2011 NFL Draft: Ranking the Quarterback Prospects
In the 2011 draft, there are more than 50 potential quarterbacks entering the draft, ranging from all conferences, FBS and FCS, as well as D-II.
Most are seniors, but a good amount of underclassmen are declaring early.
On average, only 10 quarterbacks are drafted by NFL teams after seven rounds. Let's take a look at who is most likely to be drafted and make an impact on his future team.
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
Yes, the obvious pick: Heisman runner-up and Orange Bowl MVP.
I'm pretty sure you know about the gaudy stats he put up at Stanford, his high passer rating, his strong arm and mechanics, his IQ and his ability to throw in motion on bootlegs, so I'm not going to go more in depth about him.
However, I will forewarn you, Carolina fans, Luck is a smart guy, smart like Rhodes Scholar Myron Rolle, drafted last year from Florida State. He has a 3.5 GPA and is majoring in Architectural Design.
He seems pretty devoted to school and might want to stay another year to get his degree.
2. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
Blaine Gabbert declared entering the draft earlier this week and he couldn't have picked a better time.
The 6'5" 240 lb. junior led Missouri to a 10-3 finish, throwing for 3,127 yards and 16 touchdowns. He's also clutch under the spotlight of big games (see Missouri vs. Oklahoma earlier this season).
He has great size, great arm strength and the ability to make an impact on any NFL team in his first game. I expect him to be drafted in the top 15.
3. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
When I was watching the LSU and Arkansas game in late November, I was in awe at Ryan Mallett's play making ability.
At 6'6" 238 lbs., his size is more than ideal for a pocket passer in the NFL. I believe he has the strongest arm in the whole draft. Don't believe me? Watch this link.
Mallett's only flaw is turnovers. He had 11 interceptions and nine of them were by ranked opponents, which makes me doubt that he will only be an ordinary QB in the next level, not extraordinary.
He's a first rounder for sure.
4. Pat Devlin, Delaware
Highly recruited out of high school as a prolific passing threat, Devlin played behind Daryll Clark at Penn State and decided to transfer in 2009 to Delaware.
A highly polished passer, he was a Walter Payton Award finalist last year and on the watch list for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award this year.
In two years, he has passed for over 4,000 yards at Delaware. This season, he passed for 2,812 yards, 22 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He led Delaware to the FCS Championship game (watch it this Friday, 1/7) this season. He's a solid second round pick and can produce for any team.
5. Cameron Newton, Auburn
Here's where the Heisman award winner ends up.
Common knowledge: great speed, great athleticism, strong and can break tackles easily. However, I have this feeling he'll be like Vince Young; ordinary, not extraordinary like Michael Vick or Donovan McNabb.
He's a fairly polished passer, accurate but it's definitely not his strong suit. It will probably take him time to adapt from Gus Malzahn's offense to an NFL offense, and to realize that he can't simply tuck the ball in and run if there is no aerial option.
I expect him to go in the second round, and for him to be a second or third string QB for a few years to develop.
6. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State
Yes, you read the title right. I'm talking about THAT Terrelle Pryor, who was suspended for five games for selling his Big Ten Championship Ring and Gold Pants on eBay.
He was always one of the best quarterbacks in college football. This year was his best, passing for 2,551 yards for 25 touchdowns and completing about 66 percent of his passes.
He possesses great size (6'6" 233 lbs.), great athleticism (he's the fastest guy on the team) and incredible arm strength. Then again, he might stay for his senior year, but I highly doubt it. Jim Tressel might have Pryor's word, but does that really mean anything?
The only thing I have in question is how good is Terrelle Pryor? He's not a fit for "Tressel ball"; Tressel's old-fashioned time-controlling classic play doesn't fit for this modernized quarterback. Had he played for Penn State, Florida, Michigan or any other elite school, we would have seen a completely different ball game from Pryor with a lot more quarterback draws, options and deep balls.
We really don't know the true potential, all the skill sets and flaws of Pryor and that's why he would be a second round pick. His future team needs to know what exactly he's capable of before playing him.
Also, about the disciplinary problems with Pryor, I'm going with Yahoo Sports writer Dan Wetzel on this one. He might be more sly and cunning than everyone thinks he is, and might not cause such a commotion in the NFL.
7. Jake Locker, Washington
Before the Husky Nation and Pac-10 fans start getting angry, I think I should say something: I'm currently a student at UW and placing Locker this low.
Locker has incredible athleticism, potential and consistency, but that's about it. He's reduced the amount of picks each year, but it hasn't changed his overall game. His passing percentage has gone down to 55.4 percent and his passer rating went down to 124.5. His arm strength is average.
However, his x-factor is his leadership. He's able to take over big games and lead his team to a win or close loss. Against USC in October, and in the Holiday Bowl, he took over the game with his ability to run and in a close overtime win against Oregon State, he threw five touchdowns.
For a team that needs a quarterback to produce once he signs, Locker wouldn't be a great pick up. Although, I believe he has the ability to grow as a second or third string quarterback for a few years to become a franchise quarterback.