I am someone who prides himself on being an evaIuator of college football prospects. I love breaking recruits down and seeing why they are dominating their high school competition and how their skills project in college.
On the flip side of evaluating the best traits a recruit has on the field is the side where their weaknesses are exposed. I'm always about being positive with recruits because I know personally that playing football is a lot harder than it looks.
For this read, I'm going to give you one weakness I see in each of the top 10 QB prospect this year. These are all elite signal callers but everyone has weaknesses. Here's one for each elite 2013 quarterback.
Greenlee is a 6'2", 190-pound field general from Stockton, California. He has very good mechanics, poise in the pocket and sees the field well. He'll work through his progressions and get the football to targets with excellent accuracy.
Although he's a great ball handler and a smart player, Greenlee does not possess elite arm strength. He could be limited to working just as deep as the intermediate level of a defense on a consistent basis.
Weakness: Lack of elite arm strength
Swoopes, a Texas commit, is a 6'5", 229-pound quarterback who is a fantastic athlete. He looks great on the hoof and can dazzle as a playmaker.
A raw player, Swoopes is a dual-threat signal caller that can make plays with his strong arm and great speed. The knock on Swoopes is that he shows a lack of refined mechanics in the pocket and needs to develop his ability to read coverages.
Weakness: Mechanics and reading defenses
Olsen is a 6'2", 195-pound Miami commit from New Jersey who plays with a swagger. He seems to be very confident and calm on the field..
He is the type of quarterback who posses solid but not overwhelming traits. Olsen is accurate with football, makes great decisions and can surprise you with his mobility. The only thing I worry about is his lack of elite arm strength.
Weakness: Arm strength to consistently attack outside the numbers
Ramsey has played in a run-oriented offense throughout most of his high school career. He's 6'3", close to 200 pounds and flashes excellent arm strength.
Ramsey has all of the physical tools to be a top-tier starter at Georgia, but he is still figuring things out. Playing in a run-dominated offense has hindered his development in reading coverages and adjust to secondary scheme disguises.
Weakness: Lack of reps in the passing game/reading defenses
Woulard won the MVP at the Elite 11 Finals and is a star in the making. The South Florida commit stands 6'3" and weighs just about 205 pounds.
He has great arm strength, solid accuracy and sees the field well. Woulard has the talent to challenge for early snaps in Tampa, sans a delivery that isn't the smoothest and cleanest in the world.
Weakness: Smoothness of release/delivery
Out of Virginia, Burns is a 6'5", 220-pound stud committed to Stanford. He has good arm strength, great ball placement and can throw his receivers open.
Burns also is a deceptive athlete, as he can elude rushers and get outside the pocket to make plays. It is in this phase of the snap where Burns needs to work on ball security. He clearly has some Mark Sanchez—a propensity to hold the ball with just one hand—in him.
Weakness: Ball security
Bateman is an Alabama commit who probably has the strongest arm (among prep QBs) in the country. He is 6'3" and right around 200 pounds.
Bateman scans the field well, makes good decisions and can simply launch the football to receivers no matter where they are on the field. I think he'll need time to adjust to the speed of the college game and in hurrying up his mechanics.
Also, I want to see Bateman throw much better on the run.
Weakness: Throwing on the run and hurrying up his mechanics
Morris is a 6'3", 190-pound Michigan commit. He's a southpaw with a quick setup and delivery in the pocket.
Morris' good arm strength and mobility allow him to get outside the pocket and make throws on the run and gain yards with his legs. As a passer, the consensus detractor on him is that his accuracy can be pretty inconsistent.
Weakness: Consistency of accuracy and ball placement
Hackenberg is committed to Penn State and is 6'3", 215 pounds. He has just about everything you'd want in a potential elite starting college quarterback.
From arm strength, timing, touch, accuracy, mobility and field vision, Hackenberg shows he has it all. His offense puts him in the shotgun almost exclusively, so he will need to really work on his ball handling and ability to sell play-action fakes.
Watching tape of Peyton Manning in this department would serve Hackenberg very well.
Weakness: Ball handling
Browne is a 6'5", 215-pound Quarterback from the Seattle area that is committed to USC. You have to love his size on the hoof along with his sharp and quick release.
Browne deciphers coverages very well and is a great decision maker. He has good arm strength, great accuracy and also can throw with touch.
He has good pocket presence, but Browne isn't the best athlete and his inability to elude rushers in college will be a weakness.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.