2010 NFL Draft Top Five by Position: Quarterback
Today I start my Top Five by position leading up to the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine next week, which I'm happy to report, the e-mail came, that I have my media credential.
As far as impact players go, I start with the quarterbacks, which, beyond the top couple, stands as a pretty weak class.
In other words, this is a good draft for teams looking to develop a backup quarterback. Indianapolis, maybe?
Before we start let me say this. The analysis of the players, as with all the players I'll be looking at, is strictly a skill view. I don't view the NFL Draft or its processes as a statistical argument.
So let's look at my Top Five Quarterbacks of the 2010 NFL Draft.
1. Sam Bradford, Jr., Oklahoma
Sam Bradford is tops on my board because he brings the most to the position in the long-term outlook.
Bradford has an underrated arm, a good mind, and is deadly accurate. He has the biggest upside in this year's draft despite being in the spread offense at Oklahoma.
I think Bradford will transition well into an under-center offense as he has the quickness on his release to get the ball out under pressure.
His durability has to be a question and any team that drafts him will have to entertain having him in the backup role for all of or most of 2010.
2. Jimmy Clausen, Jr., Notre Dame
Jimmy Clausen is the only quarterback in this year's draft that is "ready to go" per say.
He has experience in the pro-style offense with the Irish under Charlie Weis, but I have to question if he's good enough.
His physical intangibles are unquestionably ready, though I'm discouraged by this nagging toe injury that will keep him from throwing at the Combine next week.
It's his mental intangibles that draws questions. Clausen doesn't have great decision making and I can't say he ever blew my mind at Notre Dame. Some have even wondered if Clausen has peaked, citing his role in the pro-style offense.
I don't think he's peaked and has a lot to learn about the NFL game, if he gets with the right staff. My currently unpublished mock draft has him heading to Buffalo, which could lend a hand to the "Clausen has peaked" argument.
3. Colt McCoy, Sr., Texas
Colt McCoy raises similar questions regarding his health as Sam Bradford. He says he is progressing well from a shoulder injury suffered against Alabama during the BCS National Championship game.
I doubt he'll throw at next week's combine, so individual team workouts could be his one chance to show he's recovered.
McCoy is far and wide the No. 3 quarterback. He's not close to the top two, but well ahead of the ones behind him.
One thing that McCoy brings is leadership and a proven winner.
I think his arm strength needs some work and the shoulder injury didn't help that any. He has average legs and average decision making.
He's one of few signal callers that may have benefited from coming out last season after the snail's pace he started off with in 2009.
McCoy still would not have been the top quarterback last season as Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez would have ranked above him, but it is possible that he would have slid in above Josh Freeman.
I have McCoy has a second rounder with the only real question, as to his numbered status, is will he go before Tim Tebow?
4. Dan LeFevour, Sr., Central Michigan
Look up the Division 1-A records and Dan LeFevour is pasted throughout.
He had a brilliant career with the non-AQ Central Michigan Chippewas out of the Mid-American Conference and had a great Senior Bowl performance running for and throwing for a touchdown.
The biggest issue with LeFevour is he is strictly a spread quarterback right now. Don't discredit his arm though as he's not a run-first type, but will need work under center.
What LeFevour does bring is a good set of legs and the ability to look down field while on the move. He has average arm strength with average/above average accuracy. I'll rate his on-the-move accuracy as above average.
He's a work-in-progress quarterback and a developmental type. I have him as a third rounder but I could see him going in the late second to a team like Indianapolis, which had Bill Polian personally scouting Ball State's Nate Davis (another MAC product) in 2008.
LeFevour's immediate use could be in a team's Wildcat formation, similar to what Philadelphia had setup for Michael Vick.
5a. Tim Tebow, Sr., Florida
Tim Tebow represents the biggest risk of the quarterbacks in the 2010 NFL Draft, not to mention the biggest media circus.
Tebow Mania will probably land in the late first (tops) or mid-second round (lowest) but should, by logic, be as high as the third round.
Odds that he's used as a quarterback are slim, but the Wildcat formation is a perfect fit for Tebow.
His elongated, ugly throwing motion was exposed in the Senior Bowl, but the novelty of his talents alone put him in the Top five discussion.
He has a good fit in New England, who doesn't need a for-seeable backup and could use him in goal line formations. I'm not buying Jacksonville picking him in with the No. 10/11 pick to gain fan interest.
Because of his risk, Tebow could scare a lot of teams off the way Percy Harvin's extracurricular activities scared off 21 teams in 2009.
With Tebow, whatever team drafts him could be crucified if he's used wrong and fails, or hailed if they find a way for him to succeed.
5b. Tony Pike, Sr., Cincinnati
Tony Pike is probably the least-talked about quarterback in the 2010 class.
Pike has good arm strength and accuracy, but like so many other college signal callers, he's a spread offense guy.
His Senior Bowl, however, was eye-opening as he showed the ability to make a lot of NFL-style throws.
His Combine performance could be what decides if he goes above Dan LeFevour or not as the No. 4 quarterback.
Pike's biggest issue is that he's inconsistently accurate and doesn't have a lot of touch. I think his footwork could improve his consistency and coaching will up his touch.
Another thing that worries me about Pike is his build. At 6'6", he weighs in at only 212 pounds, which throws his durability in the NFL into question. For the height he possesses, he did show good mobility at the Senior Bowl.