Monday, August 12, 2013

Recruit Breakdown: Wilton Speight

Ceiling: 8.25               Ranking: 6               Floor: 4

School: Collegiate (Richmond, VA)

Size: 6'6" - 220 lbs.

Composite: 3 Star, 0.8800, #20 Pro, #369 Overall

247: 3 Star, 86, #34 Pro

Rivals: 3 Star, 5.7, #21 Pro

Scout: 3 Star, #22 Pro

Favorites: Michigan (Commit)
Other Notable Offers: Miami (FL), NC State

  • Height
  • Good Arm and body rotation in combination to push the ball deep
  • Effectively alters ball trajectory to fit the ball in at different levels
Height allows him to see the field well, and despite lower release point, can still snap his arm down and have a decent release height to get good spin on the ball. Very good at rolling the pocket and throwing on the run, does a good job of getting his front hip and shoulder down field so he can get good body rotation into his throws as long as he isn't pressured. With his mix of body rotation and arm strength he can deliver the ball well down field. Does a good job of getting air on the ball and dropping it down for receivers to run under and can hit any area of the field with his throwing distance and the air he puts under the ball. Can show good accuracy on intermediate passes, but needs to get more consistent with footwork and release point to retain accuracy. Looks comfortable stepping into pocket, up and out into natural lanes that form when the pass rush comes from the outside, keeps his eyes down field, and can find open receivers. Does a good job of differentiating passing arch to fit the ball over top of different levels of the defense, whether between the safeties and LBs, or behind the safeties.


  • Hitch in throwing motion
  • Lack of speed on short and intermediate routes
  • Tends to throw off back foot rather than transfer weight through throw
Hitch in his throw makes for a longer (timed) delivery than is preferred. Throws the ball next to his ear hole rather than with good arm extension. This makes it more difficult to get good ball velocity and throw a ball on a rope, making it more difficult to throw the short quick passes in tight windows. Tends to get sloppy with his footwork on quick passes as well, especially fades or three step drops. Too often resorts to leaving his weight to his back foot rather than shifting his balance forward through his throwing motion and ultimately to his front foot. Some of this is due to his somewhat porous high school O-line, but he seems to have gotten into a habit of it and does it sometimes when not pressured. Can struggle to reset his feet if being forced to move in the pocket, his footwork gets sloppy and his arm angle can become wonky. Drop is awkward at this stage, and he needs to work on gaining better depth off his first step and closing down when getting ready to throw, his transition from drop to throw put his plant foot and therefore his step foot in a bad position, which is part of the reason he struggles on three step drops or when being forced to step into a throw directly following his drop. 


Speight has pretty high upside if he can fix some of his mechanical and footwork problems. He understand ball trajectory and has the capability of utilizing both his body and arm to put the ball in any area of the field. The worry is that he won't develop his short game and ball velocity. He struggles to throw bullets to fit the ball into small windows and really flourish in a short passing game. He doesn't have the ball velocity to truly threaten on hitch and out routes to the outside off play action and may struggle to fit the ball between LBs on slants and dig patterns. Some of the outside routes should be able to be made up for with his ability to move the pocket and maintain relatively good accuracy and velocity on the ball, but with a lack of great mobility, it's also a risk that moving the pocket may allow outside pressure to get in his face and without the need to send extra pass rushers. He already possess potential in some of the more difficult areas, namely, throwing on the run, with pressure in his face, and pushing the ball deep, but it's yet to be seen if he can overcome his lack of pure ball velocity on short and intermediate balls to have access to the entire field.

As a runner, he has poor acceleration, but he's decent at manipulating the pocket with his footwork and actually has decent straight line speed if he has room to get up to it. He'll never be a running QB, but if defenses play prevent and he gets a chance to step up in the pocket he can pick up some yards better than some would expect him to.

  • QB
  • Will need some time to fix throwing hitch
  • Best in a system that allows him to push the ball deep rather than a short passing game
I'm not sure the West Coast Offense is the best system for Speight. If he can improve his drop to throw transition and improve his ball velocity, he could fit in any passing offense. As is, he's best in a traditional run based offense that forces defenders up and allows him to fit the ball over levels and over the top of defenses. This is a common trait in some run, play action heavy offenses - think some of the old Oakland Raiders offenses - but isn't necessarily so in Al Borges's quick hitting West Coast Offense. If Borges truly wants to unleash the dragon and attack deep, and focus even more on a downhill attack than he would typically prefer, then he can fit, but some adjustments in play calling will need to be made if Speight doesn't improve on some of his short route weaknesses.

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