Unlike last year, this draft isn’t very deep at the quarterback position. Last year happened to be a pretty strong class of quarterbacks as Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco came in right away and led their teams to the playoffs and should be stars for years to come. Chad Henne also has the potential to become an elite quarterback when the Dolphins start him which is most likely in 2010. Here are my quarterback rankings for this year’s class.
1. Matt Stafford Georgia
2. Mark Sanchez USC
3. Josh Freeman Kansas State
4. Nate Davis Ball State
5. Rhett Bomar Sam Houston State
6. Brian Hoyer Michigan State
7. Curtis Painter Purdue
8. Pat White West Virginia
9. Todd Boeckman Ohio State
10. Graham Harrell Texas Tech
2009 class grade: C
Matt Stafford has one of the strongest arms in all of football and has the potential to be a pro bowl caliber player. Stafford though needs to work on his accuracy, consistency and his footwork which at times can get sloppy.
Mark Sanchez has all of the tools to be a very good quarterback in the NFL. He has excellent mechanics and played best in big games. The only problem is he only started 16 games in college so the potential to be a one year wonder is there.
Josh Freeman could have more upside then any quarterback in this class. He has prototypical size and a very strong arm. He didn’t put up gaudy numbers in college mainly due to the fact that he didn’t have anywhere near the supporting casts that Stafford and Sanchez had. Due to the Joe Flacco effect last year, Freeman is flying up draft boards and could end up being selected in the first half of round one.
Nate Davis is a proven winner who put the Ball State program on the map and has a big arm. He doesn’t have the ideal height you look for but if given two or three years to develop, could become a solid starter.
Rhett Bomar is best known as the guy who was kicked out of Oklahoma but has turned his career around since. He has a strong arm and if coached properly could become a good pro.
Brian Hoyer didn’t put up eye popping numbers at Michigan State, but is moving up draft boards. Hoyer performed well at both the East-West shrine game at the combine. He is one of the fastest rising quarterbacks on the board and could be picked in round four or five.
Curtis Painter is the Brian Brohm of this year’s class. Before the year, everyone had Painter going in the first round. Now, he projects more as a possible late round pick. Painter has talent and is worth a team taking a chance on him in day two.
Pat White by most isn’t projected at quarterback at the next level. Say what you want about him but White if a proven winner. He is undersized but is a better passer and has a stronger arm then people realize. Even though he is reluctant to do receiver drills, if White decides to take on the challenge and change positions he could have a similar career to Antwan Randle El.
Todd Boeckman had a very solid junior season before splitting time with freshman phenom Terrelle Pryor. That sounds like a story very similar to Tom Brady’s who split time with Drew Henson before establishing himself as one of the best quarterbacks of all time. Now in no way shape or form am I comparing Boeckman to Brady, just don’t underestimate him. Boeckman has prototypical size and good presence in the pocket. Out of all the quarterbacks who will be drafted on day two of this year’s draft, Boeckman has the most upside.
Graham Harrell had an excellent career at Texas Tech but it will be very hard for him to adjust to the pros. He didn’t have to make many NFL type throws and it will be a challenge getting used to taking the ball from center. Unlike the other Texas Tech quarterback products, Harrell has the ability to become a decent backup in the NFL.