No single rookie quarterback had a fantastic statistical season last year, but Mark Sanchez and his New York Jets did have a great run deep into the NFL Playoffs. Two years ago, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco both took the football world by storm. This year’s quarterback class is unlikely to produce two players that do as well as those two did right away, but I do think this is a solid class with a whole lot of potential.
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Almost everyone has the same players in their top two or three this year, but after that you’ll get to a group of players that most think have a ton of question marks surrounding them. There’s no doubt some of them will be stars in the league, but some will be major disappointments as well. There isn’t a single position player on the field that makes more of a difference to a team than the quarterback, so expect the scouting departments to be working long and hard to rank these talented youngsters.
Here are my rankings for quarterbacks in the 2010 NFL Draft:
- Sam Bradford, Oklahoma- I know Bradford has had injury trouble, and that is a bit of a question mark, but the guy has all the tools and makes great decisions with the football. The 36 that he scored on the Wonderlic Test wowed just about everyone. Last month Bradford measured in at a little over 6-foot-4 and 236 pounds. He has done a great job bulking up to quell the notion he might not be able to take a beating in the NFL. Bradford’s pure arm strength is also a huge plus.
- Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame- The Fighting Irish had some tough years when Clausen was there, but it wasn’t his fault. Clausen matured nicely and finished 2009 with 28 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Clausen is just a little short of 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 222 pounds. Like Bradford, Clausen has tremendous arm strength, which will translate very well to the NFL game. Clausen will go very early in the draft.
- Tim Tebow- Tebow is definitely a notch below Bradford and Clausen, but his stock has been going up over the last couple of weeks. Tebow proved what a winner he is while at Florida, and his vastly improved mechanics have scouts taking a second look at drafting him early. Tebow has the biggest hands of the quarterbacks in this draft; so ball security shouldn’t be an issue. His work ethic is second to none, and I certainly don’t want to bet against him having success in the NFL.
They’ve got a shot:
- Colt McCoy, Texas- McCoy definitely is a pretty big notch below the top three, but I have him ranked higher than most people here. Scouts are concerned about his lack of height, but 6-foot-1 isn’t too terrible. McCoy definitely lacks the big arm that the top two have, but I think his decision making is solid. If he is put in the right system, I think McCoy can do well.
- Jevan Snead, Ole Miss- Jevan Snead is a bit of an enigma, which makes it extremely difficult to rank him. Snead has tremendous upside, but he hasn’t matured just yet. Will he ever mature into the quarterback he could be? His arm strength is right up there with the top quarterbacks, but his decision making is far behind most of the quarterbacks in this draft.
- Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan- LeFevour did just about everything one can do while being quarterback at Central Michigan. He completed 70 percent of his passes last year and measures in at a nice 6-foot-3. LeFevour is more mobile than he is given credit for, as evidenced by his 4.66 40 time at the combine. He’ll need to adjust to a pro-style offense, but he has the tools to be successful.
- Tony Pike, Cincinnati- Pike’s true weakness is his lack of arm strength, but he does bring quite a bit of intangibles that are impressive. Pike’s decision making is very good, and his 6’6 frame will allow him to see the field well. The Senior Bowl wasn’t impressive for him, which has dropped his stock to a possible fourth or fifth round pick.
It’s possible, but not likely:
- Jarrett Brown, West Virginia- Some scouts are high on Brown, but I just don’t see him being a successful NFL quarterback. Brown is quick on his feet and could help a team in the Wildcat formation, but I just don’t think he has the mechanics to become a consistent successful passer.
- Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State- Robinson helped his cause quite a bit by having a nice Senior Bowl. Zac is a fairly mobile quarterback, but inconsistency throwing the football is the real question mark here.
- Sean Canfield, Oregon State- The main reason Canfield is on this list is his size and solid mechanics. At 6-foot-4 he can see the defense well and has proven capable of making solid reads. He has the chance to be a nice backup for someone.
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The extremely long shots:
- Max Hall, BYU
- Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee
- Bill Stull, Pittsburgh
- Mike Kafka, Northwestern
- Joe Webb, UAB