College: Western Kentucky
College Stats: 12,855 passing yards, 111 touchdowns, 68.6 completion percentage, 161 QB rating
Personally, Brandon Doughty is one of my favorite players in this year's draft. Unfortunately, I don't think NFL teams really consider my opinion before making their draft picks. Defenses in Conference USA know Doughty and the Western Kentucky offense all too well. Doughty led the Hilltoppers to 28 wins over the past 3 seasons and broke a number of school records. His impressive numbers should catch anyone's eye, but a deeper look may show some signs of concern for NFL scouts. Despite any weaknesses that he may possess, Doughty is still a quarterback that is ready for the NFL.
Physical ability aside, Doughty’s ability to lead on the field may be what attracts NFL teams to him the most. The respect he gained from his teammates and coaching staff appears to be, in part, from his ability to leave it all on the field. Although he lacks the speed to extend a play for a long period of time, Doughty consistently stands in the pocket until the play fully develops and does not hurry his throw in fear of a big hit. His high football IQ is evident when seeing his ability to know when to just throw the ball away, and when he can fit the pass into a tight window.
A look at the numbers shows that, if given the ideal offensive scheme, Doughty can provide very impressive statistics. He led the NCAA in passing yards and touchdowns during both the 2014 and 2015 season. Likewise, his career passing numbers rank him in the top 16 all time in both passing touchdowns and yards. Critics of Doughty often credit the "pass happy" offense that he led as the reason behind his numbers. Pass happy or not, those numbers prove that he is very capable of moving the ball through the air.
Although Doughty impressed at the combine, he recorded the slowest 40 yard dash time at 5.22. Clearly, he’s not the fastest guy in this year’s group of quarterbacks. His willingness to stay in the pocket and take hits showed guts and was praised at the college level. However, NFL teams may shy away from a quarterback that lacks the speed to avoid a strong rush and repeatedly takes hits in the pocket.
Doughty torched his competition at the NCAA level, however, he may not be 100% prepared to take an immediate large role in the NFL. His numbers at Western Kentucky were phenomenal, but he was protected by a very talented line and surrounded by a quality supporting cast. His success may have been largely due to the chemistry he had with his team and the ability of his receivers to make big plays after the catch. However, his performance at the shrine game gave a glimpse of what could be the result of being drafted by a sub-par NFL team. Doughty will need the right offense and coaching staff to be a big-time player at the next level.
Where will Doughty get drafted?
While the Bears have a solid quarterback in Jay Cutler, they've expressed interest in drafting another one this weekend. Doughty could benefit from the time behind Cutler and make an impact once he's fully prepared.
Bears early in the 6th round