This is part of a series of scouting reports on the undrafted free agents the Steelers signed following the 2023 NFL Draft. We continue to look at the UDFAs with Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan.
#2 Tanner Morgan/QB Minnesota – 6003, 204 lbs.
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Tanner Morgan||6003, 204||9 1/2||29 7/8||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Compact and quick release, throws a pretty spiral
— Shows toughness as a runner and just enough mobility to take advantage of running lanes
— Displays accuracy to lead receiver on slants and crosses
— Touch and placement on vertical throws outside the numbers
— Able to find checkdown versus pressure
— Willing to take a profit and what the defense gives him
— Tiny bit of work under center, though no play-action
— Won big games and had production early in career
— Boosted completion percentage final season
— Highly experienced
— Short for the position
— Doesn’t anticipate and has to see receiver break open for him to fire
— Inconsistent decision-maker who makes highly questionable decisions and will lock onto target; needs to more consistently go through his reads
— Drifts in pocket and has poor pocket feel
— Won’t always transfer weight and drive the ball
— Plays conservatively and keeps ball in short/intermediate range unless target is wide open; fails to push ball vertically
— Lacks great zip on velocity on his throws
— Production and play waned and struggled to stay in games as a senior
— Battled injuries and play style lends itself to taking shots
— RPO/zone-read heavy offense
— Has moderate mobility, only takes advantage of space ahead of him
— Accuracy will die when throwing on the move
— Concerning concussion history
— 24 years old
— 47 career starts (won 33 games, a school record)
— Career: 1,063 pass attempts (62.2%), 9,454 yards (8.9 YPC) 65 TDs 32 INTs with eight rushing TDs
— 66.9% completion rate, 1,382 yards (8.6 YPA) 9 TDs, 5 INTs in 2022
— 2019 was career year, threw 30 touchdowns and exited season viewed as a potential 1st-round prospect
— Three-star recruit from Union, Kentucky, chose Minnesota over Bowling Green, Louisville, Wake Forest among a handful of others
— Father passed away in 2021
— Married in July of 2022
— Battled injuries in 2022, upper body injury and was concussed twice during the season, once against Illinois and again versus Rutgers two weeks later, also concussed in 2019 against Iowa
— Initially committed to Western Michigan but followed P.J. Fleck when he took Minnesota job
— Drafted by USFL Michigan Panthers 8th overall in 2023
— Cousins with former 1st-overall NFL pick and Cleveland Browns QB Tim Couch
— Been a highly touted prospect since 8th grade; as a kid worked with well-known QB Coach George Whitfield, who trained with Ben Roethlisberger in the 2010 offseason
Pittsburgh signed Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan as part of its UDFA class this past weekend. Morgan was viewed as college football’s next great quarterback off a fantastic 2019 season, throwing for 30 touchdowns with a notable upset against Penn State. But his career cratered from there and by 2022, he was an afterthought.
Overall, Morgan manages the game well and takes what the defense gives him. He’s not going to fire 40-yard shots downfield that get picked off by rangy free safeties and consistently did his damage in the short to intermediate passing game. Though he didn’t often push the ball vertically, he showed accuracy and placement on those attempts.
Morgan is a tough runner with enough mobility to run for first downs. He’s willing to sacrifice his body to move the sticks to the point where it probably got him in trouble and caused him to take a unnessary shots. While he’s short, he has some bulk that allowed him to bounce off some would-be tacklers.
I do like his quick release and the spin he puts on the football. But even the 2019 tape I watched didn’t wow. In that Penn State upset, there were receivers wide open and Morgan did little in the second half; his career fell apart over the last two years. Morgan is not an anticipatory thrower and the ball routinely came out late, leading corners to consistently jump his throws.
Morgan also made some poor decisions and locked on receivers, leading to risky passes over the middle.
He suffered at least three concussions in his career, including a pair in 2022. That’s obviously a concern and contributed to his poor 2022 season and cratering draft stock. Another concussion this summer would be worrying and might have Morgan thinking about a different line of work.
Morgan was a highly touted prospect basically since the time he was 13 years old though he wasn’t a superstar recruit coming out of high school. His 2019 season put him on the college football map but things tanked from there. It’s still hard to understand why Morgan suddenly struggled. Blame a bit on injuries, blame a bit on an offensive scheme that was panned for being too simplified.
Morgan can take what a defense gives him and generally doesn’t try to do too much. He’s a tough kid who won a bunch of games for the Gophers. But his physical talent is only average, his mechanics are just okay, and he doesn’t play with enough processing, anticipation, or consistent decision-making to inspire much confidence. Pittsburgh will bet on Morgan finding his early-career success and frankly, his poor play probably made him a cheap signing. My NFL comp is former Georgia QB Aaron Murray, who never threw an NFL pass.
Depot Draft Grade: 5.6MED – UDFA
Games Watched: vs Penn State (2019), at Nebraska (2022), vs Rutgers (2022), at Michigan State (2022), at Illinois (2022)