Draft Featured Editorials

Rigs’ Preview of Draft Eligible QB’s

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by Rigs
DraftDaddy Guru
JetNation Columnist

Wondering what’s available out there in terms of young QB’s? Here is an analysis compiled by one of the foremost draft guru’s out there, a gentleman we know only as “Rigs.” Be sure to check out Rigs’ detailed analysis on all matters concerning the draft, as well as NFLE and basically all aspects of football. If it blocks, tackles, throws, or runs, Riggins knows who it is and what they had for dinner last night. Visit DraftDaddy.com today.

Matt Leinart, Southern Cal:

leinart

Had Leinart decided to enter the NFL draft after the 2004 season, he would’ve likely been the number one overall pick and could be leading the San Fransico 49ers into battle in the NFC West. Instead, due to a minor elbow injury and a desire to stay at USC and enjoy the college experience, he’s back in hopes of leading the Trojans to another national title.

Positives: Accuracy is amazing–over 65% completion rate for his career. Leinart has an excellent touch and can really thread the needle. He is particulary dangerous completing short to intermediate throws in the Trojans’ offensive scheme….At 6’5″ and 225 pounds, has ideal size NFL teams look for at QB….2004 Heisman Trophy winner has been insanely productive at USC and has an amazing TD to interception ratio in his career–81 TD’s and only 17 Int’s. He’s a smart QB, who recognizes opposing teams formations at the line and doesn’t force the ball into double coverage….While some say he doesn’t have the cannon arm of former USC QB Carson Palmer, Leinart’s arm is good enough to be effective at the next level….Is a great team leader in the huddle, who rarely gets rattled in big situations or in big games. He is just a winner, who knows how to win….While Leinart’s not a scrambler, he moves well laterally and has a nice feel for the rush coming at him.

Negatives: Not too many….To nitpick, as we stated, Leinart doesn’t have a huge arm and isn’t a great scambler….Perhaps the biggest knock on Leinart, we see among fans, is he has so much talent around him, it’s hard for him not to dominate–“system QB”. While we agree USC’s talent level on offense is very strong, Leinart is a legit star that makes his team much better….A former standout baseball pitcher (Major League caliber prospect), Leinart had some early shoulder problems when he arrived at USC. Also, he had minor elbow surgery after the 2004 season. So are injuries a concern? At this point, no.

Summary: No messing around here, we’ll be brief: Barring something unforeseen (i.e a major shoulder injury), Leinart projects as the first overall pick. At the very least, he should be among the top 5 picks overall.

Jay Cutler, Vanderbilt:

cutler

One of our favorites, dating back to the 2004 season, when few even knew his name….After three long seasons of losing at Vandy, Cutler, a Santa Claus, Indiana native, strongly considered entering the NFL draft early after the 2004 season. While three of his Commodore teammates that left early got lukewarm responses from the NFL, Cutler was reportedly given a third round projection by the NFL’s Draft Advisory panel last December…He decided to stay in school, which was a great choice, as he’s seemed to take his game to a higher level….Ideal size at 6′ 4″ and 228 pounds, very good and accurate arm. Good athlete, who can scramble. Very tough and durable player, who’s been sacked 63 times so far in his career, playing for some terrible teams….Should be drafted in the top 2 rounds….Had he played for a better program, he’d be a college superstar, according to several top SEC coaches.

Reggie McNeal, Texas A & M:

mcneal

Veteran quarterback, who improved significantly as a passer in 2004. McNeal lacks ideal size (“listed” at 6′ 2″), but has a strong arm and a decent touch….Perhaps the fastest QB in college football, timing in at 4.28 seconds in the 40 yard dash this spring….Decent potential. If he plays well this season, particularly throwing the ball in big games and works out well after the season, could be a Day 1 selection.

Paul Pinegar, Fresno State:

pinegar

Prototype NFL prospect, with ideal size and a strong arm, who had never really lived up to the tremendous hype he had coming into his career until a breakout season in 2004. Is currently having a great season for the Bulldogs. If he can come up big in the post-season (All-Star games and workouts) he should be selected in the top three rounds.

Kellen Clemens, Oregon:

clemens

The fact that Clemens is ranked this high is testimony to the fact the senior class is fairly thin at QB after Leinart and Cutler….Clemens possesses an adequate arm and excellent athletic ability. He also has the knack for making big plays for the Ducks….Negatives are size (listed at 6′ 2″ and skinny — NFL teams prefer QB’s 6′ 3″ and taller) and propensity to throw interceptions (has improved in that aspect so far this season 9 TD’s/ 0 Int’s)….Could be selected Day 1, if no talented juniors enter the draft. At this point, has the look of a 4th round pick, or lower.

Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson:

whitehurst

We’re not as high on Charlie as some others are. Has the size NFL teams like, a nice arm and good lineage (son of a former NFL starting QB), but he’s struggled since a great sophomore season with the Tigers. As a junior, in 2004, he was horrid, throwing 17 Int’s and only 7 TD’s. Decent athlete, but not a scrambler…Could be a 3rd to 5th round pick based on potential, but something about him makes it seem like he’s a bust waiting to happen — maybe it’s his very poor 2004 season and medicore stats so far this season (4 TD’s in 4 games)?

Darrell Hackney, UAB:

hackney

An absolute Byron Leftwich clone, except he’s about three inches shorter and doesn’t have Byron’s cannon arm (Hackney has a very good arm, nontheless)….Still, they have some of the same qualities — pocket passers who don’t scramble very well and have trouble keeping their weight down– and even look a bit alike….Hackney is a great team leader, perhaps his best quality, but needs to improve his accuracy if he’s going to be anything more than developmental backup at the next level.

Josh Betts, Miami, Ohio:

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Another MAC QB…Betts, who’s already 23 years old, plays on a very talented Miami team, which features NFL caliber receivers Martin Nance and Ryne Robinson….Decent size (6′ 3″ and 225 pounds) and a fairly strong arm. Not much of a scrambler, who gets sacked too much and his accuracy is only adequate, not great….Decent Day 2, developmental type, at this point.

Drew Olson, UCLA:

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Pac 10 quarterback who had a decent 2004 season until he was injured (torn ACL) in the teams’ final games….Has come back strong this season, beating out highly regarded newcomer Ben Olson (no relation) for the Bruins starting job…. Solid size at 6′ 3″ and 220 pounds and a solid arm. Good team leader, too, who must show improved accuracy this season to be taken seriously by NFL teams.

Bruce Gadkowski, Toledo:MAC gunslinger is very accurate and has put up some huge numbers at the mid-major level….Smallish, gutty QB, who’s generously listed at 6′ 2″. Reminds us of Drew Brees a bit (not as good). Like Brees, has a very good arm, but not a great arm….Western, PA native comes from a strong football playing family — Has several family members playing D-1 football, including 1st cousin Joe Delsardo (WR Pitt)….NFL teams are definitely intrigued by Gadkowski, who looks like a Day 2 type project.

MAC gunslinger is very accurate and has put up some huge numbers at the mid-major level….Smallish, gutty QB, who’s generously listed at 6′ 2″. Reminds us of Drew Brees a bit (not as good). Like Brees, has a very good arm, but not a great arm….Western, PA native comes from a strong football playing family — Has several family members playing D-1 football, including 1st cousin Joe Delsardo (WR Pitt)….NFL teams are definitely intrigued by Gadkowski, who looks like a Day 2 type project.Brett Elliott, Linefield:

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Former starter at Utah who lost his spot after an injury and never got it back once Alex Smith took over….Transfered to Linefield College in his native Oregon, where he had an insane 2004 season (threw for over 60 TD’s)…Decent size and arm, but plays at such a low level (D-3), you have to wonder if his numbers mean anything? Will get a legit NFL shot, if he works out well.

Quinton Porter, BC:

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Former Golden Eagles starter, who sat out the 2004 season, then reclaimed his starting spot last spring….Porter has ideal size and arm strength, to go along with a sizzling 4.5 40 time for such a big fellow. Great athlete, from the state of Maine, no less….For all the positives, must prove he’s more than just a physical marvel to be drafted in the top 4 rounds. Considering his physical skills, however, he should be picked at some point, we think.

***JUNIORS***

Drew Stanton, Michigan State:Is there a more valuble college football player to his team than Stanton?…We think not, as the Spartans are a totally different team with him at the helm….Has NFL size and toughness (mentally and physically), to go with a fine arm and terrific athletic ability….Might be the 2nd best QB in America, behind the fellow from USC….Lack of experience is the only knock on this rising superstar.

Is there a more valuble college football player to his team than Stanton?…We think not, as the Spartans are a totally different team with him at the helm….Has NFL size and toughness (mentally and physically), to go with a fine arm and terrific athletic ability….Might be the 2nd best QB in America, behind the fellow from USC….Lack of experience is the only knock on this rising superstar.Brady Quinn, Notre Dame:

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After two seasons of taking a vicious beating for the Fighting Irish, Quinn has come into his own with Charlie Weis at the helm and some decent offensive weapons…Tall QB, with a terrific right arm. Displays excellent leadership skills and big play ability, conjuring up memories of former ND grad Joe Montana.

Omar Jacobs, BGSU: Despite a rough game against Boise State recently, Jacobs is a prime prospect with a fantastic arm, NFL size and good all-around athletic ability….Rarely throws interceptions, which is a good quality to have. Another fine MAC QB who has a future in the NFL.

Sam Keller, Arizona State Tall QB (6′ 4″), off to a huge start this season, throwing for 16 TD’s and only 2 Int’s in 4 games….Possesses a huge arm and a nice touch. Although he’s not a scrambler, he has quick feet and doesn’t get sacked much….Really came in the 2004 Sun Bowl against Purdue and has continued his hot pace….Should be a better prospect than recent NFL pick Andrew Walter, who he replaced as the Sun Devils’ QB. This a player that could really fly up the charts in time.

Chris Leak, Florida: Not real tall or mobile, but has a solid arm with a nice touch….Pocket passer, who reminds us a bit of veteran NFL QB Jeff Blake….With frosh QB Josh Portis, who Gator coaches love, Leak is constantly being pushed to improve his game….In the new spread offense UF runs, Leak could put up some solid numbers.

Vincent Young, Texas:

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6′ 5″ quarterback, who has great speed and athletic ability. Coming into this season, scouts were split on Young: Some felt he was more of an athlete playing QB; other felt he was solid NFL QB prospect…..So far this season, his results have been mixed. Led the Longhorns to a big win over Ohio State, but has thrown only 5 TD’s and 4 Int’s in 3 games….Accuracy and cutting down on interceptions will be a huge issue for Young going forward, as he’s thrown almost as many Int’s in his career (22) as he has TD’s (23).

Jordan Palmer, UTEP: Brother of NFL star Carson Palmer. Jordan possesses a cannon for an arm and seems to be getting better every week for the Miners, who have some solid offensive weapons….The tall Palmer (6′ 5″) played some TE in high school, so he’s still learning the position….Has struggled some with accuracy (only 52% completion rate for his career), but he’s a QB that throws the ball down field a lot, so a lower completion percentage is expected. Solid prospect, who needs to improve, but has the potential to be real solid in time.

Kevin Kolbe, Houston: Conference USA gunslinger possesses a rocket powered arm, despite only being about 6′ 2″….Had a monster season as a freshman (23 TD’s/4 ints), but has struggled a little with accuracy and interceptions since….Decent athletic abilty and toughness, which he needs, since he gets sacked a lot (sacked 42 times in 2004).

Sam Hollenbach, Maryland: Decent quarterback who has a long way to go, but certainly has the potential to become a solid prospect…Solid size at 6′ 5′ and 217 pounds, and a strong, accurate arm….Has decent athletic ability, but isn’t a scrambler at all….Hollenbach has played better early this season against the better teams (Clemson, UWV), than the lesser teams (Navy)…A player to keep an eye on going forward.

Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh: Barely beats out Iowa’s Drew Tate for this 10th spot…Palko, a lefty who had a fantastic sophomore season in 2004 (24 TD’s/ 7int’s), is off to a terrible start this season, with new coach Dave Wannstedt at the helm…At his best, Palko is a gutty QB with a decent arm and knack for making the the “big play”…Isn’t real tall by NFL standards (listed at 6′ 2”), but is solidly built at 220 pounds…. Really needs to turn around his poor play before he leaves Pitt, or will become a “non-prospect’ real quickly.

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