Washington quarterback Jacob Eason has flashed immense potential, but his lack of consistent play makes his NFL future uncertain.
After a stellar week one effort that saw him toss four touchdowns, Washington QB Jacob Eason looked like a star on the rise and a potential top NFL Draft prospect in 2020. Unfortunately, after a rough week two that ended in a loss, it appears he has crashed back down to Earth in a big way.
On a day where he was constantly under pressure, Eason played sloppy, mistake-filled football and in the process, he showed just how far he has to go before being considered a top prospect in a talented 2020 draft class.
Eason has the talent to be an exceptional player, there is no doubt about that. Before transferring from Georgia to Washington after the 2017 season, he had already shown some potential in the form of a surprising freshman season in which he threw 16 touchdowns to eight interceptions before being supplanted by Jake Fromm in 2018. Between that freshman season and this season’s week one, Eason showed the arm talent and decisiveness that is often lacking in young quarterbacks.
The problem, however, is consistency, or lack thereof.
When provided with a clean pocket to throw from, few quarterbacks can sling the ball as well as Eason. Unfortunately, quarterbacks are not always given the courtesy of elite protection, and that is where Eason’s game begins to break down.
When facing pressure, he tends to panic, causing his mechanics to break down, and ultimately, this leads to inaccurate throws and interceptions. In the NFL, where pass-rushers are more talented than ever, a quarterback has to be able to deal with pressure. At this point in his career, it’s unclear whether Eason can thrive when facing pressure in the backfield.
Even when given adequate protection, Eason’s game is not perfect. His inexperience can be seen in his inconsistency reading defensive schemes and his mechanical breakdowns. Too often he will fail to sense a blitz or see a roaming safety, resulting in interceptions and missed completions. These problems are correctable with the right coaching, but in an NFL where players are expected to contribute from day one, Eason’s learning curve may cause his draft stock to plummet.
Ultimately, Jacob Eason is a talented prospect, but also a prospect that struggles to play consistent football. There have been enough flashes of potential with him to warrant a shot at the next level, but unless he can improve his play under duress and become more reliable, Eason’s NFL career may be as a backup despite his immense natural talent.