2012 NFL Draft: Who's Hot, Who's Not at the QB Position
The 2012 NFL draft has been simplified into the "Suck for Luck" campaign, in honor of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Even if nobody ever mentions it, there are a few more signal-callers out there who will be drafted and whose status fluctuates on a weekly basis.
The players on this list will not ultimately be judged solely on this week. If one player is judged to be cold this week, it isn't intended to insinuate that he is no longer a high draft pick.
Yet, that doesn't mean there is nothing to learn by seeing how they have performed recently.
Some of these slides are examples of extreme nitpicking because of the way football is played these days. Many quarterbacks have been terrific lately, so it is a relative standard that is being applied to the players.
An important key to reading this list is to remember that the NFL prefers strong-armed quarterbacks who can toss the ball everywhere with precision. Thus, there will be plenty of discussion about completion percentage and yards per attempt.
The list will break down who has been scorching recently and whose draft status has cooled down.
Hot: Andrew Luck
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Andrew Luck has gotten to the point where there isn't much left that he can prove on. When you've achieved as much as he has, you have to create your own obstacles to overcome.
He has already proven to the scouts that he could make every throw and he can run an offense, since he calls his own plays.
Therefore, he created some drama. Luck threw a fourth quarter interception that was returned for a touchdown against USC.
Luck promptly marched Stanford down the field for the tying score and eventually led the Cardinal to victory in triple overtime. There really isn't any reason for him to continue to play this year, as he can only hurt his draft stock at this point.
Well, except for a shot at the national championship.
Cold: Kirk Cousins
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Kirk Cousins was seemingly on the rise after a stellar showing against Wisconsin at home. Subsequently, it was learned, or maybe just remembered, that the Wisconsin game was at home.
Cousins had an excruciating week at Nebraska, as his team fell 24-3. He completed only 40.7 percent of his passes totaling 87 yards.
His final yards per attempt of 3.19 clearly identifies the lack of explosive plays for the Spartans. His game manager style only works if the defense plays flawless football and the Spartans are able to run the ball.
Hot: Matt Barkley
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Matt Barkley and USC may not be able to compete in the postseason, but their loss to Stanford provided them an opportunity to show that they are still relevant.
Barkley's numbers were outstanding, but they were still decent. He completed 62 percent of his passes for 284 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
The most impressive part was that he didn't shrink from going against top prospect Andrew Luck. Two of his scoring passes came in the first couple overtimes.
Perhaps the most impressive part was his attitude after the game regarding his play.
Cold: Kellen Moore
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It isn't Kellen Moore's fault that he has ended up on the cold side of this list. The schedule that Boise State plays was bound to hold him back, much like the team's national championship hopes.
He did not play Halloween weekend and put up great numbers against Air Force the week prior. The problem is that Air Force's defense is ranked No. 79 in the country.
His 82.4 percent completion rate against Georgia's top 10 defense is impressive but also months ago. Hopefully for Moore, the Broncos will remain undefeated so he will have a chance to prove himself in a BCS bowl.
Hot: Landry Jones
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The Oklahoma Sooners were hungry to bounce back after being humbled by Texas Tech at home. Landry Jones played decently against the Red Raiders but his completion percentage (54.5) was lacking.
He was able to show his accuracy against Kansas State by completing 74.5 percent of his passes. In addition, he accounted for five passing touchdowns and averaged a ridiculous 10.75 yards per attempt.
These numbers generally reflect a quarterback winging it down the field and doing so with precision. These are two of the most important qualities necessary to succeed in the NFL along with the ability to rebound after a tough performance.
Cold: Nick Foles
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Nick Foles has a definite NFL future, but this week wasn't his finest effort against fellow Pac-12 member, Washington.
Some of his numbers weren't terrible, as he was able to compile 388 yards and complete a respectable 64 percent of his passes. The problem was that he put up only two touchdowns against three interceptions.
Arizona has had a rough season to date, but it isn't so much a reflection of the quarterback's play. However, in a close game such as the Washington game as, you need to be the reason your team wins and not a primary contributor to the loss.
Hot: Case Keenum
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This list may have been complete if Case Keenum was the sole quarterback to appear on each "hot" slide. There are very few ways that his performance could have been more impressive.
In case you were too busy watching Game 6 of the World Series, Keenum put on a show with nine touchdown passes setting a new career NCAA record for touchdown passes. Even more impressive was his eye-popping 13.4 yards per attempt.
It should be noted that these numbers were amassed against Rice, a perennial victim to impressive performances. Additionally, Houston's system allows for receivers to make plays after the catch, thus inflating the yards per attempt number.
Keenum will also have to overcome the system quarterback label and a lack of arm strength, but he will be given a shot nonetheless.
Cold: Robert Griffin III
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Robert Griffin III has been a surprise to some this year but he shouldn't have been. His freshman year proved he could take care of the ball (only three interceptions in 267 attempts) and he broke out statistically in 2010.
Baylor started out the season red-hot, led by their star quarterback but, just as the team has cooled, so has their quarterback. After winning four of their first five games, they have lost the last two by considerable margins.
Griffin played quite well against Texas A&M the week prior—70 percent completion rate and three touchdowns—but struggled by his standards against Oklahoma State. He threw two interceptions and did not throw a touchdown pass until the game was decided.
Hot: Brandon Weeden
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Many players could have taken the last "hot" slot but Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden deserves to be mentioned. He continues to keep his offense hitting on all cylinders as the Cowboys have won every game by double digits this year.
Weeden completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 274 yards resulting in 7.61 yards per attempt. These numbers are respectable, but not astounding.
However, he did not throw an interception and hasn't in four of his last five games. He still put up three touchdowns and, most importantly, continued to keep the Cowboys undefeated in their quest for a national championship.
Cold: Geno Smith
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Dana Holgerson's offense has given Geno Smith a legitimate shot to improve his draft stock. Lately, he has not been able to capitalize.
His accuracy has been under question since he has had three games with a less than 60 percent completion rate. He did connect on 64.5 percent of his passes against Rutgers but he needed to do more to rebound from his game against Syracuse.
Against Syracuse's mediocre defense, Smith struggled most of the day. He only completed 58.5 percent of his attempts and had two interceptions as well.
He is only a junior, so he has another year to improve and the pass-happy Big 12 may be just what he needs to catapult up the rankings for 2013.