2012 NFL Draft: Ranking the 10 Best Quarterbacks

Old AccountSenior Writer IApril 23, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Ranking the 10 Best Quarterbacks

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    The 2012 NFL draft is days upon us, with quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III already knowing what teams they will be selected by on draft day.

    Luck and Griffin are clearly the best two quarterback prospects in the draft after completing successful careers with their college teams.

    However, after those two, the discussion begins as to how the quarterback prospects in this year's draft stack up.

    Here are the top 10 best quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL draft.

10. UT-Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman

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    B.J Coleman cracks the top-10 list, despite not playing for a Division I  Double-A program.

    He has shown the capability to be a backup quarterback in this league and could have more in store if he reaches his potential on the football field.

    Injuries hurt him last season, as he did miss five games. He does need to improve on his accuracy if he wants to receive any opportunities in the NFL.

    He is worth a draft selection as the talent is there. It is best for him to sit behind a successful veteran quarterback if he wants to become an eventual starter someday.

9. San Diego State QB Ryan Lindley

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    Ryan Lindley edges out Coleman for the ninth spot on this list, but it's pretty close.

    Lindley was fortunate enough to play in a pro-style offense while at San Diego State, but there are questions abound about his accuracy. The concerns continued to show with Lindley at the Senior Bowl an the combine.

    He only completed 53 percent of his passes as a senior. He's a project quarterback who's best bet is to be a backup quarterback.

8. Arizona QB Nick Foles

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    It needs to be noted that there is a significant gap between Nick Foles and the other two quarterbacks listed.

    Foles has the potential to be an NFL starter someday and has all the tools to make that happen. He's a true pocket passer with a very strong arm and isn't afraid to have the pressure on him when the team needs him most.

    He completed 69 percent of his passes in his senior year, which was a positive. However, there's plenty of room for improvement in this prospect. Foles tends to focus only on one receiver, which makes him more prone to turnovers in the biggest way.

    Although he has a strong arm, Foles doesn't always connect on the deep throws that he should make.

    Foles is certainly a project in the works.

7. Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson

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    I won't deny my liking of quarterback Russell Wilson. While at Wisconsin and NC State, he proved to me that he can play at the next level.

    He ended his excellent college career by leading Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl appearance. His athleticism has stood out during his days as a college quarterback. It also helps that he ran a 4.55 at the NFL Scouting Combine.

    There's no question he can make all the throws while making passes on the run as well.

    It appears that his height is holding him back from being higher on this list. Teams use height as a big factor in regards to quarterbacks.

    Did everyone forget how Drew Brees was considered too short to play quarterback in the NFL? Now, he's arguably the best in the game.

    Wilson deserves an opportunity to eventually start some football games in a few years.

6. Michigan St. QB Kirk Cousins

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    From the few quarterbacks who have been mentioned so far, Kirk Cousins has the easiest path to become a starting quarterback.

    When given more control of the offense, Cousins proved to be a tough quarterback who made enough plays to keep his team in games.

    That definitely garners interest in the minds of NFL general managers, who view Cousins as a quarterback who can create a quarterback competition in training camp.

    At times, he has struggled when he faces pressure in his face from opposing defenses. Can he adapt to the speed of defensive lineman at the next level?

5. Arizona St. QB Brock Osweiler

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    Brock Osweiler has been a very difficult quarterback prospect to figure out this season.

    At times, he shined on the national stage with his strong arm and produced plenty of points with the Arizona St. offense.

    As a former basketball player, Osweiler displayed his athletic ability while playing in college.

    Unfortunately, there was plenty of inconsistency with Osweiler. It was a surprise to see him enter the NFL draft after the way his junior season ended.

    The Denver Broncos are rumored to have targeted Osweiler as the heir to Peyton Manning. If that's the case, they may have found a perfect young quarterback for Manning to work with.

4. Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill

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    Ryan Tannehill appears to have a good possibility of being the third quarterback selected in the top 10 this year, as the Miami Dolphins hold the eighth overall pick.

    Tannehill has been quite the story, converting from a receiver to a quarterback in a short period of time.

    Tannehill's athleticism matches both Luck and Griffin and has the arm to make all the passes at the next level.

    However, he's not going to be a starting quarterback in his rookie season. He has adjusted greatly to his new position, but the former Aggies quarterback has plenty of areas to work on in the NFL.

    It might be best for Tannehill to land in Miami and work with offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who was his college head coach.

3. Oklahoma St. QB Brandon Weeden

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    Brandon Weeden has been the most popular quarterback in recent weeks, with plenty of teams (most notably the Cleveland Browns) showing an interest in the senior out of Oklahoma St.

    The negative against Weeden is his age, as he's 29 years old. That's holding him back from becoming a high first-round selection and will be a great value pick in the first round.

    He's very accurate from the pocket, completing 72 percent of his passes in his senior year. He displayed the arm strength and the athletic ability to become an immediate starter in the NFL.

    If he lands in the right situation, he will compete for a starting job right away. Weeden is a prospect who can step in as a starter during his first season in the league.

2. Baylor QB Robert Griffin III

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    The last two quarterbacks on this list distinguish themselves from the rest. Robert Griffin III is going to find the most success out of any quarterback prospect in his rookie season.

    He enters a perfect scenario with the Washington Redskins. He's the most athletic quarterback in the draft and makes all of the plays that are needed out of a quarterback.

    Griffin possesses great arm strength and has made strides with his accuracy. He does not receive credit for his pocket presence. He has shown the determination to be a successful quarterback inside the pocket, which will make the transition to Mike Shanahan's offense even easier.

1. Stanford QB Andrew Luck

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    Andrew Luck has been considered the best quarterback prospects for two straight years now. That includes Luck being ranked higher than Cam Newton, who went first overall in last year's draft.

    Luck returned for his senior season, and there were no setbacks in his quest to become the first selection in the 2012 NFL Draft.

    He conducted a Pro-style offense while at Stanford, and thrived under it. There have been plenty of comparisons to Peyton Manning, who Luck will replace in Indianapolis.

    His intelligence has shown both on and off the field, and carried a Stanford team that lacked on the defensive end this season.

    Luck has great control of his accuracy. He tends to force passes in certain situations, but he is very calm in the pocket and knows his limits. There have been questions about his arm strength, but scouts believe he will have no trouble completing all the passes at the next level.

    Despite having Luck as their quarterback, Stanford was committed to displaying a great running game around Luck. He always utilizes the play action pass and can make passes in and outside the pocket.

    Luck reminds me of Aaron Rodgers. His athletic ability makes him a complete quarterback and will take the reigns as the franchise quarterback for the Colts this season.

    Matt Miselis is an NFL Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. Follow him on Twitter.


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