Who is Nathan Peterman?

November 15, 2017 - 1:09 pm

Nathan Peterman has been named the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills.

Head coach Sean McDermott made the announcement Wednesday morning in front of a room full of reporters.  Tyrod Taylor goes to the bench in favor of the rookie when the team faces the Chargers Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

So who is Nathan Peterman?  What kind of QB will be lining up under center for the Bills this weekend?

Before being drafted by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, Peterman was the starting quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh for two years, completing 61.1 percent of his passes for 5142 yards with 47 touchdowns against eight interceptions.  He finished his senior year No. 1 in the ACC in Passing Efficiency Rating (163.4) and Passing Yards per Attempt (9.3) for the 2016 season.  

A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Peterman began his college career at the University of Tennessee.  He made his first career start September 24, 2013, at the Florida Gators but wound up breaking his hand in the game.  He didn’t play another snap the rest of the season.  

As a sophomore, Peterman started one game, against Alabama, but was benched after only a couple series’ in favor of Josh Dobbs, who wound up finishing the season as the Vols’ starter.  Peterman threw one more pass that season then transferred to Pittsburgh, where he became the starter three games into the 2015 season and kept it for the rest of that year and through the remainder of his collegiate career.

The 6-2, 225 pound QB was thrust onto the national stage after beating eventual National Champion Clemson on November 12 last year.  In that game, Peterman went 22-for-37 for 308 yards and five TD passes with no interceptions in the Panthers’ 43-42 win.

Most analysts praised Peterman’s intelligence, poise, and accuracy coming out of college, but questioned if he had the necessary arm strength to consistently challenge defensive backs at the NFL level.  Here’s what his NFL Draft Profile page wrote about Peterman:

Smooth, quick set-up in pocket. Grips the ball with big, 10-inch hands. Poised in pocket and takes the hit to deliver a completion. Will set-up, slide and then re-set before making his throw. Can cut it loose from off-balance angles from bootleg or play-action if he sees a winning option break open early. Full field reader. Works all the way through his progressions. Shoots glances at safeties to keep them in check. Strong natural accuracy. Able to throw receivers open and lead them away from danger. Can pinpoint passes to moving targets in his intermediate work. Has enough arm to work field side, intermediate throws. Great vision. Sees passing windows before they develop. Throws with outstanding timing and anticipation. Can put the ball on receivers' hands as soon as they come out of a break if coverage dictates it. Utilizes accuracy and anticipation to challenge windows on all three levels. Won at Clemson hanging five touchdown passes on their talented stop unit. Good escapability and can extend drives with his legs. Excellent deep ball accuracy completing 46.2 percent of his deep throws.

Inconsistent delivery base causes some throws to sail. Has instances where he short strides and is forced to muscle it to his target. Will float some throws on seams and dig routes. Will have to be mindful to drive the ball on pro level to avoid the ballhawks who are lurking at safety. Has to prove he has enough arm to challenge the same tight windows he did in college. Ball handling a little sluggish in wide receiver screens, hitches and most RPOs (run, pass option). Wants to play hero-ball at times. Needs to learn when to air-mail throw and move to next play rather than trying to get too cute with sideline throws. Can improve overall touch.

"I like him. He made me a believer when I watched him against Clemson. I do want to see him throw live and get a feel for how the ball comes out. I never saw him in person and you can't get a feel for that stuff on tape." - NFC Director of Personnel

Kirk Cousins

Peterman's experience in a pro-style passing attack gives him a head start headed into the league. His physical attributes are just average, but his accuracy, composure and anticipation are what sets him apart from some of the more physically gifted quarterbacks in this year's draft. Peterman's tape is sure to catch the eye of at least a few teams in need of a quarterback and he should come off the board by day two with a chance to become a solid starting quarterback in the future.

On his first day on the job as the new Bills' starting QB, here's a look at some of Peterman's work during the individual portion of practice the media was allowed to view:

A couple videos for you of Nathan Peterman during individual work: pic.twitter.com/ala4Al6WQ2

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) November 15, 2017

No. 2 pic.twitter.com/Dx5YkLzWWw

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) November 15, 2017

A throw to Kelvin Benjamin pic.twitter.com/PaWShgvKYC

— Sal Capaccio -- (@SalSports) November 15, 2017

Follow me on Twitter @SalSports

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