The Grand National Championships

March 7, 2009

Day 1 Propsect Breakdown: Quarterbacks.

Filed under: Draft Nerd,Fuhbawls,I'M EXCITED,Quarterbackery — by Andrew @ 10:04 am

Last year? I made a listing of the day one prospects and broke them down with my opinions. And of course I was right about Matt Forte. I was wrong about Matt Ryan, but hey. At least I’m man enough to admit it when I miss.

And we will start it how we started it last year. With the quarterbacks. Now, I’ve expounded on this season’s quarterback crop is subpar at best. But here’s the thing. There is always one starter that emerges to have a career in every draft. In that respect? We will bring our best.

I do go by perceieved draft position, so I will have Matt Stafford first. Even if…

Well, you’ll have to read on right?

matt stafford Pictures, Images and Photos

1. Matt Stafford Georgia
(6’2″ 225 4.84)

Now we can say that the man has some upside. He has a big arm. He has a moxie that some would be willing to describe as Roethisbergerian. In fact, I would say that as a gunslinger? His Q Rating is high.

He can make good reads, and he doesn’t bird dog his #1 receiver. But here’s the thing. He doesn’t have the polish on the make or break for an elite quarterback. His touch is subpar. His footwork is subpar. He throws off his back foot way too often. And this is why he could enter the Harrington zone.

If the Detroit Lions draft him? They need to have Culpepper play Jon Kitna for a year. He’s not going to be a quarterback who will pull a Matt Ryan to start his career. Wait a year? And the odds of new Harrington go down exponentially.

mark sanchez Pictures, Images and Photos

2. Mark Sanchez USC
(6’2″ 227 4.88)

His strength is in his polish. The mechanics and footwork that Matt Stafford just doesn’t have? Mark Sanchez has it in spades. He can get easily get himself in a rhythm. And he also has a good touch to his game and arm strength that you shouldn’t sleep on.

The problem? He could not beat out John David Booty. That has to be a limit on your draft prospects. Okay, for real, if you can get to him? He can be flustered. And he might find himself with a professional line that does not have as much success as USC’s line had. He does have durablity issues. And the ball doesn’t always come out as a spiral.

His situation is interesting. He may have a Brady Quinn-Aaron Rodgers sort of a slide down the draft this year. And if get gets into the second half of the draft? You could see him as the big quarterback of this draft class. I like him a lot.

Freeman Pictures, Images and Photos
3. Josh Freeman Kansas State
(6’5″ 248 4.97)

But if you want to talk about upside? Josh Freeman is the guy. His quickness belies the slow track in Indianapolis. He has a massive arm and the fearlessness to bring the deep out in a small window. And his throwing mechanics are nice as well. On dreams alone? He’s a top prospect.

His instincts? Not so much. He’ll often throw it up in a general direction with no reads or progressions. He doesn’t keep his eyes downfield when he’s moving around in the pocket. He loses his footwork when he throws on the run. And he does have a long delivery.

The team that drafts him has to be patient. A good quarterback coach and offensive stability will work to his benefit. He can develop into a spectacular quarterback, or he can be out of the league by 2012. If you throw him out there straight away? He’ll be nothing more than a giant Tavaris Jackson.

Pat White Pictures, Images and Photos

4. Pat White West Virginia
(6’0″ 197 4.49)

Before the Senior Bowl game? He was in the Isaiah Stanback zone with an Eric Crouch demeanor about it. He was another college quarterback who was expected to get Randle El’d to wide receiver. But he insisted that he could be a good pro quarterback. And you know what? People are starting to believe he could be right.

He has a strong arm, and the running game instincts to start right away as a Wildcat quarterback. He has amazing leadership skills, and he will fight through nagging injuries. And statistically, his passing game numbers are very solid.

His major weaknesses? He has been beaten up as an option quarterback. Oh, and he’s also an option quarterback. It’s a system that does lead to pro fail. Pat White can be an exception, but you may be seeing him as a swiss army knife more than anything.

nate davis Pictures, Images and Photos

5. Nate Davis Ball State
(6’1″ 226 4.98)

Forget this 40 time. He has excellent athleticism, and his football speed is better than that. He has a gunslinger mentality with a very strong arm. He can make all the throws and he can make them with decent accuracy. And while his throwing motion is unorthodox, it is fluid.

His problem? He does not have the footwork yet. He wears a glove on this throwing hand because he has small hands. It means he has an unorthodox grip. It could explain his fumbleitis in his final games. He also has a well documented learning disability. Not to say that it is a bad thing. It just means you cannot draft him with the intention of playing straight away.

I don’t expect Nate Davis to be a starter straight away. In fact? He may not be drafted until Sunday. But you know what? I would not be surprised that he actually finds a way to get a 5 minute human interest story on ESPN voiced over by Chris Connelly during Obama’s second term.

Anyway, I’m back. Feel a need to write. We’ll continue on this later.


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