Name: Jared Goff
Weight: 215 lbs
School: Cal State
Draft Pick: No. 1 Overall in First Round
Jared Goff left behind an impressive collegiate career as QB of Cal State. With over 40 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 161.2, Goff quickly climbed the ladder of recognition earning his name on the 2015 First Team All-Pac-12. He established 26 Cal records in areas such as passing yards and touchdown passes while surpassing former Cal QB Aaron Rodgers in virtually every statistical classification. Goff ended his collegiate career by throwing 467 yards for 6 touchdowns taking Cal to win over the Air force in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forced Bowl; their first bowl victory in seven years. Goff helped pull his home state’s football team from a 1-11 season in 2013 to an 8-5 record last year.
Now that Goff is moving into the big leagues, skeptics and NFL analysts weigh in on his potential as QB for the Los Angeles Rams. Last year was a challenging season for the Rams averaging below .500 with no playoff spot. Now that the Rams are in a new city with big names like the Lakers and Dodgers, Goff may be the missing ingredient that will live up to the region’s expectations. The Rams launched their second franchise in Los Angeles on Aug. 13 starting QB Case Keenum in favor of Goff. Despite his brief on-field presence, the Rams were able to win in their first preseason game over the Dallas Cowboys.
One of the main elements of Goff’s character is his accuracy and knack to getting the ball where it needs to go. The Rams ended last season with a league-low record of 11 passing touchdowns. This makes Goff a likely candidate to turn the passing game around and we saw glimpses of this during his debut Saturday. Goff only played two drives and was benched after completing four of his nine passes. Feeling the pressure from the Cowboy’s defense, Goff was hit mid throw leading to an interception by Dallas linebacker Mark Nzeocha. Goff sat on the bench for the remainder of the game after experiencing soreness in his shoulder.
It’s important to note that Goff probably would’ve completed more passing attempts if his receivers didn’t catch a case of the ‘butterfingers.’ Goff would’ve had a solid 30-yard completion if Pharoh Cooper wouldn’t have dropped a pass in the red zone. This isn’t new for the Rams and now that Jared Cook is with Green Bay, Kenny Britt and Brian Quick will have to step it up on the outside. In short, Goff doesn’t seem to lack on precision or the ability to read the field which will be invaluable for the Rams and challenges Keenum’s temperament with accuracy.
Although the Cowboy’s defense made him quickly take a seat, Goff was depending on the backup offensive line for protection. If left tackle, Greg Robinson and guard Rodger Saffold can stay consistent and healthy, Goff should have enough protection in the pocket to make plays happen. We can’t forget about Todd Gurley. If Gurley can capitalize on his aggression from 2015 and form a dynamic with Goff, the two could be unstoppable.
Another point worth noting is Goff’s natural adaptability on the field and willingness to take charge. He was effective incorporating both Cal and Ram’s offensive strategies while staying calm out of his comfort zone taking snaps under center. He also had no problem urgently telling Cooper to line up properly before the snap. Although too soon to tell how he will perform later in the season, with the support of Coach Jeff Fisher, Goff could become a factor for the 2016 Los Angeles Rams.