He had to wait a bit, but he's officially an NFL quarterback. Nate Sudfeld is heading to Washington.
Despite losing a season to a shoulder injury as a junior and suffering an ankle injury that cost him part of his 2016 season, Sudfeld is Indiana's most prolific passer ever -- owning the Hoosiers' career records for touchdown passes and yards through the air. In his senior season, Sudfeld threw for 3,573 yards and 27 touchdowns with a 60% completion percentage, and was only picked off seven times all year. He is also the all-time IU leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns, and led the B1G in both categories last season as well. He was undoubtedly the leader for Indiana's prolific offense that put scares in Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, and Michigan State before reaching the Pinstripe Bowl* -- Indiana's first bowl game since 2007.
Sudfeld will have his work cut out for him as he tries to make the pros. It's often difficult for sixth and seventh round quarterbacks to get enough reps to develop on crowded depth charts -- and even if they make the 53-man roster, they often don't see the active roster come Sunday. However, there have been several success stories of QBs who have gone late in the draft, and as we've seen in the NFL many times before, being in the right place at the right time matters more for QB than any other position in the league. Still, he's in a pretty good position here. He's just the third QB on Washington's roster -- behind, uh, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. That's a roster that fits for him fairly well. If Sudfeld is able to make the active roster above McCoy this fall and develop as a QB, then you may be seeing him soon on Sundays -- if not in Washington but elsewhere.
What are the Washington Dan Snyders getting in Nate Sudfeld?
A NFL-ready thrower
Sudfeld's favorite throw at Indiana was often a 10-15 yard comeback route to the sideline to Simmie Cobbs to start football games -- and that ball never lacked for zip. He's efficient at getting the ball out of his hands quickly & accurately, too. He might not have Cardale Jones-size cannon, but Sudfeld hardly lacks the ability to throw the deep ball, too. His combine display was a bit disappointing with a few balls wobbling after leaving his hand and missing a few wideouts during drills -- but his time at Indiana would indicate that such wasn't terribly representative of his ability as a passer.
"Intangibles" and stuff
Since NFL folks love to rag on the CHARACTER ISSUES of 22-year-old kids so much for often trivial matters, it's easy for a team to make a black mark on a kid. Sudfeld won't have that problem -- he's the type of player coach-speaky NFL guys will love as an individual. He's a smart kid, was a finalist for the Lowe's SENIOR CLASS award for community service and overall Being A Good Human in college football, and has been on multiple service trips to Africa -- including during the summer before his senior season. If you want a low-risk option & good "locker room" guy for a developmental quarterback later in the draft, Sudfeld's a great option.
A guy who'll need some time to learn in a NFL system
Sudfeld's never ran an offense that huddled ever in his college career -- and most of Kevin Wilson's offense is quarterback-friendly with single or simple read throws. Sudfeld has the physical and mental tools, but he could use a year or two to sit and learn behind a talented veteran to learn the ropes.