Andrew Luck's decision to return to Stanford for his senior season caused Carolina fans to cry Tar-Heel-tears, and it threw the NFL Draft into disarray. While Luck is widely considered to be a can't-miss first pick in the 2012 Draft the Panthers, Bills, Cardinals and every other quarterback challenged NFL team can't afford to wait that long.
Lucks' absence from the draft has created a logjam of QB prospects all vying for a first round selection. In my estimation none of these QBs are NFL ready as of yet. This in itself is not particularly worrisome as most true rookie QBs (see Alex Smith) have had trouble transitioning their game to the NFL. Even the great Peyton Manning struggled mightily in his rookie campaign, stumbling his way to a 71.2 QB Rating tossing a league high 28 INTs.
Talent, work ethic, and leadership skills have carried former stud college QBs such as Manning to elite status in the NFL. The ones who fail lack at least one of these. The ones who fail miserably (see Ryan Leaf and Jamarcus Russell) fall short in two or more categories.
Over the next three days I will be ranking the top eight QB prospects in terms of potential NFL success. Who will be the busts, career backups and breakout stars of this bunch of QBs? Stay tuned to find out.