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Trenchmen’s Corner | Patrick O’Brien Scouting Report | Former CFL scout Dave Van Nett breaks down his game

Former CFL scout Dave Van Nett loves Patrick O’Brien’s game. He has had a tough break in college but the kid can play when given a shot

Patrick O’Brien – University of Washington

  • Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
  • HS: San Juan Hills
  • Prev. College:  Nebraska / Colorado State
  • Ht: 6’5
  • Wt: 220
  • Graduate Student
  • 40 Yd Dash:4.9-5.1
  • Arms/Hands:  10
  • Arm – 31.375
  • Wing – 76.375
  • Position Depth: QB2
  • Honors/Captainship: 2019/2020
  • Season Viewed:  2020
  • Games Watched:  Wyoming, San Diego State, Fresno State

Per Year Stats

2016Redshirt  @ Nebraska
2017Redshirt Freshmen – 18/30 192 yrds 
2018Transfer to Colorado State – Sat out
20199/11 GP started – 209/338 for 2803 yrds, 13 TD’s , 7 Int’s
20203 GP started – 45/80 for 591, 3 TD’s , 2 Int’s    Covid Year
2021Transfer to Washington – 2 GP , 12 rushing yrds, 1/ 3 for 1 yrd – Minor injury to throwing hand in preseason


Patrick was born and raised in Newport Beach, California.  His parents Paul and Anna were both collegiate and professional athletes, as well as his little sister.  His mom was on the Swedish National Volleyball Team.  Patrick was a two sport athlete in high school, baseball and football.

Player Summary:

Patrick has had what you would call a nightmare college career.  He has had six head coaches.  He was recruited to Nebraska and in his red-shirt freshman year, the new coach told him that he wasn’t going to play and he needed to leave the program. Patrick entered the Portal and was immediately picked up by Colorado State where he sat out a year due to transfer protocols and then started the following two years logging over 3400 yards passing.  Again, Patrick had to deal with a head coach change and was told that they did not need him any longer due to a scheme change.  Patrick wasn’t finished, he transferred to Washington in order to keep playing football, and unfortunately he has been QB2 at Washington.  This young man is relentless in his pursuit to play football.  He has always kept a positive attitude and continued to grind forward in the face of adversity.

Game Review

  • Traditional big body pocket QB with scrambling abilities.
  • Patrick splits his time 60/40 under center and in the shotgun.  
  • Playing mostly out of Pro and Spread formations.  
  • Very strong pocket presence.
  • Makes smart decisions
  • Goes through his progression well 
  • Smooth throwing motion
  • Very strong arm
  • Ball Placement is very good bordering excellent – At times he will over/under throw
  • Reacts very well to pressure and scrambles well.

Pro Day:

  • 40 yd dash – 5.07
  • Vert – 30.5
  • Broad – 111
  • L Drill – 7.59

Scheme Fit:  

Mostly works out of Pro and Spread with a single back or empty backfield.  At Colorado State he appears that he couldn’t play to his potential because of the receivers’ inability to get deep fast, and having a weak offensive line.  Patrick has a very strong and accurate arm and needs an opportunity to show it off.  


Minor hand injury in 2021 preseason, cleared to play in week 7


Patrick, in my opinion, is this year’s dark horse in the quarterback group.  The 2022 QB Draft class is small and the players aren’t that great.  There are some that will get some media hype from the bigger schools but none of them technically compare to Patrick.  I had the benefit of watching Philip Rivers play at NC State all four years, from the sideline, and Patrick reminds of a young Philip Rivers.  Patrick is a tall, traditional pocket quarterback that has the ability to roll out or scramble if needed.  He showed this numerous times but it shined in his game against San Diego State.

I can see realistically going in the late rounds of the draft.  Unless a team wants to make a huge move and take him early.  I could see the Vikings, Browns, Seattle or the Cardinals picking Patrick up earlier than the 3rd round, but it is hard to tell with all of the pre-draft trades happening.  Patrick is going to be the biggest surprise coming out of this year’s draft class.  IF for some crazy reason Patrick doesn’t go to the NFL, he has the potential to be a CFL superstar as well.  His arm and playing ability is right up the CFL alley, big field, fast receivers, and room for him to let loose that cannon of his.  


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