The 2017 NFL Draft is coming up in about 5 weeks and I have been working diligently to scout this year’s upcoming quarterback’s class. This is a very interesting group of quarterbacks especially when compared to the last few years; while it may not be as strong as group as last year’s class, there are definitely a few quarterbacks that have franchise quarterback traits. Usually I profile 5 quarterbacks that I rank as my top 5 in the class and I will still do that for this year’s group, but I will also throw out my under the radar quarterback, a guy who if he lands in the right system and in the right situation that I could see them at the very least being a spot starter and as a high end backup and another quarterback that shouldn’t even be touched due to what I call high level bust traits. One very interesting situation in this draft class and all of my draft classes is that the quarterback must be at least 6 foot 2 inches in height and it is one of the traits that I will never compromise upon. For the simple reason that only 2 quarterbacks under that height threshold have ever been drafted in the first round in the past 15 years and one of the quarterbacks drafted, Johnny Manziel, ended up being an alcoholic and a drug addict, despite my warnings over 3 years ago not to draft him for what I suspected to be substance abuse issues. Anyways, here are my rankings, enjoy!
- Mitchell Trubisky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4q7edDLXQE It should have come as no surprise to anyone that I have been pumping up the overall game and resume of Mitch since the end of December of 2016 and while it may seem like a stretch to take him with the number 1 overall pick, I view him as worthy of a top ten pick. Sadly most teams in the top ten have already went ahead and chosen to go with a veteran option at the position with the signing of Mike Glennon to the Bears, Brian Hoyer to the 49ers, and Tyrod Taylor going back to Buffalo. I am very hesistant to believe that the Jets will draft yet another QB but this is the pathetic Jets we are talking about and there is no way the Browns will pick a QB number 1 overall but I see a situation where they could easily trade up from the 12th pick to the top 10 and grab Trubisky if he starts to slide towards the bottom of the first 10 picks. Now I was very skeptical due to the short body of work of Trubisky just like I was very skeptical of Carson Wentz but going through the tape, the talent is there for him to develop as a franchise quarterback. Through the limited body of work, I saw a quarterback that was accurate throwing on the run, able to work through progressions, show off excellent arm strength and plus scrambling ability, display the proper footwork even while working from a spread system, and displayed the poise under pressure with excellent decision making and good pocket mobility to extend plays. If there is one flaw in his game it is due to poor mechanics when making downfield throws that he makes the mistake of putting too much air on the ball and thus, gives the DB a chance to make a play on the ball, but overall I am confident in him, just like I was confident in Carson Wentz last year to be able to make the transition to being a franchise quarterback despite the limited body of work. The player that I would compare him to would be a less talented throwing version of Matthew Stafford due to similar body sizes and playing styles. Top Ten Grade
- Deshaun Watson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Frm1oeO2yu0 If there was to ever be a prospect as highly scrutinized it has to be Watson, a man that I am not particularly fond of but I see a lot of similarities in Watson and Dak Prescott in that Prescott was able to be a distributor, being able to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. I remain very critical of Watson’s decision making but I like his pocket awareness and poise under pressure. Such traits were evident when evaluation his game tape against great SEC defenses like Alabama and how he was able to rally his team under duress. His game is also a little similar to Vince Young in his ability to galvanize the troops (before Young became a black nigger he was a highly respected team leader in the University of Texas) and lead his men through the darkest times in the football game. Nothing seems to get to him with respect to the big stages but when evaluating these quarterbacks, I look at accuracy, pocket awareness, arm strength, leadership ability, and overall potential as I fully believe no matter how strong your arm is, if you can’t get the ball on time and if you can’t operate under a muddled pocket, you will never succeed in the NFL. We don’t need another white idiot like Blaine Gabbert becoming a top ten pick and proving that I was right to never even draft him in the first 4 rounds of the draft. Watson does possess good short to intermediate accuray and a strong arm. His athleticism is above average and will allow for him to be a plus scrambling threat in the pros. I do not like his deep ball accuracy as he misses too many throws down the field despite having some excellent receiving options and he has to continue to learn to play from the pocket but he has all the tools to develop into a franchise quarterback in my eyes; he just needs to work on his decision making and accuracy that has led to him having over 30 interceptions in the past 2 years. I see him as a fit with the Texans and the Chiefs as those teams would give him the time to develop and they also have systems and talent around the QB that would allow him to simply get the ball out to his weapons and play the role of ball distributor. First Round Grade, Top 25 pick
- Deshone Kizer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXj76WC6nF4 There was a time in my evaluation where I was prepared to name Kizer my number 1 QB due to concerns that Trubisky was a little person and would measure under the 6 foot 2 inch threshold that I have for all of my quarterbacks. Thank the gods that Trubisky did not let me down in those regards, but it shows my affinity that I have for big, strong, mobile quarterbacks that I even made Cam Newton my number 1 QB over Ryan Mallett due to my conerns that Mallett was a drug addict and of course a mal content with a terrible attitude and work ethic, concerns that have yet to be dispelled by Mallett and his supporters. Kizer has excellent, elite size for the position with an absolute cannon for an arm. He is a plus athlete for the position and in the YouTube link I have provided you will see many 20 plus yard runs by Kizer. So if he is loved by me so much, why do I rank him as the 3rd best quarterback, well it is very simple; his pocket mechanics breaks down as the game progresses which leads to poor accuracy on throws that he should be able to make. It also leads to poor sacks and poor decision making, which is why he was benched multiple times late into the 4th quarter. You really have to go back to the 2015 tape to see his overall potential but still this is a guy with all the traits needed to develop into an excellent quarterback but I will admit he is like a wildcard. I just have a major love for big armed, tall, and mobile quarterbacks. It did not help matters that his footwork was not up to par with other quarterbacks when throwing at the combine last month. He will need at least 2 years to sit, learn and watch but I fully believe that he will end up being an excellent quarterback since all of the tools are there. I also do question his leadership and intangibles as to whether he truly cares about the game due to how many times he was benched. I see him being a good fit in the Arizona Cardinals system to develop as an option behind Carson Palmer for a year and then let him take over. His powerful arm is a good asset to have in the Cardinals vertically based offense. Late First Round Grade
- Patrick Mahomes II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8tf0eXBURo At one point I had Mahomes as my 2nd rated quarterback in a scenario if Trubisky measured out to be a little person but the cards fell where they did for a reason. I am a fan of his game as he is super fun to watch, literally airing out bombs all day long with the ability to throw the ball as far as the eye can see but with the ability to drop the ball into the bucket against tight coverage. Everyone knocks the system he came out of, the Air Raid system of Texas Tech, and his game lacks any kind of discipline needed to play in a traditional pro style system as a pocket passer. Yet all of the physical and leadership skills are there for him to thrive as an NFL quarterback. I prefer to think of him as a mold of clay that can be molded but it will take at least 2 years for a return on investment. I see the 49ers as a fit for him due to their long rebuilding process and he can be afforded the luxury of sitting behind a bridge quarterback like Brian Hoyer until he is ready to lead the offense. I compared his game to Jay Cutler due to the lack of discipline he has to operate the offense and his propensity to take un-needed risks with the football but there are times when his off the script game style can be a thing of beauty. Early Second Round Grade
- Davis Webb https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3y6rILNmDo Here is my surprising prospect that I have revealed to be worth my developmental grade as a QB that has all the physical skills to develop into a spot starter or at the very worse, a high end backup. When researching Davis Webb’s game, he shows many similarities to Nick Foles as a tall and strong armed quarterback with an above average arm and average mobility that would need to be developed within a system but has the traits to emerge as a useful backup and a guy who can compete for a starting QB job within three seasons. Webb needs to work on many things including his mechanics, footwork, and speeding up his internal clock during his drop backs but I see a prospect who can thrive in a vertical offense or an offense that is run based. He can be very frustratingly inconsistent at times and can even look like Sean Mannion rather than Nick Foles. He will get a little overdrafted and might even sneak into the second round (don’t buy the lies that he will be a first round pick) but I would feel confident with selecting him as a 4th round prospect and even in the 3rd round. He would be a great fit in the Houston Texans as a QB to develop but we all know that they need someone who can come in and compete right away. Who know, if and when they get Tony Romo, Webb would be another Texas arm that they can develop for a few years until he is ready to take over the job on a full time basis. Third to Fourth Round Grade
- Quarterbacks to avoid: Brad Kaaya, I am sorry to bust the bubble of many Miami college fans but I have only a 6th round grade on your boy Kaaya due to both arm strength limitations and poor pocket awareness. During my study of the tape, he seems to get very squirmish in the pocket with bodies around him and doesn’t seem to handle pressure up the gut due to poor foot speed to escape and slide his feet inside the pocket. Sure he has excellent size for the position and is a very accurate thrower when he has a clean pocket but that is rarely the case in the NFL. He was able to show off his natural accurate arm during the combine but on throws greater than 25 yards, the ball tended to float and hang in the air; a sign of a weak armed passer. Hell I ever have Nathan Peterman as a higher rated passer despite his also weak arm, though he is very comparable to Andy Dalton from a physical skillset. I have compared Kaaya to a poor man’s Matt Cassel and everyone knows how much I hate to even see the face of the white idiot Cassel but Cassel isn’t even a good backup quarterback in the NFL. Who knows, maybe Kaaya can land in a west coast system that will do a much better job at hiding his lack of throwing ability but he isn’t the highly sought after prospect many idiots were referring to back in the 2016 NCAA offseason.