Monday, March 2, 2009
Mahatma's Post Combine Player Rankings: QBs
The big event in the NFL off-season is the draft and this year makes no exception. As we wind our way to the draft, I’ll try to give SUS nation the low down on the major players involved and which round you’ll likely see some of your favorite college stars end up. Naturally, things have changed since we last talked draft. The combine came and went with only the various universities and colleges pro days left to come. I read somewhere that 80% of where players are drafted is based on their regular season performance. The other 20% is for BS like the combine and the pro days.
I will attempt to rank the players by position in an attempt for wannabe draft gurus to check where players of note can be found. Of course this is all purely subjective and probably wrong. Teams come in with new systems and coaches every year and various draft boards are all over the place. Fuck it, i'm as qualified as Kiper.
Overall, the QB class this year is on par with what was there last year. Ryan and Flacco took the league by storm and while the choices here aren't on that level at the top, the overall depth is good with some siginificant sleepers available. In my book, I wouldn't touch any of the QBs early. I like Stafford way more than Sanchez purely on arm strength but even he has accuracy issues. Some scouts point to his uneven performances for why not to draft the guy early and I can see this. Still if you desperately need a qb, he's the way to go.
Sanchez had a good year for the Trojans but isn't even in Matt Leinart/Carson Palmer's class when it comes to production. He only started one year in college and is somewhat injury prone. He does have some toughness as he does like lowering the shoulder. Sanchez is mobile in the pocket and evade rushers. He can make throws all over the field but lacks the big gun to stick in tight spots. Sanchez also looked average at the combine and the accuracy drills. Sanchez could be drafted ahead of Stafford but this purely another instance of Jamarcus Russell syndrome. Sanchez was helped by USC being 5 deep at receivers and running backs where guys were running open through out defenses.
Freeman is one people are comparing to Flacco (fast riser up the draft boards) but took a little step back at the combine as well. Still he is a bit of an unknown and some team might be willing to draft him early. He like Stafford and Sanchez is mobile with a big arm but is also 6' 6'' unlike his 6' 2'' counterparts. He is a decent athlete too and has shown ability to evade the rush. Problem with him is he is a quicker version of Jamarcus Russell minus the arm strength. Freeman has relied on his talents to get him this far and still a bit too raw as a passer. He is going to need a lot of work to become a finished product but under a good QB coach, the sky is the limit. He is only a junior and will be 21 as a rookie. Perfect QB of the future to sit behind some veteran QB team.
After these three it becomes a bit of a wash with some concerns. Rhett Bomar was supposed to be one of the best QBs in the nation but fell of the map at Oklahoma and went to Sam Houston State. He still has the potential to regain that form. Nate Smith is a solid overall QB that would be an early day 1 pick if he were about 3 inches taller. Moreover, the guy played at Ball State and really how many times to scouts actively seek out Ball State games until they were 12-0? Smith put up comparable stats to BRoeth and Byron Leftwich and might be a sleeper.
Pat White blew everyone away at the combine and showed that maybe his days at QB aren't over. Still White is the most intriguing prospect and could serve as either #3 development QB or #4 receiver or #3 running back. Creative offensive coordinators can do a number of things with the guy and he might be the next in the line of "slash" players .
After that you got some intriguing prospects that never quite put it together. Daniel and Harrell were darlings during the year but have blown chunks in the senior bowl and combine workouts. Cantwell and Carpenter were pre season sleepers but slipt down during the season.
Others like John Parker Wilson (Alabama) , Curtis Painter (Purdue), Cullen Harper (Clemson) might sneak in the later rounds as well or serve as training camp fodder. Course this might all change depending on pro days.
1) Matt Stafford / Georgia / top 10 pick
2) Mark Sanchez / Louisville / 1st – early 2nd
3) Josh Freeman / Kansas State / Late 1st - 2nd
4) Rhett Bomar / Sam Houston St / 3rd– 4th
5) Nate Davis / Ball State / 3rd - 4th
6) Pat White/ WVU/ 3rd – 4th
7) Hunter Cantwell / Louisville / 4th
8) Rudy Carpenter / 5th - 6th
9) Chase Daniel / Missouri / 6th
10) Graham Harrell / 6th