Film Room Session: QB Patrick Witt (Harvard v. Yale)

Photo Credit to Jack Warhola Image

When you talk about QB’s in this coming draft we all know the big names. We all know Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III, and Ryan Tannehill, but after Round 2 or 3 all of those guys will be gone and we will be left with guys like Alex Tanney, Dane Simoneau, and Patrick Witt.

If you don’t know who any of these QB’s are then that’s fine. You are probably like 99% of College Football and NFL Draft fans who love the game but don’t have the time or desire to watch lower level football. Fortunately our Scouting Director, Matthew Elder, is among that very deprived 1% of people who actually enjoy watching these games and breaking them down. If you don’t believe us, go on over to our friends at Crystal Ball Run and see how he wrote over 10,000 words on the DII and DIII Playoffs last week and is well on his way to doing it again this week.

This past weekend was ‘The Game’ and we’re not talking about Baylor v. Oklahoma, but rather Harvard v. Yale. A rivalry that many consider to be the greatest in all of college football because of what it means on that field and beyond. This year it took on a whole different meaning as Yale QB Patrick Witt gave up his shot at a Rhodes Scholarship to play in this game and hopefully cement his prospects for the NFL. Below is our scout director’s breakdown of every throw he made in this historic game and his thoughts on if Witt is in fact a legitimate NFL QB.

1st Quarter
-Rolls right, checks down underneath
-Play-action, immediate pressure and he throws it away
-More pressure, side arms the ball into triple coverage, falls incomplete
-Run up the middle on a draw, some wiggle, lacks overall foot speed
-Three step drop and delivers the ball to the TE on a crossing route
-Five step drop goes through three progressions, finds TE for a TD on a deep in route
-Bubble screen attempt, poorly thrown and pass falls incomplete
-Witt finds WR on skinny post for first down, but WR fumbles the ball and its recovered by Harvard
-Hit WR in stride on skinny post, about 12 yards down the field

2nd Quarter
-Play-action fake, steps up in the pocket when he feels pressure and delivers a strike 30 yards down field to the far sideline with zip
-QB Draw, Witt gets drilled by LB
-Zips ball between CB and LB for completion on a slant route on 3rd down
-Play-action fake, wanted to go deep but choose to dump it down but failed to get the ball to the RB, poor throw
-Again inaccurate with the bubble screen throw, WR made the catch but had to dive for the football
-Short armed a completion over the middle on a slant route
-Starts drive on own 2, goes play-action, scans the field, doesn’t see anybody and bails out of the pocket for 12 yards
-Rolls right, find WR working back to the QB for a short gain
-Again short armed throw on a post route, ball was short but caught by diving WR
-Bounces throw to WR in the flat
-Coming over in a ¾ delivery on this drive
-Throws screen pass

Witt Halftime Numbers: 11 of 17, 126 yards, 1 TD

3rd Quarter
-On 3rd down, checks down to his RB in the flat for a quick first down
-Sacked, entire defensive line got through the offensive line.
-On 3rd and 17 throws a short pass to try and get some back
-Delivered an accurate ball on the bubble screen in stride
-Poor throw on a screen pass, never saw the DL sitting there and he made an easy INT
-Throw over the middle complete for 8 yards, picked apart the zone coverage
-Rolls left and completes a ball down the sideline
-Play-action, rolls right, takes off, took a blow and kept on falling forward
-Good coverage and Witt tucks it before going down for a loss of yardage
-Read blitz, called the right hot read but overthrew the fly route
-Again checks down to RB, doing a good job not forcing the ball down the field
-Good throw to outside WR, dropped the ball over the LB and ahead of the safety
-Throws quick hitch route to sideline
-Beautiful touch down the middle on a post route into the intermediate zone
-Saw blitz and called audible again to beat blitz
-Dropped pass by RB Alex Thomas
-Making quick decisions and reads, looking very comfortable right now
-Another dropped pass, this time by a WR
-Stepped up under pressure to deliver a good ball, but it was dropped
-Forces a ball into zone coverage and the Harvard DB had an easy pick

4th Quarter
-Good check down throw to RB over the middle
-Coverage sack for Harvard
-Another dropped pass by Yale WR
-Another completion over the middle but well short of first down
-Hits hitch route over the middle
-Hit and fumbled but Witt recovered it
-Forced another throw that was nearly picked
-Unblocked pressure up the middle, throw was behind WR
-Telegraphed throw to the outside and it goes for a pick six

Witt Final Numbers: 24 of 39, 226 yards, 1  TD, and 3 INT’s

To me you saw the best of the worst of Witt in this game. In the first half he was calm cool and collected. He made his reads and delivered great throws to his WR’s. Even in the third quarter he looked very good, however as the Harvard lead grew he got impatient, he started rushing his delivery, his mechanics left him, and he started forcing passes. Witt has struggled with consistency during his time at Yale. Part of that is because of that talent level around him, part of it is him trying to do too much. He will need time to develop and some time for refinement but I have never been more sure than after this game that Patrick Witt is indeed a NFL caliber QB.


Tags: Ivy League, NFL Draft, The Game

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