Most of the time when a team loses their star quarterback to the NFL it is often times a reason to panic. However in terms of the California football team they may in fact be in a better place than they were to season prior. As California alum and former first overall pick Jared Goff takes his snaps in the NFL the reality of the matter is the real shinning star is the incumbent college starter Davis Webb. In this piece I hope to explain why the California is actually better off with Webb under center and why he ultimately has a brighter NFL future ahead of himself.
Why Jared Goff Will Fail In The NFL:
I have been stating this theory for quite sometime now – Jared Goff will not make it in the NFL. When drafting a quarterback with the first overall pick you need to ask yourself this question. Can this guy win us a Super Bowl? If the answer is no you should take your franchise in a different direction. Let’s face the facts folks, Jared Goff will not win a Super Bowl with the Rams. Despite popular opinion he does not possess elite traits. Best case scenario we are looking at a Matt Ryan. In my opinion Goff will be the next Kyle Boller who also was a first round pick from Cal. Boller was a failure in Baltimore and looked completely lost during his time in the NFL.
“Starting with Goff, he is projected to be selected by many as high as number two overall by Cleveland. In my opinion I would be scared to death the take Goff. His ceiling for his potential reminds me of a young Matt Ryan. His arm strength is very average but he is a polished passer with a quick release. The downside is he might be the next coming of Kyle Boller. His 5-interception game against Utah is just down right ugly and anticipates the throw to much instead of progressing through routes. He remains a much better fit for a warm weather team as I think he is simply not a fit for a cold weather team where more arm strength is needed. There is a chance Goff can be a productive pro but I don’t see any Super Bowls in his future. If you’re going to take a guy that high you better ask yourself that question.”
My biggest problem with Goff is his arm strength. When you look at the elite quarterbacks in the league they have big time arms. When the going gets tough in the playoffs you need a guy who can make throws down the field in cold weather games. It’s why guys like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco have won a lot of playoff games in the past, because their ball cuts through the wind with velocity. It’s why quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Alex Smith, and Andy Dalton do not find a ton of postseason success despite having good regular season numbers.
When it comes to the intangibles so far this preseason Jared Goff has looked completely lost. Now of course he hasn’t called a play in his life dating back to college and even high school. If he makes it in the league, being a smart quarterback in this league is just as important. When you see Tom Brady play you constantly seeing him pointing at defenders and checking the overages to see where the extra man will blitz from. Thus far I haven’t seen any of that from Jared Goff. Part of playing the position is being buttoned up and taking control of the game. That is one part that will absolutely need to happen if Goff ever plans on making it in the pros.
In college Goff put up good numbers but his team always struggled. In 2015 Cal went 8-5 under Goff. Now that isn’t to say that record is all his fault because the rest of their team wasn’t particularly strong. My problem was that all 5 of those games could have been won if it weren’t for a late collapse off an interception. That includes the 5 interception game against Utah that ended up being a 6 point loss to the 5th ranked team at the time. Time and time again I saw a guy that just simply cracked under pressure and played a bunch of meaningless games. A 4-5 record in the Pac 12 frankly isn’t good enough in a lackluster conference when you have a supposed star quarterback. The evidence is there when it comes to the other quarterbacks in the draft class. (Carson Wentz 2x D1AA National Champion) (Cardale Jones National Champion) (Dak Prescott leading Miss State to top 5 ranking playing in SEC). I just didn’t see that from Goff who’s team frankly never got to that level.
Why Davis Webb Is the Real Deal:
Many of you out there reading this piece may have no idea who Davis Webb is but that is okay. Webb really caught my eye a few years ago when he was a freshman at Texas Tech. Webb battled for the position with now Oklahoma starter Baker Mayfield for the entire 2013 season. Eventually Mayfield decided to transfer because Webb was obviously the better option. (That says all you need to know consider Mayfield is a Heisman contender this season for the Sooners). When it was decided that Mayfield would transfer following the 2013 season, it gave Webb the clear path to start the bowl game. That is when he really put himself on the map. During the Holiday Bowl against 15th ranked Arizona State, Webb finished the game with 403 yards, 28–41 passing, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He of course won MVP honors of the bowl game leading the unranked Raiders to a very surprising win.
The following season Webb was replaced as the starter 8 games into the season due to injury. The problem at Texas Tech was that he wasn’t really a great fit for the run and shoot offense. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury was the former offensive coordinator at Texas A&M during the time that Johnny Manziel had much of his success. Webb was a guy who was going to stay in the pocket and let it rip. When Kingsbury had the opportunity to do his own recruiting he found his own quarterback for the job in Patrick Mahomes. A comparison to him would be a poor man’s Cam Newton who can scramble out of the pocket early and often. When Webb found himself on the bench he decided to transfer to Cal he found himself a home that would surround him with a great play-caller. Webb choose Cal just as Goff did years ago.
Webb is currently my top rated Senior quarterback heading into the 2016 season. In his debut with the new school Webb set the world on fire. In the first game against Hawaii he went 38-54, for 441 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. This isn’t going to be a guy who kills you with his speed or mobility but he is mobile enough for the position. The fact is this guy has the size (6’5″) and arm strength to be an elite quarterback in the NFL. Only time will tell if he has that ‘IT’ factor to carry a franchise to a Super Bowl Run. At this point in time only Clemson’s Deshaun Watson is rated higher on my list of quarterbacks for the 2017 NFL Draft. Can Webb lead California’s football team to a Pac 12 title? Probably not, but they will be much better than experts anticipate because this kid is a flat out stud. Jump on this bandwagon now before it is too late. It is only a matter of time until he starts getting that sort of Carson Wentz meteoric rise. You can tell your friends you knew about this guy first, the one who frankly has a brighter future than former quarterback Jared Goff.