Iowa football player Nate Stanley is an oddly polarizing player in college football and apparently, PFF is on the negative side of the spectrum.
Mention Iowa football player Nate Stanley’s name to a draft scout, and you are likely going to get a different answer from every single one. Some will be gaudy projections based on his natural arm talent while others are going to be endlessly negative due to the focus on his lack of accuracy and questionable decision making.
Some draft scouts have him as a possible first-round pick, and some think he is undraftable.
I’ll be honest, I’m somewhere in the middle. The Wisconsin native is a two-year starter at quarterback for a pro-ready offense being run by a Bill Belichick disciple. He’s a tower quarterback who has prototypical size at 6’4” and 242 pounds and he’s got an incredibly lively arm.
But the accuracy concerns are real. Last year, he narrowly missed hitting the 60% completion mark, but he was also playing with two first-round tight ends and a slot wide receiver who is turning heads in Buffalo as an undrafted free agent. Completing 60% should have been a benchmark in this offense, not the ceiling.
There is a lot of stock being placed into this and the other negatives by football analysis site Pro Football Focus.
Recently Pro Football Focus released their ranking of every single quarterback in college football, and while we have seen lists like this before, I have not seen one so down on the starting quarterback of the Iowa football team. They had him ranked as the 51st quarterback in the nation, nearly middle of the pack and significantly below quarterbacks from Wake Forest, Louisiana Tech, Georgia Southern, and Ohio.
Per PFF, they had this to say:
"Lower than some would expect, Stanley just doesn’t have the PFF grades that warrant the kind of hype he’s received in terms of the 2020 NFL Draft. He finished last year with a career-low grade."
While I am an advocate of utilizing the advanced analytics that Pro Football Focus provides, I also caution to use other sources of information to truly formulate an opinion, and this is a perfect example of this.
Is Stanley deserving of a top-10 ranking? Absolutely not, but 51st is atrociously low for a two-year starter who has 17 wins (including two bowl wins) under his belt and is beating on the door of Iowa football legend Chuck Long’s career touchdown record.