I have to be honest, before the draft I only saw half of a live game from Brandon Doughty. The reason I didn’t study Doughty was because I really didn’t study many QBs. I liked what I saw from the very limited couple of quarters of the live game I saw from Doughty, but there is a big difference between watching a prospect for a couple of quarters during a live game and breaking down a prospect's film.
The reason I didn’t think we were going to draft a QB was because we just re-signed Matt Moore and Logan Thomas. After studying Doughty, I do believe he can push out Moore and maybe even eventually push Tannehill. For the record, I am a believer in Tannehill but I do think he needs someone other than Matt “I’m content with clipboard duty” Moore to push him.
After studying Doughty I see why the Dolphins drafted him, I loved his film. I really can see him being a good backup and even a chance at being a quality starter eventually in the NFL. When I study QBs I like to look at footwork, progressions and reads, mechanics, accuracy, process speed, and arm strength. So let’s look at how Doughty did with each of these criteria.
It is hard for a seventh round QB to make an impact in the NFL, but I do think Doughty has a lot of tools to be successful in the NFL if he gained a bit more zip on the ball. I understand that NFL teams draft QBs that have hand cannons and I won’t debate that reasoning, but I can’t for the life of me understand how teams drafted QBs like Brissett, Kessler, Hogan, and Prescott over Doughty.
ALL of those QBs were drafted higher than Doughty had the same arm strength, but all the QBs didn’t check the other boxes.
Doughty shows a lot of confidence in his ball placement. On this play Doughty throws to his tight end that is running a seams route. The ball is placed accurately away from the defender. I love how much confidence Doughty has in his throws like this one.
I saw a bunch of great throws where Doughty led his receiver to run with the ball, or throw it in a spot where the WR can run to it. Here is an example of one of those passes. It sailed a little which happens more often than I would like but Doughty’s ability to lead WRs is a something he did consistently.
One knock on Doughty is that he doesn’t have an NFL arm. I will admit that he definitely doesn’t have the strongest arm, and this is something he needs to develop. I do think his quick release, great anticipation, footwork/mechanics and a strong enough arm will allow him to make NFL throws.
Here is an example of a throw every NFL QB must make. It is an intermediate boundary throw that if late will be picked off. This pass gets there on time.
When Doughty plays with rhythm and confidence he looked unstoppable. On this play Doughty was stroking it. I love QBs that are not afraid to throw it in triple coverage. Doughty throws the perfect pass on this play. If he is off or underthrows the ball the defenders would have a drive ending interception.
In the NFL you are going to get hit, but you still have to make great throws. Here is a play where Doughty looks down the barrel and delivers a dart to keep the drive moving along.
I know that this throw was out of bounds but the quick decisions that Doughty consistently shows is really impressive. This is a pre-snap read matched with a very accurate throw. It was dropped in the bucket where only the receiver could catch it or it would go out of bounds.
Doughty has incredible touch. Here is a play that shows Doughty’s touch and also shows that special confident quality. Doughty is flushed out of the pocket and has a WR that is open, sort of.
The WR has a defender in front of him. Doughty, while on the run, throws a floater. The only way I can explain this throw is with a basketball reference it was like a point guard passing a floater over a defender inside to a center.
Doughty has great understanding of the offense. This translates to him making quick decisions. Doughty also has a nice quick release. All these things will make up for any lack of arm strength or ball zip. On this play the ball is out and in the WR’s hands as quickly as possible. This lets the WR put a move on the defensive back.
Doughty is not going to win games with his feet but he does run smart. On this play Doughty runs out of the pocket and gains positive yards with his feet. The thing that I want to highlight from this play is that his eyes are always downfield looking for a wide open receiver.
Doughty consistently goes through his progressions quickly. This play Doughty goes through three progressions. What makes it better is his footwork. He is light on his feet and bounces his feet from one progression to the next. Doughty consistently shows active footwork.
I love how quickly Doughty’s mind works. On this play Doughty is pushed out of the pocket and instead of running he throws to an open receiver as he is about to be sacked.
There is a myth in football that you need a cannon for an arm to throw deep. Tom Brady doesn’t really have a cannon but he has deep ball accuracy. All you need is great timing, mechanics, and footwork. Doughty shows these three aspects on this play and drops it in the bucket from 40 yards out.
Doughty does do a good job of passing on the run. Here Doughty once again is pushed out of the pocket, finds a receiver and hits him for a first down.
Doughty does need to develop more zip on his ball. If he had a little more zip he would most likely be at least a day two draft pick. On this play Doughty shows his inconsistent arm strength.
This is an out route and the ball needs to get to the WR a lot quicker than it did on this play. The combination of his arm strength demonstrated on this play and this route will result in many pick sixes in the NFL.
Another thing I recognized is when something goes wrong, problems seem to cascade. In the first play Doughty throws an interception which I don’t think was his fault. On the next play the defense causes a strip sack. I am only making observations and not putting blame on Doughty.
Another thing Doughty needs to work on is sometimes his passes will sail. This causes the WR to jump to catch the ball. This could cause a stopped WR from being able to continue running after catching the ball or it can also result in a WR being vulnerable to injury.
On this play Doughty throws a simple pass to the flats and the ball sails a bit. The receiver has to jump and gets cut down from his legs.
This film review was done by Matthew Knowles. Follow him on Twitter: @blueflamespcl