Works through his progressions and reads the defense
Ability to thrive as a pocket passer
Can make all the NFL throws
Distributes the ball to a variety of weapons
Good on touch passes
Basis for good footwork
Athletic; can scramble and avoid sacks with his feet
Accurate in the short to intermediate part of the field
Improved throughout college
Not ready to start
Needs to improve deep-ball accuracy
Can have bouts of poor decision-making
Needs to speed up his clock sometimes
Needs to improve footwork and get more comfortable under center
Summary: The quarterback-needy nature of the NFL means there is always the potential for a quarterback to rise during the draft process. If one is going to do it in the 2015 NFL Draft, Grayson is the most likely prospect to have a big climb. There are a lot of teams that need quarterbacks, but there is a dearth of prospects to satisfy that need. Thus, Grayson could end up going higher than many expect.
Early in the 2014 season, a general manager told WalterFootball.com that they loved Grayson and thought he could end up being a quarterback to rise like Jimmy Garoppolo or Blake Bortles did in the 2014 NFL Draft. Grayson barely played as a freshman and sophomore, but he won the starting job as a junior in 2013 and had a breakout year under the guidance of Jim McElwain. Grayson completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,696 yards with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He played well to close out the season especially.
Grayson was even better in 2014. He threw for over 400 yards in back-to-back games against Boise State and UC Davis. Grayson helped lead a comeback win over Boston College on the road. He had the most efficient passing game of any quarterback in the nation as he completed 18-of-21 passes for 390 yards with five touchdowns against Wyoming. The senior completed 65 percent of his passes for 4,006 yards with 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2014.
Grayson was the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl. He had a quality week of practice and made some beautiful throws, but also had some missed opportunities. It was a solid, but not great week. Grayson did interview well and illustrated to teams that he has a great attitude about developing as a backup and working to support a starting quarterback. It appeals to Grayson to go the Aaron Rodgers route and sit behind a great signal-caller for a few seasons. Grayson's character receives good marks as he is viewed as a good teammate with leadership skills.
Not every team is on board with that general manager I cited about Grayson. Some don't like him, but many do. What appeals to teams about Grayson the most is the ability to be a pocket passer. He can drop back, work through his progressions and deliver some accurate passes. Grayson does a nice job of avoiding the rush and keeping his eyes downfield. He also has a strong arm that can make all the throws. Grayson displays some good accuracy at times, but needs to get more consistent. He has some mobility to avoid sacks and make throws on the run.
Grayson needs to improve throwing the deep ball and getting his footwork down while working under center. He also needs to get better at hanging tough in the face of a pass rush and not letting it rattle him. Grayson needs to polish his overall game and land with a good quarterback coach who will work with him.
Grayson's best course for the NFL would be best sitting for a year or two and developing before seeing the field. The best-case scenario for him would be to get drafted by a team like New Orleans and sit behind a great quarterback. However in the quarterback-needy NFL, Grayson could be forced to play sooner rather than later. He looks likely to be a second- or third-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Player Comparison: Ryan Tannehill. Grayson is very similar to Jimmy Garoppolo as a prospect, but the latter hasn't seen the field yet in the NFL. Of the starters in the NFL, the closest resemblance to Grayson could be Tannehill. Both are athletic passers who can function from the pocket, but struggle with deep-ball accuracy. Grayson has some mobility, but isn't as athletic as Tannehill is. Tannehill was the eighth-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, while Grayson won't go nearly that high. If Grayson becomes a starter though, I could see his game being similar to Tannehill.
NFL Matches: St. Louis, Houston, New York Jets, Carolina, San Francisco, Cleveland, Miami, Chicago, Tennessee, New Orleans
Given the demand for quarterbacks in the NFL, there shouldn't be any shortage of teams hoping to land Grayson on the second-day of the 2015 NFL Draft. The most likely teams to pull the trigger on Grayson are the Rams, Texans and Jets. All three have a huge need at the position and are likely to miss out on Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota.
The Rams could have Grayson develop behind Sam Bradford in 2015, plus Grayson could be good insurance in case Bradford gets injured again. The Texans and the Jets will also consider Grayson as a possible competitor at the position to go with each team's holdover signal-callers.
At the Senior Bowl, Grayson told WalterFootball.com that he met with Carolina and San Francisco, so perhaps those teams are looking at Grayson as a potential upgrade to their respective backup quarterback situations. The Panthers or the 49ers also might be able to develop him into trade bait.
The Browns are already facing the real possibility that Johnny Manziel will be a bust. Cleveland met with Grayson at the Senior Bowl.
Miami also met with Grayson at the Senior Bowl. Perhaps the Dolphins want another option behind Ryan Tannehill, especially in case Tannehill isn't signed to a contract extension.
The new Bears regime may want another young quarterback option in case the organization decides to move on from Jay Cutler in the next year or two. Grayson could interest Chicago on Day 2. The Titans also could consider Grayson if they decide to pass on a quarterback with the second-overall pick.
Lastly, the Saints are said to be looking to take a quarterback to prepare for the retirement of Drew Brees. Grayson would be a good fit in Sean Payton's offense and would have great mentors in the quarterback room with Brees and Luke McCown. New Orleans could be an ideal landing spot for Grayson.