Career Recap: Surprisingly, Slovis was not heavily recruited while in high school. It was even more surprising when you consider he was producing big numbers with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner as his quarterback coach. USC was one of the only Power Five programs to show interest in Slovis, and he signed on to continue the Trojans' tradition of quarterback prospects for the NFL.
Slovis broke out as a freshman in 2019, completing 72 percent of his passes for 3,502 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He did not play as well in 2020, but the Trojans had lost some important players to the NFL, like left tackle Austin Jackson and No. 1 wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. In the weird and shortened pandemic six-game season, Slovis completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,921 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
2021 Season Outlook: The Pac-12 will provide some solid challenges to Slovis during his junior year. Conference opponents like Stanford, Colorado, Arizona State and California will be solid tests. The Utah Utes on Oct. 9 and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Oct. 23 could be the best defenses he will see in 2021. Both programs have been producing a lot of good defensive talent for the NFL in recent years. To end the regular season, BYU could be another tough test for Slovis.
Skill-Set Summary: Watching Slovis in 2019 made the NFL tutelage of Kurt Warner easily apparent, as he looked like a seasoned veteran despite being a freshman. Slovis showed a lot of poise, intelligence, instincts, and natural passing ability. It was a phenomenal debut season.
Slovis is an accurate passer who distributes the ball well and does a nice job of sliding passes into tight windows thanks to advanced ball placement. Downfield, short, or in the intermediate range, Slovis places his passes well, hitting receivers in stride, and he is capable of beating tight coverage by dropping the ball past defenders. Slovis shows a nice ability to make touch throws with air under the football to toss a very catchable pass. His good timing and precision make him a deadly passer and point producer.
Slovis displays the field vision to work off his first read and go through his progressions. Warner also taught Slovis impressive eye manipulation for working safeties and to help free up receivers downfield from coverage over the top. For a young player, Slovis shows impressive intelligence and looks very comfortable running the offense. He looks like a nice fit for a West Coast offense given his passing talent.
There are some attributes that could cause some evaluators to ding Slovis. He lacks good size and may not have elite arm talent. His arm looks capable and could be solid, but he does not look like he has a massive cannon like a Josh Allen or Pat Mahomes. Slovis also is not a dynamic running threat like a Lamar Jackson or Deshaun Watson. The dual-threat quarterback is en vogue in the NFL, so teams that want that kind of quarterback probably won't get too excited by Slovis. From a skill-set perspective, Slovis may be a finished product and might not have much upside for the NFL.
For the evaluators who don't like Slovis, I can see them comparing him to Jake Fromm from Georgia. For the evaluators who like Slovis, I could see them comparing him to the Raiders' Derek Carr.
2022 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2021 season, Slovis has the potential to rise into early-round contention, but he could also slide. This is a huge season for Slovis' draft grade.