What Is A Pro Style Quarterback In Football

Have you overheard the term pro style quarterback while watching football and wondered what it meant? If so you are not alone, this piece of football terminology leaves many fans wondering what the announcers are talking about.

A pro style quarterback in football is a player that plays in an offensive system that is similar to that of the NFL. Typically these pro style quarterbacks are going to be pocket passers and work their way down the field using their arms instead of athleticism.

Key Traits Of A Pro Style Quarterback

Plays In A Pass Heavy Offense

One of the keys to being a pro-style quarterback is playing in a pass-heavy system. In today’s nfl quarterbacks are often expected to win their team the game.

If a quarterback in college is consistently throwing the ball in order to keep the offense moving then this player is likely in a pro-style offense.

This gives the quarterback great training for the day they make the jump into the NFL as today’s NFL is pass-heavy.

Scouts will often give higher grades to pro-style quarterbacks as they are more prepared coming into the league. This is because they are more likely to fit into an NFL style offense.

When a player hasn’t played in a pro-style offense there are going to have a lot of learning to do. When a team drafts a non-pro style quarterback they will have to teach them a brand new offensive system.

Additionally, since the quarterback hasn’t played in a pro-style offense before the team will not know how effective they are in this system.

This is another reason pro-style quarterbacks are often considered more valuable coming out of college.

Can Make All The Throws

Another key trait of a pro-style quarterback is that they can make all the throws. The phrase can make all the throws refers to a quarterback that can complete throws to go along with any route.

This means they have the arm strength to complete deep passes down the field. As well as the accuracy to hit receivers in tight windows.

In other words, this quarterback can play in any pro system as they have the capabilities to make all the throws needed to succeed at this level.

Pocket Passer

If a player is considered a pro style quarterback you can bet that this player is a pocket passer. A pocket passer in football refers to a player that gains the majority of yards throwing from the pocket.

This type of quarterback does not get by with their athletic ability and usually isn’t known for running with the football.

Pocket passers tend to have limited speed and agility but they do not need it due to their ability to pass the ball. Pocket passers typically have arm strength, accuracy, and a high football IQ.

Ability To Read The Defense

Another key trait of a pro style quarterback is their ability to read the defense. In college, it is common for quarterbacks to only make a single read before taking off and running.

This is especially true for dual threat quarterbacks in college football.

A pro-style quarterback is going to have the ability to scan the field and read the defense. This often involves looking at a second and third read on any given passing play.

This is the sort of trait that makes NFL scouts very high on pro-style quarterbacks.

Are pro-style quarterbacks a thing of the past?

For many years NFL fans have watched pro-style quarterbacks go early in the draft to quarterback-needy teams.

Though in recent years an influx of dual-threat quarterbacks have started to perform incredibly well in the league.

Quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson have seen great success as a dual-threat that rushes the ball almost as much they pass.

Jackosn has played well enough with this style of offense to bring home the MVP award.

Quarterback Kyler Murray was also drafted with the number one overall selection after displaying his ability to run and pass the ball.

That all being said there are still many pro-style quarterbacks in the NFL that are having great success.

One of the major issues with dual-threat quarterbacks is that they are hit much more often. Taking a large number of hits each year takes its toll and ultimately results in a shorter career.

The battle of dual-threat quarterbacks vs pro-style quarterbacks has not resulted in a clear winner and it likely won’t for a long time.


I hope you have enjoyed our guide to pro-style quarterbacks continue reading to learn why Brett Favre is referred to as a gunslinging quarterback or why football teams need a franchise qb.

Remember a pro-style quarterback is a player that plays in a pass-heavy system similar to the ones used in the NFL.

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