2011 NFL Draft: Power Ranking the Top 10 Quarterbacks in the NFL Draft
When the NFL Draft rolls around in April, there's a good chance that three or four quarterbacks will be selected in the first round.
But after that? There's a big drop off to the next set of QBs.
Still, there will be several gunslingers selected at some point in the draft because their talent level or production in college warrants at least a mid-to-late round selection.
So when it's draft day a couple of months from now, be on the lookout for these 10 QBs to be the first ones off the board.
10. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech
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Measurables: 6'1", 216 pounds
2010 Production: 2,743 passing yards, 659 rushing yards, 29 total touchdowns and five interceptions
Tyrod Taylor really matured into a proficient passer in 2010, setting career highs in passing yards, touchdown passes, completion percentage and TD-to-INT ratio.
But there are still questions about where he'll play at the next level.
Is he a quarterback, a running back, a wide receiver, a wildcat quarterback, a return man or some combination of all five of those positions?
Because of the potential he showed as a passer this season, he still may get a shot at quarterback.
Personally, though, I see him as a Seneca Wallace type of backup QB or a player who contributes in a bunch of different areas, like the New York Jets' Brad Smith.
Projection: Fifth round
9. Pat Devlin, Delaware
Measurables: 6'3", 225 pounds
2010 Production: 3,032 passing yards, 68 completion percentage, 22 passing TDs and three INTs
Expecting to see Pat Devlin turn into Joe Flacco 2.0? Well, not quite.
But the former Delaware quarterback—who started his career at Penn State—does have the potential to develop into a solid quarterback down the road.
Devlin's accuracy is his biggest plus and he did lead Delaware to an appearance in this year's Division I FCS title game. But the level of competition at Delaware is still an issue.
If Devlin can impress scouts at the combine, though, he could be one of the quickest risers of this year's quarterback class.
Projection: Fourth round
8. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
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Measurables: 6'4.5", 220 pounds
2010 Production: 3,022 passing yards, 1,206, 41 total TDs and eight INTs
Along with Cam Newton and Tim Tebow, Colin Kaepernick is one of only three quarterbacks in NCAA history to rush for 20 TDs and throw 20 TDs in a single season.
But whereas Tebow was selected in the first round and Newton will be, Kaepernick doesn't grade out all that well.
His speed, athleticism and agility are something scouts drool over, but he's also got accuracy issues, he has to learn to play in a pro-style offense and he is just flat out not a great passer or the most intelligent QB out there.
Kaepernick will be one of those "project quarterbacks" we always hear about, though, so he could be drafted higher than his abilities as a quarterback might suggest.
Projection: Fourth round
7. Andy Dalton, TCU
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Measurables: 6'1.5", 217 pounds
2010 Production: 2,857 passing yards, 435 rushing yards, 66.1 completion percentage, 33 total TDs and six INTs
A four-year starter at TCU, Andy Dalton only missed two games throughout his college career.
His durability, accuracy and ability to win are all things that will help his draft stock, but he also is a lot smaller than he was listed at TCU (6'3", 225 pounds) and he isn't really great at anything.
Arguably his biggest concern, though, is his short-armed delivery, which won't work out at the NFL level given his height and the speed of NFL defenders.
Dalton needs to work on adjusting his mechanics, first and foremost, before the NFL Draft.
Projection: Early fourth/late third round
6. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
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Measurables: 6'4", 230 pounds
2010 Production: 3,005 passing yards, 64.1 completion percentage, 27 total TDs and six INTs
After an incredibly hot start to the 2010 season, Ricky Stanzi cooled off considerably by season's end.
He went from potential late first or early second-round prospect to a mid-round pick, but he's still got a chance at climbing back up draft boards.
Stanzi was a three-year starter at Iowa, he has the measurables scouts love and he was stellar at times throughout his career.
But his bad footwork, his tendency to force the ball into tight windows and his poor timing could haunt him on draft day.
Projection: Third round
5. Christian Ponder, Florida State
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Measurables: 6'2", 221 pounds
2010 Production: 2,044 passing yards, 24 total TDs and eight INTs
A fringe first-round prospect entering the 2010 season, Christian Ponder didn't do himself any favors as far as his draft stock goes.
He missed two games because of injury and he saw his completion percentage dip from 68.8 in 2009 to 61.5 in 2010.
Ponder's consistency—or inconsistency for that matter—is the main reason some scouts have soured on him as a top-tier QB prospect.
He's still in the top five, but the gap between him and the top four quarterbacks is a huge one.
Projection: Late second round
4. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
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Measurables: 6'7", 238 pounds
2010 Production: 3,869 passing yards, 64.7 completion percentage, 36 total TDs and 12 INTs
The pros for Ryan Mallett: incredible height and arm strength, experience in a pro-style offense, excellent mechanics, stellar when it comes to making downfield throws
The cons: lack of agility, forces the ball too often, average athlete
Midway through the season, Mallett was a top-15 pick waiting to happen. But scouts have dropped him down their boards, while other QBs have climbed up and over him.
His combine performance and pro day could be make it or break it time.
Projection: Early second round
3. Cam Newton, Auburn
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Measurables: 6'5.5", 248 pounds
2010 Production: 2,854 passing yards, 1,473 rushing yards, 50 total TDs and seven INTs
Everyone who watched any college football this season knows that Cam Newton dominated the sport more than any other quarterback in recent memory.
He was a human highlight reel who could both air it out and wow an entire stadium with electrifying runs or scrambles.
But Newton is far from the greatest NFL prospect. He played just one year of major college football, he doesn't have the greatest mechanics and he's a bit raw.
His incredible size, athleticism and agility will keep him in the first round without a doubt, but he's a bit of a project player.
Newton will need multiple years of development before he can become an effective NFL starter.
Projection: Mid-to-late first round
2. Jake Locker, Washington
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Measurables: 6'2.5", 229 pounds
2010 Production: 2,265 passing yards, 385 rushing yards, 23 total TDs and nine INTs
Had Jake Locker entered the 2010 NFL Draft, there's a good chance that he would have been the No. 1 overall pick.
Now? Well, Locker's stock has continued to drop as he fails to show the tools that would make him worthy of a top-five selection.
He never completed more than 58.2 percent of his passes in a season and didn't change scouts impressions of him at the Senior Bowl.
Like Newton, Locker's physical skills are there, but he will take some time to develop.
It's only a question of what team is willing to draft him in the first round, then have him marinate on the bench for a few years, like Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay.
Projection: Top 15
1. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
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Measurables: 6'5", 240 pounds
2010 Production: 3,186 yards, 63.4 completion percentage, 21 total TDs and nine interceptions
Talk about a guy who came out of nowhere, huh?
Blaine Gabbert was hardly even mentioned during the majority of the college football season, but by season's end he was on everyone's radar.
Though his production wasn't great at Missouri, scouts love everything about him, from his prototypical size to his arm strength to his mechanics to his surprising agility.
Gabbert is seemingly a lock to be the first quarterback taken now, and there's no shortage of teams in the top half of the first round that need a quarterback.
Projection: Top 10