NFL Draft Injury Analysis: Quarterbacks

There is no "one-size-fits-all" way of throwing the ball (See Phillip Rivers). But the way a quarterback throws can be telling. Some have more power because of powerful hip and trunk strength and coordinated movements, some opt out of power for a quicker release. Below are the top four highly touted quarterbacks in the 2018 class. We break down their mechanics so you can decide how high or how low they should go. 

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Sam Darnold, University of Southern California

  1. Decreased right hip mobility with early lift off due to poor ability to rotate through hip
  2. Increased use of trunk rotation versus right hip (hip abduction deficit) and rotation for power 

Synopsis: Quick release, but poor recruitment of power through his lower extremities which leads to more wear and tear on his shoulder. 


Josh Allen, University of Wyoming

  1. excessive spinal rotation to the left coming mostly from lumbar versus combination of lumbar and thoracic
  2. mild upper back tightness with decreased scapular movement which keeps shoulder from easily reaching 90 degrees of abduction (it apparently looks like he reaches 90 degrees during follow through, but that is because he tips his trunk to the left to create more mobility for his right shoulder)
  3. good hip mobility

Synopsis: Strong arm through coordinated movement stemming from hips through trunk to shoulder, mild shoulder mechanics deficit due to upper back tightness that can cause strain on elbow and possibility of right rotator cuff injury


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Baker Mayfield, Univeristy of Oklahoma

  1. Limited hip extension mobility on right (left as well, but milder)
  2. Limited left spinal rotation with dysfunctional right rotation due to right trunk/hip tightness
  3. Imbalanced hamstring strength (weak lateral hamstring and tight medial hamstrings)

Synopsis: Right sided hip mobility deficits that translate into the trunk and can be a source of knee problems and back tightness


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Josh Rosen, University of California Los Angeles

  1. Uses spinal extension to clear shoulder for throw. 
  2. Good shoulder mobility but mild limitation on shoulder blade coordination/mobility

Synopsis: The most injury prone out of the class, Rosen seems to have cleaned things up. He continues to have some risks including a concussion risk and some faulty right shoulder mechanics due to mobility with compensatory movement through spine. 



The Injury Analyst is a blog dedicated to not only explaining injuries that have occurred, but predicting and highlighting future injury risks for professional athletes. You can email us at

Note: I have not seen the subject of this article personally in clinic, rather all views and opinions of the author have been made based off of video footage of the athlete. This article is not meant as a diagnosis or a treatment plan.