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NFL Draft: The Next 5 QBs
Next Five: The Top 5 Quarterbacks After Luck, Griffin
It's clear that for every NFL team (at least from everything I've heard/assumed) that Andrew Luck of Stanford and Robert Griffin of Baylor are the clear cut top quarterbacks in this class. But with those two now set to be gone in the first two picks, other quarterback-interested teams will be on the lookout for another potential franchise quarterback.
In a quarterback class that could very possibly have 2-3 starters from the second round on in my opinion, here are the "next five" quarterbacks that will be drafted.
1. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Despite being under-developed in diagnosing levels of the defense, read and reacting to the middle of the field, and an overall lack of polish you get with only season and a half of starting time, I don't think Tannehill is worthy of a Top 10 pick. He'll need to really sit and develop, not because he doesn't have the tools to play, but because by playing early, it could stunt his development similar to how Mark Sanchez was rushed coming into the league. He has Aaron Rodgers type talent if he gets time to develop, which is why he seems like such a great fit for the Dolphins at #8 overall, and they have shown significant interest.
2. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Despite being 28 (will be 29 by his rookie year), Brandon Weeden is higher on our board in terms of raw quarterback talent than Ryan Tannehill for now and for the next 10 years. Weeden doesn't have the pocket feel that Tannehill does (despite playing more games), but his touch, vision of throwing lanes, timing, and anticipation exceed Tannehill, and many of his problems may be quickly correctable. Despite the age concerns, it wouldn't surprise me if Weeden is taken late round one or be a great value in the 2nd round.
3. B. J. Coleman, Chattanooga
The former Tennessee transfer, Coleman has been highly thought of by scouts since the pre-season. Despite struggling this year through injuries and a relatively poor team than he had in 2010, Coleman has everything you look for in a quarterback other than polish. He's a team leader, he's extremely coachable, he has adequate arm strength, can make all the throws, displays touch around the field, and has similar mechanics and footwork to Peyton Manning (whom he studied at his time at Tennessee). While he may go off the board in the 4th-5th round, he could be a legitimate, Tom Brady-esque pick if he lands in the right spot.
4. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Despite being under 6'0, I think Russell Wilson still has a high "ceiling" as a future NFL quarterback. He'll need to overcome not having the adequate size or big arm to fit in every offense, but his vision down the field, reading and anticipation of safeties, and ball placement around the field is outstanding. Many quarterbacks have been compared before, but Wilson is closer to Drew Brees mentally than many realize.
5. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Despite getting some recent buzz around him as an Andy Dalton-like riser and a potential second round capable starter, I believe Cousins is more of a safe back-up in the NFL and not one to build your team around. I felt similar on Christian Ponder a year ago, though Ponder had a higher ceiling. Cousins seems ready mentally off the field and a leader on it, but I don't believe he has franchise quarterback potential.
Others to Watch: Brock Osweiler (Arizona State), Ryan Lindley (San Diego State), Nick Foles (Arizona).
Eric Galko is a contributing NFL scout for Patriots Insider at Scout.com.
Eric Galko is the Owner, Director of Scouting of Optimum Scouting and lead editor for OptimumScouting.com. He has been scouting college football for eight years, and for pro teams and other sports professionals for the last four years. Eric is also a member of the FWAA.
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