Andrew Luck threw a huge wrench into the 2011 draft by not coming out. Similar to Jake Locker last year, Locker was supposed to be the top man throughout the NCAA 2010 season, but Luck and Cam Newton emerged.
For me, in this class there was not a guy the quality of a Peyton or Eli Manning or a Ben Roethlisberger. There has not been one since Mark Sanchez (and to all you haters, C'mon, been in league two years took the Jets to the AFC championship both, pretty can't miss), but some guys who are in this draft similar to to Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.
For me the key to this draft class without the immense Franchise QB talent, QBs in this draft class must develop the amazing work ethics that Broncos QB Tim Tebow has that to this point has made him successful. It was extremely well documented how much work he had to do, having to totally change his throwing motion and develop some pocket skills.
It will take some more work, but the guys in this draft class can be very successful, they only have to put the work in for their PhD and surgeon degree in reading defense and working to put the film time in and physical work to be successful.
I believe I understand what the Panthers were doing, but I have this guy in the bottom spot on my list for a few reasons.
The university of Auburn had a season for the ages, no one can argue that, but goodness, taking their guys in the NFL draft this year is risky in my mind. Compare the USC classes when Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush, Lendale White, Lofa Tatupu and the rest of the USC guys came out, scouts had got to watch a couple years of football. We saw Newton and Fairley play for one.
When the Panthers took Newton, it epitimized the problems between the league and the players union that currently means no football due to the lack of a CBA.
The owners want to put rookie caps on because of problems that teams face due to big misses in the draft, case and point, the Oakland Raiders. They were unable to do anything in the draft and were certainly unable to to what Al Davis would have loved which would have been take Ryan Mallett.
Mallett fits Davis philosophy to the T (big, tall guy, throw ball mile downfield), however, they took the sentimental pick which ended up to be Steve Wieniewski's kid. Because the Raiders cannot afford to draft a QB because of the money they had to dish to Jamarcus Russell.
There are for me, more cons than pros the the Panthers taking Newton, depending on what the new CBA looks like, it will be an absolute bear of a time trying to get him into camp under contract. AKA JaMarcus Russell, Not sayin necessarily yet he will be as bad on field, but how do you say holdout?
YEAH!! I do like this guy way better than Newton.
For me extremely similar to Jimmy Smith of the Ravens. What an opportunity for Mallett, how can one say Aaron Rogers, but for me, even more like Pro Bowler Matt Cassell.
Tom Brady has a few good years left in him. If Mallett gets to work committs to being in on time to study film and defense with Tom Brady, he can emerge and end up the undisputed best QB in this class.
For me there is no barring or debate, he can be as good as he wants to be.
I did not root for him, but there was no denying his talent and skill. For the Bengals to get him early in round two was a tremendous bargain as the Bengals seek to begin new era with him and AJ Green.
And hey, speaking of Green, one must assume Dalton will have a decent time with Green and TE Jermaine Gresham, not to mention a left tackle Andre Smith they got a few years ago.
For me this guy is a similar situation to Mallett except that I expect this guy to be thrown into the playing fire much sooner.
He will not start from opening day, but there is no way if you spend the 10th overall pick on a guy that you make him spend his entire rookie year on the bench. I know of Aaron Rodgers sitting in waiting, but remember he was the 26th pick, not 10th. The longer he does sit back and learn behind David Garrard, the better I believe he will be.
If you spend a pick on a QB that high, he has to play. Notice again the business issues the Raiders are recovering from with JaMarcus Russell.
This guy cost himself a ton of $$ by staying his senior season. Kiper had him rated right up with Bradford and factor in that at time of the 2010 draft, Lockers shoulder was not a piece of ground hamburger.
I personally have loved this guy ever since before the 2010 draft. He showed tremendous leadership and throwing skills, during the 2010 season he knocked off the No. 1 USC team that had Mark Sanchez.
Locker did struggle from the pocket in his senior year, but was good from the outside. Problem is all my comment arguers will say Newton and Gabbert played from the outside also. The difference that separates Locker for me is his system. Coach Sark has had him in a system that prepped him for the NFL all his years at Washington.
Locker knows how to read defenses, he knows how NFL type terminology. I learned alot about Newton watching Grudens QB camp with Newton, he had absolutely no sense of an NFL play. Newton calls simple plays that only was the play.
What Newton didn't recognize that in the NFL, QB's have to call the protection, the snap count, numbers for the WR routes, what hole for the RB to run through and all that. Locker has concept of all those things which Newton showed us he has absolutely does not. The "anti Vince Young" as called by the Titans, for me is the best in this class.
For this last piece, I must keep my promise to give a shoutout to my buddy Ryan Johnson and feature a fav of both of ours, Brett Favre. He along with alot of people saw the Mavs winning over Miami which I could not beforehand.
As a reward, he gets a dinner from me later this summer.
Comment and enjoy, I'm not trying to hate on anyone in this, but I believe there are at least interesting cases to my statements. The Titans will not be division champions with Locker anytime soon, but with Johnson and Britt Locker is a great piece to bring up the franchise. Props to the Titans