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Cody Fajardo enters the 2015 NFL Draft after starting at quarterback for the Nevada Wolfpack since week 5 of his redshirt freshman season. Since that time, he’s totaled 9,535 yards passing with 57 TDs and 29 INTs. Fajardo is also very effective when running with the ball, totaling 3,433 career rushing yards and 44 TDs. In 2014, Fajardo passed for 2,374 yards, 18 TDs and 11 INTs while running for 997 yards and 13 TDs. Fajardo has enough size for NFL QB play, but he’s not a “big” guy. When factoring in his tendency to run, there is concern for his longterm durability as a starting quarterback. He is a good athlete, but his rushing numbers shouldn’t confuse him for one of the better running quarterbacks that have entered the league in recent years. He’s more “Jake Plummer” than Colin Kaepernick. As a passer, Fajardo labors in his throwing motion, putting everything he has/his entire body behind his throws. He has only average velocity and his arm strength appears maxed out. In addition to his labored throwing motion, he’s inconsistent with his footwork and overall lower-body mechanics. He has a tendency to fall off his throws, largely because of the amount effort he is putting into every pass. Fajardo’s accuracy leaves a lot to be desired, as his tape displayed multiple overthrows on routine out patterns as well as poor ball placement on balls that traveled more than 20 yards. He’s at his best when trying to make a play from outside the pocket and on the move, as he has some very good improvisational skills and the ability to keep the play alive. However, he is too inconsistent to suggest a high level of success as a pocket passer in the NFL.
BOTTOM LINE: Cody Fajardo is a fiery competitor who does whatever it takes for his team to win. His resume is that of a very good college quarterback who was able to lead his team down the field with a combination of good enough passing and above average running. But when projecting his game to the NFL, it’s difficult to imagine anything more than a No. 3 QB/practice squad player at this point in his development. Fajardo looks like a PFA along the lines of Connor Shaw (Browns) last year.
GRADE: 5.2 (7th Round – PFA)
-Submitted by Bryan Perez (@FirstRoundGrade)