2011 NFL Draft: Ranking the QBs Taken in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Rounds

Taylor StarrContributor IIMay 20, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Ranking the QBs Taken in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Rounds

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at the podium during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    It's been about a month since the draft, when many QBs were reached for and taken with high first-round picks, and surprise teams taking a shot on them.

    -Cam Newton going first overall to the Carolina Panthers

    -Jake Locker surprisingly being a top-10 pick taken ahead of Blaine Gabbert

    -The Jacksonville Jaguars taking a QB

    -Christian Ponder going 12th overall to the Minnesota Vikings

    I'm going to rank the QBs taken in the first, second and third rounds, and you will see who I think will be the best QB of this group.

7. Cam Newton: Carolina Panthers (No. 1 Overall)

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Carolina Panthers #1 overall pick Cam Newton from Auburn during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Yes, the same QB who led Auburn to the national championship last year, won the Heisman and was drafted first overall by the Carolina Panthers. He is talked about in the same category as Tim Tebow was coming out of college, but there's a difference: Tebow went to the Denver Broncos. They had offensive talent around him from the start, and a head coach who had good experience with QBs. (Josh McDaniels is a terrible head coach, but he is very good at working with QBs.)

    Newton is going to the Carolina Panthers—a team with a run-heavy offense that might lose Steve Smith in a trade, and has a defensive-minded head coach in Ron Rivera.

    Plus, Newton was a one-year starter at Auburn, compared to some guys like Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick.

    Sorry, Panther fans, but I'm not a big fan of Cam Newton.

6. Ryan Mallett: New England Patriots (No. 74 Overall)

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    NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 04:  Quarterback Ryan Mallett #15 of the Arkansas Razorbacks looks to pass against the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 4, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Matthew
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    I'm not a big fan of Ryan Mallett either. He's got a very good throwing arm and can read defenses well, but those are the only good things about Mallett.

    True, he is going to the New England Patriots, where they have one of the best QBs in the NFL in Tom Brady, and one of the best head coaches in the NFL in Bill Belichick. But, he doesn't have the best accuracy, footwork or attitude.

    Ryan Mallett is the next Derek Anderson, if you ask me.

5. Blaine Gabbert: Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 10 Overall)

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    NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL Commissoner Roger Goodell (L) poses for a photo with Blaine Gabbert, #11 overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars, holds up a jersey during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Pho
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    "What? Another first-round QB?"

    Yes, another one. I like Gabbert better than Newton, but not by much. I believe he didn't have the type of production at Missouri to make him a top-10 pick. He made a good decision declaring early, because if he went into next year's draft with Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley he would have maybe been a first-round pick.

    He's going to have to adjust from a spread offense to fit in with the Jaguars. I think he does have solid potential, since he does have some good qualities like mobility and accuracy.

    At least Jacksonville knows it won't be able to win with David Garrard anymore.

4. Colin Kaepernick: San Francisco 49ers (No. 36 Overall)

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 09:  Colin Kaepernick #10 of the Nevada Wolf Pack throws the ball against Boston College during the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park on January 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Now we're getting to QBs I like! Kaepernick comes from an interesting pistol offense, and he's going to have to get used to an NFL offense, but he reminds me of my favorite team's QB, Tim Tebow. (Yes, I'm a Denver fan.)

    He may not have the amazing leadership quality Tebow has, but his play reminds me of him. Tim Tebow was the first college QB ever to have a 20/20 season (passing TDs/rushing TDs). Colin Kaepernick had one last season.

    I don't think Kaepernick can be the type of QB that passes for 3,000 yards a season, but he has the skills to get 700 yards/season, which wouldn't be too bad.

3. Christian Ponder: Minnesota Vikings (No. 12 Overall)

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    RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Christian Ponder #7 of the Florida State Seminoles drops back to throw a pass against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Street
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Who would've thought the Florida State QB, Christian Ponder, would be drafted 12th overall by Minnesota? I didn't. Many thought he would go in the late first or early second round.

    Don't get me wrong. I like Ponder. I think he has good NFL potential, and Minnesota is a good place for him to play. Unlike some QBs in this draft, he's going to have players like Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe around him.

    He may not have the best throwing arm, but, in my opinion, he has the most accurate arm in the draft.

    He reminds me of Chad Pennington, but not so injury prone, and a lot tougher. Plus, his throwing arm is a lot better than Pennington.

2. Andy Dalton: Cincinatti Bengals (No. 35 Overall)

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Andy Dalton #14 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks to pass against the Wisconsin Badgers during the 97th Rose Bowl game on January 1, 2011 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    I love this pick for the Bengals. They're going to lose Carson Palmer in either a trade, or to retirement, so they got a very good replacement. Dalton's got a solid throwing arm, he's very accurate and he's also a very smart QB.

    I'm usually not very high on TCU players, as they play in a weak conference, but Dalton's an exception. His only red flags are that he's 6'2" and he has bad footwork.

    First of all, Colt McCoy is 6'1" and he's had success at the NFL level so far. Second, footwork can always be adjusted.

    Good pick, Bengals!

1. Jake Locker: Tennessee Titans (No. 8 Overall)

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    TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies throws a pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 23, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Imag
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Some of you may question me for this pick. I love Jake Locker. He's got a cannon arm, amazing mobility, great leadership and was a four-year starter at Washington.

    Yes, I'm aware of his accuracy problems, but so is he, and he started working out with former NFL QB Ken O'Brien. He's got everything you want in a franchise QB.

    Jake Locker, in my opinion, is the most NFL-ready QB in this class, and he's going to make Mike Munchak look like a genius for drafting him so high.