NFL scouts and fans have their type or flavor of QB. Gunslingers, Game Managers, Pocket or Duel Threat Athletes. I’m basing my ranks on what I believe the Quarterback’s overall talent to be, their potential to help an NFL team win, and which players can potentially provide optimum Fantasy output.
1. Deshaun Watson – Clemson 6’2” 205-215 (I’ve seen different weight listings)
The most decorated winner in this draft. Nominated for a Heisman and played in a National Championship the two years that he was healthy enough to be Clemson’s starter on the field. BTW, he recently turned 21! Obviously, it’s only right to hold this player to a high standard. I think if Watson hadn’t thrown so many interceptions he would be a slam dunk #1 rated QB in this draft. I will say this, in Watson’s last two years he threw 30 interceptions (not good) but 76 touchdowns (very good). I think a lot of Draft experts and football fans like Jameis Winston as a talent right? Winston had 28 interceptions and 65 TDs in his two years of football started. My point is that more focus needs to be on the positives this player provides.
Scouting notes: An excellent leader. Super composed. Very mature. Steps up in the biggest games. Displays great calmness conducting the offense and does not panic. Can make NFL throws while handling pressure or taking a hit. 67% completion in 2016. Throws a pretty back shoulder ball. Shows inconsistent accuracy on deep throws. Solid arm strength. Tough kid. He’s incredibly elusive running out of the pocket as a playmaker. I would like to see more bulk though. Needs to work on field vision and decision-making. Too many interceptions. 17 in 2016. Tore ACL in 2014.
2. Mitch Trubisky – UNC 6’3” 220
If Trubisky is your favorite QB in this draft I wouldn’t disagree with you. His arm talent might be the best on the list. Deshaun gets the nod from me as my #1 because of his resume but it’s ridiculously close.
Scouting notes: One year starter at UNC. Has everything you look for in an NFL starter. Love the anticipation. Nice accuracy. 68% completion rate. Does have a big arm and pretty good deep accuracy with nice touch. Makes plenty of NFL throws. Ideally a pocket QB but can scramble, has decent speed with slight shiftiness. Awareness in the pocket is ok but doesn’t shed tackles or sacks very well. Athleticism is where it needs to be for a starting NFL QB. A little underwhelming in big games/moments. Had very solid weapons in 2016. 30 TD/6 INT. Takes great care of the ball but shows no fear to sling it by any means.
3. Patrick Mahomes II – Texas Tech 6’3” 224
The most exciting QB in this draft. He probably shouldn’t start right away but in my opinion has the highest ceiling. I watch his tape to make myself happy when I’m feeling blue.
Scouting notes: Shows a little of everything but may be a bit raw. Magician-like ability at extending plays and improvising, maybe even special. Backyard/playground type stuff, sometimes just makes defenders look silly. Fantastic scramble ability with great touch on the run. Decent accuracy overall (65.7%) and needs to improve on this but will flash NFL throws often. Might have strongest arm in this class with a funky side arm delivery. Deep ball looks effortless and when he misses it’s always long. Mostly throws quick screens and lets playmakers do their thing. Has some gunslinger to him. VERY questionable ball security. You would think he could run faster but he kinda floats downfield with his head on a swivel. His Father, Pat Mahomes, was an MLB Pitcher. He was the NCAA leader in passing yards in 2016. 4653/36td/15Int.
4. DeShone Kizer – Notre Dame 6’4” 230
A lot of “draftniks” or draft experts have Kizer as the best QB option in this draft and I really do not see why. This will be a topic of conversation for me throughout this draft season. I’m always open to listen to opinions but what I see is a talent that checks boxes but doesn’t truly impress.
Scouting notes: Definitely has an NFL body. in the mold of Donovan McNabb. Has solid arm strength. Big enough to run through arm tackles. Good scrambling ability and can throw on the run, although mechanics are sloppy. I was not impressed with accuracy when I watched last year and it’s still, dare I say bad, this season (58.7%). I don’t see a lot of down the field shots (unless it’s Syracuse). It’s like OC doesn’t trust him. Forces unnecessary throws, will flash NFL level talent but it is very inconsistent. Pocket awareness is terrible at times as well as ball security. Throws off back foot often. You can see he tries hard but I’m not seeing the elevation of his team. There is potential here but I’m not going to project that in the pros. I think he should have stayed in college. It is known that he was a three sport athlete and only took QB seriously in his Senior year in HS.
5. Brad Kaaya – Miami 6’4” 215
Scouting Notes: Pocket passer with some scramble ability. Good awareness in the pocket. Stays calm. Can make NFL throws but is inconsistent especially with pressure. Pretty good at placing it where his WRs can make a play. Not exactly a lazer but throws on a good rope. Sometimes it does come out a little “pop-gun” like which is a concern. Shows tons of finesse on throws and clearly likes doing it. Ball protection is good. Keeps two hands on the ball in the pocket. Decision making is a little questionable. Nothing really stands out as clear strengths or weaknesses. Started from Freshman year. Had really solid weapons throughout. I see more of a game manager with not a huge ceiling but a quality QB.
6. Jerod Evans – Virginia Tech 6’3” 230
Evans is the wild card on this list. Honestly, I need to see more film. It was a surprise that he declared so I’m waiting for more film to become available. So far I’ve liked what I saw.
Scouting notes: 1 year starter at VA Tech. Duel threat. NFL Frame. Big arm. Accuracy is solid. (63.5%) Has fast ball and can drop it in the bucket. Good on rollouts. Deep ball is pretty. Lots of designed runs for him. Not fast but uses big body and has juke moves. Brings lots of swag/confidence. Originally was with Air Force but torn ACL in 2013. Spent two years at Trinity Valley and transferred to VA Tech.
7. Nathan Peterman – Pitt 6’2” 225
Peterman has the look of a professional QB. He reminds me of former Pitt QB Tom Savage who I thought had solid talent but would most likely be a backup who would get his shot at some point.
Scouting notes: Gamer. Overall arm and accuracy is mediocre but flashes NFL throws. Works pocket ok. Shows toughness on runs and throws. Not afraid of contact. I’m very impressed with his ability to throw a strike with pressure on him. He has NFL talent maybe not star talent. Put up really good fight against Clemson’s good defense. Needs to work on footwork and mechanics. Constantly throwing off his back foot. Transferred from Tennessee.
8. CJ Beathard – Iowa 6’2” 209
Scouting notes: Above average arm. Accuracy is adequate. Has really quick release. Deep ball is pretty. Primarily a pocket passer but can run (looks like sub 5 sec). Looks really good on roll-outs. Took some really hard hits shows a little bit of toughness. Can improvise a bit. Needs to bulk up some. His weapons were mediocre. It appeared to me that he elevated that program.
9. Chad Kelly – Ole Miss 6’1” 210
“Swag” Kelly is a polarizing prospect. He might have the most live arm in the class but the character questions will send him to the end of the draft. All that said, some team will take a chance on him.
Scouting notes: Has an absolute cannon for an arm. Scrambles well. Has deceptive athleticism. Shows some toughness. Looks like a throwback QB from the 80s. Accuracy is mediocre overall but bad on deep throws. Decision making on throws is very questionable. His weapons and O-Line during his career at Ole Miss were outstanding. Ideally a pocket passer however his instincts in the pocket are not that impressive. During the 2016 Memphis game he was taken out on third down repeatedly for a more athletic QB. Was highly recruited by Clemson but was kicked off. Known as an immature guy. A picture recently surfaced of him rolling a blunt. Won a JC title at East Mississippi Community College. Nephew of Jim Kelly. A very solid 4042/31/13 in 2015. Seems to me that he regressed in 2016 and on top of that tore ACL.
10. Sefo Liufau – Colorado 6’4” 230
This could be the QB sleeper of this draft. I like what I’ve seen so far but will do more work on this prospect as we go along.
Scouting notes: Cannon arm. Shows good touch and an accurate deep ball. With his ideal NFL size he is able to take a hit and still deliver the ball on target. His timing is excellent with his receivers. Can run a bit, however, foot speed a little slow. He certainly is not juking anyone. Often holds the ball too long. Injured ankle badly in 2016 Pac 12 Championship game.
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