff was extremely durable at Cal. If I'm not mistaken, he didn't miss any starts over the last three years.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by clarasDK View Post
                              Didn't he injure his shoulder during a sack at some point? I really would have to have another glass QB after the Bradford experience.....
                              Goff separated his shoulder during the final game of his freshman season. Wentz sat out two months of this past season with a broken wrist. Do we take both of them off the board?

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Cal coach Sonny Dykes: Rams 'very wise' to wait with Jared Goff
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Cal coach Sonny Dykes: Rams 'very wise' to wait with Jared Goff

                                Alden Gonzalez ESPN Staff Writer

                                THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Cal coach Sonny Dykes learned everything he ever really needed to know about Jared Goff during Goff's freshman season as a teenage quarterback for a program that won only once in 12 tries.

                                "He never blinked," Dykes said in a phone interview this week, days before Goff makes his long-awaited debut for the Los Angeles Rams. "I think we played Ohio State in Game 3 that year, and we weren’t very good, and we were playing with a ton of young players. Bunch of freshmen. Bunch of O-linemen that weren’t ready to be playing, I can promise you that. He got hit a bunch, and I learned that he was incredibly tough physically, incredibly tough mentally. He never complained one time. He just got up, dusted himself off, went back to the sideline and went back to work. And that’s the best thing about Jared Goff."

                                This won't be easy for Goff, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft.

                                His own coaches have cautioned as much. Jeff Fisher, who warned against judging Goff solely on the merits of his first game Sunday at home against the Miami Dolphins, said Goff is "going to have some moments, like all young quarterbacks do." Or offensive coordinator Rob Boras, who acknowledged that taking practice snaps is "different than actually playing." And quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke, who talked about how the Rams "have to accept that there’s going to be some bumps in the road."

                                Goff will be tested from Day 1 against a Dolphins team with a devastating front four and standing behind an offensive line that has not performed well this season.

                                One thing that should help him, Dykes believes, is his footwork in the pocket and his willingness to absorb hits, a trait teammates have already picked up on.

                                "When they sat down and looked at all the quarterbacks, I think that’s what made him stand out, made him unique and made him the first pick," Dykes said. "It was his toughness, ability to stand in there and throw the ball with somebody in his face. Also, his ability to shuffle around and create space is pretty unique. The NFL game is different than the college game. Everything has to happen much faster than it does in college, but I’m sure he’s made that adjustment. I think he’ll do a great job."

                                The Rams waited to start Goff largely because he came from an offense in which he did not take a snap from under center and did not call plays from the huddle. Besides getting acclimated to NFL speed, those have been his two biggest adjustments. The system Goff ran at Cal was the pass-happy Air Raid offense that lends itself to gaudy collegiate statistics but traditionally has not produced successful NFL quarterbacks.

                                Goff ran a lot of run-pass options that mostly required


                                ...
                                -11-18-2016, 09:42 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Wentz has advantage that could explain why he’s having more success than Goff
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Carson Wentz has one simple advantage that could explain why he’s having more success than No. 1 pick Jared Goff
                                Cork Gaines Sep. 20, 2016, 12:26 PM


                                Mitchell Leff/Getty Images; Jae Hong/AP

                                After the Philadelphia Eagles' win on Monday night, they are now 2-0 with Carson Wentz. As a result, questions are already being raised about whether the Los Angeles Rams made a mistake passing on Wentz to draft Jared Goff with the first pick in the draft.

                                However, those questions may not be fair to Goff simply because Wentz appears to have one big advantage working in his favor: he was drafted by a team that was in a better position to help a young quarterback transition to the NFL.

                                Before the draft, the general consensus on the two quarterbacks was that Wentz had a slight advantage in ability but that Goff had a huge advantage in being better prepared for the NFL. Goff was coming from Cal and out of the Pac-12 Conference. Meanwhile, Wentz played in the FCS (college football's second division) at North Dakota State. Wentz' learning curve was supposed to be much steeper.

                                And yet, after two weeks, Wentz has not only grabbed the starting job with the Eagles much sooner than anticipated, but he already looks like a polished NFL quarterback. Meanwhile, Goff has yet to play and didn't even dress for Week 1.

                                Is Wentz just the better quarterback? It is possible, but it is still too early to know with any certainty. But his early success may be attributable to having a coaching staff that has a lot more experience working with quarterbacks.

                                Every quarterback has three important coaches that impact their play, the head coach, the offensive coordinator, and the quarterbacks coach. Check out the differences in their resumes, according to Chris Wesseling of Around the NFL:
                                Twitter/ChrisWesseling

                                Now, this is not a complete picture. Weinke is actually in his second year as a coach and was an NFL quarterback for seven seasons. He also helped develop quarterbacks at the IMG Academy in Florida.

                                But still, it appears, on the surface at least, that Wentz was put into a situation where it would be easier for a young QB to transition to the NFL. All three of Wentz's coaches have served as both offensive coordinators and as quarterbacks coaches. All three of Goff's coaches have combined for less than two seasons of coaching quarterbacks.

                                None of this means that Goff won't eventually be a star quarterback and it doesn't mean that the Rams whiffed on the pick. But it could explain why Wentz has had more success right out of the gate....
                                -09-21-2016, 04:43 PM
                              • Nick
                                Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz: Who should Rams take with No. 1 draft pick?
                                by Nick
                                Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz: Who should Rams take with No. 1 draft pick?
                                Published: April 15, 2016 at 04:05 p.m. Updated: April 15, 2016 at 04:54 p.m.
                                NFL.com

                                On Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams sent shockwaves through the NFL by jumping from No. 15 in this month's draft all the way up to No. 1. Of course, this move didn't come without a price: The Rams sent the Titans two first-round picks, two second-rounders and two third-rounders over the next two drafts (in exchange for No. 1, No. 113 and No. 177 in this month's event). But the trade puts the Rams in position to (presumably) draft a quarterback to build around as the franchise returns to L.A.

                                It appears that two signal callers have separated themselves from the pack: Cal's Jared Goff and North Dakota State's Carson Wentz. Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, NFL Network will break down the biggest question heading into the 2016 draft with a special program, "Path to the Draft: Goff or Wentz?" But in the meantime, what do you think? Which of these two QBs should the Rams select at No. 1 overall?

                                Charley Casserly
                                Writer | NFL.com
                                Carson Wentz has more long-term promise, but Jared Goff is the guy for L.A. in 2016

                                I like Carson Wentz over Jared Goff long term, but Goff is a better fit right now. And Los Angeles could indeed be a QB away from being a playoff team -- the Rams have a good defense and a Pro Bowl RB in Todd Gurley. Goff has very good pocket presence -- he sees things quickly and has a quick release. But he does not have a top arm.

                                To be frank, though, I don't think either one of these QBs is an elite prospect.

                                Daniel Jeremiah
                                Writer | NFL.com
                                Wentz is the superior prospect -- in fact, he's better than Blake Bortles was coming out of UCF

                                They should take Carson Wentz. He's bigger, more athletic, has a stronger arm and gained experience in an NFL system while at North Dakota State. He's proven to play his best in big moments, and he's done nothing but win his entire athletic career.

                                Wentz's toughness, competitiveness and football intelligence are off the charts. He's a better player than Blake Bortles was coming out of Central Florida.

                                Gil Brandt
                                Writer | NFL.com
                                I have Wentz rated slightly higher, but I think Goff is a better fit in Los Angeles

                                In my rankings -- which will be released on NFL.com on Monday -- I have Carson Wentz one spot ahead of Jared Goff. But, if I were the Rams, I would go with Goff because of the fact the he was raised in California. He would be much more familiar with the difficulty of movement in Los Angeles, mainly traffic and the pace of living. Goff would have an easier time adapting to the high-intensity way of life in the L.A. area. Moving to California would be a culture shock for anybody who has lived their entire life in North Dakota.

                                Lance Zierlein
                                Writer |...
                                -04-16-2016, 12:21 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Jared Goff's father: 'He's going to be great. He's never not been'
                                by MauiRam
                                Los Angeles Rams Blog

                                Alden GonzalezESPN Staff Writer

                                7:52 AM PTIRVINE, Calif. -- Jared Goff has been here before. He's been young for the position, been counted on before he was ready, been under center for a team that hardly stood a chance. Goff was a teenager and a true freshman when he started every game for a Cal program that went 1-11 in 2013, losing 10 times by at least a couple of touchdowns.

                                "I don’t think people understand how difficult that was for an 18-year-old kid," Goff's father, Jerry, said in a recent phone conversation. "Unless you’ve been through it, you don't know how hard that is."

                                Jerry brings it up to prove a point -- that his son knows what it's like to get his ass kicked.

                                More importantly, that he knows how to get up, dust himself off and keep going.

                                Goff was the No. 1 pick for a Los Angeles Rams team that moved up 14 spots to select him, but he never challenged for the starting quarterback job during training camp and ultimately never won a game. He went 0-7 over the final seven weeks of a 2016 season that finished with a 4-12 record, absorbing 26 sacks while putting up some of the NFL's worst passing numbers.

                                A week later, Goff was back at the Rams' facility, poring through film even though he didn't even have a head coach.

                                He already had moved on to the biggest offseason of his life.

                                "He was chosen in a spot where there's a lot of expectations, and he embraces that," Jerry said. "He really, adamantly wants to let everybody know, through his production, that he is the guy and worthy of all the Rams did to get him. I think people are going to see that moving forward."

                                The Rams are counting on new head coach Sean McVay (right) to tap into the potential of Jared Goff. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports
                                The Rams have since done everything they can to tap into Goff's potential. They took a chance on a 31-year-old Sean McVay, now the youngest head coach in modern NFL history, in large part because his offense can be so quarterback friendly. They guaranteed $15 million to a 35-year-old left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, because he remains one of the game's best pass blockers. They signed Robert Woods, a 25-year-old receiver, to a five-year, $34 million contract. And they used three of their first four picks on pass-catchers, even though they drafted four the year before.

                                But it's what Goff himself has done that has people around him encouraged.

                                He basically spent the entire offseason at the Rams' facility, immersing himself in the new playbook, adding 10 pounds to his willowy frame and displaying a leadership and an ownership of this offense that he never did last season. He has been exceedingly eager.

                                "It's my team to lead and my team to direct and control and command," Goff said. "I don't take that lightly."
                                ...
                                -08-01-2017, 11:36 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Rams QB Jared Goff set to start vs. 49ers after clearing concussion protocol
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Rams QB Jared Goff set to start vs. 49ers after clearing concussion protocol

                                3:53 PM PT
                                Alden GonzalezESPN Staff Writer

                                THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams rookie quarterback Jared Goff has cleared concussion protocol and is set to start against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. Sean Mannion, a third-round pick in 2015, will replace Case Keenum as the backup so the Rams can get a closer look at him before the season ends, interim coach John Fassel confirmed.

                                Goff, the 2016 No. 1 overall pick, entered concussion protocol after absorbing a vicious hit from Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman late in last Thursday's 24-3 loss in Seattle. But Goff practiced in full over the past two days and said he felt fine all along.

                                He never wanted to come out of the game in the first place.

                                "It was just a regular hit," Goff said. "I got up, went back to the huddle, and I hear the official blowing the whistle, 'You've got to get off the field.' I'm like, 'Why?' They said it was just the protocol. I don't want to go back too much to last Thursday, but I just think it's kind of tough.

                                "If that's a playoff game, or if that's a bigger situation, the game's close, you take the starting quarterback off the field, it's, in my opinion -- and I know they're trying to take care of us, but in my opinion -- not really a very good reason. I don't know how fair it is."

                                Goff nonetheless won't miss any time, despite absorbing way too many hits in his five-game NFL career.

                                The 22-year-old has taken 14 sacks in the past four weeks alone. In Week 14, he was sandwiched on a very late touchdown run in an eventual 42-14 blowout loss against the Atlanta Falcons. In Week 15, Sherman got the best of him. With nine minutes left, Goff avoided pressure and ran 15 yards up the sidelines, getting two yards away from the pylon before Sherman knocked him out of bounds.

                                "If I had seen him, I probably would've gone out of bounds," Goff said. "Didn't see him, kind of came out of nowhere. He made a hell of a play after watching it. He came from all the way on the other side of the field."

                                Goff will finally get a chance to play against his hometown team, after being inactive when the Rams opened their season against the 49ers in Santa Clara, California. Goff nonetheless called it "just another game to us," saying he is merely hopeful of getting his first win and continually improving.

                                Five games in, Goff sports a dreadful 24.6 Total QBR, completing 54.7 percent of his passes, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt and throwing four touchdowns to five interceptions.

                                A lot of the fault lies in receivers who have dropped too many passes and an offensive line that is allowing too much pressure, but Goff himself has also missed an assortment of throws he should make and is still adjusting to the speed...
                                -12-22-2016, 06:07 PM
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