NFL Draft Eligible Quarterbacks 2015

I am hearing and seeing lists involving 2016 NFL Draft eligible Quarterbacks and to be perfectly honest, I am not all that impressed with any of them.

The NFL is so desperate for top Quarterbacks that they just fall in love with these guys and I am just not seeing what they are seeing.

Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck were all the number one picks in the entire drafts and all were NFL super stars.

Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford, Carson Palmer and Drew Bledsoe were also first

players picked and were good to great players.

Sam Bradford, JaMarcus Russell, David Carr, and Tim Couch were also number one picks and were all major busts, with only Bradford left around to try and salvage a career.

Drafting a Quarterback for an NFL team is risky at best.

I know better than try and rank these Quarterbacks that the media keeps raving about, and I am just throwing out some names that we are seeing and hearing will be drafted by NFL teams and some are saying these guys will be high picks.

1. Jared Goff – California: People are calling Goff the next Aaron Rodgers mostly because they both played at California. I’d like some of what these guys are smoking. Goff is a good player, but Aaron Rodgers? Go back and watch Goff’s game film. There’s not that much comparison between the two, actually.

Goff is tall, which the NFL loves. He is supposed to be 6-4, and these guys often aren’t quite as tall as advertised when the NFL tape measures come out.

He’s also supposed to be 210 pounds. He is currently pretty thin and his shoulders are narrow which makes me think he has little room for growth. His arm is good and he is really accurate with his passing and he is mobile enough even if he’s not an outstanding runner.

I would rate him as a good prospect at Quarterback, but not a very intriguing can’t miss prospect like an Andrew Luck, or even one of the other guys like Matthew Stafford.

2. Connor Cook – Michigan State: I keep hearing and seeing Cook mentioned as a first round pick and I am just not seeing it. Like Goff, he is tall. But, his passing has been erratic pretty much all of the 2015 season. Michigan State fans need not hate my comments because I like Cook and the Spartans. He seemingly has the necessary arm strength, and fits the height that the NFL loves to a tee. He is also supposed to be a 4.6 guy in the 40, which I don’t see at all, either.

In 2013, the Spartans had a killer defense, which Cook rode to a Rose Bowl win. Last season, they had the remnants of that same defense and they lost only to Ohio State. This season, I was expecting more out of the defense and Connor Cook and they are undefeated at 7-0 after a thrilling win over Michigan last weekend.

In spite of the raves over Cook, he appears to be clumsy and nonathletic to me and he could play in the NFL. But, I see him more as a career back up. Like so many other things that I write in this blog, I do hope I am wrong and Connor Cook is the next big thing in the NFL.

3. Christian Hackenberg – Penn State: Hackenberg has more than his share of critics, but some still insist that he is a 1st round NFL pick.  Hackenberg is the prototype NFL Quarterback at 6-4, 235. He is not supposed to be that athletic, but he’s had some nice runs in recent games picking up crucial first downs to keep drives alive. Hackenberg has a super strong arm, he is physically gifted and seems to have all of the tools.

But, still, there is just something missing. I’m not sure if it’s coaching, confidence, or whatever, but something seems to be awry. Hackenberg was a highly recruited Quarterback out of Palmyra, Virginia. He was signed by former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. Hackenberg actually looked like a world beater as a true freshman under O’Brien. But, the Houston Texans hired O’Brien as their head coach and the Nittany Lions hired James Franklin to take his job. Franklin is a great coach and had some success at Vanderbilt which is a school that almost nobody ever has won any games. But, in spite of Franklin’s coaching abilities, Christian Hackenberg has struggled the past 2 seasons.

Hackenberg is loaded with potential, but will he ever live up to it in the NFL? He might be a guy with a bright future, but I wouldn’t risk my franchise by selecting him with my top pick if I was an NFL General Manager.

Others:

Cardale Jones – Ohio State: One NFL scout supposedly said that ‘Jones really should have come out last year after they won a national title. But, since he came back he has exposed all of his flaws’. While that might be true, that just goes to show the mentality of some NFL scouts. They were willing to take a shot on a guy that had only started 3 college games and possibly draft him in the first round. The team that did that would have been one of the same teams that keep finishing on the bottom of the NFL standings year after year and they all wonder why.

Yes, Jones has exposed some weaknesses in his game since he returned. One seems to be his decision making and his football IQ, or so some are saying. Jones has all of the tools. He is a huge guy at 6-5, 250 and runs fairly well. He’s not fast, but he is mobile and strong and is tough to bring down at least on the college level. He has a really strong arm.

I think one of his biggest problems in 2015 has been more on focus and leadership than his actual football skills. He seemed more interested in social media and talking about Rhonda Rousey.

Like the others above, I would take a chance on Jones but not with one of my early picks. I will say this, of the Quarterbacks mentioned so far, Jones may have the strongest arm and that appeals to me.

Carson Wentz – North Dakota State: When all of the smoke clears, Wentz may be the best Quarterback of all of these guys. Wentz has ideal size at 6-5, 225. North Dakota State is an FCS school, obviously, but there’s a chance that Wentz goes before everybody above other than Jared Goff. Wentz can fling it and he’s a better athlete than his size might suggest. NFL scouts should brave the snow and the cold and go see this kid multiple times. North Dakota State played Montana on Saturday back in August before the big boys got started, so they were the only game on and there’s no excuse not to have seen this star in action.

Paxton Lynch – Memphis: At 6-7, 245, this Tiger Quarterback is Tight End size. He also runs like a great Tight End. Seriously, this guy can run extremely well and he’s clearly big and strong. His arm appears more than strong enough to make all of his throws. Plus, it appears that he has some

leadership abilities. Memphis was terrible before Justin Fuente took over as head coach and installed an unwanted and overlooked Quarterback named Paxton Lynch. Last season, the Memphis Tigers finished 10-3. This season, they are 6-0 so far and just came off a huge upset over Ole Miss, only I am not so sure it was an upset. Memphis is pretty decent and setting up a showdown with the also undefeated Houston Cougars in November. Memphis is 6-0 this season and on a 13 game winning streak going back to the 2014 season. Tall Quarterbacks have not really done well in the NFL, but this tall Quarterback is different. He’s more athletic than most, for one thing. Most of the other tall ones have had strong arms, but were not athletes. I like his chances, but I would also love to see him come back to the college game and give it one more shot.

Jacoby Brissett – North Carolina State: Brissett is a prototype NFL guy at 6-4, 235. He is athletic, but not overly fast and I hate to make comparisons but he has that elusive capability of a Ben Roethlisberger type guy.  He has the size and the strength and he can escape the rush, but not sure about his other qualities. Brissett started last year for the first time after transferring from Florida. I’ve only seen him in a couple of games, but will see more of him this season. In one game, he looked All World, and in another he looked very average.

Jeff Driskel – Louisiana Tech: Another Florida reject, but the 6-4, 230 Driskel has some talent even if it was squandered at Florida. When I saw Driskel in high school, he was super impressive. In any practice I saw of him at Florida he looked really good. I think it was the Florida system under Will Muschamp that held that program back. Brissett has blossomed at North Carolina State, Tyler Murphy left Florida for Boston College and did well. Now, Driskel is playing well for Louisiana Tech. In 7 games, Driskel has tossed the ball for over 2,100 yards so far. Driskel is also an accomplished runner at Quarterback and has run for 221 yards this season, so far. If Driskel does get invited to the NFL combine, he will really have to impress to be drafted, but this guy does have the physical skills.

Matt Johnson – Bowling Green: Great college Quarterback that’s not likely to even get a sniff from an NFL franchise. NFL teams love the 6-3 to 6-5 guys in spite of success by guys like Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Matt Johnson of Bowling Green is a senior out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and he’s only 6-0, 220. Johnson is rock solid with a strong arm that puts up huge numbers. He does play in the MAC and he is just short. In just 7 games so far, Johnson has thrown for nearly 3000 yards and 24 Touchdowns against only 3 Interceptions. I don’t expect Johnson to get a fair shot, but who knows with the poor quality of NFL Quarterbacks and the desperation for improvement. Matt Johnson deserves a shot.

Cody Kessler – USC: Another Quarterback with size issues. Kessler is a fun Quarterback to watch, but his arm strength is questionable and again that size is an issue. Kessler is 6-1, 215 but continues to put up great numbers game after game in spite of coaching issues. Kessler is not having the senior season that he was expecting or hoping for, but he is a young man with some talent at the position.

Trevone Boykin – TCU: Most talented and exciting guy on this list and a serious Heisman candidate, although I doubt anyone from TCU really has a legitimate shot at the prestigious award. Boykin has a super strong arm, outstanding running ability and appears to have some leadership ability with his team doing so well. The NFL scouts supposedly aren’t that interested in him as a Quarterback which is something of a head scratcher. He is 6-2, 205 and is a former Wide Receiver and many scouts like him as either a receiver or a Defensive Back.

Patrick Towles – Kentucky: This is one of my sleeper picks and I have already blogged about him this year here: Patrick Towles    Towles is a big guy at 6-5, 240 with a strong arm and excellent feet. Towles runs much better than most people believe. He doesn’t run much and has taken a lot of sacks so his number do not look good on the ground. But, he will test well in the Combine on the 40 yard dash if he runs it. I can guarantee that if there’s no injuries. This guy is tailor made to be an outstanding NFL Quarterback and he may want to consider returning for his senior season because he has never had the talent surrounding him and he could have a huge year if he returns.

Dak Prescott – Mississippi State: Prescott has been largely ignored this season after garnering much hype last season, so much so that he was once a front runner for the Heisman. I blogged earlier about Prescott here: http://collegefootballcrazy.com/2299-2/

His team cratered at the end of last season and so did the hoopla surrounding Dak Prescott. He was called another Tim Tebow and maybe that’s why he is no longer getting the attention. Prescott is having a strong senior season and he has yet to throw his first Interception. Prescott is a very strong Quarterback and at 6-2, 230, he should be able to hold up to the pounding taken by NFL Nick Fitzgerald, should be a real hit with the media next season and he could be really good.

Quarterbacks. The next Mississippi State Quarterback,

Kevin Hogan – Stanford:  It seems like Hogan has been at Stanford for a decade. He started his senior season off pitifully against Northwestern and it appeared he couldn’t have thrown a football into an Olympic sized pool from 5 feet away. He has since bounced back and has looked like himself from the end of last season. With the emergence of the Stanford run game and Christian McCaffrey, Hogan has looked good in recent weeks and Stanford looks like the best team in the West right now other than maybe Utah. Stanford, under David Shaw as head coach, is not going to throw for huge yardage. But, they have a healthy passing game and enough to keep 8 and 9 defenders out of the box to slow down the power run game. Hogan is the correct size for the NFL standing 6-4 and weighing about 220. He is mobile and very tough. He could possibly be a Free Agent and make some team as a back up.

Nate Sudfeld- Indiana: Sudfeld is a basically unknown Quarterback that could surprise some folks. He is ideally sized at 6-6, 240, and shows a strong enough arm from what I have seen of him. His biggest drawback has been with injuries and that could be a real problem on the next level. If Sudfeld could remain healthly, he might have a shot at some NFL club and the Hoosiers could be a pretty good team.

Gunner Kiel – Cincinnati: Kiel is a talented Quarterback that is listed as 6-4, 211. There’s no way he is a legit 6-4 and the NFL would find that out quickly. He is a super talent, but can’t stay on the field. He should return to Cincinnati for his senior year and try and prove he can remain healthy, but he may  have lost his starting job for good to freshman Hayden Moore who is looking really good right now.

Jake Coker – Alabama: Bama fans seem to hate Coker, but he’s a solid prospect. He’s got that size that the NFL loves at 6-5, 235 and has more NFL potential than the average, standard Alabama

Quarterback. Everybody knows about Coker’s history as a former Florida State Seminole. Coker is the longest of long shots.

Joshua Dobbs – Tennessee: I don’t see Dobbs leaving early, but you never know with these people getting in these kid’s ears. Dobbs has still only played about one year in college and could use some more experience. But, since when has experience mattered to NFL scouts and GM’s that were willing to draft Cardale Jones after 3 games after last season. Ryan Tannehill was a first round pick by the Miami Dolphins after playing about half a year at Quarterback. Dobbs is 6-3, 205 and is a tremendous athlete. He is more talented as a runner than he is as a passer and he just makes the Tennessee Volunteer offense come to life. If Dobbs does declare for the draft, I see limited chances that he is even picked and he should come back for his last season.

Travis Wilson  Utah: He’s like Paxton Lynch in that he’s 6-7 and the undefeated Utes are starting to gain national attention due to their undefeated record and their big wins over Michigan and Oregon. Wilson has not put up huge numbers like some Quarterbacks on this list, but he does have that size at 6-7, 235 and also like Paxton Lynch, he is extremely athletic and runs so well for his size. Free Agent at best and his mechanics are a bit odd.

Everett Golson – Florida State: Golson is another undersized guy, at 6-0, 199. He has a super arm and is extremely fleet afoot. He left Notre Dame because he was called a turnover machine, but he has yet to throw an Interception in 6 unbeaten games for the Seminoles. He has thrown for nearly

1500 yards and 11 Touchdowns so far this season. Unfortunately, he won’t play Quarterback in the NFL, but he does have some serious arm talent.

Taysom Hill – BYU: The oft injured Hill is probably not worth a mention here. He is a tremendous franchise player when he is healthy, but he’s rarely healthy long enough to complete a season. He is a gifted athlete and particularly as a runner.

Wes Lunt – Illinois: Lunt is a big guy at 6-5, 225 and an Illinois guy that transferred home after starting off at Oklahoma State. The Illinois football program had a rough start with the head coach firing but they have recovered somewhat and they are putting a solid season together at 4-2.
There are possibly a few more prospects out there and some will rise as the season continues, but my eyes just aren’t seeing those legitimate NFL Quarterback prospects. Some of these guys will make rosters and Jared Goff is probably going to be the first picked. But, he’s not Aaron Rodgers.

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