2012 NFL Draft: Ranking the 2012 Quarterbacks by Current Stock
With the Senior Bowl over and done with, all that's left to evaluate NFL prospects is the Scouting Combine (just over two weeks away) and individual pro days.
Even with those still to come, there is a lot of movement among quarterback prospects. Some of them are seeing their stocks rise, while others are taking a turn for the worst. Here is an evaluation of which quarterbacks are rising, which are falling and which are staying right where they are.
1. Russell Wilson: Stock Rising
Russell Wilson looked great at the Senior Bowl. Furthermore, the Redskins spent a considerable amount of time with him in interviews (coincidentally, the Redskins staff was coaching one of the teams).
Despite his height (he was measured at a little over 5'10" at the Senior Bowl weigh-in), Russell Wilson is being given consideration for a pretty high pick.
Wilson led Wisconsin to its second consecutive Rose Bowl appearance, and even though they lost, he did help them drop 38 points on Oregon. That loss was on Wisconsin's defense.
The way his stock is rising, I'd be surprised if he made it to Day 3 of the draft when April rolls around.
2. Robert Griffin III: Stock Rising
The Colts are apparently having their scouts look at Robert Griffin III. It's been a foregone conclusion for months now that the Colts would select Andrew Luck with the first overall pick, and I still think that will be what happens.
However, the fact that they are bothering to look at Griffin a little harder shows just how special his skill set is.
Griffin threw for 37 touchdowns to only six interceptions, completing 72.4 percent of his passes. He's also a track star, and can pick up first downs on the ground just as easily as he can in the air. Like Cam Newton, he could be an immediate game changer for the team that drafts him.
I would be shocked if RG3 made it to the third overall pick.
3. Brandon Weeden: Stock Rising
As good as Russell Wilson looked at the Senior Bowl, Weeden might have been the best quarterback on the field. His big problem isn't his height, but his age.
Weeden is only a few months younger than Aaron Rodgers, and is coming from a spread system. Even if he was ready for the NFL right now, he'd be a risk.
He looked great for the last two seasons at Oklahoma State though, so a team might look into him as a high end backup or a guy to compete with a less than stellar starter.
Weeden was great in his brief time in the Senior Bowl. He showed good decision-making skills and seemed to transition pretty smoothly to a pro-style offense.
With that weighing in his favor, he'd be moved from the middle rounds to the early ones. He'll be off the board by Day 2.
4. Brock Osweliler: Stock Rising
Through no fault of his own, and without doing anything to deserve it, Brock Osweiler's stock is rising. Why? Because of the rest of the quarterback class.
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin will be the first and second pick. If you can't get them there, you can't have them.
Russell Wilson and Brandon Weeden would be first-rounders were it not for their fatal flaws (height and age).
Ryan Tannehill has been injured, and Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins both played badly in the Senior Bowl. So who does that leave as a potential franchise quarterback in this class? Just Osweiler.
He is monstrously tall, surprisingly quick and threw for a lot of yards in his brief time as a starter. Is he ready for the NFL right now? No, but if he'd stayed another year at college he could've been a very high pick.
Teams will be paying a lot of attention to him as a potential steal from now until the draft. If he does well at the Combine and his pro day, then he will be picked early.
5. Andrew Luck: Stock Stable
Andrew Luck has been the consensus top pick in the draft since he declared that he was going to stay in school before the 2011 NFL Draft. His stock can't possibly rise any higher.
However, it's certainly not falling.
Like I said earlier, it's a foregone conclusion that Luck will be the first overall pick in the draft, so unless he does something to hurt himself (which I don't see happening), he's staying where he is.
6. Ryan Tannehill: Stock Stable
Ryan Tannehill is probably the third quarterback that will be taken in the first round this year. However, his foot injury makes it unlikely that any team will spend an early pick on him.
Tannehill threw for over 3,700 yards and 29 touchdowns this season, but he also turned the ball over 15 times. He looked good, but in his second year as a quarterback, he's a pretty raw prospect.
He hasn't done anything to make his stock rise. That said, he isn't doing anything to hurt himself either, so until teams get a chance to evaluate him, his stock remains stable.
7. Case Keenum: Stock Falling
It's too bad Case Keenum didn't play in the Senior Bowl. He's been dismissed as a system quarterback, and didn't look good in his conference championship against Southern Mississippi. He did, however, have a great game against Penn State in the Ticketcity Bowl, so it's hard to say.
However, if you watched the U.S. Marines All-Star Challenge on Sunday, then you saw that Keenum may not be any taller than Kellen Moore (who is under 6" himself).
In fact, when I first saw Keenum standing with the other quarterbacks (Kellen Moore and Nick Foles), I immediately asked out loud "Who's that short guy?"
Keenum is listed as 6'2" tall, but I'll be shocked if he measures anything over 6". Just like Kellen Moore and Russell Wilson, being that height hurts a player's draft stock.
8. Nick Foles: Stock Falling
Nick Foles put up monster numbers this season (over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns), but he looked just plain bad in the Senior Bowl.
While he wasn't terrible at throwing the ball, his footwork was terrible and he did not respond well to pressure.
He still has all the measurements and the big arm, but no one has questioned that. It's his vision, footwork and decision-making that have drawn criticism. If he doesn't show something to sweep away those concerns, then he'll never go earlier than the third round.
9. Kirk Cousins: Stock Falling
Just like Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins didn't deliver in the Senior Bowl.
Cousins doesn't have the same big frame and big arm that Foles does, so to see him making the same bad decisions really hurts his stock.
Cousins threw an interception in the Senior Bowl which wasn't entirely his fault, but he did make several other bad throws which were.
For a player who's only a little over 6'2" tall and with less than 10" hands, Cousins needed to be a surgeon in the pocket. He wasn't, and it hurt his stock.
10. Kellen Moore: Stock Falling
Poor Kellen Moore. He was one of the best college quarterbacks of the last few years, but he just won't make it in the NFL.
Kellen Moore measured at under 6' at the Senior Bowl and weighed in at a mere 191 lbs. That is too small to repeatedly get hit by NFL pass rushers.
Even worse, while he didn't look terrible in the Senior Bowl, he was far from great. He didn't respond very well to pressure and he made a few questionable decisions.
That's his strong point, so seeing him struggle there even a little bit will hurt him come draft time. The best thing he could do for himself would be to hit the gym hard until the Combine.
If he can gain just 10 or 12 pounds, some team will look at his great tape and take a chance on him. Otherwise, he might not get drafted at all.