Given the lack of reps Garoppolo has put on tape, NFL teams will have to go back to their college scouts for his grades at Eastern Illinois. What did the college tape say? For me, I went to my Senior Bowl notes when Garoppolo was on the practice fields down in Mobile, Alabama.
Garoppolo didn’t have the arm strength to match Derek Carr during practices, but he had enough juice to drive the ball through the wind. And his release? It’s quick. He can get the ball out with speed. Pair that with his ability to see the field, and he had a great week in front of pro personnel. Find the window, move the safety and then deliver a strike.
That shows up on his pro tape also. Garoppolo is very good with his eyes. He understands how to manipulate the defense. Whether that is moving a linebacker to create a window underneath or freezing the safety in the deep middle to generate a lane to hit the seam, Garoppolo’s vision creates opportunities to expose coverages.
Here’s an example on Garoppolo’s touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett versus the Dolphins.
Amendola is like a bear who hibernates through the regular season, then wakes up just in time to tear things up in the Super Bowl. The 31-year-old has caught 13 passes for 126 yards, two touchdowns, and a key two-point conversion in his two appearances in the big game, making his value for the Patriots tough to gauge. Injuries limited him to only 12 games last fall, but he posted career highs in catch rate (nearly 80 percent) and touchdown receptions (four, despite only catching 23 passes).
Amendola has taken a pay cut in each of the past two offseasons to remain on the roster in New England. With a cap hit of $7.7 million looming, he may have to restructure his contract once more if he wants to keep saving Super Bowls with clutch receptions from Tom Brady.