Back Kyle Trask Underrated Ahead of the Draft

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Kyle Trask Underrated Ahead of the Draft

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Kyle Trask is a talent and a story all his own and will get his chance at the next level.

Here is a full list of Power Five quarterbacks the past ten years to finish a college football season with a passer rating of 180 or above: Joe Burrow, Justin Fields, Robert Griffin III, Jalen Hurts, Mac Jones, Marcus Mariota, Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, Cam Newton, Tua Tagovailoa, Kyle Trask, Russell Wilson and James Winston. Of the ten signal callers already in the NFL, eight of them were first round picks, five were selected number one overall and all but two were chosen in the top five.

Both Fields and Jones are projected to be top-half of the first round picks this spring and for very good reason. There, at least from the outside looking in, doesn't seem to be a similar consensus regarding Trask.

Granted, the former Florida star was not good, albeit in difficult circumstances, in his final outing; that said, he threw three interceptions, averaged just 5.8 yards per attempt in that Cotton Bowl disappointment and still finished with a passer rating of 180.02. The second-worst proficiency game of his season came against LSU in a contest where he threw for 474 yards and two touchdowns. Quite remarkably, had that single game total of 151.94 against the Tigers been Trask's year-long metric, he still would have finished in the national top 25.

Simply put, Trask just had one of the best seasons in both SEC and recent college football history.

A Heisman finalist, Trask led the nation with 43 passing touchdowns, ranked second, by a tenth of a yard, with 356.9 passing yards per game, ranked ninth in yards per attempt, 11th in the completion percentage and slotted number one in the country with 35 conversions of 30 yards or more. With Trask at the helm, Florida's passing attack was the national standard; the Gators entered the postseason pacing college football in passing by 24 yards per game over the second-place finisher and nearly 35 yards more than the next P5 team. 

Even with three consecutive losses to finish his career, an instant classic against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game included, Trask went 17-6 as a starter at Florida if you count his debut against Kentucky. Trask, among other signature performances, threw for 474 yards and four touchdowns in a triumph over rival Georgia and 408 yards and three scores against the Crimson Tide in Atlanta, the closest the national champions were played all year. He finished with five 400-yard passing games and seven contests with at least four scores.

If you count only the first half of the season for Trask, he still would have finished in the national top ten in passing touchdowns.

Trask's senior season was one for the record books, the likes of which college football has rarely before seen. His production and proficiency was generationally elite. As recent results indicate, players with Trask's credentials are almost always guaranteed to be top draft picks. Especially when they come from contending programs. Interestingly, his status remains more uncertain. The relative lack of hype around Trask makes him an outlier for a player with his profile. He should be getting more.  

At 6'5'', 240 pounds, Trask is a well-built prospect who meets the standard for NFL's size and strength measurables. Though he isn't a dynamic runner, results at Florida show that Trask was a willing runner; he rushed for three touchdowns for the Gators in 2020 and four more scores in 2019. Trask has a quick release on his throws, is accurate in the intermediate passing game and is clearly comfortable being the focal point of an offense as he just led the nation in attempts by a considerable margin.

There is a lot to like with Trask, including statistical similaries to some of the most highly-touted quarterback prospects of the last decade. Even in a heralded draft class at the position, his resume still stands out. It's worth wondering where Trask might rank on the quarterback big board in a different year, though, one where five other signal callers aren't set to go in the first round. That said, Trask is a talent and a story all his own and will get his chance at the next level.

Perhaps his true value is higher than is being reported. 

It's been an atypical progression to the pros for Trask, who was D'Eriq King's backup in high school, was relatively lightly recruited and was behind Feleipe Franks for much of his Florida career. That perspective will likely help Trask as he transitions forward. Even if Trask ends up being a first round pick, which his senior season definitely warrants, he won't be a traditional first round pick. Trask's development has come with a different kind of determination.

As teams continue to scout the unique and late-rising Trask, there will be a lot that stands out. He, having played in just 12 games this past fall, is one of just four SEC quarterbacks ever with at least 43 touchdown passes in a single season, joining Joe Burrow, Drew Lock and Tua Tagovailoa; the other three are already all starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Trask has played the part in turning himself into a well-known prospect. Though Trask hasn't been on NFL radar for multiple years, he has undoubtedly played his way into the big picture. 

Like those before him, Trask now needs an opportunity.   

When evaluating the top quarterbacks for the 2021 NFL Draft, don't forget about Trask. He quickly became part of the national narrative in college. He should be talked about as a pro prospect as well.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports