Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State
Florida State QB Jordan Travis has shown flashes throughout his college career. But in 2022, he is forging his way into the NFL Draft conversation. What does Travis’ scouting report say about his career potential?
Jordan Travis NFL Draft Profile
- Position: QC
- School: state of florida
- Current year: Junior Red Shirt
- Size weight: 6’1″, 212 pounds
Travis’ path to the NFL Draft is more like a country dirt road than the Autobahn. His dual threat skills were on full display at the Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, Florida. In his final two seasons, Travis passed for over 4,000 yards and 45 touchdowns, rushed for over 1,000 yards and 27 scores, and earned back-to-back Conference Player of the Year honors.
As a three-star recruit in the 247Sport Composite, Travis has received several scholarship offers. However, he committed to Louisville in June of his senior year and never shied away, even with Florida making a late push.
But after appearing in four games and showing promise, Travis opted for the red shirt and entered the transfer portal. His destination: the State of Florida. The Florida native saw an opportunity to not only play early, but also get closer to home. It also helped the Travis family get to know the Seminoles, as Jordan’s older brother, Devon, played baseball at FSU from 2010 to 2012.
Fast forward to 2022, Travis has started 20 games and improved his completion rate, TD:INT ratio and yards per attempt with each passing season. He even worked his way into the Florida State record books, holding top marks for rushing yards and QB touchdowns. But that’s college – how does Travis project himself into the NFL?
Jordan Travis scouting report
By all accounts, Travis entered the 2022 campaign after a stellar offseason.
“He went through fall camp with a smile on his face,” HC Mike Norvell said. “I’m excited for Jordan. I really believe that he has something special ahead of him thanks to the work and this investment.
FSU QB coach Tony Tokarz also spoke about Travis’ potential ahead of the season:
“I don’t want to say anything, but let’s just say it could be very scary. Because you’re talking about a guy who has elite mobility. You’re talking about a guy who can really push the ball down. … I’ll just say I believe Jordan has the ability to be an NFL quarterback.
You might think it’s just a coaching speech, but it’s not.
Travis is playing closer to the sum of his parts this year, and that has made Florida State an easy team to support. He gets the ball out quicker, takes fewer sacks, and doesn’t get in and run as often. In fact, the linear progression that Travis has shown throughout his career is usually reserved for Madden.
Name any raw physical tool you want from a starting QB, and the Florida native has it. The strength of the arms to throw bombs on the ground? Check. Velocity to accommodate passing through tight spaces in a hurry? Check. Athletics to threaten defenses on the ground? Triple check. Simply put, Travis’ physical tools rival those leading the way in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Travis isn’t an athlete who plays quarterback – he’s an ultra-athletic quarterback. If the defenders give an inch in the holes or on the outside, he’ll take them on a one-mile run.
In the open field, the flexibility of the FSU QB provides control during fast cuts and quick starts/stops. And he’ll make tacklers think their checker is dead by using their momentum against them.
Yet the FSU QB’s athleticism stems far beyond his rushing ability. He learned to exploit it in the pocket, possessing the skills of maneuverability and improvisation to extend plays and create off-scripts.
His short-area speed is causing passers nightmares, as Travis has slipped countless potential sacks. He also showed the propensity for escalating conflict, stepping up and placing his body between the defender and the ball.
AFTER: Big picture of the 2023 NFL Draft
On the move, Travis has the upper/lower body split to drive forward towards his target and hit his non-throwing side leg to generate torque while keeping his shoulders square to ensure an accurate ball. Additionally, he regularly chooses to keep his eyes down and direct traffic rather than rushing forward.
We know the FSU QB can use his legs, but what about his right arm? There are several reps from 2020 and 2021 (when his mechanics were much less consistent) where Travis suspended him over 50 yards on his arm alone. It’s not a pass you’ll see too often, but the fact that the potential is there is a definite plus. He also demonstrated arm talent for throwing with velocity from different angles, which has almost become a requirement in the league.
Mechanically, Travis has a compact version for quick passes. He generates a lot of power with his hip/shoulder dissociation, getting his hip through cleanly before reaching his release point. Standing tall and delivering strikes with falling pressure isn’t his forte, but the FSU QB has reps doing just that this season.
In 2022, Travis has improved going through the progressions and hitting his second/third reads as well as his checkdown. And his placement on back shoulder throws and in tight midfield windows is impressive. Travis is a QB who elevates the talent around him, playing point guard under center. He flashed on touch and anticipation, which will create fans among NFL decision makers.
Areas of improvement for Travis
If you can’t tell, I’m a fan of Travis’ game, but don’t overlook his pitfalls. The biggest knock on Travis is his lower body mechanics, and boy, is that a big deal. His footwork and base improved slightly in his fifth varsity season and third as a starter. On the other hand, his upper body is regularly in the right position to make accurate passes all over the pitch.
Florida State staff said the focus this offseason is on Travis’ lower body…so why does he keep getting rid of his back foot? Take this excerpt from practice on October 8, for example, where Travis reaches the peak of his fall and immediately pulls the trigger. Instead, like the No. 18 does, he should buckle up and put his weight on his back foot for maximum weight transfer.
We’re going to get into the weeds a bit, but understanding Travis’ mechanical flaws is necessary for his NFL projection. QBs are rotational athletes – most of the power they channel comes from rotating the hips, shifting weight back to front, and using the arm as an extension. Travis relies too much on the natural strength of his arms for his own good, which leads to inconsistencies with ball placement and power.
The FSU QB throws his right foot up and back far more than you would expect from a player with his experience. Look at Tom Brady or Joe Burrow; you will see their hip rotation leading their arm through the extension. This maximizes speed and precision with full upper/lower body synergy. Throwing your back foot locks the hip, forcing the QB to release more energy from his arm.
AFTER: PFN Draft Simulator
In the long term, this can cause rotator cuff injury, and in the short term, it leads to erratic release points. Another way to look at it is that Travis pushes off the ground to generate power rather than shifting the weight of his rear quad forward. On the tape, you’ll see his back leg lift and swing forward, whereas you’d like to see his foot “kissing the grass” while balancing.
Passing can also be a problem, where Travis opens his front leg too much for his back hip to pass. Truth be told, these are all “coachable” problems that can be trained. But it’s fair to wonder why this hasn’t happened so far. Working on resetting his base and keeping it within his frame is key to his professional development.
While that’s key, there’s more the FSU QB can work with. First, a few fast hitters in which he has already shown improvement: sliding on the run, keeping the ball tight against the moving body and stepping up in the pocket rather than taking off against pressure. Additionally, Travis boasts a thin frame (listed at 212 pounds) and has already suffered multiple injuries in his career.
Now let’s move on to the habits that will take more time and effort to correct. Travis needs to know when to take sacks instead of forcing throws between tackles or into space. Statistically, he greatly favors the right side of the field, although FSU’s offense plays into that, with many of their bootlegs and “moving pockets” operating on the right side of the field.
The Seminoles scheme is heavily based on first-read, half-field and instant pre-reads, as well as scripted calls and RPOs. Thus, there is a severe lack of true passing sets on Travis’ film, making it difficult to analyze his ability to process and progress through routes. However, on the true passing sets observed, the FSU QB may hold on to their first option for too long, become behind on passing, and not lead their target.
Current draft projection for Florida State QB Jordan Travis
There are so many coveted, translatable tools in Travis’ repertoire, but there are just as many mechanical inefficiencies. It was a frustrating scouting report because most of his issues seem to be resolvable with proper coaching. I’m sure the staff at FSU did their best with Travis’ basic and lower body procedures. But what they have done is not enough.
The FSU QB is a Day 2 outlook on physical freebies only. Yet, there is much more to research and spend project capital for a player. As of now, Travis is a Midday 3 pick. He’s squarely in the ‘draft’ category – a darts throwing team can develop behind a entrenched starter. But Travis’ ceiling is stratospheric if he can reign in his talent and plant his flag like Osceola and Renegade.