2010 NFL Draft: Ranking the Quarterbacks After the Combine
The 2010 NFL Combine is over and all the numbers have been crunched. Some players helped their draft status and others hurt theirs. For the most part it looks as if the combine did not move most players up or down in the draft.
Most fans, experts and, sports writers fall into two groups when it comes to the NFL Combine. Either the combine is a waste of time filled with useless exercises or the combine gives valuable information on future draft choices.
No matter what your take is on the NFL Combine, the information gathered there is not a bad thing as long as it is used in combination with game tape. Every fan should be weary of a draft pick made solely from a great combine or pro day workout.
That being said, with only pro day workouts left it is time to rank the top picks for each position. Since most quarterbacks failed to throw at the combine and will throw at pro day workouts, this ranking falls to the work done in their college careers.
This is just a positional ranking in is in no way the projected draft order. My projected draft order will come after a position by position break down. So without further ado here is the number one quarterback draft prospect.
1. Jimmy Clausen: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
There is no question that Jimmy Clausen should be the first quarterback taken off the board. Clausen has the size, arm strength, and mental toughness to be a franchise quarterback.
Playing for Notre Dame gave Clausen a chance play at a high profile school even if the Irish have not been a top program on the field they are treated that way in the media. Clausen looks like he can make all the NFL throws as well.
Clausen plays through pain, makes accurate throws, great vision and, all the intangibles to make him a safe pick as the first quarterback. He also knows how to carry a team as shown the last two years at Notre Dame.
The Irish had a very weak defense and a poor running game. Clausen had to be at his best every game, just for his team to stay in nearly every game.
Another big plus for Clausen is that he played in a pro style offense while in college. Playing for former Irish coach Charlie Weis defiantly made Clausen NFL ready.
The downsides of drafting Clausen are few but have to be stated. The first is will Clausen be the next Brady Quinn.
While Quinn has not been a total bust as of yet, he has not shown he is a franchise quarterback either. Both Quinn and Clausen played for Weis so there has to be some worry that Clausen will be the next Quinn.
The biggest question so far about Clausen is his personality. He can come off as abrasive and cocky.
Still unless Clausen’s personality begins to look like Ryan Leaf or Jeff George it should not hurt his draft stock by much. Clausen still has a chance to work on his personality and discuss it with scouts before the draft.
Overall: First Round Pick
2. Sam Bradford: Oklahoma Sooners
Sam Bradford is a first round talent with one big question. Bradford has all the makings of a franchise quarterback but the shoulder injury he suffered raises a big question about his future.
Bradford can make all the pro throws and can make quick reads. If not for his injury, Bradford would be a co-number one quarterback prospect with Clausen.
Playing in a pro-style offense as a freshman is a big plus and Bradford’s foot work is probably the best of any quarterback in this draft. He has put up outstanding numbers throughout his career.
Bradford played with talent rich teams while playing for Oklahoma, so there are questions if he can carry a bad team early in his pro career. Also while playing for the Sooners; Bradford never saw a big time pass rush.
Still the question about Bradford is the injury he suffered to his throwing shoulder against BYU and reinjuring it against Texas. Unless the team taking Bradford is willing to sit him, his first year or is assured his shoulder is 100% healthy a high pick is a risk.
At the combine it looked like Bradford had bulked up, which was something he needed to do to prevent injury. As told by doctors, Bradford did not throw at the combine so the health of his shoulder is not truly known.
Taking Bradford with a high pick would be well worth it but starting him, his rookie year could be disastrous. The best bet would be the team that drafts Bradford, is to play 2010 with a one year starter and look to play Bradford as the starter in 2011.
This would give Bradford a chance to completely heal his shoulder and give another draft class to build a solid offense line in front of him. The only problem with this scenario is that a team drafting Bradford will be doing so with a top ten pick.
The temptation to play Bradford will be high. First because of where he will be taken in the draft (possible top ten pick) and second the amount of money he will get paid for being such a high pick.
If fully healed Bradford has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. If rushed back early from the injury to his throwing shoulder, Bradford could fail to reach his full potential.
Overall: First Round Pick
3. Tim Tebow: Florida Gators
The Florida quarterback will be the most talked about player in the 2010 Draft until his name comes off the board. The questions about Tebow playing under center are really kind of mote since so many teams in college football play in the shotgun because of the spread.
Tebow like Bradford and Colt McCoy all spent most of their college careers away from center. The real issue is can these quarterbacks learn to play under center to become franchise quarterbacks.
The physical skills Tebow possesses are what will have scouts wanting to draft him. Even if he cannot make a team as a quarterback, he can always move to a fullback or H-back position.
Being a great runner could send Tebow up the draft boards with the wildcat, becoming a big fad in the NFL. A strong runner with the ability to legitimately throw the ball is tempting to take a chance on.
If Tebow can fix his looping throwing motion, he will become an even higher prospect. The biggest knock on Tebow is his awkward winding throwing motion.
A couple of other knocks on Tebow are his ability to read defenses, locking on to the primary receiver, and his foot work. Expect a ton of scouts to show up at his pro day to see how well he is improving on throwing the ball.
There is no question that Tebow is the best leader in this draft at quarterback and has decent arm strength. No quarterback in this draft has as many intangibles as Tebow.
With the ability to play more than just the quarterback position, Tebow will have the chance to be drafted early on. Depending on what he shows at his pro day he could make the leap to the late first round.
Tebow’s talent is just too great not to take a chance on him. Is he a first round talent? At this point the answer is no.
If he can fix his foot work and throwing motion he will move up the draft boards. Still expect some team to over reach when drafting Tebow, taking him too high.
Tebow could be the wild card in this draft and make some team look like a genius if he pans out as a player. He could also be a bust and never find a spot he can play on the field every down.
Overall: Third Round, Possible Second Round
4. Dan LeFevour: Central Michigan Chippewas
One of the biggest mistakes made at the combine this year was Dan LeFevour’s decision not to throw the ball. Many thought that if he threw the ball well he could have become the third quarterback in this draft.
Still the success of MAC quarterbacks recently in the NFL has helped LeFevour. No team wants to over look the next small school NFL star.
There are several knocks on LeFevour before the draft. The biggest is that he played in a spread offense in college and did not take snaps under center.
Also by playing in the spread he did not play in a pro style offense and he has a slow throwing motion at times. LeFevour will be a question mark for playing at a MAC school.
A great pro day by LeFevour could bolt him right back into the top three quarterbacks of this draft. LeFevour has the height and the size that pro scouts love and is built like a franchise quarterback.
There is little chance that LeFevour could find his way into the first round but a great pro day in a weak quarterback draft could allow him to rise up the boards. With all the work LeFevour needs to do because of playing in the spread in college anything higher than a late second round pick is a stretch.
Overall: Third Round
5. Colt McCoy: Texas Longhorns
Colt McCoy could find himself sliding down in this draft because of his lack of size and arm strength. Plus the injury he suffered in the national title game against Alabama, all could hurt his draft status.
McCoy is a proven winner and is the winningest quarterback in college football history. The two players behind him are Peyton Manning and David Greene.
We all know how well Manning has done in the NFL but most people forget about Greene who never caught on as a NFL quarterback and retired from the NFL in 2009. That really gives McCoy no margin for error.
Another problem for McCoy is that he played very little under center. Most teams will not use an early pick on McCoy because he will be a project.
McCoy was a great college quarterback but that does not mean it will translate to the NFL. He was also surrounded by more talent in college than he will be in the NFL.
Look for most teams to draft McCoy as their possible quarterback of the future because he was a winner in college. In two years, McCoy will be either ready to start for a NFL team or out of the league.
Overall: Late Third Round to Fourth Round
6. Jarrett Brown: West Virginia Mountaineers
Only a one year starter for the Mountaineers taking over for Pat White, Jarrett Brown could be the most athletically gifted quarterback of this draft. Brown has the size and height that makes NFL scouts drool.
Brown also has limited experience, a spread offense, and is a raw passing talent. He looked great at times in the Senior Bowl but then forgot he was playing under the NFL contact rules twice.
The natural talent that Brown has to go along with his physical tools will help him rise up draft boards. The mental part of the game eludes Brown at times which will keep some teams away from him.
Brown is a project but a team with solid situation at quarterback could draft Brown and bring him along for the future. Playing Brown early because of his physical tools could ruin how good he can eventually be.
Overall: Early Fourth Round or a stretch in the Late Second Round
7. Tony Pike: Cincinnati Bearcats
Tony Pike has had injury problems in college and is not a very big quarterback size wise. On the plus side he does the height and makes smart decisions with the football.
Pike was one of the few quarterbacks to throw at the combine but did not impress most with his performance. Still he has all the mental tools to make it in the NFL.
Physical tools are what will hold Pike back from being a solid NFL quarterback. Most experts think Pike will be a career backup.
Then again most experts thought Drew Brees did not have the size to make it as a NFL quarterback. Using a mid round pick on Pike could prove to be gold later.
Overall: Fourth Round or Later
8. Zac Robinson: Oklahoma State Cowboys
After a sub-par senior season Zac Robinson has turned it on in pro workouts. Robinson was thought of as the best quarterback in the senior bowl.
Robinson is moving up the draft boards and he has all the physical tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Keep in mind Robinson struggled without Dez Bryant to throw to and Kendall Hunter out with injuries to slow the ground game.
After a good showing in the Senior Bowl and good workouts, Robinson could move up. The chance is there for Robinson to sneak in to the discussion of top three quarterbacks.
Overall: Second Round to Fourth Round
9. Jevan Snead: Ole Miss Rebels
Jevan Snead leaving early for the NFL after this season could be the biggest gamble in this year’s draft. After an impressive 2008 season, Snead took a step back in 2009.
At the combine, Snead was very impressive. Now the question becomes which is the real Snead.
Is the real Snead, the one who struggled all season long or the one who impressed at the combine? That is the question that every team looking to draft Snead has to ask and answer.
There is no question that Snead has all the physical tools to be franchise quarterback. The mental part of Snead’s game could hold him back.
Snead forces throws, stares down receivers, poor foot work, and questionable leadership skills. On the plus side he has great size and height, a big time arm, and very athletic.
The move by Snead will either be seen has a great one or the dumbest one in draft history. Only time will tell which one his decision is.
Overall: Late Fourth Round-Early Fifth Round
10. John Skelton: Fordham Rams
John Skelton could be the biggest sleeper in this year’s draft. Skelton has all the physical tools as far as size and height goes.
A big time arm makes Skelton a NFL prospect at quarterback. He has only one big question that being he played a small school but it could make him the next Joe Flacco.
Overall: Third Round to Fifth Round
Best of the rest:
11. Bill Stull: Pittsburgh Panthers- Could have missed his chance to shine and might end up a fourth to sixth round pick
12. Sean Canfield: Oregon State Beavers- Struggles at the combine have really hurt stock and looks to be a fifth to seventh round pick
13. Max Hall: BYU Cougars- Height is a big concern and hurting draft stock, look for a sixth to seventh round selection
14. Tim Hiller: Western Michigan Broncos- Disappointing senior year hurt draft stock, a sixth to seventh round pick at best
15. Riley Skinner: Wake Forest Demon Deacons- A winner but not much else going for him, could be a sixth round to a free agent
16. Todd Reesing: Kansas Jayhawks- Looks to be Chase Daniel part two, a seventh round to free agent
17. Jonathan Crompton: Tennessee Volunteers- Has all the physical tools to be a NFL quarterback but lacks mental tools, could go as high as the fifth round or end up a free agent
18. Darrel Clark: Penn State Nittany Lions- Needs time to become a NFL quarterback and could end up as a sixth to seventh round pick
19. Thaddeus Lewis: Duke Blue Devils- Put up big numbers at Duke and had David Cutcliffe to help development, looks to be a seventh round pick or free agent
20. Ryan Perrilloux: Jacksonville State Gamecocks- Shady past pushes him to a seventh round pick to a free agent
21. Mike Kafka: Northwestern Wildcats
22. Joe Webb: Troy Trojans
23. Juice Williams: Illinois Fighting Illini
24. Joe Cox: Georgia Bulldogs
25. Chris Turner: Maryland Terrapins
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