Greg McElroy: Matt Stafford is 100 times the player Jacob Eason has been to this point
When you look around the quarterback landscape in the SEC, there isn’t another signal caller who has a higher ceiling than Georgia gunslinger Jacob Eason.
Georgia’s success in 2017 largely depends on how well Eason develops within the offense. The ceiling, like Eason’s talent, is very high, like national championship-high; however, development and progress certainly has to be made in his second season in order for the team to reach that potential. There’s really no quarterback controversy with freshman Jack Fromm, but Eason needs to make strides during his second season in order to keep the starting job.
Many have compared Eason to the great Matthew Stafford, as the two entered Georgia with No. 1 pick-type hype. Stafford lived up to that hype, and Eason has already been projected as the No. 1 pick in 2019, too.
Looking at the numbers, Stafford threw for 1,749 yards, seven touchdowns and 13 INTs, completing over 52 percent of his passes during his freshman season. Eason’s numbers are favorable when compared to Stafford’s, throwing for 2,430 yards, 16 touchdowns and eight INTs, completing over 55 percent.
Although former Alabama signal caller Greg McElroy doesn’t think the uber-talented Eason is a great quarterback yet, he knows he’s more than capable. He also cautions Georgia fans when comparing Eason’s freshman season to Stafford’s first year on the SDS Podcast.
“He’s a great thrower, but he’s not yet a great quarterback, if that makes sense,” McElroy said about Eason. “And that’s okay, because he’s a freshman. There’s a certain level of savvy you have to have at the quarterback spot. And everyone, Georgia fans alike, have said, ‘Oh, look at his numbers against Matt Stafford.’ Okay, but Matt Stafford is 100 times the player Jacob Eason has been to this point. Moving around, being able to negotiate a rush, being able to move throughout his reads and progressions and being able to adjust and be athletic when necessary.
“That’s a reason why Matt Stafford is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Jacob Eason is a terrific thrower of the football, but he still has so many other attributes that need to develop and catch up with his arm in order to become a complete player. But I think he’s capable, but he’s a work in progress at this point. And I think a lot of progress can be made.”
The beautiful thing about Eason is he already has the talent and experience. The other aspects of the position are very coachable. Eason can look at last season and grow from it. The lack of touch should improve, and his ability to read defenses should also. Things like understanding what the offense is trying to accomplish will start to slow down for him in Year 2.
You can listen to the full podcast with McElroy here.