clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thoughts on Buffalo Bills fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman

New, comments

He won’t “wow” you with his arm, but there’s a lot to like about Peterman.

Nathan Peterman was my No. 5 quarterback in the 2017 draft class, just behind Patrick Mahomes and ahead of DeShone Kizer.

This Pittsburgh alum is a technician, with the most refined fundamentals in this entire quarterback class.

At 6’2”, 225 pounds he doesn’t have enormous size but isn’t hindered by a lack of height. He doesn’t have a rocket arm either. Those two things likely led to his fall into the fifth round.

(On the measurables note, he has large, 9 7/8” hands.)

Peterman has vast experience in a traditional “pro-style” offense. He’s taken many reps from under center, is comfortable with the intricate ball-handling that comes on a variety of play-action fakes, and he operated many bootlegs while with the Panthers.

His accuracy, especially on short and intermediate passes is reliable but shouldn’t be categorized as pinpoint. Peterman has a quick over-the-top delivery. There’s no wasted motion in his release.

Down the field, he has very impressive touch. Of all the “top” quarterbacks in this class, I thought he was the most accurate deep-ball thrower.

At times, his decision-making was questionable, yet he’s not a “gun-slinger” by any stretch. He’s not afraid to throw it into tight windows a handful of times throughout a game. Peterman has the tendency to unnecessarily fire the football on short passes and on long “NFL” throws across the field, his lack of arm strength is apparent, as many of this throws seemingly took forever to get there and were well low of their intended target.

(Yes, the conclusion you’re starting to draw is correct -- Peterman is the polar opposite quarterback of Cardale Jones.)

He’s not Drew Brees in the pocket when needing to drift away from pressure, but he can flash some movement within the confines of the tackles if he’s locked onto a receiver. As is the case with most college quarterbacks, Peterman will leave the pocket prematurely if he doesn’t like what he sees and pressure is mounting.

After his sound overall accuracy, the next-best trait Peterman possesses is his keen field-scanning. His internal clock is always ticking, and he scans very quickly from sideline-to-sideline. Playing in Pittsburgh’s pro-style offense was hugely beneficial to him regarding how “ready” he was to make the jump to the NFL.

There really isn’t much to dislike about Peterman from a technical standpoint. He’s limited as an NFL passer because of his weaker arm, and while’s decently mobile, he will leave some clean pockets.

But, really, he’s strikingly similar to the prospect Kirk Cousins was when he entered the league out of Michigan State in 2012.