David Fales Preliminary Scouting Report

May 28th, 2013

David Fales has intriguing potential but needs work on accuracy (photo courtesy sjsuspartans.com)

Will Richards continues to break down the 2014 QB class. This edition features San Jose State’s David Fales, a early darling of many draftniks.

Prospect: David Fales, QB, San Jose State

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 220

Grade: 6.75 M (In his first year of FBS football) http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/prospect-ranking-breakdown/



+ Nice build for the position. Looks to be able to handle the rigors of an NFL season

+ Pretty good speed and balance

+ Shifty runner, even though he does look spastic as he runs around.



+ Never gives up on a play (even though sometimes he should)

+ Ability to improvise speaks to natural football instincts

- Occasionally makes some boneheaded throws.

- Doesn’t really show a mastery of the offense. He makes some really puzzling reads at times.



+ Throws extremely well on the run and off platform.

+ Excellent timing on some of his throws.

+ All of his throws are catchable

+ Moves around well in the pocket to avoid sacks.

- Has a disturbing tendency to throw behind his receivers, needs to refine his accuracy if he wants to make it in the pro game. YAC is too important to be wasting it unnecessarily.

- Velocity is good enough, but isn’t anything special

- Gets happy feet in the pocket at times, leading to some errant throws



+ Does a good job keeping his eyes downfield and looking for a receiver

+ Moves laterally very well to stay alive

+ Has good speed when he does take off. Doesn’t really get behind anybody but he’ll get a few first downs per game.

+ Knows to slide to avoid fumbling the ball. Doesn’t really take any big hits.

- Isn’t really a game-breaker like a RG3 but he’ll scramble effectively.


Technique/Decision Making:

+ Quick dart throws from his shoulder, not a long looping motion above his head.

+ Good drop back, eyes downfield not looking at his feet

+ Steps into his throws very well.

- Holds the ball low, lengthening his delivery.

- Poor eye discipline. Has a habit of starring down his target.

- Comes out of an air-raid offense. Not many complex reads.



Fales wasn’t ready to go last year. There are issues with his game that he’s going to have to improve on, but he shows a lot of potential. Physically, he’s already capable with adequate size and strength to take a pounding at the NFL level. He has an innate feel for throwing the ball and making plays that a lot of college prospects never show.

He needs to improve his fundamentals and his football IQ because both looked dreadful at times last year. He can’t be consistently making his receivers stop to gather the ball and he can’t be making dumb decisions like throwing bubble screens against press coverage. Lucky for Fales, everything that he had an issue with last season is something that can be fixed.

Scouting Notes

San Jose St. vs. Stanford

- Throw a bit behind Ryan Otten on a slant route

- Bad decision to checkdown out of the backfield.

+ Very good play moving in the pocket and delivering a strong and accurate throw for a first down.

+ Great timing on a short comeback route

+ Outstanding throw running to his right.

+ Getting his pre snaps consistently right.

-Underthrew a fly route by a bit, still a catchable ball.

- Locked on to Ryan Otten and almost threw a pick because of it.

- Terrible decision to throw a bubble screen with the CB right on the line.

+ Very good timing on a slant route

+ Great play to break the pocket and complete a pass while moving to his left. Very accurate on the move.

- Didn’t catch the CB blitz on the pre snap and got sacked because of it. Better a sack than throwing to the covered checkdown.

+ Great job feeling the pressure and moving in the pocket til the RB out of the backfield got his head turned around.

+ Nice throw falling backwards. He throws well off platform.

+ Beautiful back shoulder throw while running to his right.

- Almost threw a pick because he was starring down his target.

+ Is letting his receivers make plays on the ball when they’re covered and it’s working out for him.

+ Crazy scramble to get a few yards while the pocket collapses around him. He moves in the pocket like Russell Wilson.

+++ Carries the ball high and tight as he runs

+ Confident in his reads, getting the ball out quick

+ Beating the blitz by knowing where he’s going with the ball at the snap

- Catchable ball on an in route, but behind his receiver.

+ Nice long strike on a skinny post for a TD. Great route by Noel Grigsby

- Didn’t catch the CB blitz on the pre snap and got sacked because of it. Better a sack than throwing to the covered checkdown.

- Misscommunication with his WR. Looks like the receiver didn’t hear the audible.

- Stanford is blitzing every down and San Jose State is visibly rattled.

- With the game on the line, starred down a covered Ryan Otten and got his pass deflected.

Overall: Fales took a beating in this game. He put a legitimate scare into Stanford’s heart and it was obvious from the beginning that there was no running game to support him. It looked like he was going to pull off the upset before Stanford started blitzing every down and it became obvious how physically overmatched San Jose State was. On the final drive Stanford was routinely getting pressure with just three guys in their prevent package. Only Quessenberry didn’t look horribly out of his depth on San Jose St.’s offensive line.

When he wasn’t getting pounded into the turf, Fales looked excellent. He got a bit to brave on a couple of throws but the underdog should roll the dice a few times anyway. The ball placement needs to improve and he needs to handle the blitz better, but this was a very good performance by a QB a season away from the NFL.


San Jose St. vs. BYU

+ Good throw into a tight window to Ryan Otten

- Ball placement has been a little iffy on his first few throws.

- A bit late on his reads, lucky the defender fell down or they would have been punting.

+ Best play I’ve seen from a QB on tape this season. Read the defense perfectly, changed the play to take advantage and dropped a bomb into the waiting arms of Noel Grigsby for a TD. Outstanding.

+ Great back shoulder pass to Ryan Otten as the ref misses an egregious helmet to helmet shot from Ziggy Ansah.

- Just a bit behind his target on a corner route. Catchable ball but he needs to be hitting guys in stride in the pro game.

+ Nice job scanning the field and finding someone open for the TD.

+ Good decision to scramble for the first on 3rd and 1 rather than put the ball in harm’s way.

+ Nice throw, delivering the ball hot and on target.

+ Is really picking apart the BYU defense for the third consecutive drive.

+ Great timing on a deep comeback route in the endzone. BYU’s defense is on it’s heels.

- BYU disguised their coverage and it confused him. He made the wrong throw on an option route.

- Ziggy Ansah qualified for the Olympics on this jump when he got up to knock down his pass over the middle.

+ Still picking apart the Cougar defense and marching down the field.

- BYU disguised their coverage again and lured him into an interception. He needs to improve on recognizing post snap adjustments.

+ Beautiful throw on 3rd and 16, but the WR went backwards at the first down marker.

- Failed zone read attempt. He’s not going to be a zone read QB in the NFL.

+ Nice job fitting the ball into a tight window down the field to his TE.

- Ran down by Van Noy. He needs to get rid of the football.

+ Beautiful throw while rolling to his right.

- Overthrew Noel Gribsby who was scoring on a fly route with an accurate throw.

- Two inaccurate throws in a row. Ball is sailing on him.

Overall: This game was a tale of two sections. San Jose State’s first three drives were all touchdown passes by Fales, and then they didn’t score again the rest of the game. On those first three drives, Fales looked like Andrew Luck in college. Every read was perfect, every throw was catchable and the offense was clicking. It looked like BYU wouldn’t be able to stop them all night.

Then BYU’s defensive coordinator started doing some different things that confused Fales and the San Jose State offense sputtered. After the pick, nothing seemed to go right. They started taking the ball out of Fales’ hand and focusing more on running the ball, and they seemed to always have 3rd and 15 or 16. It was enough to get a win over a BYU team with a helpless offense, but I want to see a lot steadier hand on the wheel from a QB that’s going to be playing in the NFL. He needs to improve his football IQ or he’s not going to make it in the NFL. If he doesn’t show improvement, he’s not a guy I could draft in the first 3 rounds with a quiet conscience.

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3 Responses to “David Fales Preliminary Scouting Report”

  1. The Strategy Expert says:

    Gosh I love thinking about QBs and wish we had somebody that could push Stafford, but the Lions are clearly committed to Stafford for the long haul. What are the chances they would ever grab a higher profile QB any time in the near future? I mean would they possibly use a 2nd Rounder in one of the next 2 years even as a long-term backup? I fear it could be a long time before we invest big into the QB position with somebody new. And by the time we do CJ will be retiring and then we’ll just have to start all over again.

  2. adminLions says:

    They claimed Thaddeus Lewis from CLE, pushed Carder off quickly. Hill’s deal is up after this year, so if Lewis or Moore are not the answer at backup the Lions could use a mid-round pick on a backup w/ developmental starter potential next year. Stafford will be the Lions QB for at least the next 6 years, barring catastrophic injury.

    • The Strategy Expert says:

      Well that sounds boring. I guess I’ll just hope to see some of Thaddeus during the preseason and hope he shows some flashes.

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