It has been 16-years since we’ve seen a HBCU quarterback get drafted into the NFL. The last guy to have that honor was the late great Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson was drafted in the second round in 2006 by the Minnesota Vikings out of Alabama State University.
The time has finally come for us to see that opportunity come around again. Alabama A&M quarterback Aqeel Glass has a very high chance of not only being drafted, but picked with in the top 4-rounds of the draft. The only thing that separates his name from the other top quarterbacks in the upcoming draft is the respect that the NFL tend to not give to HBCU prospects.
The key attributes or questions we are looking to get answered from every quarterback we breakdown leading to the draft are simple.
- Does this quarterback have pocket presents?
- How is this quarterbacks decision making when things break down?
- Does he make his teammates better?
- Does he protect the ball?
- Last but the most important, is he the reason why the team won or were even competitive in a game they lost?
Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M
At 6’5 215-pounds, Glass had a solid college football career and he saved his best statistical season for last. Glass threw for 3,568 yards, 36 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions. One thing that makes a quarterback great is the ability to not force turnovers. Glass has the prototypical size coaches tend to look for in a NFL quarterback, but with the NFL having many good quarterbacks barely hitting 6ft, size goes out the window.
In the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the HBCU Legacy Bowl, Glass gave us a small sample of his game, but not enough to give him a definitive grade. So, the games we looked at were his 2021 fall season games against Florida A&M (FAMU), Jackson State, Texas Southern, and Alabama Pine-Bluff.
In his two biggest games of the fall season, Glass came up small against two teams that had more athletic defenses than what he had normally seen. Jackson State and FAMU caused problems that forced Glass to either make a play or take the sack. Often times it looked like he held the ball a little too long.
One of the common denominators I picked up on in his game is what happens when his number 1 target is not open. In the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, HBCU Legacy Bowl, FAMU, and Jackson State performances I noticed that he had a difficult time getting to his 2nd and 3rd options. Typically, if number 1 isn’t available the play is dead. As we all know, the NFL is a 2nd and 3rd read kind of league.
Although Glass does not have the biggest arm, he does a great job of putting a nice touch on the ball to give his receivers the best opportunity to make a play.
Does this mean he is accurate, no. Some of his down field shots are typically thrown as if they are on a rope but are off target at times. I believe if Glass becomes more accurate he has a chance to be a really nice steal in this years draft.
Glass played in a RPO style offense out of the shotgun. Although he put up great numbers, the play calling lacked creativity at times. Which in my view hindered Glass in many games. I believe that if he was given the opportunity to not fake the RPO hand off so much and just do a 3 or even 4 step drop back, we would be able to see Glass show off all of his gifts.
The concern I have about his game is does he have the poise in the pocket to get the ball off when the play breaks down? Also, does he know when to get out of the pocket to buy himself some more time? A better offensive scheme in the NFL will give us a better understanding of his abilities.
As I watched his film, the question I’m starting to ask myself is whether or not Glass is dynamic enough to start in the NFL? When I mean dynamic I do not mean running the ball every chance he gets. What I am wondering is can Glass win a shootout against the best of the best that are in the NFL? I see Glass as a developmental quarterback for his first two years in the league.
- Touch on the ball
- TD:INT (36:7)
- A lot of potential
- Stiff in the pocket
- Accuracy (Ball placement)
- Holds the ball too long
- Play recognition
- Hindered by play calling scheme
- Can’t tell if he can take over a game and win it for you.
Draft Grade: 6th round – Undrafted
Comparison: Dallas Cowboys QB, Dak Presscott