Toughness/Leadership: Team captain. Stanzi is a fighter and has a mental toughness about him. Mistakes don’t look like they bother him all that much. Displays that innate ability to immediately forget. He’ll make a mistake and come right back to lead his team down field. Late in games, Stanzi could improve. He must develop that killer instinct and confidence when the seconds are ticking off the clock. As a Quarterback, teammates feed off of that. At one point vs. Arizona he took four straight sacks and a touchdown was needed in order for Iowa to pull out the win. Wisconsin and TCU were other games in 2010 where Stanzi couldn’t lead his team to victory in close games.
Intelligence/Decision Making: Stanzi scored a 30 on his Wonderlic. He played in a pro-style offense and made many NFL throws, including pro reads and drop backs from under center. He also had the green light to change plays at the line. That being said, the Hawkeyes weren’t very successful on the plays Stanzi changed. After the snap, Stanzi has a tendency to lock-on to a particular receiver and will try to force the ball in. A risky thrower at times but was a playmaker when the defense broke down. Stanzi regularly took advantage of defenses mistakes.
Accuracy: Stanzi’s footwork and set-up are precise and quick. This allows him to be ready to throw at all times and deliver the ball accurately. He has great ball placement. Most throws are put in front of his guy where they can run with the ball after the catch. Even while rolling out, Stanzi uses his mid-section to create enough torque to throw on the run. His balls are just as accurate on the run as they are while standing in the pocket. Stanzi also throws a great fade route. His accuracy can take a hit on deep and outside throws, but that may be attributed to timing and arm strength.
Release/Arm Strength: Stanzi’s release is quick. He uses an over the top release with a technically sound follow through. His arm strength is very average. Stanzi can make every throw, but he noticeably struggled throwing the deep-outs and vertical passes. When his timing with the receiver is perfect, he has enough arm strength to throw the deep out. It’s when he just a step too late where he gets in trouble. This turns into under-thrown vertical passes and late throws to the outside.
Pocket Mobility: Inside the pocket, Stanzi has no problem sidestepping the rush while keeping his eyes down field. He can usually make the first rusher miss, or fade away just enough to get the throw off. He naturally re-sets his feet with his head up. Not a scrambler, but can escape and pick up a few yards. Stanzi will stand tall in the pocket as he scans the field looking for an open receiver. He does a great job with play-action fakes, and roll-outs. Took too many blind-side sacks.
Intangibles: Stanzi was voted as a permanent team captain. 26-9 record as a starter. 221 of 345 – 64.1%, 3,004 yards, 25 TDs 6 ints, 19 sacks as a senior. He noticeably took better care of the football as he grew as a Quarterback at Iowa.
Overall Stock: I really like Ricky Stanzi’s potential. I watched six of his games and the more I watched, the more I thought he could develop into a starting NFL Quarterback. At 6’4” 223 lbs, Stanzi could easily add weight to his frame, which will help his arm strength. His mental and physical make-up reminds me of Tom Brady. Yes, I said it. Now am I calling Stanzi a future Hall of Fame quarterback? Not exactly, but I do think he could develop into a good starting Quarterback in the NFL. A lot will depend on what situation he’s drafted into. Brady has benefited from being drafted by the Patriots. Both will end up being better NFL players than they were in college.
Stanzi is regarded as a 3rd to 5th round pick by most. I would take him at the top of round three without question. If I didn’t feel like he would last that long, I could make a case to take him in round two. With the idea that a few teams will be trading back into the first round gaining steam, I would take Stanzi as a late 2nd to early 3rd rather than trading up for Ryan Mallett or Jake Locker and giving up and extra pick. Ricky Stanzi deserves to be put in the next group with Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton.
NFL Comparison: Matt Cassel