UGA football news: Jake Fromm drafted by the Buffalo Bills

former UGA football quarterback Jake Fromm waited longer than many expected. The Buffalo Bills drafted him in the fifth round with the 167th overall pick.

UGA football quarterback Jake Fromm has become somewhat of an enigma over the last couple of months. He is one of the winningest quarterbacks in college football, but not everyone is in love with his skill set.

Fromm isn’t for everyone, but apparently he’s the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills because it used its 167th overall pick in the fifth round to take Fromm off the board. The Bills selecting Fromm comes seemingly from left field. One of Fromm’s biggest knocks is his lack of arm strength which is a necessity for quarterbacks playing in Buffalo because of the typical cold and windy weather.

That’s not to say Fromm will not have success in the NFL. When Peyton Manning entered the league the big knock on him was his arm strength. Fromm is not Manning, that is not the point. The point is, arm strength isn’t the be all end all at quarterback.

A quarterback needs to be a leader and he needs to be smart enough to put his offense in the right play against what the defense is showing. Fromm has both of these traits. Plus, he can improve his arm strength and has time to do so.

The Bills weren’t looking for a starting quarterback, Josh Allen is their guy right now and backup quarterback Matt Barkley is in the last year of his contract. Drafting Fromm creates a competition for the backup quarterback job and gives an idea to Buffalo about the direction it needs to take after this season.

Still, despite the questions about Fromm’s skill set, it’s surprising to see him fall to the fifth round. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was unable to meet with teams before the draft. Had he been able to display his football IQ to NFL front offices he could have greatly improved his stock.

All franchises had for Fromm was game film and the NFL combine and both were a bit of a mixed bag. Fromm had decent stats for a three-year starter; 8,236 yards and 78 touchdowns while completing 63 percent of his throws and only tossing 18 interceptions. But he wasn’t at his best throwing the ball at the combine, and there were already concerns about his arm.

Dane Brugler, of The Athletic, has Fromm as the No. 77 player in this year’s draft. This is what he had to say about the Georgia QB:

Fromm, who finished his UGA career with a 36-7 record, eliminates things quickly to work from read-one to read-two to read-three and understands the “why” and “where” with his progressions, which will endear him to NFL coaches. The Georgia offense protected him with the run game and play-calling, but he shows the ability to anticipate and throw receivers open, projecting best to a pro offense with west-coast principles. Overall, Fromm is a challenging evaluation because he won’t be for everyone with his lack of ideal physical traits (arm, size, athleticism), but he is above average in the two most important categories at the position: accuracy and mental processing, projecting as an NFL starter in the right scheme.

Because Fromm fell to the fifth round to a team looking for a backup, he is bound to face harsh criticism for leaving UGA football early. His weaknesses in mobility, deep-ball accuracy and arm strength were noticed well before the combine.

Next: 30 greatest players of the Mark Richt era

After five rounds of the NFL Draft, five Bulldogs have joined NFL franchises. Offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson each left the board in the first round. D’Andre Swift followed soon after the beginning of the second round. Solomon Kindley became the third Georgia offensive lineman drafted when his name was called in the fourth round. Tyler Clark, J.R. Reed and others are still waiting.

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