Quarterbacks

Class Review: This class is not very strong, considering there's probably going to be a large dropoff in talent after the fourth round. This class has two elite prospects in David Carr and Joey Harrington. The second tier players are Patrick Ramsey and Kurt Kittner. After them, probably the best players are Rohan Davey and Josh McCown. After those six players, then you have a notable dropoff in talent. Those six are generally perceived by most as the starting quarterback-caliber players. There may be a few finds after those six in terms of future starters, but not likely. Most of the other players drafted will probably never become more than backups.



FIRST ROUND


David Carr
(6'3" 233) Fresno State (4.85e)

Carr is the top passer in this year's draft. Earlier the "experts" were not liking him a lot, but they've started to change their minds recently. I've thought of Carr as a Top 5 prospect the entire year. He does not do anything particularly great, but he does every thing well. He has good arm strength and accuracy to make every throw you ask him to. He has excellent pocket presence and can pick apart defenses from there. He is athletic and can avoid rushers and make plays with his legs. I believe he is the best all-around prospect to come out in a long time. Manning was a great passer, but was not there in the legs category. Couch was similar, while Vick was there with the arm and legs, but was not mentally prepared. Carr is basically a mix of all these players rolled into one. Carr will likely get the opportunity to start as a rookie, although it would probably be best that he take over the position in his sophomore season. Carr is going to be an excellent pro. I believe he'll fit best in a West Coast system, but he could play in a more traditional offense also. Carr is ambiguous as the #1 pick. I would take him there if I had no other pressing needs, just like the Texans do, but I don't rank him as the #1 prospect. But he is definitely Top 3 talent.

Joey Harrington
(6'4" 220) Oregon (4.9)

Harrington is just a step under Carr in terms of ability. He has good arm strength, accuracy, and the athletic ability to make plays with his legs. He has it all. In recent weeks, the gap between Harrington and Carr has narrowed significantly. It's interesting to think that both were close back in September and October, but then the gap was widened as the season progressed. But Harrington has finished out his senior season very well, with an excellent Bowl game and outperforming Carr in offseason workouts despite a knee injury he suffered in the East-West Shrine Game in mid-January. The things that kept Harrington from being an elite prospect has been his inconsistency. Often times he does not do much until the fourth quarter, where he's best. That would remind many of Jake Plummer who had that same problem in 1998. His inconsistency hurt him early on this year and in 2000. And for that, he probably will not be drafted ahead of Carr. Just like Carr, Harrington could start as a rookie. Harrington would probably be even a better fit for a West Coast Offense than Carr. used to not be too high on Harrington before. But I've changed my mind since then and believe that he is a definite Top 10 caliber player. He's not as good as Carr, but he's definitely a solid pro. Depending on need, it would not be a bad selection if he's taken as early as #3.


THIRD ROUND


Kurt Kittner
(6'3" 205) Illinois (5.0)

I like Kittner. He's a good passer. His arm strength is limited, but there are a lot of starters in the league that fit into the same category. Kittner has had poor off-season workouts which have definitely hurt him. He has good skills, and his accuracy is not as good as the top two prospects, but it's decent. Kittner would work best in a system where his limitations would be avoided, such as an offense that does not emphasize the vertical passing game. He's just not capable of making those passes. So then obviously, the West Coast comes to mind. His upside is good, but he is probably only worth a third round pick.


FOURTH ROUND


Rohan Davey
(6'2" 240) LSU (4.7)

His biggest drawback is lack of experience. 2001 was his first as the starter since he played behind Josh Booty in 2000. Davey has good skills: strong arm, nice accuracy, and the ability to escape the pocket. He's a little bit rawer than the other prospects because of his lack of experience, but is just as much gifted. Davey will have to sit for a while before he can make a difference. I see him as a Steve McNair and starts to show some things four or five years into his NFL careers. Davey should be good, but I don't really see him becoming great, much like McNair. Because he is a bit more raw, Davey probably could fall into the fourth round, but in terms of upside he could go in the third round quite easily. I'd rate him as a fourth rounder though.


SIXTH ROUND


Randy Fasani
(6'3" 234) Stanford (4.8)

Fasani has skills to work with. His arm strength is pretty good and has the ability to make plays with his legs. He has some skills to build upon, but will need time to work on his other skills if he wants to be a successful NFL passer. His accuracy and decision making need some work. Upside could push him into the fifth round, but I think of him as a sixth round prospect.

Major Applewhite
(6' 215) Texas (5.1)

He will be overlooked by some teams because of his lack of prototypical size and arm strength. But Applewhite makes up for it with heart and just pure passing skills. He is a solid quarterback who is an excellent leader and wins games. But he will be limited to where he can play successfully because of his physical limitations. Applewhite would probably fit best in a West Coast system, where his arm strength will not have to be tested often. But he will likely land somewhere as a backup and at the very least be an excellent player in that role. I think he'll earn a starting job at one point in his career. He has the passing and quarterbacking skills to be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round, but his physical limitations push him further back. He probably won't be taken until the seventh round, if taken at all.


SEVENTH ROUND


David Garrard
(6'1" 250) East Carolina (4.8)

Garrard definitely blew his chances of a big payday by having a subpar senior year. Following his junior year, it looked like he was close to being a late first round pick, and at the very least a second round pick. But his senior year was marred with inconsistency. Garrard is blessed with a great arm and great athletic ability. Some liken him to Daunte Culpepper, and they are similar players. But Garrard is very erratic when throwing from the pocket. He gets happy feet and is not comfortable there, and often times will take off and run. Physically, he is probably the best prospect in the draft with his arm and feet, but mentally he is a long ways away from being a developed passer. Garrard is definitely going to have a few years to prove himself, just like Michael Bishop did a few years back. A team will keep him for a few seasons to see how he progresses. Whether he can continue to have an NFL career after his first contract runs out is beyond me. He'll have to show good progression. He definitely has upside to be a solid starter, but I don't think he'll ever develop that much. I really like Garrard's upside. Based upon that, he's a first day pick easily. But mentally he is unprepared for the jump to the pros, and is a seventh round prospect.


UNDRAFTED


Shaun Hill
(6'2" 225) Maryland (4.8e)

Hill has good size, but is only average at best in all other areas. He has decent arm strength and accuracy, but won't impress too many people with them. He looks more like a prototypical backup quarterback: a smart player who is not as physically gifted as the starter. But because of this, he probably won't make it that far in the league because he does not have a lot of upside. If his arm was stronger, I'd say he would be a seventh round prospect.

Kyle McCann
(6'4" 205) Iowa (4.8e)

McCann has some skills to build around. He has good size and mobility, and a decent arm. He reminds me of Bubby Brister. Like Brister for the latter part of his career, McCann will probably be a backup in the NFL. He looks like he projects well to a West Coast system. He does not have a whole lot of skills, but could impress enough to make a practice squad with a good training camp.

Ronald Curry
(6'2" 210) North Carolina (4.6)

Curry is not very developed as a passer. He has a cannon for an arm and can make plays with his feet, but his is far too inconsistent to be drafted. He was a top high school prospect, but never really developed as a passer much past his freshman year. On some drives and plays, he'll look great. At other times, he looks lost on the field. Curry has the skills to impress a team during the summer, but some teams may try to move him to wide receiver, where his size and athleticism could make him a top target. I think his NFL career will be very short as a quarterback, but he could have a long career if he makes a successful transition to wide receiver. He has better skills to build on than the other undrafted prospects, but he is too raw and inconsistent.

David Priestley
(6'3" 200) Pittsburgh (4.85e)

Physically, Priestley has almost everything you want in a quarterback: good arm strength, ability to escape the pocket, and good size. But he makes too many poor decisions and his accuracy is erratic. Priestley is just too inconsistent. He definitely has upside, but will need good coaching and some time to develop.

George Godsey
(6'2" 200) Georgia Tech (4.9)

Godsey has some nice skills to build upon. His arm strength is nothing special, and neither are his accuracy and decision making. But he is athletic and can make plays with his feet. But he is going to have to show a lot more as a passer before he can expect to have a pro career. He's not developed very much as a passer.


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