The Jaguars selected Jake Luton out of Oregon State with the 189th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The 24-year old rookie QB will have plenty of competition in the QB room this summer, and making the 53-man roster may be more of a long shot than an expectation for Luton. Gardner Minshew is entrenched as the starter, so Luton, Joshua Dobbs, and Mike Glennon will be competing for one or two spots.
Let's start with what I've seen from Luton's game.
The kid is a massive 6'7'', 229 pound QB with a strong arm. But he has an elongated throwing motion that has led to batted passes at the line of scrimmage far too often. Still, he has a strong arm and is capable of making every throw. He displays impressive touch and accuracy down the field. Luton won't be a running QB in the NFL, but his pocket mobility and movement skills behind the line are a bit underappreciated. He can manipulate the pocket and even extend his time to throw by scrambling outside the pocket. Luton was incredibly ball-secure in his last year for the Beavers and throughout his college career. He never threw more than four interceptions in a season and threw just three in his final year. Luton completed over 62% of his passes in each of his last two seasons at Oregon State. His biggest weakness BY FAR is his unconventional release, but outside of that, Luton is a reasonably clean prospect. But being 24 already, Luton won't have the same developmental time that many young QBs are afforded in the NFL.
And back to his competition for the 53-man roster...
Luton will be competing with Joshua Dobbs and Mike Glennon for a spot on the Jaguars' roster.
Dobbs is a rocket-scientist, literally. He's got a big arm, plus athleticism for the position, and a head start with the coaching staff and front office. Despite being just a year older than Luton, Dobbs has already been in the NFL for four years and has taken reps in an NFL game. The Jaguars used a fifth-round pick to acquire Dobbs when Nick Foles got injured in 2019.
The newly signed Mike Glennon is the elder statesman of the Jaguars' QB room at 30 years old. He's got plenty of starting experience in the NFL, a trait that Jaguars' head coach Doug Marrone appreciates. Glennon also has a strong right arm and an impressive overall track record in the NFL.
Luton is going to have a tough time earning the trust of the coaches when he'll likely enter training camp as the fourth QB on the depth chart. What is his path to making the roster? One way for him to make it would be an injury to one of the quarterbacks in front of him, but we're not going to go there. So, he'll have to show that he's far and away the best backup in the room, and even that might not be enough. Luton will need to be risk-averse, but also show the ability to push the ball down the field. He'll need to show that his mobility behind the LOS is more valuable than Mike Glennon's wealth of experience.
But in all likelihood, Luton is headed for the practice squad in 2020. Dobbs has more familiarity with being an NFL quarterback and might be a better overall player. Glennon has a strong arm and a history of success. Even if the Jaguars keep three quarterbacks on their active roster, Luton is a steep underdog to be one of them.
But a year on the practice squad isn't the end of the world. As long as Luton shows perseverance, as he did after suffering a major spinal injury in college, he'll have a shot to make it as a backup in this league.
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