Sefo Liufau, Colorado (6’3 | 240 | 4.65) – Despite playing in a read-option offense the last two seasons, Liufao actually has some pro-set experience. As a sophomore, the Buffs had a different head coach and Liufau played well as a traditional pocket quarterback with 3,200 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. That’s a lot of picks, but he was just a sophomore at the time and showed a lot of potential.
A coaching change before his junior season brought a new offensive scheme that took advantage of Liufau’s impressive running ability. Over the last two seasons, he’s rushed for 754 yards and 13 touchdowns. His passing numbers took a hit in a run-first scheme though with 4,767 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 picks the last two seasons.
Liufau has a strong arm with the ability to make all the NFL throws and has shown excellent touch and anticipation at times. Colorado’s near upset bid of Michigan was a prime example of Liufau’s potential arm talent. Against the best defense he faced in his college career, Liufau showed poise in the pocket and the ability to attack downfield with power, touch, and accuracy.
It may take a season or two to transition from a zone-read scheme back to an NFL offense, but Liufau showed some intriguing tools in his season as a pro-set quarterback. His running ability is an added bonus, with 4.6-ish speed, strength, and elusiveness in the open field.
Besides his arm talent, Liufau’s toughness is the other thing that stands out on tape. He’s played through multiple injuries and played surprisingly well despite being hurt. His leadership, toughness, and adaptability really stand out compared to the other quarterbacks in this year’s draft.
On the downside, Liufau’s lack of experience in a passing scheme shows up too often. He tends to stare down his primary target and hasn’t shown the ability to progress through reads effectively. Like most young QBs, his decision-making is questionable at times as well.
Liufao is a legitimate dual-threat prospect, who probably needs a few years of seasoning before he’s ready to start in the NFL, but has the potential to be a long-term starter and an above-average quarterback in the league. The Bears got a close look at Liufau during the Senior Bowl and we’ll see if he impressed enough to earn a late day three selection.