2011 NFL Draft: Rating the Rookie Quarterbacks
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Are you ready for some football?
Perhaps the question should be, are the rookie QB's ready?
Now that the preseason is over, its time to take a look at how the drafted rookie QB's performed during camp. Further, its time to see how they did relative to where they were taken in the draft.
Did the No. 1 draft pick prove to be the cream of the crop? Were there any surprises from the late draft picks? Who had the best and the worst preseason?
Now bear in mind, one preseason does not a career make and there is a lot more that goes into a QB's success than just his skills. The team you play for matters too!
A great college QB drafted into a weak team can not be expected to excel. The converse is true as well. There is a bit of luck at play as to where a draft pick ends up. So let's take a look and see how these prized draft picks did in the preseason.
Can Kaepernick Make the Transition?
Kaepernick had a tough preseason
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The second round pick out of Nevada was the most productive dual threat in college football history—passing for over 10,000 yards while rushing for over 4,000.
In the 49er's preseason, he was 24 for 50 with 257 yards and five interceptions. To be fair, two of those picks were perfect passes that ended up in a defenders hands anyway.
His QB rating was a humble 23.9. He did have nine rushes for 67 yards, averaged 7.6 yards per carry and had the longest run of any rookie QB—28 yards. It must be remembered that Kaepernick's success in college was very much related to his legs, not just his arm.
He tied the all time record for rushing TD's by a QB at 59, but he won't be running much in the NFL and that raises a big question. If you take away his legs, will Kaepernick have the passing skills to be as productive in the NFL as he was in college?
Only time will tell.
Bengals Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton in the back of the pack
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TCU's Andy Dalton didn't lose many games. He was rewarded with an early second round call from Cincinnati.
He was 36-for-60 for 328 yards with one TD but three interceptions. His rating, a modest 59.6. On the ground, he fared worse losing two yards on five rushes.
Nathan Enderle Pride of Idaho
Pride of Idaho - Nathan Enderle
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The University of Idaho may have been one of the weakest teams in the WAC, but their QB was a fifth round draft pick by Chicago. He didn't see much action in the preseason and only played in two games. He was 13 for 23 and 67 yards. His rating was 63.1.
Blaine Gabbert Looking Better off the Field
Gabbert Looks better off the field
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Mizzou's Blaine Gabbert was the 10th overall pick in the first round of the draft by Jacksonville, but he wasn't among the best performers in the preseason.
He was 35 for 70 and 365 yards with a TD and an interception. His rating was a below average 64.2. He also had two rushes for seven yards.
Newtons Law: What Goes Up Must Come Down
Cam Newton a below average preseason
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Newton won the Heisman and a National Championship for Auburn. That earned him the distinction of being the top draft pick of 2011.
Unfortunately, his preseason play was below par. His 64.9 QB rating was below the rookie average of 67. He was 24 for 57 and 300 yards with a TD. He also rushed nine times for 86 yards, averaging 9.5 yards per carry with a rushing TD.
He may have been the best overall player in college in 2010, but he wasn't the best rookie QB in the 2011 preseason.
Tyrod Taylor Played Above His Draft Pick
Tyrod Taylor didnt play like a 5th round pick
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VT's Tyrod Taylor may have been a sixth round pick, but he was above average in the 2011 preseason. He was 37-for-60 for 408 yards and a TD. His three interceptions really hurt his QB rating which was still better than the rookie average at 66.5. He also had 11 rushes for 106 yards and a TD, averaging 9.6 yards per carry.
Ricky Stanzi Stands out
Ricky Stanzi a 5th rounder was 5th best
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Ricky Stanzi may have only been a fifth round draft pick but he distinguished himself in the three games he appeared in the preseason.
He was 18-for-35 for 213 yards with one TD and one interception yielding a QB rating of 67.9. He rushed four times for 10 yards.
Ryan Mallet Drops the Hammer in New England
Ryan Mallet had a very good preseason
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Ryan Mallett was a third round pick but played better than two first round picks in the preseason. He was 36-for-63 and 357 yards with a touchdown and an interception, yielding a rating of 71.9. He also had five rushes for two yards.
Christian Ponder: Steady and Solid
Christian Ponder A sure and steady performer
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The Vikings 1st round pick played like one in the preseason. He was 27-for-49 for 290 yards with one TD. His rating was a very respectable 79.4. On the ground, he had 13 rushes for 83 yards.
Greg McElroy Impresses in the Preseason
Greg McElroy better than most first round picks.
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Greg McElroy may have been the last QB taken in the draft, but he proved himself in the preseason. He was 36-for-59 for 335 yards with two TD's. He also carried the ball seven times for 31 yards. His QB rating was 87.8.
Jake Locker Owned the Preseason
jake Locker played like the #1 draft pick
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The preseason belonged to former University of Washington QB Jake Locker.
He was 32-for-49 for 316 yards with two TD's and one interception. His QB rating was a rookie best at 88.5. He also rushed eight times for 64 yards and a TD.
He was the second QB taken in the 2011 draft but he was the best QB in the preseason.