Wednesday, January 26, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Prospects - Quarterbacks

Now that the talent pool that will make up this year’s draft has been settled, here is the first in a series of updated rankings. As always, this is not the order in which I project these players to be drafted. This order represents my confidence in their ability to be key contributors at the next level.

1 – Jake Locker (Washington)
2 – Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
3 – Christian Ponder (FSU)
4 – Blaine Gabbert (Missouri)
5 – Colin Kaepernick (Nevada)
6 – Cam Newton (Auburn)
7 – Andy Dalton (TCU)
8 – Ricky Stanzi (Iowa)
9 – Pat Devlin (Delaware)
10 – Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech)
11 – Greg McElroy (Alabama)

I’m not overwhelmed with this class of passers and really don’t see a definite franchise guy in the bunch. As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, the ability to make quick decisions is the number one thing I look for in a QB, and I question that ability in every one of this year’s top rated talents (Locker, Mallett, Gabbert, and Newton).....Gabbert is getting the most buzz and could be the first one selected, but physical measurables aside, I don’t think he makes sound quick decisions or the right ones consistently.....Locker ranks at the top of my list as I believe his talents will be maximized with professional coaching and competent skill players with which to work. He had a poor senior season, but I like Locker’s combination of aggression and vision.....Kaepernick might look a little high here, but he could actually have the greatest potential as a developmental prospect with a big arm and plus mobility. Once Kaepernick commits to keeping the ball, he shows impressive straight line speed. He avoids the pass rush well for a guy who isn’t the thickest QB. Despite running the Pistol offense at Nevada I think his skill set will make the transition to a more traditional scheme fairly seamless.....I think Ponder and Dalton have a great chance to succeed as, in addition to their underrated physical assets, both are very intelligent, confident offensive leaders. Ponder’s stock took quite a hit this season with his injuries, but I think he’s very “pro ready” and could be a successful starting WCO QB.....I’m not big on Newton..... Devlin comes from the same school as Flacco, but they have differing skill sets. Flacco has the bigger arm and is more of a pocket passer while Devlin is more mobile and works the intermediate areas consistently.....I think Stanzi is a solid backup prospect; someone who could be a good #2 for several seasons. He doesn’t do anything outstanding but is an intelligent pocket passer with pro style offense experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment