In an effort to get through all of the positions before the draft, I’ll be just shortly naming some of the prospects to watch in this draft class, as well as some potential sleepers and maybe busts. I wasn’t able to go as far in depth this year as I did last year, but enough to develop a feel for the class and compile my rankings.
This year’s quarterback class is a lot better than last year’s class, but not at the top of the class. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota were incredible, as they’ve already shown they’re on their way to successful NFL careers. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Paxton Lynch have all been mentioned as potential top picks in this year’s class and I’m a bit skeptical of all of them. Unlike last season, I don’t believe that any of these signal callers are worth either a top two selection, or worth trading picks or players to move up to obtain these quarterbacks. This class, unlike last year when I only had four draftable grades, has up to 12-15 QBs I could see being picked.
Top QB Prospect: Jared Goff California 6’4″ 215
Jared Goff started this season as #DraftTwitter’s darling, however the college football season and offseason can prove to be a war of attrition. He seems to have been overtaken by the more physically impressive Carson Wentz of North Dakota State, but Goff is my preference, if I had to pick one (which would be an unfortunate situation). Goff will struggle from a schematic standpoint, coming from the Bear Raid (poor pun, right?) offense in college, he’ll need to transition to a Pro Style system in the NFL. He’ll win with his deep accuracy, and his drop in the bucket throws, but he’d benefit from a year to sit and adjust to the NFL game. (Again, I don’t think any of these QBs should be taken very high.)
Biggest Bust Potential: Carson Wentz North Dakota State 6’5″ 237
Carson Wentz, as I mentioned earlier, seems to have surpassed Goff as the favorite QB heading into the draft. NFL teams are salivating over his size, his skin tone, and his work ethic. These are my concerns: He has played in 23 games at the FCS level. He played in a run heavy, play action heavy pro style offense. His two National Championship wins that are used as a positive for him, are a negative for me; his predecessor won 4. So They’ve won without Wentz. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a very talented physical specimen, who’s as adept as running through a defense as he is throwing through it. I just don’t want to have to mortgage my future on the projection of this kid becoming what everyone is saying he will be.
Biggest Sleeper: Trevone Boykin Texas Christian 6’0″ 212
Before his bar incident, Boykin was getting the per usual black quarterback treatment of “Does he have a better shot at WR than at QB?” However, after he ran a 4.77 at the Combine, those questions have since gone away. In my opinion, Boykin has always been a fairly legitimate QB prospect anyways, as his touch on deep throws is very impressive for someone who only played the position for two years at the college level. He’s also shown the ability to quickly move through his progressions, a necessary trait coming out of the wide-open offense he ran at TCU. He needs some time to develop, but don’t be surprised to see Boykin as a starter in three to five years, in a Tyrod Taylor type situation.
Small School Stud: John Robertson Villanova 6’1″ 216
John Robertson is one of the most exciting football players I’ve ever seen play the game. He’s an electric athlete, who puts an insane amount of stress on the defense. He lacks the ideal height, and is coming off of a torn PCL which ended his career at Villanova. His playing style reminds me of a more athletic Tony Romo, as a lot of his big plays are improvisations off of broken plays. He nearly led an upset over Syracuse in 2014, and was putting up impressive numbers before his 2015 season was cut short. He won’t be drafted, but Robertson definitely has the ability to stick on an NFL roster.
My Quarterback Rankings:
- Jared Goff California 6’4″ 215 1st Round
- Carson Wentz NDSU 6’5″ 237 1st-2nd Round
- Paxton Lynch Memphis 6’6″ 244 1st-2nd Round
- Connor Cook Michigan St. 6’4″ 217 2nd-3rd Round
- Cardale Jones Ohio State 6’5″ 253 3rd Round
- Christian Hackenberg Penn State 6’4″ 223 4th Round
- Dak Prescott Mississippi St. 6’2″ 226 5th Round
- Trevone Boykin TCU 6’0″ 212 5th Round
- Vernon Adams Jr. Oregon 5’11” 200 6th Round
- Brandon Allen Arkansas 6’1″ 217 6th-7th Round