In this tough economy, NFL QB money is looking better than ever which makes it even more amazing that two Heisman winners, Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford, decided to return to school in 2009.
Not only is the cash greener on the other side of the fence, but when you stay in college you risk getting injured and losing it all. Something Tebow and Bradford have already had to worry about this season.
I considered the two QB's four of the players who had the most to prove to NFL scouts entering the season (along with LaGarrette Blount) and they will be under a close watch for the remainder of the season.
Bradford Bests Baylor Bears But Is He The Best QB?
Last April, Bradford would have been the top pick of the 2009 NFL Draft. Instead, he returned to Norman, OK and almost lost it all when he injured his shoulder against BYU in the season opener.
I have mixed emotions about Bradford's return to the helm. His 27-of-49 passing was 12.7 percentage points lower than his completion percentage in 2008. He was able to lead Oklahoma to a decisive 33-7 victory, but the Bears have never beat the Sooners and Bradford didn't register his lone touchdown pass until the four-minute mark in the fourth quarter.
The Sooners struggled to finish the Bears off, kicking four field goals in the second half.
Standing tall in the pocket Bradford did show elite accuracy at times but Baylor couldn't muster any serious pressure. Bradford also tweaked his leg in the first quarter and finished the day with -5 rushing yards on three carries.
After the National Championship loss to Florida, I had serious doubts about Bradford's ability to throw under pressure, and all of my concerns still exists. I have to imagine I'm not the only one with Bradford behind someone on their draft board.
Hard Headed Tebow Leads By Example
As the heart and soul of the Florida Gators, it was important for Tebow to show he is 100 percent, not only for his teammates, but also for NFL scouts.
Not once did I see Tebow shy away from contact against LSU. He ran for tough yards, stepped into throws when pressured, and never seemed to have a woozy moment on the field.
While Tebow's head seemed strong, all of the questions about his skills are still there. He may not have time to get his grenade toss wined-up off in the NFL, and Urban Myers' offense gives Tebow extra time to make reads.
Nobody will question his will to win, but Tebow did throw an errant pick in crunch time, and the way NFL teams have been driving in the fourth quarter this season, I'm not sure he could afford that in the League.
There is still hope for Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback, even in a non-wildcat setting, but he may have to sit a year or two to adjust.
Snead Shows True Colors Against SEC Elite
Don't believe the hype. Jevan Snead's NFL stock took a huge hit when he failed to perform in prime time against a good South Carolina defense on Sept. 24. The going got worse when Ole Miss hosted Alabama last Saturday.
Snead connected on 11-of-34 passes, dropping his season completion percentage to 46.8. Of the four interceptions he threw two were due to his teammates, but by failing to throw a TD it brought his TD-to-INT ratio to 1-to-1 on the year.
If you’re judging his arm strength, it's understandable that someone would have him as the top quarterback prospect, but Snead lacks fire and his accuracy is unrefined. Another year in the SEC would do him some good.
Top 10 QB Prospects
1. Jake Locker - Improvements in accuracy and decision making is surprising, if he had more competent receivers his completion percentage would be much better.
2. Colt McCoy - Completion percentage over the past two years is impressive in any system.
3. Sam Bradford - Games against Texas (Oct. 17) and Nebraska (Nov. 7) will show how he does with a player in his face.
4. Tony Pike - Size matters in the NFL and Pike is biggest of the bunch.
5. Jimmy Clausen - Accuracy and decision making is strong, but he is unusually un-athletic.
6. Jevan Snead - Has dug himself a deep ditch with poor performances, can he dig himself out?
7. Tim Tebow - Doesn't get to display NFL skills on a regular basis but there’s something to be said about four years of success and stats.
8. Dan LeFevour - Four years of film has given the scouts a chance to see his progression, but it has also exposed his flaws.
9. Tim Hiller - On any given day he can be the best QB in the country but durability has teams worried.
10. Case Keenum - Quickly climbing up draft boards but seems like a prime candidate to return to school.