Davis Webb, QB, Cal
(percentile rank among all QBs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.79 seconds (57th)
Vertical: 33 inches (69th)
Broad: 118 inches (87th)
3-cone: 6.92 seconds (79th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.21 seconds (74th)
*Years played at Texas Tech
Webb appears likely to be the 2nd Texas Tech QB off the board this April.
That’s where Cal’s latest product began his career. He claimed the Red Raiders’ starting job in the middle of his freshman year, shoving aside Baker Mayfield. That’s the same passer who led FBS in efficiency rating, yards per attempt and completion rate as a Heisman finalist for Oklahoma last fall.
Webb followed his 6 starts as a freshman with 8 more as a sophomore, but he also lost the job to Patrick Mahomes before that campaign finished. Webb opened his junior year as the clear backup to Mahomes and then used the graduate-transfer rule to leave for Cal.
Webb initially agreed to move to Colorado but switched after the Golden Bears lost Jared Goff to last year’s NFL Draft.
The 1-year import gained honorable mention All-Pac-12 status while ranking 6th in the nation in passing yards and tying for 8th in TD passes. He had huge volume to thank for the big numbers, as Webb finished 2nd in pass attempts—11 behind the leader and 28 ahead of #3. The Cal QB checked in just 72nd in yards per attempt (among 103 qualifiers), 52nd in passer rating and 41st in TD rate.
According to Pro Football Focus, Webb carried the 4th-highest grade among QBs after the season’s 5th week. Then he ranked dead last (142nd) from Week 6 on.
(Courtesy of DraftBreakdown.com)
Games watched: Stanford, UCLA, San Diego State, Baylor (2015)
You know what? I might’ve watched more Webb games … if it weren’t so freakin’ boring. Imagine the 1st few throws in a QB skills competition. That’s most of the Cal offense.
Webb would consistently take a shotgun snap (every play) and turn right or left to fling a screen, a slant or some other quick-hitter. According to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, “more than 65%” of Webb’s pass attempts traveled less than 10 yards downfield.
The fact that his accuracy wavers even in that gimme range might be about all you need to know.
Stanford 5:58-6:02 – low throw for open man in left flat
Webb is at least consistent in that his accuracy also wavers as his throws move downfield. He brings plenty of arm strength and is capable of delivering a nice deep ball.
UCLA 9:05-9:10 – perfect touch on deep ball to Chad Hansen
SDSU 0:31-0:36 – easy deep TD to RB
But even in just the 4 games I watched, I saw too many times where he either seemed to rein it in too much or simply lob a lazy ball too short to let his guy make the play.
Baylor 2015 (for Texas Tech) – 2:33-2:39 – lazy deep ball, short, PI
That last throw came from his final season at Tech (and his teammate at least bailed him out by drawing a PI flag on the chasing defender).
As I said, arm strength isn’t an issue. And Webb looks mobile enough in the pocket to be a pain to rushers. Here’s a play where he rolls left and makes the best throw I saw across the 4 games …
Stanford 6:55-7:00 – scramble left, nice ball low at sideline to give only WR a chance
Here’s another spot where he proved willing to throw a contested ball into the end zone and let his WR make the play.
SDSU 2:22-2:27 – threw contested ball into end zone – paid off
Shortly thereafter in the same game, however, Webb makes about as poor a decision as your QB can possibly make.
SDSU 2:46-2:53 – bad decision on screen – pick-6 in tie game
That pick-6 broke the tie in a game Cal eventually lost by 5.
Zierlein says of Webb that his throwing decisions appear pre-determined, rather than guided by the coverage. And that becomes clearer the more you watch. There’s no shortage of “why did you throw that?” According to Zierlein, 5 of Webb’s 12 INTs last year came on deep sideline throws where he underthrew it or failed to read safety help.
Webb also doesn’t appear to translate his impressive athleticism from testing to the field. His rushing stats are deceiving because NCAA numbers count sack yardage against a QB’s rushing. But I didn’t see him run a single attempt past the line of scrimmage in the 4 games I watched. There was 1 option play, but Webb pitched.
Don’t get excited about his 6 ground scores from 2016.
PFF: “Webb is a developmental quarterback with a chance to be a backup down the road.” (They rank him 9th at the position, behind Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly and Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs, among others.)
AFC Scout to Lance Zierlein: “I see another Nick Foles if you give him time to develop.”
PlayerProfiler match: Matt Cassel.
Zierlein comp: Brock Osweiler.
Webb might look like a “late riser” as draftniks start hearing more buzz from NFL front-office people. And some team will probably wind up over-drafting him because he’s 6’5 with a strong arm.
But if a guy needs time to develop into Nick Foles, just ignore him in your rookie draft and flick the RB/WR spinner to get a player who might actually help your fantasy squad at some point.