2011 NFL Draft: WhyNo Quarterback Is Worthy of a First Round Pick

Christopher NicholasContributor IIIMarch 23, 2011

NEW YORK - APRIL 22:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on as he stands on stage during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

If Andrew Luck isn't enough of a reason, then keep reading. 

It's been several weeks since the NFL Combine and of the quarterbacks that are eligible for drafting, none of them seem to be or look like a franchise QB. Now what I mean is simply that they are adequate and could possibly be good, even Pro-Bowl caliber, but not one of them seem to have that Hall of Fame gleam or glow to them.

Here are the four rules Bill Parcells used to draft a quarterback from college.

Based on these rules (which are fair and objective) let's see how these candidates stock up (I am not 100 percent on the whole graduation part, so I will only count three of the four).

Here are the top QB prospects for this year in no particular order:

Blaine Gabbert (Mizzu): Not a senior and did not get 23 wins. Also, the touchdown-to-interception ratio is not that impressive. Also, he never saw extensive time under center.

Jake Locker (Washington): In three full years as a starter, injured after the fourth game in 2008, he managed to win only 16 games. Accuracy was horrendous at times and his career completion percentage was barely above 50 percent.

Ricky Stanzi (Iowa): Managed over 23 wins, was a three-year starter. Led the Hawkeyes to a BCS win and had a tremendous senior year by throwing for over 3,000 yards, 25 touchdowns, with only 6 interceptions. However, has some injuries that limited time and forced some throws and had questionable decision making at times.

Cam Newton (Auburn): Only started one year, and only 14 wins in a Division-I setting. A perfect season and a Heisman Trophy are nice resume boosts, but working out of spread, run-heavy offense should limit his immediate potential. I see him being a Pro Bowl tight end, or pulling an "Aaron Rodgers" and sitting for three or four years and eventually cracking the lineup. Off-field issues may also be somewhat of a concern.

Ryan Mallet (Arkansas): Only started two years, and just 18 wins. Had great touchdown-to-interception ratio (3:1) and played under center. Sometimes relies too much on arm strength and had questionable accuracy/decision making at points.

Christian Ponder (Florida State): Did not win 23 games. Should have been a three-year starter, but injury and durability concerns arose. Only managed 20-plus touchdowns once and threw too many interceptions.

Andy Dalton (TCU): Started for four years, won over 50 games, limited time under center but the creme de la creme, won a BCS Bowl Game against an AQ team. Also threw for 71 touchdowns and only 30 interceptions in his career. Showed improvement in completions, completion percentage, yards and touchdowns from year to year.

Greg McElroy (Alabama): Did not start for three years, but won 24 games in two years, including a National Championship, and had good completion percentage and touchdown-to-interception ratio. He's slightly undersized and has problems avoiding the rush at times.

In my eyes, only three players are QBs of the future: Ricky Stanzi, Ryan Mallet and Andy Dalton. One could argue that two of the three won't be taken till the second or third round.

So with somewhat limited and questionable picks this year, do you think those teams who need a QB should take a shot on one of the current candidates? Or would you pull up your big boy pants, hope to be a bad team and possibly take the second coming, Andrew Luck?

There will be a prize for the worst team, even if Luck doesn't declare this year. It won't be as good as he is, but it's still a QB of the future who will probably be better than any of the some odd 25 quarterbacks coming out this year.

Here is a preview of the top QB prospects for next year's draft if they decide to declare:

Eight of these 11 prospects will have started for three years and won at least 23 games by the end of next year.

Andrew Luck (Stanford): Will be a three-year starter and have graduated. Has 20 wins under his belt and possibly a Heisman Trophy in his future.

Landry Jones (OU): Has started for basically two years, soon to be three, and earned 20 wins. Pro-style offense that give a variation of looks with different personnel to create mismatches.

John Brantley (University of Florida): Will only get one year in a pro-style offense led by Charlie Weis. Definitely a project, though.

Matt Barkley (USC): Will have been a three-year starter with 15 wins under his belt. A pro-style offense that inflates his touchdown total by passing inside the 10-yard line. 

Nick Foles (University of Arizona): Has 15 wins and only started one true year. But is adept at taking snaps under center and playing in a pro-style at times.

Kellen Moore (BSU): A three-year starter, soon to be four years, has led the Broncos to 38 wins and shows mastery of the pro-style of offense that has led to monstrous numbers. Competition should be taken into consideration.

Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State): Has only started one year, but knows how to give touch passes, and mature in the pocket. He is 27 years old, though.

Robert Griffin III (Baylor): Fourteen wins as two-plus years as a starter. That's saying a lot for a limited team. Sometimes runs instead of looking for second or third option.

Terelle Pryor (Ohio State): A three-year starter who has led his teams to three straight BCS games. Played in a pro-style offense, and can easily escape the rush and has great athleticism. Has 30-plus wins and has shown improvement in each season.