As the college football regular seasons closes, we can now start to look at which of our favorite college players are in prime position to make it into the NFL. In this article I will be examining the top 10 quarterbacks in this years NFL draft.
10. Brandon Bridge, South Alabama
Bridge is incredibly athletic and has the long legs to help. These traits help him pick up extra yards down the field when he needs to. However, Bridge is also good at making his reads and making the smart decision to throw when someone is open. He’s got a cannon and can always make the tough passes. However, his arm strength can also hurt him at times. He tends to throw passes that are sometimes too hard for his receivers to catch. He also needs to get smarter about throwing into small windows. If he can improve his overall ‘smarts’, he has the physical talent to succeed in the NFL.
9. Cody Fajardo, Nevada
Fajardo was tasked with taking over for Colin Kaepernick and so far he’s done a great job. He is similar to Kaepernick in many ways. He is mobile and can fend for his own out of the pocket, but doesn’t have half of the arm strength Kaepernick has. He’s going to have some trouble adjusting to the NFL unless he goes to a team that’s ready for his style of play. Perhaps a team like the Philadelphia Eagles would be a good fit. However, if he comes into a bad situation then we could see an RG3 type of faliure. Luckily for Fajardo, he won’t be dragged down by the huge expectations that RG3 had.
8. Shane Carden, East Carolina
Carden has phenomenal potential, but he needs to put it to use. He is mobile and has a great arm with great accuracy. Unfortunately, his biggest problem is that his decision-making is very questionable. Over the course of his career, he’s thrown far too many interceptions. If he can’t step up and improve his decision-making in the NFL, he will have a very hard time adjusting. However, if he can get over this hurdle, he has all the skills necessary to become an NFL quarterback. He’s got the arm, the power and the poise.
7. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Prescott possesses a lot of potential, but at the moment he is just that. He doesn’t have enough experience yet and has not been the leader that the team needs him to be. He has the arm strength and the legs to be a good NFL quarterback. but he hasn’t put it all together yet and that could end up being a disaster in the NFL. I fear that Prescott could end up just like RG3, if not coached well. He can’t be thrown into the spotlight because he is simply not ready yet.
6. Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Mannion is the kind of quarterback that is hard to come by these days. He’s got precision accuracy and is good at making decisions. The only thing holding him back is his mobility. Even pocket passers these days, like Andrew Luck, are still mobile. Mannion is more like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Meaning, he only moves when he absolutely has to. He also has lots of trouble if he doesn’t have all the time he needs to make his reads. This can end up being a big problem considering he may very well be drafted to a team that is not exactly the most talented.
5. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Many scouts will overlook Grayson because he is from a such a small school. However, that could be a big mistake. This is a guy who can make you pay in the same way Andrew Luck can. If you drop back and make sure that you can defend his passes, he will run it on you. On the other hand, if you make sure he can’t run it, he will take advantage of your flimsy coverage. He doesn’t have the accuracy of some NFL quarterbacks, but that can be fixed with more practice as a backup. He most likely won’t be thrust in to a starting role right away. His decision making is good for the most part, but he needs to work on doing it consistently. According to most scouts and analysts though, his biggest problem is his brain. People are worried that he won’t be able to handle a full sized NFL playbook. If he can’t learn the whole playbook then he will have a very hard time. Luckily, he should have a lot of time to learn behind the starter.
4. Bryce Petty, Baylor
Petty is a pocket passer with the ability to do some damage if given the space to run. Petty is incredibly accurate on short and intermediate throws, especially when given time to set his feet. However, when under pressure, he tends to lose control of his feet and often forgets to step into his throws. He can definitely throw a bullet pass anywhere on the field, but has trouble lofting it over defenders deep down the field. When he tries to finesse it over defenders he ends up throwing balls that are 50-50. He needs to discipline his feet, but he has the potential to be a good NFL quarterback.
3. Jameis Winston, Florida State
Winston is one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft. Sometimes he looks like he deserves to be the first pick, but other times he looks awful. Not to mention his off the field antics. Those antics are exactly what will keep him from being the first quarterback taken. That and the fact that at times, when he is not playing his best, he shuts down and begins to make bad decisions. This season, he has only 27 touchdowns compared to 40 last year. He also had a whopping 17 interceptions compared to 10 last year. I think all of this really comes down to his maturity. If he can’t mature on-and-off the field, he can’t be the difference maker that NFL teams need him to be.
2. Brett Hundley, UCLA
Hundley’s best asset may be his mentality. He is always positive and never gives up no matter what. However, he is not the best decision maker and his NFL success will likely boil down to his coaching. If he is coached right and given time to make mistakes and learn from them, he could turn out to be a good NFL quarterback. He has good legs and can escape pressure very well. He’s not blazing fast but he is fast and tough enough to be effective when needed. When given time to throw, his accuracy is great. But like I said earlier, when pressured he makes bad decisions.
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Mariota is the most talented quarterback in this draft class. He has thrown for 38 touchdowns with only TWO interceptions! He’s accurate, fast and smart. Not to mention he is a very humble guy that will not get into trouble off the field. Obviously, the problem is that in general, mobile quarterbacks don’t work out as well. If he can be coached in the same way Pete Carroll managed Russell Wilson, he will turn out just fine. However, if he is told to go out there and do whatever he wants, he could end up getting injured while running wild. He needs to be taught to only run when he needs to. He must be a pass first, run second quarterback to be successful in the NFL. But if he can become that then he has the tools to succeed.