1. Jimmy Clausen ND – This is controversial to be sure. Call me crazy, but I’m over the spiky-haired, high-school-championship-ring-showi
ng presser Clausen had preceding his commitment to Notre Dame. Jimmy C had a 68% completion percentage as a junior. He was a 3-year starter. And he played in a system that required him to take some snaps from center (wonder of wonders). I think he’s the only QB this year that can start immediately. Some question his attitude and maybe he is cocky. But I saw him taking notes at John Gruden’s ESPN QB camp. He wants to get rid of that perception that he’s arrogant. This kid has it in him and I think some teams know it. They just won’t admit it. Clausen won’t experience an Aaron Rodgers or Brady Quinn type free-fall this draft. Call it a hunch, but I like the guy.
2. Sam Bradford Okl – Even if this guy hadn’t injured his throwing arm twice in 2009, I’d have my doubts. He played in a spread. Sooner QBs haven’t exactly had a shining success rate. He seemed unsure when under heavy pressure. He just doesn’t seem to have that fire, that “it” that an NFL starter should have. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt because so many scouts have him ranked so high, and because no other QB really stands out physically or mentally to me. But if I were on St. Louie’s draft team, I’d be pushing for them to take Clausen. Bradford seems like a boom or bust pick to me. Good luck Sam. And good luck to whoever takes him.
3. Colt McCoy Tex – He’s got the winning percentage. He’s got the completion percentage. I’m not too concerned with his height. But he seems too nice. NFL players need that edge. QBs need to be leaders of men. Can Colt be an NFL starter? Yes, I think he can. But I don’t think it will be this year or next. It’s going to take some time for him to establish himself as more than a humble kid with question marks about his toughness and size. I really question that last throw against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship game. Seriously, what was he thinking? He has a lot to learn. But not as much as the rest on this list. McCoy is the last of the 3 guys I think has a chance to be a decent starter within the next few seasons.
4. Dan LeFevour Central Mich – At first, I loved this guy. Like Tebow, but a righty, so better (more on that later). But his competition was less than stellar. And questions have emerged about arm strength. I still like him and I think he can overcome his limitations, but how long will that take? To me, the specter of Charlie Frye looms: a MAC QB with good numbers against…well, MAC teams. LeFevour has a long way to go.
5. Jonathan Crompton Tenn – Crompton has come on strong. I think the facts that he improved the last half of the 2009 season under pro-style coach Lane Kiffen and he shined in workouts helped his stock. Crompton is hit-or-miss (aren’t they all?). I personally think he has high upside. He has shown the ability to improve. A patient team will nurture him. An impatient team will ruin him.
6. Zac Robinson Okl St – This guy is the most underrated so far. He has the arm. He has the ability. Give him some time and he will be a top-notch backup at the least. I see this guy as a surprise gem down the road.
7. Tony Pike Cin – I can’t get into this guy. He’s a system QB. He’s kind of thin. He’s had injuries. Can he be a solid backup for a good team? Sure. Is he worth a pick before round 4? No.
8. Levi Brown Troy – I don’t have much to go on but a gutsy bowl game duel against LeFevour. But Levi stepped up with something on the line. I just have a feeling he can succeed long term in the right situation. He’d be a good developmental pick for a team with 2 established QBs. How many of those teams exist?
9. Tim Tebow Fla – The thing I hate most about Tebow isn’t the goody-goody image. I certainly don’t hate his college success. I hate that he’s left-handed. Few teams are equipped with the personnel to develop a lefty. How many teams have a premiere right tackle? Seriously? This guy is not Steve Young, or Boomer Esiason. He might not even be Matt Leinart. Plus, I think that Tebow is too focused on correcting his throwing motion. He looked like a robot on his pro day. I appreciate his work ethic but jeesh. Did anyone else think it was odd that while questions abound about his ability to take a snap from center, he did not have a center snapping to him at the pro day? Why didn’t he have a center? Was that his call or the teams at the workout? I was absolutely dumbfounded by that. If you have a 6th rounder to throw away, use it on Timmy T. Otherwise…
10. John Skelton Fur – Did I mention this QB class was weak? Skelton has the size and the laser…rocket arm. But whom has he played against? Some people seem to think he’s like Joe Flacco. Some people also seem to think Modern Family is a funny show. I’m just not sold.
Guys I like more than other people: Clausen, LeFeVour, Robinson
Guy who made the biggest mistake coming out early: Jevan Snead Ole Miss. I don’t know what he was thinking. I don’t even know if he will be drafted. He probably will, but it will be late.
Guy I like as a late pick but it makes little sense because he only started one full year and had 19 career TDs and 20 INTs: Mike Kafka NWU.
Guy who maybe should have replaced Skelton at #10 on my list: Armanti Edwards. But alas, closed-minded NFL people look at his short stature and athletic ability and see a guy they can move to WR.
Just for kicks: Dominic Randolph Holy Cross. Why not? Aside from the top 3 on this list, he may have as good a shot as any.<!--EndFragment-->