What is Pitt getting in Penn State QB transfer Christian Veilleux? Having scouted him extensively out of high school and with his small sample size in college I’ll tell you.
Veilleux is a tall, rangy QB who still has room to add mass and strength to a great frame. His arm strength is average to above average and he has an excellent release and won’t hold the ball too long. He’s willing to take a hit to make a play and is mobile enough to be a threat with his feet and it allows him to throw on the run.
Overall, he’s an accurate passer with good downfield touch and he has a nice feel for the pocket. He took a big step up in competition heading down to the States from Canada and his development was stunted a bit as a Canadian kid because the COVID restrictions up where he lived were much more intense than down here. He legitimately had a few months where he couldn’t do anything — no place to throw, work out and such. So, in that respect he’s still a younger QB by developmental standards.
He was an Elite 11 QB but struggled a bit in that event as it wore on. I chalk that up to arm fatigue honestly as he hadn’t had a chance to throw as often as the others. But none of that is an issue now. I had him as a high 3 star coming out of high school and he did drop from a 4 star at one point mainly due to the time off.
As a transfer I think he’s a legit get. All of the strengths I speak about are still in development and the one thing he can struggle with, decisions, he’s worked on a lot. He didn’t turn the ball over at Penn State in limited playing time and that was harped on in practice. He had a tendency to try to fit the ball in where it didn’t belong or rush his throws under pressure out of high school and he’s much more comfortable in the pocket now and with living to get to the next play and not make mistakes.
Penn State was wildly loyal to Sean Clifford as we all know and Veilleux joins a few others in transferring out. With Drew Allar the heir apparent the time to move was now and Pitt is a good fit schematically.
Why? Veilleux has good ball skills so a run first option that works off play action is a nice fit. He won’t be asked to do too much in the offense when it comes to down and distance and he’s very comfortable in manageable situations like second and third and medium. He’s a two-read guy to me right now which is also good because this isn’t a system where you have five options and need to be patient. He’s good at getting the ball out quickly or adjusting to his second read and then checking down if needed. His downfield accuracy plays well also because as teams crowd the box to play run it will open up downfield shots and he’s very good at that on film.
The main downside to Veilleux is from a power perspective and the decision making I mentioned. His outs can sail or hang at times and sometimes he won’t come off his first read when he’s supposed to which can lead to balls in traffic. He still needs to learn and enhance those areas. To me he’s still a project of sorts who is a year away and that’s fine with Phil Jurkovec coming in and comfortable in this offense. He has long term potential for sure and this is a good get.
I’ll comp Veilleux and Jurkovec sometime this week.