2022 NFL Draft

Evaluating the Value: QB Chris Oladokun

The pick is in. This is Kevin Colbert’s final year as the general manager, and like in past years, we want to evaluate the value of each pick. Based on projections for each player by draft outlets as well as our own reports, we want to see if the pick’s value is above or below how they were ranked coming into the draft.

Round 7 (Pick 241) – Chris Oladokun, QB, South Dakota State

With the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, we knew there would be changes coming at the quarterback position. They added Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and Kenny Pickett in the first round two days ago. So why not take another with their final pick of the draft? To think some of you scoffed when Alex put two quarterbacks in his mock draft. Oladokun started his career at South Florida before transferring to Samford and then to South Dakota State. He had a strong season in 2021 to lead his team to the FCS semifinals.

Lance Zierlein of NFL.com had him as a priority free agent and with grade that put him in the “Candidate For Bottom Of Roster Or Practice Squad” category. He concluded:

“Oladokun offers good arm talent and an ability to throw on the move and off platform. His placement and anticipation need work and he’s noticeably better throwing between the numbers than outside them. He plays with plus pocket mobility and can extend the play when needed but must become a better decision-maker and field-reader to have a chance at the next level.”

NFL Draft Bible listed his pros as:

“An interesting prospect that possesses a lot of tools you want from your quarterback. Chris Oladokun has a quick and compact throwing motion that generates velocity quickly from a number of throwing angles. He can get behind his throws even in instances where he can’t step into his throw or his body is moving in a contradictory direction. Really impressive ball placement with timing routes where he throws guys up and puts it where his guy can get it. Good pocket awareness, both knowing when to step up or bail out the side. Will extend plays in a number of ways while maintaining eyes down the field.”

They listed his cons as:

“Despite being in his sixth year, Oladokun has plenty of areas of concern and improvement. He makes some plays look a lot harder than they should be. Feels pressure well but will abandon some mechanics and rush himself despite having time. Trusts his arm to a fault and will attempt throws into tight coverage that are ill-advised. Shortens the stride of his front leg at times to get air on the ball rather than adjusting his mechanics properly. Puts stress on his upper body to correct some technical flaws. Decision-making can be worrisome as he needs to realize that it’s sometimes better to throw the ball away than forcing a tight window.”

Their final summary stated:

“A dynamic quarterback who has a quick release with good velocity on his throws. Can make plays inside and outside the pocket but is very comfortable making throws on the run, regardless of direction. Inconsistent decision-making and speeds his game up too much at times. Solid leadership skills and good control over an offense with a lot of pro elements and moving parts. Best fit in a spread offense that emphasizes good spacing and timing.”

Our report by Alex Kozora listed him as a priority undrafted free agent, and concluded:

“Overall, Oladokun is a decent quarterback prospect with a blend of physical and mental tools. His path to the NFL has been bumpy but he’s found a way to succeed through difficult circumstances. Oladokun lacks elite tools to become a starter but shows staying-power in the league with his overall game and mobility. Compares to Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, a scrappy, fairly mobile and small schooler himself.”

Overall, he was considered a priority free agent, and this late in the draft, if you don’t want to risk it, you pick the player. That being said, adding a fourth quarterback with a draft pick is puzzling. Adding other positions this late allows you to consider the player to be a special team player. This is not the case here, and therefore gives the pick a value of LOW.

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