Before the college football season started, the #1 draft pick and future Buffalo Bills quarterback was destined to be Jake Locker.
But after losses to BYU and Nebraska, Locker is going to have to play catch-up with the professional scouts. Against the Cornhuskers, Locker completed just four of his 20 attempted passes for 71 yards, including one touchdown and two interceptions.
If he is going to have a shot at becoming the next $50 million money-maker in the NFL, he is going to have to turn it around and step up his game.
In his place, new signal-callers have emerged, all vying for the shot to be named the #1 pick in the National Football League.
Three weeks into the season, Ryan Mallett is college football's only 1,000 passer.
The former Michigan Wolverine did not fit Rich Rodriguez's system, and transferred to the Arkansas Razorbacks. He is leading the Razorbacks to a 3-0 start in the SEC West, and is looking to make a run at the SEC Championship Game.
Mallett has one of the strongest arms in all of college football, and would transfer over very well to a professional offense. It is because of his rocket arm, that he is drawing comparisons to two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger.
Thanks to Locker's downfall, Mallett is the best bet to become the top pick in the NFL Draft next spring.
Stanford Cardinal fans were not worried a bit when they lost Heisman-worthy running back Toby Gerhart to the NFL Draft. What they knew that most college football fans did not, was that Andrew Luck was just as capable of leading the team to glory.
Luck has the fourth best passer rating after the first three weeks of the season. He has also led his team to 155 total points so far this season, averaging over 50 points per game.
With ten passing touchdowns and zero interceptions, Luck is showing professional scouts that he is a great decision-maker in the pocket. The kid can also run, accumulating 140 yards so far on the ground.
If Luck can keep up his pace, look for him to be standing next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell very early in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Just like his team is overlooked in the BCS Polls, Kellen Moore is often overlooked when analyzing college quarterbacks.
All he does is throw touchdowns, run for even more, and win football games. Often times, scouts, analysts, and fans dissect everything a quarterback does. He is too fast. He is too slow. He isn't strong enough. He isn't accurate enough.
But now, enough is enough. Moore had 39 touchdowns to three interceptions last season. Is that good enough?
He has lost one game as a starting quarterback in college. Total. The guy is a gamer and will make a fantastic quarterback in the NFL.
In Week 2 against Michigan, Dayne Crist went down with what looked like concussion like symptoms. The Irish fell apart and could not move the ball without him. But when he was cleared to play later in the game, they looked like a new team, running circles around the Wolverine secondary en route to a comeback.
Crist has a strong arm and is accurate with his throws. What has hindered his statistical success this season, has been the amount of drops by the receivers.
He is a smart quarterback and great leader in the locker room. In just his first year as a starting quarterback, Crist has thrown for over 850 yards and seven touchdowns, with just two interceptions.
It is not likely that Crist will opt to enter the NFL Draft after this season, but on the rare chance that he does, look for him to excel in all areas of the combine workouts.
Christian Ponder has been skyrocketing on most draft boards, thanks to his uncanny athleticism and high football intelligence.
He is clocked at running a 4.4 40-yard dash, which would probably be good for a top five ranking among college quarterbacks.
Though he is a tad undersized, Ponder is a bonafide leader and seasoned veteran for the Seminoles. Like Crist, look for Ponder to advance on even more draft boards once the NFL combine comes around.
Terrell Pryor of the Ohio State Buckeyes has quickly become a Heisman favorite and definite professional prospect. Whereas he used to be compared to other mobile quarterbacks like Troy Smith, Pryor has vastly improved his passing game and is becoming a hybrid type quarterback. If his stock continues to rise, he could possibly be seen in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Here are some other sleeper quarterbacks:
- Kirk Cousins, Michigan State Spartans
- Nick Foles, Arizona Wildcats
- Greg McElroy, Alabama Crimson Tide
- Ricky Stanzi, Iowa Hawkeyes