Clausen Will Enter NFL Draft: A Quick Analysis of the 2010 ‘Potential’ QB Class

December 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm Leave a comment

With the early departure of Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen announced today, the NFL Draft analysis can begin. With that said, my first bold statement of the NFL Draft is that I believe the quarterback class in 2010 will be a lot deeper than most people expect. At first glance, the QB Class may look a bit too cluttered with spread offense gun-slingers. But I would argue that, with the number of teams that may opt for a quarterback at some point in the draft, we’ll be hearing about these kids for longer than expected. 

Taking a quick look at NFL teams that may have a QB in mind (somewhere within the seven rounds), I come up with about a dozen, give or take. Does Denver stick with Kyle Orton? Sure he’s been decent but does McDaniels want his guy? Does Minnesota look into the future? Brett Favre can’t play forever (right?) and Tavaris Jackson isn’t the long-term answer. San Francisco has had a pleasant surprise in Alex Smith but I’m sure they’ll take a gander. Washington’s quarterback situation is always the topic of discussion, with a majority saying Campbell is at least second string in 2010. Jacksonville needs fans in seats, Garrard isn’t cutting it. Seattle has made up their mind about Hasselbeck, it was a good run. Miami drafted Chad Henne but they may take a late project. Buffalo needs another guy not named Trent Edwards. Cleveland drafted Brady Quinn and he may actually win over Mangini by the end of the season. St. Louis is on the desperate list, Bulger is about to fall apart (literally). Jake Delhomme never cut it for me in Carolina, and John Fox will look to move on in 2010. And finally…Oakland. Gradkowski has worked wonders since Russell was benched but it’s time to ‘officially’ give up on JaMarcus and his horrible attitude. Hopefully for the Raiders, an uncapped year will allow them to cut his fat ass along with his fat contract. So there you have it, about a dozen teams that may look towards a quarterback at some point in the draft. 

Now let’s take a look at the QB prospects. Although the talent level drops off drastically about a quarter through the list, that doesn’t mean the late-round guys can’t turn out okay (see: Tom Brady). Here’s a quick list of my QB prospects in somewhat of a personal Big Board rating: 

  1. Jimmy Clausen (ND)  6’3  217 – He’s played in a pro-style offense and he’s been through the up’s and the down’s of a very popular team. He’s played well, progressed even better, and knows what its like to play away from home.
  2. Jake Locker (WAS)  6’3  223 – Good talent at a bad school, Locker knows the game and is pretty athletic. His arm strength is decent but seems like a good decision-maker.
  3. Sam Bradford (OU)  6’4  214 – Other than the injuries and durability as a result, Bradford is a HUGE talent. His accuracy is second to none and he has good decision making. His athleticism is often overlooked because of how little he leaves the pocket.
  4. Ryan Mallet (ARK)  6’6  250 – Michigan transfer that can throw up numbers in bunches. He has lead feet but has tremendous upside. He would be a project but one worth taking on.
  5. Tony Pike (CIN)  6’6  225 – If you didn’t know Pike before this year, you do now. Pike is smart and very accurate. And impressively enough, the guy can move around for his size. The hype may be surrounding him but I think he could turn out.
  6. Jevan Snead (OM)  6’3  215 – One of the most overrated teams in the nation, Ole Miss got a lot of attention because of Snead. He has good arm strength and his upside was going to get him a lot. But after a crappy season in ’09, Snead’s stock has dropped off. Remember this kid couldn’t beat out McCoy at Texas.
  7. Colt McCoy (UT)  6’3  215 – Not another Vince Young. McCoy can put the pass on a dime but may need help with his ability to read a defense. His leadership is impressive and he’s had great college experience. I would say he’s a sure fire West Coast guy.
  8. Tim Tebow  (FL)  6’3  235 – He wants to play QB but it may not happen. His arm strength isn’t anything special and his decision-making won’t work in the NFL. Jacksonville may be his only hope in the first-round.
  9. Christian Ponder (FSU)  6’3  220 – Not a big fan of this guy in college but he has a very accurate pass and he understands the game. Ponder could succeed in this league as long as he doesn’t have to throw the long ball.
  10. Pat Devlin (UD)  6’4  220 – Originally a QB at Penn State, Devlin has a cannon for an arm and is hoping to follow in a certain one’s footsteps.
  11. Jarrett Brown (WVU)  6’4  220 – Big guy, extremely athletic, and able to make the pass. His upside and potential is scary but can he ever learn to read a defense?
  12. Jonathan Crompton (UT)  6’4  224 – The guy got better, I’ll give him that. He has the intangibles to succeed in the NFL but a team will have to take on a project.
  13. Zac Robinson (OSU)  6’3  210 – If anyone falls victim to the ‘spread-only quarterback’, it’s this guy.
  14. Bill Stull (PITT)  6’3  215 – Played well for a former-NFL coach but his decision-making under pressure is what keeps him down.
  15. Sean Canfield (OSU)  6’4  215 – He got better over the year and people got to find out who the Beaver is.
  16. Max Hall (BYU)  6’1  201 – His accuracy shouldn’t be an issue but his size and decision-making are.
  17. Tim Hiller (WMU)  6’5  228 – I actually like Hiller at a higher spot but his lack of competition and weak arm make him a tough shot. Hiller has a great read on defenses and makes decent decisions but he has cement feet and not a great deep-ball. He could prosper in a short-pass oriented offense.  

Where these guys actually end up will have to wait for my annual Mock Draft. A quick breakdown of the running backs will follow soon.

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Entry filed under: College Football, Picks, Pro Football. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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