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Donald Hammond III NFL Draft 2021: Scouting Report for Air Force QB

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IMay 2, 2021

Air Force quarterback Donald Hammond III (5) in the first half during the Cheez-It Bowl NCAA college football game against Washington State, Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

HEIGHT: 6'0 1/8"

WEIGHT: 228

     

POSITIVES

— Good, thick lower body with good play strength. Tough and willing to stand in the pocket and was effective operating Air Force's triple-option offense when tucking the ball and running.

— Although infrequent, operated in concepts that translate to the NFL level.

— Showed good eyes and a very good understanding of concepts. Operated with good timing and footwork and throws consistently came out on time.

— Good arm strength. Ball naturally pops off of his hand and throws a nice, tight spiral. Can deliver field throws with zip and put down-the-field throws in the right spot.

— Athletic enough to create and ad-lib plays when needed, good body control and balance. Above-average pocket movement.

     

NEGATIVES

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— Played in a heavy run-first offense that barely threw the ball and had receivers running wide-open down the field when they did throw.

— Short with a maxed-out frame.

— Efficient runner but not truly explosive.

— Was not asked to make true dropback progressions more than once or twice per game. Mental clock will need improvement with faster NFL game.

     

2019 STATISTICS

13 G, 56-of-111 (50.5%), 1,316 YDS, 13 TD, 6 INT

121 ATT, 553 YDS, 13 TD

     

NOTES

— Did not play in 2020 season. Left Air Force to transfer to a larger school before declaring for the draft.

     

OVERALL

While Donald Hammond III benefitted from playing in an offense that leads to easy down-the-field throwing opportunities, it is rare to see a player with his throwing ability and polished footwork operate in a service academy offense.

Hammond flashes tight mechanics with light feet when operating from the pocket; he consistently throws the ball on time and with good accuracy to let his receivers create yards after the catch. Hammond has good arm strength with the ability to put touch on his throws, which combines well with his accuracy. Air Force's offense also has more translatable passing concepts than meets the eye (HC Troy Calhoun has NFL experience), and while it wasn't many times a game, Hammond flashed intriguing polish and traits.

Hammond does not have a lot of film of him operating on consistent dropback timing; most of the throws are of the PA or movement variety, so his ability to progress will need work and is a huge question mark for teams looking at him as a prospect.

Overall, Hammond's combination of athleticism and surprising polish will make him a really interesting developmental backup candidate with an actual path for more.

     

GRADE: 6.7/10

OVERALL RANK: 219/300

POSITION RANK: QB9

PRO COMPARISON: Taylor Heinicke

     

Written by B/R NFL Scout Nate Tice

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