Monday, August 19, 2013

Recruit Breakdown: Will Ulmer

Ceiling: 8             Ranking: 6.25               Floor: 4.5


School: St John's College (Washington, DC)

Size: 6'0" - 190 lbs.

Composite: 3 Star, 0.8747#10 Dual, #417 Overall

247: 4 Star, 90, #15 Dual. #238 Overall

Rivals: 3 Star, 5.7

Scout: 3 Star, #37 QB

Favorites: Maryland (Commit)
Others: Arizona, Arizona St, Arkansas, Boston College, Cincinnati, Florida St, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Miami (FL), Michigan St, NC State, Ohio St, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Strengths
  • Good trajectory to throw into the seam or over opening between CBs and safeties in a cover 2
  • Fast and quick runner that can take it for a TD at any time
  • Gets low behind the LOS and sets up blockers well to get into the second level
Decent throwing strength. While he struggles to push the ball deep and doesn't have pure arm strength, he can wind up and use his body to get the ball over top of defenses trying to play tight. Does a good job of getting the right amount of air under it, enough to let the receiver run underneath it but not hanging it up.

Smooth runner that doesn't look like he has to press to be fast. Naturally quick and fast. Accelerates quickly. Gets low behind the LOS and burst through into the second level. Good top end speed. While he has a longer stride, is agile enough to set up blockers at the second and third level and to make defenders that don't break down miss in the open field. All it takes is a step and it's difficult for anyone on the field to keep up. Stops quickly to cut across the grain, and again, gets up to speed quickly. Good vision to cut back.

Weaknesses

  • Needs to improve pure arm strength, and will struggle to fit the ball into short windows
  • Needs to quicken release and improve accuracy
  • Holds the ball loosely and always in his right hand
Short QB that will find it difficult to see over the middle of the field. A long, looping delivery that takes a long time to get started and then released. Not much ball velocity. Over steps on his throw, which will lead to inaccuracies. Will find it difficult to put the ball on a rope with accuracy. Really only has a single trajectory, and that's one that can find receivers in the seam or toward the deep sideline against cover 2. Doens't appear to have a great arm for hitting short to intermediate passes such as digs, hitches, and post. Completely changes throwing motion on underneath throws, pushes the ball like a dart, causing him to short arm receivers. His footwork when set in the pocket lacks great technique; too much jumping for any real lack of movement or building back up into the pocket.

Holds the ball in his right hand only. Doesn't hold the ball high and tight when running. Doesn't display much leg strength to move the pile, and will struggle to get free if contained in the pocket.

Video


Comments
How you feel about Ulmer will likely be reflective of how you saw an athlete like Denard Robinson play QB in college. I'm not sure Ulmer has quite the stop-start quickness or the top end speed, but he is a very good runner in his own right, there is no denying that. He gets up to speed quickly, burst through the LOS by getting low and hiding behind blockers, and has good elusiveness in the second level and the speed to turn a 20 yard gain into a TD. Like Denard, he'll need to take better care of the ball, as right now he is a bit reckless with how he holds it.

As a thrower, he is a bit different than Robinson was. I don't think he has the arm strength to put the ball on a rope, but I do think he has better touch to put the ball over top of defenses. But he has a long, loopy release that will allow defenses to read and jump his underneath routes and have a good chance to break up some deeper passes as the safeties become more athletic. He doesn't have the arm strength to make all the passes, and may struggle on the short zones. He'll really have to improve technique if he wants to also be a successful passer at the next level.

Projection

  • Will be given a chance as full-time QB at some point
  • Start off as an "Offensive Weapon" flex type player
  • Fits well in a run based, inverted veer heavy spread attack that heavily utilizes seams and outside receivers over the top.
There is no denying that Ulmer is a very, very good athlete. He is a fast, quick athlete that can threaten the defense with his legs. He should be able to do this as a kick returner, a change of pace RB, or at the WR position where he would really threaten defenses out of the slot. But it is extremely tempting to put the ball in his hand with an extra blocker. What is to be seen is if he will be a good enough athlete to make up for what is a limited arm. I think he could be successful against some teams, and will likely be a real threat when he does, but I question whether the threat will come to fruition against better defenses. I'm not sure he has a accurate enough or strong enough arm to do so.

Still, even if he is given a chance to prove himself and then is moved back to a flex role, he appears to be athletic enough to make a name for himself. The question here is whether people are willing to accept him as an athlete playing QB or a flex type player, or if he gets faulted for not fitting a single role clearly. Regardless, it's hard to see him not being successful somewhere on the field outside of the possibility that a man of many trades is a master of none. 

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