LOS ANGELES -- Jon Gruden, the ESPN analyst who recently finished taping his eighth "QB Camp" series, isn't yet ready to make a full assessment of Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, last year's No. 1 overall pick.
"He came out early -- a true junior," Gruden said on a conference call Wednesday. "I don't think he's a hundred percent what he's going to be physically; I still think he's going to get stronger, I think he's going to mature physically. I do think that he went into a difficult situation. That's an offensive line that has struggled; that's a receiving corps that has struggled. And his inexperience -- I think that's a difficult combination for a young quarterback. And I think that's a big reason why they were 0-7 when he was the starter."
During that seven-game stretch to finish the 2016 season, Goff had the NFL's fourth-lowest completion percentage (54.6), fourth-worst touchdown-to-interception ratio (0.71), second-lowest Total QBR (22.2) and fewest yards per attempt (5.31).
Carson Wentz followed Goff by joining the Eagles with the No. 2 overall pick last April, immediately taking the two best quarterbacks off the board. That stands in stark contrast to the outlook for this year's draft, which brings serious questions about the ability and slotting of Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Deshone Kizer. The Rams certainly weighed the uncertainty of this year's quarterback class when they moved up 14 spots to select Goff last year, but now they have to figure out a way to get Goff right.
Enter Sean McVay.
McVay's first job in the NFL came as a coaching assistant on Gruden's Buccaneers team in 2008. His last job, as Washington's offensive coordinator the last three years, saw him work under Gruden's younger brother, Jay. And a major reason the Rams ultimately made McVay the youngest head coach in the NFL's modern era stemmed from Jon Gruden's ringing endorsement early in their search.
Gruden believes McVay will inject "a lot of energy, a lot of optimism" into a team that has suffered 10 consecutive losing seasons and is coming off a 4-12 year.
"I just think he's going to bring a real positive, upbeat presence to the offensive side of the ball," Gruden said. "And fortunately for him, he's hired one of the best defensive minds in all of football over the last 25 or 30 years [in coordinator Wade Phillips]. I think they have a unique battery there -- a young, energetic offensive coach who's proven he can get the job done, and a very, very good, experienced defensive coach on the other side."