Quarterbacks

Notable not in this preview: J.P. Losman, Tulane. I could not warrant Losman a full review, but I have seen some of him. He has good arm strength has good mobility. Some of things that concern me is his lack of accuracy and his poor decision making. There is also some talk that he is more of a Jeff George-type than a Peyton Manning when it comes to leadership. If Losman had appeared in this preview, he probably would have been a fourth round prospect.

First Round


Eli Manning

(6'5" 221 4.9) Mississippi Senior

Pros: Has good arm strength and accuracy. Has good presence in the pocket and has good footwork. Shows some mobility to avoid the pass rush and escape the pocket. Makes good decisions and puts the ball where it needs to be.
Cons: Doesn't throw well on the move. Needs to improve touch on his deep balls.
NFL Forecast: Manning is a polished passer that is ready for the NFL. He's got the arm strength and good accuracy to be a top passer on this next level. His decision making is pretty good and he doesn't have the mental errors that many of the top passers have. One question is if he will put in the ungodly overtime hours that his elder brother puts into the video room. But even if he puts in half that much, it still will be more than enough by NFL standards. His main flaw is that his arm strength is not monster (like Michael Vick), nor is his accuracy as pinpoint as the top guys in the NFL. But he's definitely up in the upper echelon of all these categories. He'll be a good player, and has teh ability to start as a rookie. Like all first year quarterbacks, he'll struggle, but he should be able to put it all together by his second or third year and take his role as a top passer in the NFL.
Value: No. 1 overall plain and simple.

Ben Roethlisberger

(6'5" 240 4.95) Miami of Ohio Senior

Pros: Can see the field and make all of the throws. Has good poise and feel for the pocket and has a good feel for the pass rush. Has a quick release and throws the ball hard with touch and accuracy. Has the arm strength that can thread the needle. Works well out of the shotgun.
Cons: Doesn't check all his reads and will lock onto receivers. Has limited mobility and won't make plays with his feet.
NFL Forecast: Roethlisberger has a bright NFL future, he'll just need some time to adjust to the pro game. He's not as polished as past top prospects in terms of his reads, but he's got the arm strength and size that scouts love. I suspect he will be another passer that will take some time before he really makes a big impact on the league, probably around 5-7 years. But that doesn't mean he won't be an effective starter before that. I don't think he'll have a lot of success early in his career as a starter, but he should be adequate.
NFL Comparison: Peyton Manning, Colts.
Value: First Round. Probably not as polished as some past top ten picks, but his upside puts him there.

Second Round


none.

Third Round


Philip Rivers

(6'5" 224 4.97) N.C. State Senior

Pros: Does a good job dissecting defenses when given time to make throws. Very good accuracy on short and intermediate routes. Comfortable working from the shotgun and shows good intelligence and ability to read the field.
Cons: Has awkward throwing motion and mechanics, flinging the ball rather than throwing it. Ability to make deep throws is questionable until this is corrected. Lacks great mobility and is stiff in the pocket.
NFL Forecast: Rivers plays mostly mistake-free football. His physical abilities are lacking in terms of arm strength and mobility, but he makes up for it in the intangibles and results. This is similar to what Ken Dorsey faced last year, but Rivers projects better to the NFL than Dorsey did. His future is a bit up in the air. With the right team and offense, he could be a very effective passer. In the wrong one, he could struggle a lot. I suspect that he can be an above average starting quarterback, but he's going to need his mechanics worked with a bit before he can reach that level.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Third Round. A work in progress, but the intangibles are enough to get him a late pick in the third round.

John Navarre

(6'6" 245 5.18) Michigan Senior

Pros: Has nice arm strength and has good accuracy and touch on the short routes. Has good footwork in the pocket and is comfortable making throws and reads there.
Cons: Needs better work on his deep ball. Has been criticized for only being effective at home. Lacks mobility and won't be able to escape the pocket. Will make some poor throws and will throw into double coverage.
NFL Forecast: He's a classic pocket passer that is a bit erratic. He has a good future, he just needs some more consistency. I think he's going to be a quality NFL starting quarterback, although he may never be among the best in the league. He may need a few years before he can be expected to do a lot. He's more of a long-term solution at quarterback that will probably need 5-7 years before he makes a big impact on the NFL, but it should eventually come.
Value: Third Round. He merits an early third round selection.

Matt Schaub

(6'5" 233 4.99) Virginia Senior

Pros: Has good arm strength and will deliver accurate passes. Has some mobility to avoid the rush and has a good feel for the pocket.
Cons: His arm strength is not very effective when trying to throw the deep passes.
NFL Forecast: I really like Schaub since he is an accurate passer, but mostly on the short and intermediate routes. He looks like he could be an effective starter in the West Coast offense. He's not an overwhelming passer, but he is quietly consistent and seems like the type you want in the game when it's on the line in the fourth quarter. I think he'll be an above average quarterback that won't ever be one of the elite passers in the league, but should be a capable and reliable starter.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Fourth Round. He has enough skills to sneak into the late third round.

Fourth Round


none.

Fifth Round


Craig Krenzel

(6'3" 228 4.85) Ohio State Senior

Pros: Has good arm strength and pretty good accuracy. Has good mobility and does a good job feeling pressure in the pocket. Does a good job reading defenses and making throws from the pocket.
Cons: Not always accurate on many of the easy passes, and will force a few passes. Arm is not that strong and doesnít have a great deep ball. Sometimes gets happy feet and looks to run without going through all his progressions. Needs to work on his footwork.
NFL Forecast: I think he could be an effective starting quarterback on the next level. Heís not the most physically gifted quarterback, but he won a lot at Ohio State, and did a good job managing the game. An extremely smart person, that I think would work best in a West Coast Offense. Sometimes his intelligence doesn't always translate well on the field, but the potential is there. But he has the ability to play in almost any offense. May not be an elite quarterback, but should be a quality starter that doesnít make a lot of mistakes and keeps his team in the game.
Value: Intangibles and intelligence make him worth an early fourth round pick.

Casey Clausen

(6'3" 223 4.95) Tennessee Senior

Pros: Good arm strength and improved accuracy from past years. Has good touch. Shows some mobility and has a good feel in the pocket.
Cons: Doesnít have big arm and needs more zip on the short routes. Not going to make plays with his feet. Might need to work on mechanics of throwing.
NFL Forecast: Clausen is in the vein of the Trent Dilfer and Jon Kitna type quarterbacks. Heís not going to be a star, but could be an effective starter since heís not going to make a lot of mistakes. He wonít make too many big throws or big plays, but heís effective running the offense and plays well when he can get into a groove throwing the football. Heís got a nice arm, but I think one of the reasons his arm strength is not great is because he doesnít have the classic throwing motion or release. If a coach can ìcorrectî that, then his arm strength will show a little better. At the least, he'll make an excellent backup on the next level, and if things go right he can be a capable, if not spectacular starter.
Value: Fifth round. He doesn't have huge upside, but is a good prospect.

Matt Mauck

(6'2" 215 4.75) LSU Junior

Pros: Has nice arm strength and is accurate on the short and intermediate routes. Has some mobility to escape the pocket and avoid the pass rush.
Cons: Doesn't show great prowess for the deep pass. Will make some poor decisions and throw into double coverage too often.
NFL Forecast: Why he decided to enter the draft is a bit of an enigma. He was weighing his options between going to dentistry school, staying with the Tigers for another season, or entering the draft. But the last one seemed like a longshot, but he took it. He should have stayed for another year. He has upside, and if he can get the game down mentally, he'll be a good quarterback. But he won't be a great NFL player if he even achieves his potential. At best, I see him as an above average starter. Otherwise, he's a backup candidate. He probably has a brighter outlook as a dentist.
Value: Fifth Round. He's got upside, but right now doesn't have anything that really distinguishes him from the field.

Sixth Round


Jeff Smoker

(6'3" 225 5.02) Michigan State Senior

Pros: Has good arm strength and touch. Has mobility to avoid pass rush and escape pocket. Is comfortable in shotgun and has toughness to stand in pocket and deliver the football.
Cons: Makes poor decisions and will throw into coverage. Very uncomfortable when outside pocket and makes most of his mistakes when he's on the run. Needs to improve footwork, and his accuracy is lacking mostly due to it.
NFL Forecast: Smoker overcame some adversity due to a drug problem, and that is probably the biggest factor that helps his NFL prospects because he has shown more maturity than many other prospects. But at the same time, Smoker is not gifted physically and still makes far too many mistakes and poor decisions with the football to really project as anything more than a backup quarterback. He's going to need time to develop his mental game, and in the long run could make a good backup, but would be a poor starter.
Value: Good enough all-around abilities to get looks in the sixth round.

Rod Rutherford

(6'2" 223 4.75) Pittsburgh Senior

Pros: Has good arm strength and good mobility. A physical runner in the open field that is not afraid to go up against linebackers. Can throw the deep ball, and has quick delivery and good footwork in the pocket.
Cons: Holds onto the ball too long and will lock onto receivers. Will make poor decisions and his accuracy is poor and erratic.
NFL Forecast: He's made huge strides in the past two years, and with the right coaching, he'll continue to do so on the next level. As a sophomore, he was a pure option quarterback. Now he's turned into a capable pocket passer. He still needs to work on the mental parts of the game, but he has the arm strength and mechanics to be a good quarterback on the next level. There has been some talk of moving him to wide receiver, but he lacks the speed to play that position or any other position besides quarterback. He could develop into a capable starter, but that would really only happen if he got a good coach that was committed to molding him into that type of quarterback. Most likely, he'll be a career backup and underachiever in the mold of Kordell Stewart and Tony Banks.
Value: Sixth Round. Has great upside, but he's a project.

Seventh Round


Josh Harris

(6'1" 234 4.79) Bowling Green Senior

Pros: Has great athleticism and elusiveness to make plays with his feet. Is comfortable working from the shotgun. Has pretty good arm strength and is capable of making the short and intermediate throws.
Cons: Lacks great arm strength and his passes tend to float, especially on the deep balls. Lacks accuracy and will struggle to see the field because of his experience working in the spread formation. Needs to improve his footwork and lacks a feel for the pocket and tends to get happy feet.
NFL Forecast: He's a major project at the quarterback position. He doesn't have a big arm and he is mentally inexperienced for the pro level, so there might be some talk of moving him to another position. He doesn't have blazing speed or is a truly gifted runner, so he may not project well to wideout or running back. He's a project that with a few years of work, he could develop into a reliable backup quarterback. He has upside, but I don't ever see him fulfilling it.
NFL Comparison: David Garrard, Jaguars.
Value: Seventh Round. Gifted, but too raw as of now.

Undrafted


Jim Sorgi

(6'3" 207 4.68) Wisconsin Senior

Pros: Has mobility to buy himself extra time in the pocket. Shows nice pocket awareness and is comfortable making throws from the pocket. Not afraid to take a hit. He can make most of the throws, but is best used in the intermediate game. He has nice arm strength and is capable of making the deep throws.
Cons: Lacks touch on his passes. Accuracy needs more work. Doesn't have a cannon and could use some work on his release a bit. Lacks size which brings up durability concerns.
NFL Forecast: Sorgi might be able to stick in the NFL as a backup. But that's all he's going to be since he doesn't have any overwhelming abilities. His arm strength and mobility will get him a shot at making an NFL roster, but he really needs to improve on his touch and accuracy. I could see him impressing a team enough to merit keeping as a No. 3 quarterback, but his upside is not huge.
Value: Undrafted. Worth a shot in camp, but not good enough to draft.

Ryan Dinwiddie

(6'1" 195 4.83) Boise State Senior

Pros: Has nice arm strength and shows good accuracy and ability to complete the short and intermediate passes. Has good mobility and can make plays with his legs. Comfortable working from the shotgun and has a good feel for pressure and awareness in the pocket.
Cons: Needs some work on his footwork. Doesn't have great arm strength and he lacks touch on his deep balls. Will force passes and make poor decisions. Accuracy is nothing special, and his ability to read the field is questionable.
NFL Forecast: He could have success in the West Coast system, where his arm strength won't be a discriminating factor. Has the tools to develop into a decent NFL backup, but lacks great upside. I don't see him climbing up many NFL depth charts in the future, but he'll probably be able to stick around as a No. 3 for a few years.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. For a West Coast team, he might merit attention at the end of the seventh round, but otherwise is only a camp body.

Nathan Chandler

(6'7" 251 4.97) Iowa Senior

Pros: Effective on short and intermediate routes. Has great size and surprising mobility for a player his size. Has a good feel for the pocket and capable of standing in there and making the tough throws.
Cons: Lacks arm strength and accuracy. Has poor touch on the deep throws and erratic on the short ones.
NFL Forecast: He's as big as a statue, but he has some mobility which allows him to avoid the pass rush. Chandler's size is intriguing enough to get him looks in the NFL since only Daunte Culpepper is as big. But Chandler doesn't do a whole lot besides stand out in a crowd. He's only an average pocket passer and his lack of arm strength will probably mean he'll have trouble sticking in the NFL.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. Worth bringing to camp, but lacks upside

Bill Whittemore

(6' 205 4.75) Kansas Senior

Pros: Has good mobility and average arm strength. Has good awareness and feel for the pass rush.
Cons: Uncomfortable in the pocket. Gets happy feet and is not your standard dropback passer. Lacks good accuracy and size.
NFL Forecast: He doesn't really impress you in any area. He's good enough to get some looks in an NFL camp, but really needs to make strides in the mental aspect of the position to have any serious shot at sticking. His combination of mobility and arm strength are nice, but he's only above average at best in both areas.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. Worth bringing to camp, but should have little expectations of actually making a roster.

Casey Kelly

(6'3" 193 4.98) New Mexico Senior

Pros: Has above average arm strength and accuracy. Has mobility to gain yards with his feet when plays break down.
Cons: Lacks ability to make the deep throws. Tends to get happy feet and will make poor decisions. Lacks size you want and has questionable durability.
NFL Forecast: Kelly is a decent quarterback prospect, but doesn't excel in any area to really have much upside in the NFL. Could develop into a decent backup, but is going to have to really impress teams with a lot of the little things. It's doubtful he will make any team's roster as a rookie, and probably will have to go to the Arena Leagues to have a shot at the pro game.
NFL Comparison:
Value: Undrafted. Should get a few looks in a training camp, but he doesn't really have it.

Ell Roberson

(5'11" 190 4.61) Kansas State Senior

Pros: Has excellent arm strength. Has great athleticism and mobility and can make plays with his feet and buy time in the pocket. Very difficult to sack.
Cons: poor feel for the pocket and needs to improve his footwork. Accuracy is poor and lacks touch on most of his passes.
NFL Forecast: quarterback position, but heís too much of a prospect. Never really gets into a groove throwing the football, so I say that is good evidence that heís not going to make it at that position on the next level. Will probably move to wide receiver, and depending on how well he can work out at that position will determine if he can be drafted. His knowledge of the passing game should help his adjustment, but heís mostly an athlete and tweener.
NFL Comparison: Antwaan Randle-El, Steelers.
Value: Great athlete, but too much of a project at the quarterback position.

Asad Abdul-Khaliq

(6' 215 4.70) Minnesota Senior

Pros: Shows good arm strength and has good athleticism. Has good running ability and can make plays with his feet. Can make throws on the run.
Cons: Is not comfortable making throws from the pocket and gets happy feet. Lacks accuracy and consistency as a passer. Erratic and shows little ability to read defenses.
NFL Forecast: He lacks polish as a passer, and he might have to move to wide receiver in the NFL. Has the athleticism to adjust to the position, but it's unknown if he'll adjust. His knowledge of the passing game at quarterback should help him, but it's all up to how well he can catch the ball. As a quarterback, he has little ability to make it on the next level. His best hope is that he can impress a team enough at wide receiver that they keep him for a few years to develop him.
Value: Undrafted. Mostly because he lacks a true position.

 

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