Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Breaking Down the Quarterbacks of the 2017 NFL Draft

I love the NFL Draft. As a Bears fan, it is the one time of year that I have hope. And since the Bears haven't had a reliable quarterback since...Sid Luckman? I take particular interest in the gunslingers. I watched some tape on all of the top guys in the draft to give my quick thoughts on who have the potential to be stars at the next level.

CJ Beathard - Iowa
Okay, so he probably doesn't belong on this list, but you can see all of my thoughts on CJ Beathard here. 

DeShone Kizer - Notre Dame
Good arm, but no pocket presence or ability to scan a field. I just don’t see a path to success for him at the next level.

Patrick Mahomes - Texas Tech
An undersized gunslinger with a rocket arm from a school in Texas. Why does that sound familiar? Still, this makes his ceiling Johnny Manziel without off-field issues, but there is no way to judge a quarterback out of the Big 12, because there isn’t a single team in that conference that is even competent at defense. I know Mahomes is good at flag football. Beyond that, I didn’t see enough for me to take a risk on the unknown.

Mitchell Trubisky - North Carolina
I don’t trust anybody who changes his name before the draft. I wrote that sentence before watching any tape on Trubisky, and then I started watching the guy play, and I have done a 180 on him. He does so many of the things that I look for in a quarterback. He scans the field quickly when going through reads, and he knows how to use his mobility to buy time to make a throw down the field instead of immediately abandoning the pass game when he gets flushed from the pocket; he always keeps his eyes down field and looks to make something big happen. Did he build up some impressive stats against less than impressive opponents? Definitely, but the dude can play. He has excellent pocket presence and the ability to make all of the throws. People love quarterback wins, but when it came down to crunch time, he did everything he could to put his team in a position to win in every game but Virginia Tech. He didn’t have a great statistical game against Stanford, but man, you watch the throws on that final drive, and it gives you something to dream on. I’m all in on Trubisky.

Deshaun Watson - Clemson
I don’t understand why people aren’t higher on Watson. I just keep thinking back to last year, and is there any way that the Rams take Jared Goff over Deshaun Watson? I just cannot imagine that scenario ever playing out. So Watson goes back to school, wins a National Title, and now people aren’t sure if he should be taken in the top 20. The interceptions are an issue, but not a deal breaker. I am more worried about his offense which tended to get him locked onto one side of the field, and he was always a little slow in going through progressions when that first option wasn’t open. Although he’s a good athlete, his pocket presence isn’t great, so he isn’t able to fully utilize those skills to create plays.

Davis Webb - California
I don’t like the footwork; I don’t like the lack of pocket presence. He does throw a nice deep ball, but he’s still worse than Jared Goff, so it’s pretty tough for me to get excited about that.

QB Rankings:
1. Mitchell Trubisky
2. Deshaun Watson
3. Patrick Mahomes
4. Davis Webb
5. DeShone Kizer
6. CJ Beathard

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