Manny Wilkins, Arizona State’s deep-ball threat

Jan 12, 2018, 8:36 AM | Updated: 8:52 am
Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins (5) throws against North Carolina State during the first ha...
Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins (5) throws against North Carolina State during the first half of the Sun Bowl NCAA college football game in El Paso, Texas, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
(AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

After watching Manny Wilkins quarterback the Arizona State Sun Devils for two seasons, certain parts of his game stand out.

Of course, there’s his propensity to scramble out of the pocket, hurdle defenders and excite the crowd. He’s also been pretty steady as a passer, completing over 63 percent of his passes for 5,599 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 17 picks in 23 games as a starter.

But not many people would classify Wilkins, at least based on the eyeball test, as a great deep-ball passer. Now, there’s numbers that dispell that thought.

Pro Football Focus ran the stats and determined that Wilkins was the best deep-ball thrower in the Pac-12 in 2017 — ahead of future first-round draft picks Josh Rosen of UCLA and USC’s Sam Darnold.

Of course, Wilkins is helped out by his receiving corps. N’Keal Harry, ASU’s leading receiver, is a prime deep ball threat because of his size, strong hands and ability to high-point the football on downfield throws. Kyle Williams and Jalen Harvey further developed in 2017, while Frank Darby emerged as a deep-ball threat, averaging 26.0 yards per catch in limited duty.

While Wilkins was the best on the long ball, other Pac-12 signal callers were tops in different categories based on PFF’s analysis. Oregon’s Justin Herbert was the best under pressure, with a 100.1 passer rating in such scenarios. Washington’s Jake Browning was the best Pac-12 QB when working in a clean pocket, posting a 117.3 passer rating. And on play-action passes, Arizona’s Khalil Tate topped the conference with a 123.5 passer rating.

Penguin Air

Arizona State Football

A Arizona State Sun Devils pylon with a football during the NCAAF game against the USC Trojans at S...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 Conference to begin negotiations for next media rights agreements

The Pac-12 Board of Directors met on Tuesday and authorized the conference to immediately begin negotiations for new media rights agreements.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 exploring all expansion options with USC, UCLA heading to Big Ten

The Pac-12 is looking into expansion following the decisions from USC and UCLA on Thursday to head to the Big Ten as early as 2024.
6 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona ‘extremely disappointed’ in USC, UCLA leaving Pac-12 for Big Ten

The Arizona Wildcats broke their silence Friday regarding USC's and UCLA's plans to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024.
6 days ago
UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
7 days ago
Defensive back Jordan Clark #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates with the Territorial Cup ...
Nikash Nath

Kyle Soelle, Jordan Clark ready to lead new faces for ASU football

ASU junior CB Jordan Clark and senior captain LB Kyle Soelle are expected to lead a Sun Devils defensive that'll have many new faces in 2022.
13 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson (77) lines up during the college foot...
Nikash Nath

Arizona State OL LaDarius Henderson talks new culture amid low expectations

OL LaDarius Henderson has been with ASU since 2019 and is no stranger to experiencing personnel and cultural changes within the program.
22 days ago
Manny Wilkins, Arizona State’s deep-ball threat