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Garrett Grayson Drafted as Drew Brees’ Successor

Garrett Grayson Drafted as Drew Brees' Successor

I've been doing analysis on every selection that the Saints ended up making in the 2015 NFL Draft, and normally I would start with one of their first round picks in terms of actually writing on them.  However, no one pick intrigued me as much as third round pick Garrett Grayson.  It isn't because the Saints are looking for a successor for Drew Brees.  With two years left on Brees's contract, it isn't out of the realm of possibility to believe the Saints are looking at life post Brees.  But this isn't an article on the logistics of a new Brees contract, and for this very reason I won't enter into the realm of speculation around exactly why Grayson was picked.

Grayson isn't a huge quarterback.  He sits at 6'2", approximately 213 lbs.  When the Saints expressed interest in drafting a new QB, much of the focus was on Baylor's Bryce Petty.  Petty is about 6'3", 230 lbs.  So there's not a major discrepancy in the most base measurables (prototypical QB is just a buzz word anyways).  Grayson's emergence and subsequent increase in draft stock happened extremely quickly.  The Saints didn't express any outward interest in Grayson, it was all covert.  The million dollar question, however, is what exactly did they see?

Grayson's strengths are noted as his deep ball, namely his touch.  His footwork in the pocket is impeccable, and he stands very large in the pocket, a huge plus.  Furthermore, he doesn't shy away from hits if he has time to make passes.  That last bit is important in a timing offense, which is Payton's bread & butter.  At Colorado State, Grayson also worked out of several depths (under center, shotgun, pistol), which helps his handling of the snap.

 
Admittedly, I really miss All-22 tape.  Colorado State runs a play action that is designed to isolate the middle of the zone with a cross and a post.  The primary route is the fly route topside.  The defense shows a heavy box, with pressure coming.  The player not pictured at the bottom is the one that Grayson would eventually hit on the deep post.

 
Grayson sees the six man rush, and looks at his first read.  The topside fly is taken away by a cheating safety.  Colorado State's line does a fantastic job picking up the pass rush, giving Grayson time to go through his progressions.  The important thing, of course, is that he does.

 
Grayson stands tall in the pocket, steps up into his throw, and hits his receiver deep in the seam with a defender jumping towards him as he makes the throw.  The play in its entirety illustrates Grayson's poise in the pocket.



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Neil S. Schwartz

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Jonathan Feinsod

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