There are a lot of concerns about the quarterback situation at Florida. Despite bringing in Graham Mertz as a transfer from Wisconsin, there was still some thought that the Gators were going to bring in another transfer quarterback.
To this point, that hasn’t happened. As On3’s JD PicKell explained, this is probably before Florida has bigger needs to fill this offseason than quarterback.
“So, with the conversation around, I wish Florida had gone to the portal to get a transfer quarterback,” PicKell said. “Again, fair thing to say. I understand that. There was a lot to be desired when you watched the quarterback play in that spring game, but I can’t help but think, man, doesn’t Florida have some other needs they should go and get in the portal before you look at the quarterback position?”
“Because at the quarterback position in 2023, they’re not going to ask, whether it’s Graham Mertz or Jack Miller, they’re not going to ask either guy to be Patrick Mahomes. They’re not going to line up and say. ‘Four verts, we’re going to live and die by whoever is playing quarterback. Like, let’s go.’ That’s not going to be the approach,” PicKell explained.
“The approach is going to be, we’ve got Trevor Etienne, Montrell Johnson. We’re gonna feed that two-headed monster and ride off into the sunset as long as we possibly can with both those cats, and then when defenses try and creep up, we’re gonna hit to Ricky Pearsall. We’re gonna throw the ball to Andy Jean, like that’s going to be the approach that Florida takes.”
So, as PicKell explained, this season Florida needs a capable game manager who gets the ball to playmakers. It’s about playing complimentary football. Those two should be capable of doing that for Florida.
This also means that the Gators have bigger needs to fill, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Those quarterbacks need offensive line help to give them time to distribute the ball and they need more playmakers to get the ball to.
“But, again, for Florida, you didn’t go to the transfer portal because you didn’t feel like there was somebody who was going to change your record in 2023.”
Why Florida wouldn’t pursue a second transfer QB?
Florida did take a transfer quarterback when the Gators added Graham Mertz. However, that doesn’t mean that the Gators couldn’t take another quarterback. So, why not take another one for depth or potential?
“They already went into the portal and got themselves Graham Mertz. They feel like if they went and got a Payton Thorne or Casey Thompson — are they really going to be better set up for success than Graham Mertz? Is it really a huge talent gap between those guys? Especially with Casey Thompson and Payton Thorne not getting spring practice?” PicKell said.
“For Graham Mertz, I don’t think that he is substantially worse than Casey Thompson or Payton Thorne. I don’t think there is a huge talent gap. I don’t think Florida’s record changes if you go and add one of those guys vs. what you have with Graham Mertz or Jack Miller… So why didn’t they go into the portal? Wasn’t a real big upgrade to be had in the eyes of the staff and in my eyes as well.”
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