by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of San Diego Tribune.
The NFL Draft talk never ends, and we are here at Draft 412 in an effort to keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024, we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Pittsburgh, QB, Phil Jurkovec
Name- Phil Jurkovec
HT/WT- 6’5” 240 lbs.
Home – Pittsburgh, PA
The Pittsburgh Panthers will once again start the season with a transfer at quarterback after last year’s starting quarterback, Kedon Slovis, transferred to BYU. The Panthers were able to sign former Notre Dame, Boston College, and Pine Richland quarterback, Phil Jurkovec, to take over as the signal caller.
Jurkovec starred at quarterback for Pine Richland High School in Pittsburgh, where he took over for another former Pitt quarterback, Ben DiNucci. Jurkovec threw for 8,202 yards and 71 touchdowns in high school, and as a senior, he played in the 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl and was named the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Player of the Year.
Jurkovec was used very sparingly by Notre Dame in 2019 and 2020, attempting only 18 passes in two seasons. He elected to enter the transfer portal and moved on to Boston College where he was named starter upon his arrival.
In his first year at Boston College, Jurkovec excelled, putting up strong numbers without making many miscues, finishing the season with 2,558 yards and throwing 17 touchdowns while only 5 interceptions. He became the first quarterback in Boston College history to throw for 300 yards four times in his first five starts. He started 10 games and missed the last game of the season with a leg injury.
Jurkovec’s second season at Boston College did not go quite as smoothly. In week three, Jurkovec exited the game with a hand injury that required surgery and forced him to miss the next six games. He started the last three games of the season after returning and put up decent numbers, ending the season throwing 7 touchdowns against 4 interceptions.
Last season, Jurkovec had Zay Flowers at wide receiver, who was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round. Again, sidelined part of the season by a knee injury, he started 8 games and didn’t fare well on a bad team.
He decided to take advantage of his extra year of eligibility and transferred back home to play his final collegiate season at Pitt.
Jurkovec’s mental game is strong, demonstrating a high football IQ and moves through his progressions well. He rarely throws careless interceptions and his teammates and coaches speak highly of him as a natural leader. He’s performed well in the clutch, excelling in two-minute drives and is a sizeable enough runner to break through arm tackles, getting an extra yard or two falling forward.
On the downside, Jurkovec was bailed out last season on a number of bad throws by Zay Flowers. He has a habit of throwing the ball while fading away off his back foot which causes him to lose accuracy. At times, he holds the ball too long, taking unnecessary sacks, and his mechanics and footwork need to be improved before he can be considered a legitimate quarterback in the NFL. For example, he has a hitch in his throwing motion which may contribute to his lack of accuracy at times.
Goes to progressions well
Good rhythm quarterback
Athletic enough to move and scramble
A big arm
Mechanics and footwork need to be improved
Tends to hold the ball too long
Not the best under pressure
Phil Jurkovec has the NFL size and arm strength that NFL coaches love, but his mechanics and footwork are not where coaches and scouts would want them to be for a 6th year senior. He needs to put together a strong season and show progress with footwork to improve his draft stock.
Prediction - 5th round or lower.