I spent a good deal of time watching the Under Armour All America practices yesterday, particularly the Quarterbacks and came away with the few thoughts on them. For obvious reasons I’ll focus on Kevin Olsen but I’ll also try to hone in on how he compares to the two other Quarterbacks playing with him this weekend, Brice Ramsey and Shane Morris.
I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw of Olsen here in pads. I was expecting him to be the smallest of the three but I think that distinction belongs to Ramsey (albeit, not by much). Olsen looks more thickly built and ready to play than the other two right now and although Morris appeared to be the tallest of the group, Olsen wasn’t far behind.
Probably the single most important factor when evaluating quarterbacks. All three seem like good kids with charisma and spunk. The moment didn’t seem too big for any of them and I don’t see any reason that they can’t succeed at the next level. With all that said, Olsen clearly has an x-factor to him when it comes to command and emotions. He’s clearly the son of a coach. He never got too high or too low, took to coaching well, and looked really good bouncing back after reportedly having a terrible day the day before.
The two standouts in this drill for me were Shane Morris and Kevin Olsen. Olsen has a clean, compact release with good timing. He didn't miss a single throw that I watched. His footwork did seem a tad slower than the other two but that’s not uncommon for a kid that hasn't played in awhile. He was sharp and accurate, although his ball was clearly not coming out with the same zip and velocity as the other two. Morris throws the hardest which will always stand out in these settings. He has quick feet and looked surprisingly more comfortable than I was expecting from him. Brice Ramsey was the rawest of the three although I wouldn't call any of them bad at this particular event.
This to me was the area that set Olsen apart from the other two. Like noted earlier, he clearly doesn't possess the same arm strength as the others but he did show a little more ability to amp it up on a handful off passes when he needed to. He progressed through his reads quicker than any of the other two and always delivered an accurate and timely ball. Ramsey on the other hand, struggled with this event some in my mind. He was slow was his reads and was late on one particular throw down the middle of the field that would've been intercepted if not for a highlight reel catch by Lequon Treadwell. He showed more physical tools than Olsen but also looks to be way further behind mentally based on what I saw. Morris was pretty much between the two of them. Again, his athletic ability stood out and the throws a nice ball. He showed more of a gunslinger mentality than the other two and his arm was able to keep him more or less stride for stride with Olsen despite the fact that Olsen was clearly ahead of the game as far as diagnosing his reads.
I came into this event having Olsen as my personal #2 rated QB in this class (behind Ryan Burns) and I see no reason to change that now. He wasn't amazing but he showed a lot of desirable traits and surprised me in some areas that I thought he might be lacking a little more. For comparison sake, I had Ramsey in the low top 10 and Morris at number 11 for me as passers. Ramsey more or less held serve in my eyes but Morris impressed me enough to want to take another look where I had him at previously and likely warrant a move closer to the top 5. He was right there with Olsen for most of the day, if not better at some points.