2011 NFL Draft: Pre-Combine Quarterback Rankings for the NFL Draft

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2011 NFL Draft: Pre-Combine Quarterback Rankings for the NFL Draft
Kent Horner/Getty Images
Cam Newton will throw at the NFL Combine.

The NFL Combine is underway and in the next few days, the top 2011 NFL Draft quarterback prospects will throw for NFL scouts and complete drills to measure their athleticism, intangibles and overall ability as a potential NFL Draft candidate.

NFL Combine Measurements and Weigh-Ins

NFL Combine Results

Here are your 2011 NFL Draft quarterback rankings prior to the NFL Scouting Combine.

 

1) Cam Newton, Auburn, 6’6" 250 lbs

Cam Newton came out of nowhere to lead a talented Auburn team to the top of the NCAA rankings.

What makes Newton special is his versatility. Newton is a threat in the passing game, and  makes huge plays on the run. Most scrambling quarterbacks tend to struggle throwing the ball, but Newton puts good zip on his passes and has surprisingly nice accuracy.

When he sets his feet, he’s a threat to make a deep throw downfield, but he could work on throwing to the middle of the field.

Projection: Top 15

 

2) Blaine Gabbert, Missouri, 6’5" 235 lbs

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Mallett is a great talent with potential character concerns.

Gabbert is rising on a lot of draft boards. He’s got a pretty strong arm and is exceptional at making passes toward the sidelines. Like Newton, he needs work throwing to the middle of the field, as he isn’t as good at threading the needle, but with improved accuracy, he could be a very good quarterback at the next level.

Gabbert also does well making plays with his feet, although he does tend to get happy feet in the pocket. He has an excellent throwing motion and quick release, and is just a year or two from being coached up to top-notch quarterback contender.

Projection: Top 15

 

3) Ryan Mallett, Arkansas, 6’6" 240 lbs

Mallett is a big, strong-armed quarterback. He stands tall in the pocket, delivers throws all over the field, and has a knack for finding his receivers deep. He’s greatly improved his accuracy in the middle of the field, and zips the ball on a rope to his receivers. His deep ball accuracy could improve, but in one on one situations, he generally doesn’t fail.

He’s a risk taker down the fieldsometimes a bit too confident in his armbut that can be fixed. He threw for an outstanding nine per attempt in 2009. However, rumors of his being a locker room cancer, as well as allegations of cocaine and marijuana usage, raise some red flags.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Locker has the talent, but can he deliver?

Projection: Second Round

 

4) Jake Locker, Washington, 6’3" 230 lbs

This 6’3", 230 pound specimen is one of the most talented players in college football. He puts good zip on the ball, really doing well with the short-intermediate routes. He’s progressed each season, and with a bit more accuracy he will become an elite NFL quarterback. We want to see Locker set his feet and throw more, however.

He can throw the ball with accuracy, but he’s often throwing on the run, and in some instances forcing the ball. He’s been known to miss wide open receivers, often overthinking the throw, but the upside is he's as good as anybody else in the draft.

Projection:  Second Round

 

5) Colin Kaepernick, Nevada, 6’6" 230 lbs

Kaepernick’s run and shoot ability is fantastic at Nevada. Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of offense that’s run in the NFL often. He makes a lot of plays with his feet and in the air, as his big frame isn’t easily knocked down. As a drop back passer, Kaepernick seems to have improved, however.

He does a nice job when he has to set his feet, and can make all of the NFL throws with his arm strength. His size is excellent, and as a playmaker he could make a nice impact in the NFLwith more knowledge of the offense and ability to recognize different coverages.

Projection: Third Round

 

6) Andy Dalton, TCU, 6’3" 220 lbs

It’s not often that a TCU quarterback becomes a legit draft option, but Dalton has a lot of upside. While Dalton makes quite a few plays downfield, it’s his accuracy that really stands out. He makes the necessary plays late in the game to give TCU that extra boost.

He’s a smart passer, and more of a game manager than anything, but he could be a solid option at the next level. His football IQ is fantastic, and he has the intangibles to succeed and appears to be an excellent leader.

Projection: Third Round

 

7) Pat Devlin, Delaware, 6’3" 226 lbs

If there’s one word to associate the former Penn State transfer with, it’s "accuracy." Devlin can make all the short-intermediate passes and only struggles with deep-ball accuracy. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he uses his accuracy to dink and dunk his way down the field.

He’s excellent at leading his receivers and allowing them to make plays after the catch, and keeps the ball at chest level, putting it where only his receiver can catch it.

Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Christian Ponder is smart off the field, but does he have the football IQ to play QB at the next level?

Projection: Fourth Round

 

8) Christian Ponder, Florida State, 6’3" 225 lbs

I have Ponder a bit lower on my board than many others do.

I don’t think Ponder is a bad quarterback at all, but his decision making really makes him a risky quarterback at the next level.

Ponder has good sideline accuracy, but he doesn’t have a very strong arm and doesn’t put much zip on the football. He is great at eluding the pass rush and making plays on the run, but I want to see better decisions out of him. He’s a short-intermediate passer who rarely makes a big play. In 2010, his longest pass play was just 41 yards.

The upside: he’s very coachable.

Projection: Fifth Round

 

9) Ricky Stanzi, Iowa, 6’4" 230 lbs

Stanzi has been a blessing for Iowa fans with his smart quarterback play. His arm strength is mediocre at best, but his accuracy and intelligence set him apart from many of the other quarterbacks in his class. He could be an option for a West Coast offense as a project, and solid backup. 

Projection: Sixth Round

 

10) Nathan Enderle, Idaho, 6’5" 233 lbs

When you look at Enderle, you see a strong-armed pocket passer. Enderle can make all of the throws with his arm, but has very questionable decision making and accuracy. He will struggle with short-intermediate routes, and needs to work on reading defenses.

Projection: Sixth Round

 

11) Greg McElroy, Alabama, 6’3" 221 lbs

McElroy is a solid game manager-type quarterback who is accurate in the middle of the field and has above average arm strength. His biggest strength is his football IQ, and he could make an excellent backup quarterback at the next level.

Projection: Sixth Round

 

12) Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, 6’1" 216 lbs

Taylor has a strong arm, but lacks the decision making and accuracy to succeed at the next level. He has very nice athleticism and can make plays on the run, but he needs to better his overall knowledge of the game and learn how to read defenses in order to succeed at the next level.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Once a top recruit, Mustain has fallen off the map.

He’s quite the athlete and some think he’s a poor man’s Michael Vick.

Projection: Seventh Round

 

13) T.J. Yates, North Carolina, 6’4" 223 lbs

Yates has a big enough arm to make all the throws on the field. His accuracy could be heightened, but his decision making has greatly improved in 2010. He’s still making plays, despite the loss of star wide receiver Greg Little, and he’s found ways to keep winning games in the ACC.

Projection: Seventh Round

 

14) Ben Chappell, Indiana, 6’3" 240 lbs

Chappell’s throwing motion is as ugly as they come, but he has a strong arm and knows how to put touch on his passes. His decision making needs to advance, and he needs to work on not throwing off of his back foot.

 

15) Mitch Mustain, USC, 6’2" 205 lbs

Mustain has been unlucky. He transferred from Arkansas after hoping to start, only to sit the bench at USC. Good overall talent, but lacks production. Potential Matt Cassel type.

 

16) Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin, 6’3" 205 lbs

Tolzien is a game manager quarterback who didn’t have to throw the ball much in Wisconsin. He made the throws he needed to win games and is more of a practice squad player.

 

17) Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M, 6’5" 250 lbs

Perhaps one of the more disappointing stories this year, Johnson has really struggled. His arm strength is quite weak and his decision making is iffy at best. He has the accuracy to make throws, but doesn’t put much zip on them.

 

18) Taylor Potts, Texas Tech, 6’5" 223 lbs

Potts is another product of the Texas Tech spread. He thrives on a system of one read plays and gets the ball out quickly.

 

19) Adam Weber, Minnesota, 6’3" 220 lbs

Weber is a quarterback who has above average arm strength and a solid football IQ. He doesn’t offer much else at the next level, however.

 

20) Zach Frazer, UConn, 6’4" 231 lbs

Frazer’s best characteristic is handing the ball off to Jordan Todman. Frazer has a big frame and can throw the ball a long way, but lacks good decision making.

For a complete list of over 100 NFL Draft Scouting Reports visit NFL Soup!

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