If you haven't noticed, this year's quarterback draft class is very weak. There's no quarterback in this draft that's a sure-fire, top-notch, can't-miss NFL prospect, which should turn teams off from selecting one with a first-round pick.
That being said, many teams in the NFL are desperate for a quarterback, which means they will take a chance on a guy like Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Cam Newton or Ryan Mallett in the first round.
The problem is none of these guys are NFL-ready. This year's draft has the best chance of producing a franchise quarterback from a later round, maybe even an undrafted player.
Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton and Tony Romo all went in Round 3 or later. Brady and Hasselbeck went in the sixth round, Cassel in the seventh and Romo wasn't drafted, and all of these guys were or are franchise quarterbacks and were very productive in the prime of their careers.
Here's a look at five guys who have a chance to become franchise quarterbacks down the road that are projected to go after the first two rounds in the 2011 NFL draft.
Dalton did nothing but win at TCU, and his quarterbacking only got better as his career progressed. Dalton had 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his senior season.
He's also much more mobile than you probably think. Dalton rushed for 435 yards last season with six touchdowns.
He's a low-risk, high-reward quarterback that has a chance to blossom in the right system. If he goes to the right team with a solid veteran quarterback that he can learn from, Dalton has a chance to be a productive quarterback in the NFL.
Right now, he's projected to go in the third or fourth round. Don't be shocked if someone like the Indianapolis Colts picks him up to groom him for the future.
Devlin's got two things going for him: He's got good quarterback size, and he's very similar to Joe Flacco. Flacco put up better numbers at Delaware, was a little taller and had a stronger arm. Basically, Devlin is the poor man's version of Flacco.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. Devlin originally went to Penn State and then transferred to Delaware. He threw 22 touchdowns with only two interceptions in his senior season.
He's got decent accuracy, good size and average arm strength. He's not ready to start in the NFL right now and is currently projected to go in the fourth round.
He's worth picking up in the middle of the draft if the team plans on using him in a couple of years. If he finds the right situation, he could pay dividends for the team that selects him.
Tyrod Taylor had a phenomenal career at Virginia Tech, and the thing that scouts have to like best is he did nothing but get better as his career went on.
He did have a disappointing sophomore season, but he followed it up with a solid junior year and then a senior season that was off the charts.
Taylor has the leadership qualities, athleticism, speed and strength that coaches look for in a quarterback. He needs to become more accurate, and he lacks prototypical NFL size. He spent much of his career behind a mediocre offensive line but made the best of it.
Taylor is projected as a sixth-round pick or later. He has been talked about as being used at wide receiver or running back, but he wants to play quarterback.
San Francisco and Oakland have been rumored to be interested in Taylor as a quarterback—interesting considering Jim Harbaugh had to game-plan and coach against him in the Orange Bowl.
Enderle was a four-year starter at Idaho and led the Vandals to eight wins and a bowl victory in 2009 and six wins in 2010.
He's most definitely a project quarterback, but he has the chance to become something down the line if he lands in the right spot.
The Vandals ranked 10th in passing in 2010 but 118th in rushing. Clearly, there wasn't a lot of talent around him, but he was able to go 14-12 in his final two seasons.
He needs to improve his accuracy, but he's got a good arm and great size. He's 6'5" and weighs 235 pounds. Enderle did perform very well at the East-West Shrine Game in practices and on the field. Coaches liked his size and his touch.
He's projected as a seventh-round pick or an undrafted free agent, but his stock rose after the East-West Shrine game, and a good combine and pro day will only help him.
Mustain's draft stock likely took a hit when he was arrested on a narcotics charge, but it apparently is not considered a felony, which should help his cause a little bit.
Mustain was the highest rated quarterback prospect when he came out of high school but grew impatient at Arkansas as a freshman and transferred to USC.
Well, Mark Sanchez beat him out for the starting job there, and then Pete Carroll chose Matt Barkley to take over for Sanchez after a quarterback competition.
He only has 1,399 career passing yards in college with 13 touchdowns, but he's got talent. He made a mistake transferring to a quarterback-heavy school, and it killed his career. Mustain screams Matt Cassel, and there may be a team that wants to take a chance on him with a late-round pick.
Mustain has talent and decent size, but he needs a chance to showcase his skills. A long road lies ahead for this guy, and he needs to stay out of trouble if he wants to have any shot of making it in the NFL.