NFL DRAFT PROFILE: DJ Uiagalelei QB/Clemson

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DJ Uiagalelei

  • Position: QB
  • School: Clemson
  • Class: Junior
  • Height: 6-4
  • Weight: 236

Background

  • 5 Star High School Recruit (247 Sports)
  • No.2 recruit in the country at the date of his commitment to Clemson
  • USA TODAY 2x high school All-American
  • Varsity baseball player

 

Strengths

Clemson QB Uiagalelei slimmer, mentally ready for season | The Sumter Item
ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Size and Frame are impressive! He’s trimmed down almost 30 lbs over the 2022 offseason
  • Arm strength is elite, and the ability to put the ball anywhere on the field with supreme confidence opens up the playbook.
  • Tough to bring down in the pocket, stands tall, and will push the ball downfield
  • The deep ball is his biggest attribute on the field, when he has time to throw, he can put the ball wherever it needs to be and displays surprising touch for a QB with his type of arm
  • Solid accuracy on short-intermediate routes
  • Gunslinger that routinely completes throws into windows most can’t
  • Drives the ball on a line without an issue on deep out-breaking routes
  • Applies constant pressure on the boundaries of the defense
  • Can spin the ball from pretty much any platform or arm angle with consistent power

 

Weaknesses 

  • Processing! Displays patience in going through reads, but needs to speed up the process at times
  • Slow decision maker, will appear to be unsure of where the ball should go
  • Slow footwork within the pocket, and combining that with the lack of urgency decision-making wise led to him being sacked a ton at Clemson
  • Physical in the open field as a runner once he has a head of steam built up, but Uiagalelei overall has marginal mobility. Not a big threat to take off and run, but does move well within the pocket
  • Accuracy comes and goes and struggles to find a rhythm 
  • Throwing with anticipation could use improvement and rarely throws receivers open.
  • Pocket Presence is shaky at stretches of games, and will lose track of the rush which has led to some inexplicable turnovers and sacks

 

Overview

Uiagalelei is perhaps the biggest arm talent in this class of QBs and has loads of untapped potential. He possesses a generational arm, prototypical size, and build, with natural touch on his deep throws. He also has the ability to fit the ball into windows that only a handful of current NFL signal callers can. After showing a lot of promise in 2020 stepping in for eventual N0.1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, Uiagalelei followed up with a very erratic and underwhelming 2021, which saw him on the verge of being benched more than once. He’s a very raw and physically gifted QB that has a ton of room to grow in regard to the overall nuances of the position.