Ohio State’s quarterback Kenny Guiton has been a victim of circumstance in Columbus. After sitting behind Terrelle Pryor, now the starting quarterback of the Oakland Raiders, Guiton was then put behind Braxton Miller, who then head coach Jim Tressel, had been recruiting since he was in 9th grade. Had Guiton gone to any number of other schools, he would have been a long time starter, but he not complained, been a good teammate and made the most of limited opportunities.
In the games he has seen the field, he has looked like a poised, savvy veteran and led them to success. From last year when it was coming in for a hurt Miller and leading the Buckeyes to an overtime victory over Purdue to the team not missing a beat this year in Miller’s absence, Guiton has become someone Urban Meyer can rely upon and a player in which Meyer cannot seem to say enough positive things.
Often referred to as Coach Guiton, Kenny has a nice set of physical tools including solid arm strength and excellent mobility with speed to make plays. His limited experience will hurt him but he carries himself like someone who understands the job and never looks overwhelmed. The more experience under center Guiton gets, the more interesting he becomes when it comes to the NFL Draft but his biggest rise will likely come in the postseason between the All Star circuit and when teams come to ask the Ohio State coaching staff about Guiton. Right now, he projects as a third day prospect and in the later rounds, but the potential is there for him to move up towards the early part of day three.
Vitals & Build
Guiton is listed at 6’3” 208lbs with a good build for the position. He is extremely athletic, strong and has speed. There is still potential for Guiton to continue adding strength and filling out a little bit more, but it is not problematic if he does not.
Guiton has the arm strength to push the ball down the field without too much issue. There is no reason his arm strength would hold him back from playing in any offense at the next level.
Guiton throws with good zip and can dial up a nice fastball when he needs it and can fit passes into tight windows.
Accuracy & Touch
Guiton has shown he can make some incredible throws and put the ball right on a spot at times, but he has also demonstrated the ability to miss some passes and miss them badly. For the most part, he will put the ball where it needs to go with the occasional brilliance and some bad misfires. The Buckeyes offense has not asked him to make a ton of timing throws in terms of hitting a moving target. Rather, they have had him attack down the field and on comeback type routes that ask Guiton to throw to a spot.
There is an understandable question with his ability to consistently hit crossing routes and those types of plays as he simply does not have much evidence to suggest he can. His skill set suggests he should be able to make that adjustment but it is not there on tape to this point.
In terms of his touch, Guiton has not shown a ton of variance with how he throws passes. Some of this is on the offense and some of this is on Guiton. Again, he has a limited amount of experience but his passes tend to range from lasers to frozen ropes. There are instances where he can put a little air under the ball and his receiver has time to adjust and make a play, but more characteristic are flatter, harder thrown passes.
Mechanics & Footwork
Guiton throws from a three-quarters release. It is not how a coach would draw it up but nothing about it looks to be a potential problem. His throwing motion is pretty clean and he does not waste much time. Guiton carries the ball basically right in front of his throat, goes back to his ear and fires forward.
The one thing that can occasionally slow Guiton down is his weight transfer. When Guiton wants to put a lot of strength in a throw, the way he puts his body into the throw can be slow and the ball can hang up in his hand a little longer than is preferable. With work, he can speed this process up and reduce the time it takes for him to get his body into throws.
When it comes to footwork, Guiton does a good job when he needs to get into his drop, make a decision and throw the football, especially when he is on time. He looks comfortable and methodical in how he operates. When it comes to some of the quick throws like on bubble screens, he will occasionally go all arm and his feet are almost out of the equation entirely. This could be problematic going forward because it can impact his accuracy and zip, which could potentially allow a defender to jump one of these passes. Guiton just needs to work to set up and get a quick step into the throw.
He does not have a ton of experience coming out from under center on tape, but he does have experience because of his time under Tressel. Certainly, teams will want to see how he does it, but it should not be a difficult adjustment for Guiton and being able to read the defense as he gets to his landmarks to set up and throw.
He has not looked uncomfortable in the pocket, but he has not had a ton of examples of times where he is facing much pressure either as most of his time has come against overpowered opponents. Guiton is decisive, makes reads and decisions quickly and can make plays with his legs which helps him avoid letting pressure get to him, but he has not had to face a ton of pressure to this point.
Decision Making & Anticipation
This might be the area where Guiton really stands out, especially considering his lack of experience. Guiton throws the ball on time, throws to receivers so they are catching the ball out of their cuts and can throw receivers open. He does not waste time, does not hold onto the ball and is extremely decisive. Guiton can buy time, extend plays with his legs and find a receiver, but he is not afraid to throw the ball away.
It would be easy for Guiton to want to take advantage of every snap he has and try to make plays with all of them, but he has shown that he is extremely comfortable throwing the ball away, getting another play and trying to put the team in a better position. He has shown he is willing to do this in the middle of the field or in the red zone, which is not always easy for any quarterback, let alone one who has barely played.
Guiton is a terrific athlete. He is both quick and has great speed, so he can extend plays easily as well as make plays with his legs. Teams who want to be able to have a quarterback who can threaten with read option are going to want to take a look at Guiton, because he has run it, has run it well, and has the speed to make plays with it at the next level.
Guiton in many ways is a moldable piece of clay. In spite of the fact he has been at Ohio State for this long, he has not shown that he is stuck in one scheme. He made the adjustment from the more Pro-Style offense under Tressel to the spread style of Urban Meyer. Guiton may be more attractive to teams like the Philadelphia Eagles because of his ability to run so many of the types of plays they ask of their quarterbacks, but he really does appear to be able to adjust to anything.
The key for Guiton is to find himself a team that likes him as a long term backup that can develop him. More than likely that would be a third string quarterback but it could be as the backup because of what he brings to the team in terms of stability and the fact he is not going to complain about his situation. If he can get on a team for a decent amount of time and develop with him, he can become a good quarterback for them as a backup with a chance to become a starter or a nice trade chip for the future.
To this point, Guiton’s game is similar to that of Tyrod Taylor of the Baltimore Ravens. The former Hokie has a similar build to Guiton, though Guiton is taller, same type of ability to throw the football and speed with his legs. He is also in the type of situation that Guiton would benefit greatly from finding. Taylor is in his third year with the Ravens and there is no question that Joe Flacco is the starter, but Taylor looks competent when he gets his shots in preseason and there is a level of comfort that if Flacco was hurt, Taylor could operate the offense without it becoming a complete disaster. Just like he has been for Ohio State, that could be a great situation for Guiton in the NFL.
Guiton displays a good amount of talent and the fact that he has been behind two incredibly talented quarterbacks does not change that fact. The fact that he has been patient and handled the situation so well while making the most of his opportunities when he gets them will only help him in the draft process. Between teams interviewing Guiton, himself, and the Ohio State coaching staff, Guiton could become a popular day three prospect and his stock might be inflated by teams not wanting to miss out on him. In addition to his temperament, he does have impressive physical tools and the potential to develop at the next level. He might project as a sixth or seventh round player right now, but it would not be surprising if he ends up going closer to the fourth or fifth round when all is said and done, especially if he has a good draft process after the season, which he should.
Some of the film used in this scouting breakdown was provided by the good folks at draftbreakdown.com