April 26, 2017

2017 Quarterback Prospects

#10 Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina


QB / RB / WR / TE / OT / IOL / EDGE / DL / LB / CB / S



You may have heard it a million times already. This is not the strongest quarterback class we have seen in recent years. There is no Andrew Luck. There is no Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota. In other words, there is no slam dunk/number one overall caliber signal caller in the 2017 class. However, this class has some ballers. Plenty of these guys needs to sit for a year or two before they can contribute. The payoff could be big. Expect teams to start scrambling for some of the top QB prospects in the first round.

Prospect rankings are based on film breakdown provided by Draft Breakdown with a minimum of 3 games watched per prospect in most cases. Measurables, athletic testing, future roles and projections are also taken into effect.
Injuries, off the field issues, etc. will mot be taken into consideration. These rankings are based on talent and projections on the field. Players are grouped into "tiers" to separate them. Players that I project as early round picks will be placed in the "All-Pro"/"Pro Bowl" tiers for example. Prospects that I saw limited film of or was unable to watch at all will not be ranked, but listed under "Other Notable Prospects". Specifically, prospects well known in the scouting community and draft sites like CBS Sports and Pro Football Focus will be listed here.



Tier One: Pro Bowl Prospects


1. Mitchell Trubisky*
Experience: Junior (RS) | School: North Carolina
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 217 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 1/2" | Arm Length: 32" | Grade: Round 1


40 Time: 4.67 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 27.5" | Broad: 116"
3 Cone: 6.87 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.25 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Despite having just one season of experience as a starter, Trusbisky checks off most of the boxes for a first round quarterback. Good size and frame, strong arm, solid mechanics, and the ability to win from inside the pocket, while throwing well under pressure. Add in the fact that he's a threat as a runner and improving as a passer on the move, and you can see why teams have been won over. With that limited experience, he may be a year or two away from being ready to deliver for the franchise that drafts him, but he's working with a lot of impressive tools. I was won over by the Stanford tape. He threw a couple of picks, but bounced back with an impressive last drive where he made numerous "WOW" throws.




2. DeShone Kizer**
Experience: Sophomore (RS) | School: Notre Dame
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 237 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 7/8" | Arm Length: 33 1/8" | Grade: Round 2


40 Time: 4.83 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 30.5" | Broad: 107"
3 Cone: 7.40 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.53 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: I Love Kizer's patience and ability to win from inside the pocket. He has the best physical tools and upside of any quarterback in the draft. Great ball placement at times, and has the mobility to be a threat as a runner and make plays outside of the pocket. Accuracy can be hit or miss at times, but he is one of the better deep ball throwers in this class. Love how he can manipulate defenders with his eyes and pump fakes. Can make every NFL throw. "Regression" from 2015 to 2016 draws a lot of concerns. May need a year or two to sit before he's able to make an impact on the field.




Tier Two: Future Starter Prospects


3. Deshaun Watson*
Experience: Junior | School: Clemson
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 215 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 3/4" | Arm Length: 33" Grade: Round 2


40 Time: 4.66 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 32.5" | Broad: 119"
3 Cone: 6.95 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Waston entered the season as the consensus top quarterback prospect. Some scouts and analysts are still buying into Watson as a first round pick. He has pretty good size, can win from inside and outside of the pocket, and is a proven winner at the college level. Watson can do a better job of being more patient and letting things develop instead of taking off and running, but he could be the best runner at the quarterback position this class has to offer. Watson's decision making and inconsistent accuracy and ball placement (especially on deep passes) are a few things that hold him back, as it seemed like he took a step back from the previous season. Could be a day one starter, but how high should he be drafted?




Tier Three: Developmental Starter Prospects


4. Jerod Evans*
Experience: Junior | School: Virginia Tech
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 234 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 3/8" | Arm Length: 33 1/8" | Grade: Round 2


40 Time: 4.80 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 26.5" | Broad: 112"
3 Cone: N/A | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.41 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Great build and above average athleticism for an NFL quarterback. Can win from inside and outside of the pocket. I think his release needs to be tweaked a bit, and there are times when he will throw off his back foot unnecessarily. Displayed good accuracy on all levels of the field. One of the best deep ball throwers in the draft, and puts great touch on passes downfield. Ball placement on downfield throws is really good as well. Not a dynamic athlete, but is a threat with his legs. Lack of experience hurts him. The offense he played in could hurt his evaluation. Wasn't asked to make many tough decisions. Will probably be drafted later than his talent suggests.




5. Patrick Mahomes*
Experience: Junior | School: Texas Tech
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 224 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 1/4" | Arm Length: 33 1/4" | Grade: Round 3


40 Time: 4.80 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 30" | Broad: 113"
3 Cone: 6.88 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.08 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Mahomes skyrocketed up draft boards, and looks to be one of the first quarterbacks drafted. Mahomes has the best arm of any prospect in this year's class, and impresses with consistent velocity on passes, and at times, excellent intermediate accuracy and his ability to throw open receivers. His creativity outside of the pocket can be Tony Romo-esque, but he will also makes some decisions that will have you scratching your head. One big question I have is: Can he go through progressions and make more than one quick read? He may need time to learn this and rework his mechanics, which are down right awful, and this leads to some of his inaccurate throws. He's got plenty of tools, but he's going to need 2-3 years to develop.




6. Davis Webb
Experience: Senior | School: California
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 224 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 1/4" | Arm Length: 33 1/8" | Grade: Round 3


40 Time: 4.79 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 33" | Broad: 118"
3 Cone: 6.92 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.21 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: The first round buzz is ridiculous. Webb is a mid round project, but that is ok. He has all of the raw physical tools you want in a developmental quarterback. Prototypical size, above average arm strength, great touch on downfield passes, and moves well in the pocket. However, his decision making is a concern. Effortless thrower. He will try to force throws and at times his ball placement is not great. Also doesn't consistently throw with the amount of velocity he needs too. Can lock onto his first read which gets him into trouble. Can get happy feet when the pocket breaks down. Internal clock needs to go off faster. Mechanics are pretty good, but has a habit of throwing off his back foot or throwing on the move when he has time to set his feet. Non-Pro style offense that catered to him. Lots of quick slants and screens.




Tier Four: Quality Backup Prospects


7. Chad Kelly
Experience: Senior | School: Ole Miss
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 228 lbs.
Hand Size: N/A | Arm Length: N/A | Grade: Round 4


40 Time: N/A | Bench: N/A | Vertical: N/A | Broad: N/A
3 Cone: N/A | 20-Yard Shuttle: N/A | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Kelly is facing an uphill battle to be drafted due to numerous off the field issues and durability concerns. On the field, he is a borderline day two talent. He isn't the dynamic runner that Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky are, but he is still a threat with his legs. He can win from outside of the pocket. Accurate thrower on the move. Inside of the pocket, he can drive the ball outside the hashes, and is pretty accurate when given a clean pocket. When under pressure, he rarely steps up in the pocket, becomes frantic, and has a tendency to throw off his back foot or leave the pocket prematurely. Can fit the ball into tight windows, but will also make some questionable throws. Bit of a gunslinger's mentality. Too many under-thrown deep balls. Didn't see a lot of evidence of him consistently going through progressions. Could be a decent starter.




8. Brad Kaaya*
Experience: Junior | School: Miami
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 217 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 3/4" | Arm Length: 32" | Grade: Round 4


40 Time: N/A | Bench: N/A | Vertical: N/A | Broad: N/A
3 Cone: N/A | 20-Yard Shuttle: N/A | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: When he has a clean pocket to work with, Brad Kaaya can be as good as any 2017 quarterback prospect. However, he doesn't have a great feel for pressure, and his mechanics will break down under duress. Overall, he doesn't perform as well when pressured, and doesn't have the ideal mobility or escape ability of today's NFL quarterback. He's got great intangibles and some tools to work with, but having average arm strength and struggling to stay composed under duress will make him a tough sell for NFL teams.




9. Nathan Peterman
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Pittsburgh
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 224 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 7/8" | Arm Length: 32" | Grade: Round 4


40 Time: 4.82 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 31" | Broad: 110"
3 Cone: 7.14 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Biggest knock on Peterman is that he doesn't have the strongest arm. He is very comfortable rolling out and making accurate throws on the run. He shows nice touch on passes down the field, but I believe a lack of velocity on passes hurts his ability to make "all of the throws". Most of his throws were quick reads with shovel passes and screens mixed in. He can make quick decisions in the realm of the offense. Didn't see a poor decision maker, but he also didn't take many chances with the ball. Good mobility. Decent threat as a runner. Lower body mechanics get him in trouble. Not stepping into throws hurts his accuracy. Another quarterback with some quality traits, but limited upside.



Tier Five: Developmental Backup Prospects


10. Joshua Dobbs
Experience: Senior | School: Tennessee
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 218 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 1/4" | Arm Length: 32 5/8" | Grade: Round 5


40 Time: 4.64 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 33" | Broad: 122"
3 Cone: 6.75 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.31 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Athletic quarterback who is arguably the biggest threat on the ground in this class. Has an above average arm. When given a clean pocket to work with his accuracy is usually pretty good. Under pressure, things don't go as smoothly. Lower body mechanics need to improve. Often throws off balance which leads to his accuracy issues. His feel for pressure needs to improve, and he needs to stand tall in the pocket, square up, and deliver the ball. Needs to let things develop, going through progressions. Has a tendency of dropping his eyes and taking off too early. Flashes the ability to throw an accurate deep ball. Struggles recognizing zone coverage? Was baited into plenty of bad throws leading to some interceptions. Day 3 developmental prospect.




11. Seth Russell
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Baylor
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 216 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 5/8" | Arm Length: 32 1/4" | Grade: Round 7


40 Time: N/A | Bench: N/A | Vertical: N/A | Broad: N/A
3 Cone: N/A | 20-Yard Shuttle: N/A | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Good size and athleticism for a quarterback prospect. Has a good, but not great arm. Can be wildly inaccurate. Misses throws high. Doesn't have great velocity on throws. Lacks touch on most passes. Lots of line drives. Two season ending injuries in consecutive years. Has some good wheels on him. Lower body mechanics and throwing motion need to be tweaked. Played in a quarterback friendly system at Baylor. Lots of quick reads. Has some tools, but would not spend higher than a 6th round pick on him.




Other Notable Prospects:


C.J. Beathard
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Iowa
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 219 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 3/8" | Arm Length: 30 5/8" | Grade: N/A


40 Time: N/A | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 34.5" | Broad: 113"
3 Cone: 6.89 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.91 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A


Analysis: Drawing buzz as a "surprise" name that could be drafted earlier than expected. Was not as effective in 2016 as he was in 2015.




Gunner Kiel
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Cincinnati
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 225 lbs.
Hand Size: N/A | Arm Length: N/A | Grade: N/A


40 Time: N/A | Bench: N/A | Vertical: N/A | Broad: N/A
3 Cone: N/A | 20-Yard Shuttle: N/A | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A




Cooper Rush
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Central Michigan
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 228 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 1/8" | Arm Length: 32 3/8" | Grade: N/A


40 Time: 4.93 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 27" | Broad: 105"
3 Cone: 7.23 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.47 | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A




Trevor Knight
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Texas A&M
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220 lbs.
Hand Size: 9 7/8" | Arm Length: 30 5/8" | Grade: N/A


40 Time: 4.54 | Bench: N/A | Vertical: 35.5" | Broad: 125"
3 Cone: 7.04 | 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.14 | 60-Yard Shuttle: 11.28




Alek Torgersen
Experience: Senior | School: Penn
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 218 lbs.
Hand Size: N/A | Arm Length: N/A | Grade: N/A


40 Time: N/A | Bench: N/A | Vertical: N/A | Broad: N/A
3 Cone: N/A | 20-Yard Shuttle: N/A | 60-Yard Shuttle: N/A