Why Kyle Trask Will Not Have a Joe Burrow Rise in 2020

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask has recently gotten much hype for being a guy that can potentially rise to the 2021 NFL Draft cycle, much like Heisman Trophy winner and first overall pick Joe Burrow did last year. Trask, a redshirt senior, broke out onto the scene following the injury of quarterback Feliepe Franks. Trask played well enough to force Franks to transfer to Arkansas.

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I was very intrigued by Joe Burrow before the start of the 2019 season. It was a conversation with a friend of mine (who played football at Auburn in the 90’s) who mentioned Burrow to me after the 7 OT Texas A&M game in 2018 and brought him to my attention. “He’s really good,” he told me back then.

I did a film study on Joe Burrow in August, shortly before the start of the 2020 season, and I was very impressed with what I saw. Something wasn’t clicking, though.

In hindsight, clearly, it was the offense not being a good fit for him. Burrow can make excellent reads and move well in the pocket while buying time for his receivers to get open. He likes lots of receivers downfield.

Trask isn’t someone that you watch wondering what is holding him back, nor is he someone that appears to be fundamentally sound on tape. The issues that prevent him from being a top quarterback in the draft right now are a result of a lack of experience. Trask was the backup quarterback in high school, behind D’Eriq King at Manvel High School outside of Houston, Texas. He wasn’t even supposed to get a chance to play college ball, but fate had it in the works.

Trask was found by Doug Nussmeier, the Florida offensive coordinator at the time. He invited Trask to a summer camp in Gainesville before the start of his senior season in high school. When the camp was completed, Trask was called to head coach Jim McElwain’s office and offered a scholarship.

Trask was offered by three other schools, Houston Baptist, Lamar, and McNeese State.

Understanding Kyle Trask

There is no doubt that Kyle Trask has the talent within him to play in the NFL. He’s already become one of college football’s top ten quarterbacks. NFL Evaluators are already noticing that. He has good arm talent, throws a pretty football, and has the ability to extend and create plays.

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All of that being said, Trask is extremely inconsistent. His accuracy is spotty, and his decision-making is severely impacted by the fact that he hasn’t seen many different things on the field and struggles to recognize more complex coverages.

When Trask gets the snap and he drops back, he shows good, natural footwork. He could be quicker about his steps, but he is a big guy, around 6’4″ and 240 pounds, so extremely quick feet isn’t something that I’m worried about, personally. I think he’s quick enough for his size in his drop. I see, at times, incredible pocket composure. Usually, early in games, Trask is phenomenal at this. His ability to manipulate his release angle and point is intriguing too, only he seems to be effective with it close to the line of scrimmage.

Trask has an excellent posture at his release point when he gets time to stand in the pocket. His legs are squared, his stance tall and strong, and his feet remain active. His plant is excellent when he gears up to throw the ball, showing a healthy V shape with his legs that allow him to maximize the power of his throw. I think the speed of his release is average.

His arm strength is average for the NFL level as well. He shows the ability to throw the ball with velocity, but we really didn’t see him consistently throw very far down the field. When Florida did attack vertically, he was very inaccurate. Again, a lot of these issues are caused by lack of repetition and practice. He’s played maybe 1500 snaps total over the last seven years.

Where can we realistically expect Trask to be?

There are positives for Trask and I do believe we will see him continue to improve in the 2020 college football season. I am making this very clear – I don’t believe that we will see a “Joe-Burrow-Esque” rise in Trask this season. I do believe he will improve, just not anywhere near the level that Burrow did his senior year.

The expectations are rising for Trask by the day. Just today, I saw that he was listed as one of the top betting options for the Heisman, tied with his high school teammate D’Eriq King, with the 4th highest odds (+1100, OddsShark). Only Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, and Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard have better odds.

I don’t think that a Heisman trophy is a reasonable expectation for Trask this season. I do think that he is the best quarterback in the SEC this season. I do believe that he will put up good numbers. Florida might even make a run on the college football playoff.

The reasonable expectation is that we see Trask show good improvement, be more consistent throwing the football, and more accurate than he was last season. Right now, he’s considered a “project” player, someone who is a good bit away from being able to start on the field. I think that Trask might play himself into late day-two consideration if he can prove that he’s more accurate throwing downfield.