2017 NFL Draft: Quarterbacks

I want to put this quarterback class into perspective. Is it weak at the top? Absolutely. There is no one who could reasonably make a case to be taken first overall. Is it awful? No. 2013 was awful. Mike Glennon is the reigning king of that class. I’m certain this class will do better.

Mitch Trubisky: Destined to be the king of the checkdown. He’s quite accurate on short to intermediate passes. Beyond that things get a bit wonky. His arm strength earns a passing grade, but just barely. He will need some time to learn how to read defenses. He’s a poor man’s Kirk Cousins, which is an awkward place to be when the real one might be on the market. Then again, this one is much cheaper, and coaches love upside. He’s the most likely member of the class to become a solid pro, and I’d be fine with the Jets taking him sixth overall.

Deshaun Watson: I’ve previously called him a trap, and I’m standing by that. He was fantastic in college, with tremendous accuracy, even under pressure (a trait shared by Trubisky). The problem is his arm strength. Where Trubisky gets a C, Watson gets an F. He does not have an NFL arm, and there is nothing anyone can do about that. Coaching and practice won’t make the ball get there fast enough. Mind you, if he somehow ends up on the Jets I am going to forget I ever wrote this MiB style.

Patrick Mahomes II: You know how Trubisky has a marginal arm, and Watson’s fails completely? Mahomes has an incredible arm. There might be some slight concerns about his hand size, but we aren’t talking Goff-level concerns. He’s the guy a lot of teams hope falls to them. He can move well, both inside and outside of the pocket. However, he’s going to need to improve his mechanics. It’s a big leap from the offense he ran at Texas Tech to what the NFL is going to ask of him. Frankly, the fact that so many teams want him to drop means that someone is going to make an executive decision and grab him fairly early. He has the highest ceiling on any quarterback in the class, and it’s not particularly close.

DeShone Kizer: He certainly looks the part. Big, reasonably strong arm. Some accuracy issues, particularly under pressure. His agility/mobility is awful, so look for him to take some extra sacks. What I am not concerned about is his coachability. His issues with Kelly are pretty clearly on Kelly more than they are on Kizer. We saw how angry Kelly was when Kizer declared for the draft. He has the ability to make all the throws the NFL would ask of him, so there is a reasonable shot he ends up having a nice professional career. Truth be told, if he somehow fell to the Jets in the second round I’d be happy rolling the dice on him. More likely is that all four of these quarterbacks are off the board by then.

Nathan Peterman: There is a huge drop down to Peterman. He’s well prepared, with solid technique. Alas, like Watson, his arm isn’t quite as strong as it needs to be. He also wasn’t nearly as good in college as Watson. My guess is his peak is as lower-tier NFL starter, which isn’t that bad a place to be, all things considered. I would not like to see him end up on the Jets, even as a third-round pick.

Brad Kaaya: If you put a gun to my head and asked me to predict the Dak Prescott of the class, Kaaya would be my choice. The film showed some great things. However, his accuracy is problematic, as is his arm strength. He’s not a great athlete, so my guess is he ends up making very little impact at the next level. He’s worth a later round lottery ticket, nothing more.

Davis Webb: Put up some impressive numbers for a weak Cal team. Excellent arm strength, but his mechanics are garbage. That is potentially fixable with quality coaching and time. He doesn’t have the ability to step in and make an immediate impact, but if a team is patient, he’s a potential diamond in the rough. I’d be happy to see the Jets take a flyer on him… although, I’m not sure how much faith I have in our coaching staff. 😦

Jerod Evans: His full name is Dual-threat Jerod Evans. Problem is, two mediocre (by NFL standards) threats do not a pro quarterback make. I don’t think he’s the same athlete he was before his 2013 ACL tear. He’s not proven himself to be an accurate quarterback. There has been a lot of talk about his “high ceiling”, but I don’t see it. The one niche I might see for his is a short yardage-2 point conversion specialist. It’s a small niche, but if a backup quarterback can provide some value while the starter is healthy, he can keep a job in the NFL.

Joshua Dobbs: He’s a brilliant guy (aerospace engineer). Excellent work ethic. Solid arm strength. He may have trusted it a bit too much, as he’s made a lot of bad decisions. Some great highlights too though. He has one major problem that has dropped him in my eyes: fumbles. It’s a major problem, especially as I don’t think it’s something that can be easily fixed with coaching. His hands aren’t very big (just slightly larger than Goff’s). It’s harder to maintain a grip on an NFL football than it is a college football. I don’t think Dobbs will be able to succeed in the NFL. Thankfully, he has a great education to fall back on.

None of these guys look to have an easy path to NFL success. Trubisky has accuracy, but a mediocre arm. Watson was awesome in college, but NFL cornerbacks will feast on him. Mahomes has a ton of potential, which is a Japanese word that translates to “Hasn’t done shit yet.” Kizer looks the part, which worked out great for Blake Bortles. Seriously, it did:

http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/jacksonville-jaguars/blake-bortles-14412/

Not so great for the Jaguars, who have shown little desire to pick up his fifth-year option. After Kizer it’s longshots all the way down. My dream scenario is the Jets catch a falling star in the second round. We’ll see if they have that chance, or if four quarterbacks are selected in the first round.

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