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KJ Costello

Preseason Scouting Notes: KJ Costello, QB, Mississippi State

Redshirt Senior | 6’5″ 222 lbs | Newport Beach, CA

 

A quarterback with prototypical size and good arm talent who struggles to win out of structure and has a tendency to lock onto his first read

 

Overview:

KJ Costello is a fifth-year senior who has over 29 starts for his career and was a two-time team captain at Stanford. Playing in Tavita Pritchards’ pro-style offense that features the power run game, Costello flourished in 2018 but struggled in 2019 before the injury. He is now transferring to Mississippi State to play under Mike Leach in the air raid system, which should display his full skill set as a passer.

Strengths:

-Short accuracy is there and he’s able to make easy throws look easy. Does a nice job of making sure his feet always match his eyes
-Displayed good intermediate accuracy when in rhythm. Displays proper placement on dig routes to the MOF
-Good arm strength. Can make all the throws and gets good velocity on the football
-Good patience in the pocket to let plays develop. Willing to let concepts open up downfield when he has a clean pocket
-Prototypical quarterback size for the next level and a durable frame
-Played in a system with pro concepts and showed sound mental processing pre-snap

Areas to improve:

-Lacks the athleticism to create plays out of the structure. Rarely made plays outside of the pocket
-Struggled with accuracy outside the numbers. Wide base in his mechanics doesn’t allow him to drive the football with accuracy
-Elongated delivery allows for DL to reach out and swipe the ball away and allows good defensive backs to break on the football
-A tendency to stare down the first read. Will lock on to a receiver and won’t go to the second part of the progression, forcing throws into traffic
-Inconsistent deep accuracy. Consistent overthrows on deep pass attempts
-Struggles to feel pressure. Doesn’t have a great feel of rushers, causing fumbles in pocket

Injury concerns:

– 2019: Hand injury(Missed two games), Head Injury(Missed one game), Undisclosed injury(Missed five games)

Projection:

KJ Costello projects to a developmental player during his first season in the league with hopes of competing for a backup job. While he has the size and arm talent to play at the next level, his mechanics and ability to get through progressions need improvement. NFL teams are interested in quarterbacks who can create out of the structure, and Costello does not have this as part of his repertoire as well. Costello will need a great offensive line to succeed that will give him plenty of time to process the field. Day 3 is the most likely spot for him, though he might be available as a PFA.

What to watch in 2020:

Costello will be joining a brand new system is 2020 that could help him raise his stock. He will be airing it out in the air-raid offense under Mike Leach, who has had his last three quarterbacks drafted. That bodes well for the young signal-caller. He will be able to put a plentiful amount of passing reps on tape and playing against top competition in the SEC. If he has a career year, Costello could find a way to sneak into early Day 3 or even late Day 2.

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