Mel Kiper Jr. shares his NFL player comparison for Jake Fromm
According to ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., there’s no easier player comparison to make heading into the 2020 NFL Draft than comparing Jake Fromm to Andy Dalton.
While some may scoff at that comparison due to Dalton’s lack of success in recent seasons in Cincinnati, there have been dozens of quarterbacks selected since the Bengals took Dalton in the 2011 NFL Draft that would have loved to have the career the veteran QB has experienced since entering the league.
Not buying that? Just look at some of the first-round QB selections teams have made since Dalton was drafted in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft: Brandon Weeden, EJ Manuel, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Paxton Lynch, Mitchell Trubisky and Josh Rosen.
Not exactly a murders row of success stories.
During the most recent ESPN podcast “First Draft,” show hosts Todd McShay and Kiper shared their thoughts on Fromm’s NFL potential. To no surprise, McShay continues to be high on the signal-caller from Georgia.
“His second year, I thought he was really good. Really good,” McShay noted. “Even in the games (Georgia) lost, if you go back and actually study the tape, the balls on target that were dropped and guys just not in the right position, and getting the ball out under pressure, little things that don’t show up in the statistics, I thought he was heading toward the first round.
“He didn’t play that well this year but look at all they lost and they had three injuries across the offensive line during the year. (Lawrence Cager) from Miami got injured, and once that happened, they didn’t have anything left. They had a bunch of freshmen, some talented guys, but who does he trust?”
McShay then made an interesting comparison that NFL fans should consider, comparing the situation Fromm experienced this season to what Tom Brady experienced in New England last season.
“And a quarterback like that, kinda like Brady at this point in his career, he’s got to be able to trust guys and where they are going, rather than just be able to drive the ball down the field. That’s not Fromm,” McShay continued. “Some guys don’t like him just because he’s limited. I know a bunch of people that think he’s not going to succeed, at best he’s a backup.
“I think if he’s put in the right situation… I think he has the chance to be a solid, to good starter. He was one of if not the most impressive players I met with all season long, in terms of how hard he works and his knowledge of the game. So you are getting that but if you are worried about physical limitations, he’s not for you.”
Following McShay’s comment, Kiper piped in with his NFL player comparison for Fromm.
“When we do (player comparisons), we all love comps, the easiest comp in this draft is Jake Fromm to Andy Dalton,” Kiper said. “From a competitiveness, leadership, smarts, size –”
“If Andy Dalton was playing for the Saints, he would have more success, would be my guess,” McShay cut in.
“95 percent of his touchdowns and receptions were gone, all of his touchdowns were gone,” Kiper continued. “Think about Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, Terry Godwin, Isaac Nauta the tight end, then he also lost Elijah Holyfield who was the No. 2/1A running back with Swift, who had a big year, and he lost his center, (Lamont) Gaillard, as well. You can’t take that away with anybody.”
Based on that back and forth exchange, it would appear that both ESPN draft analysts believe that if Fromm is put into the right situation, he will succeed at the game’s highest level.