2011 NFL Draft Player Rankings: Quarterbacks
NFLSoup is starting at the quarterback position, ranking the top signal callers in the NCAA in terms of NFL potential for the NFL Draft in April.
Many of these quarterbacks will strive to be the next Peyton Manning, John Elway, or Joe Montana, and quite a few of them have the potential to become Super Bowl caliber quarterbacks.
Check out NFL Soup’s top quarterback prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft.
1) Blaine Gabbert- Missouri- 6’4 234*
Gabbert has a pretty strong arm, and is exceptional making passes toward the sidelines. Like Newton, he needs work throwing to the middle of the field, as he isn’t as good at threading the needle, but with improved accuracy, he could be a very good quarterback at the next level. Gabbert also does well making plays with his feet, although he does tend to get happy feet in the pocket. He has an excellent throwing motion and quick release, and is just a year or two from being coached up to be a top notch quarterback.
Projection: Top 10
2) Cam Newton- Auburn- 6’5 248*
Cam Newton has come out of nowhere to lead a talented Auburn team to the top of the NCAA rankings. What makes Newton special is his versatility. Newton is a threat in the passing game, and he makes huge plays on the run. Most scrambling quarterbacks tend to struggle throwing the ball, but Newton puts good zip on his passes and has surprisingly nice accuracy. When he sets his feet he’s a threat to make a deep throw down field, but he could work on throwing to the middle of the field.
Projection: Top 5
3) Ryan Mallett- Arkansas- 6’7 253*
Mallett is a big, strong armed quarterback. Mallett stands tall in the pocket and delivers throws all over the field, but really has a knack for finding his receivers deep. He’s greatly improved his accuracy in the middle of the field, and zips the ball on a rope to his receivers. His deep ball accuracy could improve, but in one on one situation’s, he generally doesn’t fail. He’s a risk taker down the field, sometimes a bit too confident in his arm, but that can be improved. He threw for an outstanding 9.0 per attempt in 2009. Rumors of him being a locker room cancer raise a red flag, as well as allegations of cocaine and marijuana usage.
Projection: 2nd round
4) Jake Locker- Washington- 6’3 231
This 6’3 230 pound specimen is one of the most talented players in college football. He puts good zip on the ball, really doing well with the short-intermediate routes. He’s improved each season, and with a bit more accuracy he will become an elite NFL quarterback. We want to see Locker set his feet and throw more, however. He has the arm, and he can throw the ball with accuracy, but he’s often throwing on the run, and forcing the ball in some instances. He’s been known to miss wide open receivers, often over thinking the throw, but the upside is as good as anybody else in the draft.
Projection: 2nd round
5) Colin Kaepernick- Nevada- 6’5 233
Kaepernick’s run and shoot ability is fantastic at Nevada. Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of offense that’s run in the NFL often. He makes a lot of plays with his feet, and in the air, as his big frame isn’t easily knocked down. As a drop back passer, Kaepernick has seemed to improve, however. He does a nice job when he has to set his feet, and can make all of the NFL throws with his arm strength. His size is excellent, and he’s a play maker that could make a nice impact in the NFL with more knowledge of the offense, and ability to recognize different coverages.
6) Christian Ponder- Florida State- 6’2 229
I have Ponder a bit lower on my board than many others do. I don’t think Ponder is a bad quarterback at all, but his decision making really makes him a risky quarterback at the next level. Ponder has good sideline accuracy, but he doesn’t have a very strong arm, and doesn’t put much zip on the football. He is great in eluding the pass rush, and making plays on the run, but I want to see better decisions out of the guy. He’s a short-intermediate passer who rarely makes a big play. In 2010, his longest pass play has been just 41 yards. But the upside is there as he’s very coachable.
Projection: 2nd round
7) Andy Dalton- TCU- 6’2 215
It’s not often that a TCU quarterback becomes a legit draft option, but Dalton has a lot of upside. While Dalton makes quite a few plays downfield, it’s his accuracy that really stands out. He seems to make the necessary plays late in the game that gives TCU the extra boost. He’s a smart passer and more of a game manager than anything, but he could be a solid option at the next level. He’s highly underrated, and his football IQ is fantastic. He has the intangibles to succeed and appears to be an excellent leader.
8 ) Ricky Stanzi- Iowa- 6’4 223
Stanzi has been a blessing for Iowa fans with his smart quarterback play. His arm strength is mediocre at best, but his accuracy and intelligence sets him apart from many of the other quarterbacks in his class. He could be an option for a West Coast Offense as a project, and solid backup.
9) Pat Devlin- Delaware- 6’3 225
If there’s one word to associate the former Penn State transfer with, it’s “accuracy”. Devlin can make all the short-intermediate passes and really only struggles with deep ball accuracy. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he utilizes his accuracy to dink and dunk his way down the field. He’s excellent leading his receivers and allowing them to make plays after the catch and keeps the ball at chest level putting it where only his receiver can catch it.
10) Nathan Enderle- Idaho- 6’4 240
When you look at Enderle, you see a strong armed pocket passer. Enderle can make all of the throws with his arm, but has very questionable decision making and accuracy. He will struggle with short/intermediate routes, and needs to work on reading defenses.
11) Greg McElroy- Alabama- 6’2 220
McElroy is a solid game manager type quarterback who is accurate in the middle of the field, and has above average arm strength. His biggest strength is his football IQ and could make an excellent backup quarterback at the next level.
12) Tyrod Taylor- Virginia Tech- 6’1 217
Taylor has a strong arm, but lacks decision making and accuracy to succeed at the next level. He has very nice athleticism, and can make plays on the run. He needs to improve his overall knowledge of the game, and learn how to read defenses in order to succeed at the next level. He’s quite the athlete, and some think he’s a poor man’s Michael Vick.
13) T.J. Yates- North Carolina- 6’3 219
Yates has a big enough arm to make all the throws on the field. His accuracy could be improved, but his decision making has been his biggest improvement in 2010 compared to past seasons. He’s still making plays despite the loss of his star wide receiver Greg Little, and he’s found ways to keep winning games in the ACC.
14) Ben Chappell- Indiana- 6’3 240
Chappell’s throwing motion is as ugly as they come, but he has a strong arm and knows how to put touch on his passes. His decision making needs to improve, and he needs to work on not throwing off of his back foot.
15) Mitch Mustain- QB- USC- 6’2 205
Mustain has been unlucky. He transfered from Arkansas after hoping to start, only to sit the bench at USC. Good overall talent, but lacks production. Potential Matt Cassel type.
16) Scott Tolzien- Wisconsin- 6’2 212
Tolzien is a game manager quarterback who didn’t have to throw the ball much in Wisconsin. He made the throws he needed to win the games, and is more of a practice squad type player.
17) Jerrod Johnson- Texas A&M- 6’5 251
Perhaps one of the more disappointing stories this year, Johnson has really struggled. His arm strength is quite weak and his decision making is iffy at best. He has the accuracy to make throws, but doesn’t put much zip on them.
18) Taylor Potts- Texas Tech- 6’5 223
Potts is another product of the Texas Tech spread. He lives on a system of one read plays, and gets the ball out quickly.
19) Adam Weber- Minnesota- 6’3 220
Weber is a quarterback who has above average arm strength, and a solid football IQ. He doesn’t offer much else at the next level, however.
20) Zach Frazer- UConn- 6’4 231
Frazer’s best ability is handing the ball off to Jordan Todman. Frazer has a big frame, and can throw the ball a long way, but lacks good decision making.
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