You know what we always need? More stuff about QBs.
I decided to throw this out there as a more atypical take on the QBs in this class. I personally really don't like the concept of "draft stock", so it bugs me when I watch dudes like Bridgewater seemingly slip all the way to the second round and guys like Tom Savage come all the way up to the first round. It may be people overvaluing pre-draft workouts, or it could be straight up overanalysis. Whatever the reason, I know that none of the QBs in this class have played a snap of real football for the last couple months.
I try to base my thoughts nearly 100% on actual games. I watch what I can in real time, but most of my stuff is based on the videos on draftbreakdown.com. I don't claim to be a scout or anything, but I watch a ton of video. I haven't gone over all the QBs in the draft, but I've done work on the higher profile guys.
Anyway, here we go.
I'm going with the hype on this one. I don't know if he should go 1 overall, but it's not a difficult argument to make. Big arm, strong, fast, and a ton of room to grow. He shows the ability to throw on the run as well as from the pocket. He also throws with anticipation pretty consistently, especially on go routes. My big problem with him now is that he doesn't throw with touch really. He flashes the ability to do it, but doesn't do it enough. That's not a skill to be neglected at the next level, but it can be taught. If he goes to a team with good support, he has the opportunity to be great. If he goes to a sucky team like the Raiders or the Browns, he may never fully develop. Not as polished as Bridgewater, but he has more potential than any of the top guys.
Round 6 or 7
An example of a really talented QB with a long way to go. Many people thought he would make major improvements from last year to this year, but it didn't really work out that way. He has the speed, improvising ability, and arm strength to be great, but there are some major factors keeping him from going earlier. His footwork is erratic and rushed, which leads to inaccurate passes. This could also mean he has trouble reading defenses. He's probably worth a late round pick, but there isn't a huge chance he could ever be a true starter in the NFL
This has been a long offseason, leading to ridiculous draft stock slides like this. I personally don't care about bad pro days or less than stellar Wonderlic scores; he killed on the field. He's the most polished QB in the draft by quite a bit. He has great accuracy and ball placement on short and mid range throws. One of his best assets is his ability to improvise and throw on the run with great accuracy. The biggest knocks on him are his size and arm strength. His arm strength, while not as good as Bortles or Carr, is past the threshold for success in the NFL. His size shouldn't cause problems either, but he could put on a couple pounds. My biggest issue with him is his deep ball. It can be improved by a coach who knows what he's doing, but it's not great right now. Really, the most impressive thing about Bridgewater right now is his ability to control the game. The game slows down for him and he's able to pick apart defenses in the face of pass rushers. He, along with a few other players at other positions, looks like he's already playing the game at a different level.
Maybe the best QB after the top 3 guys. From a throwing standpoint, he's great. He has a really strong arm and the prototypical QB size everybody wants. He throws with touch when he needs to, and he has great anticipation. He also runs well. His issue comes with his aggressiveness. His aggressiveness isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it leads to him rushing through his throws. His footwork is rushed almost all the time, regardless of pressure or not. This is most likely a product of his attack style mentality and not fear of pass rush. This makes it less problematic, but it still needs to be fixed. I wouldn't be surprised to see him go in the first, but he's definitely more of a second round talent.
This guy has been shooting up draft boards, and it's easy to see why. He has fantastic mechanics, which lead to him delivering the ball accurately a large percentage of the time. His inaccuracy comes on a hitch in his delivery right before release, but that can be fixed. The big reason why I don't think he deserves to be in the first round like others do is his weak pocket presence. He feels pressure where it doesn't exist and is blind to it when it's real. Maybe doesn't have a full blown case of Gabbertitis, but his inability to deal with a pass rush is problematic. He also seems to be lacking when it comes to improvisational skills. Could develop into a good starter, but he's more likely a backup in the NFL.
I think I'm somewhere in the middle of "best QB prospect ever" and "terrible franchise killer". He has a ton of talent but needs a lot of work. He has a pretty strong arm with a ton of mobility. He throws remarkably well on the run and always keeps his eyes downfield when he's running. His mechanics aren't perfect, but his style of play keeps mechanics from interfering too much with what he needs to do. His problems arise when he needs to play within a few seconds after the snap or within the pocket. He doesn't do well running plays as they're drawn up. He consistently overlooks his first receiver, looking to hit on the big play rather than the easy play. While most QBs attempt to release the ball within 3 seconds or less, Manziel attempts to extend plays with his feet far beyond that. This means that the ability to contain him in the pocket throws off his game entirely. To be successful in the NFL, he has to get better at running the plays he's given. Until then, he'll be too easily countered by next level defenses.
Round 6 or 7
This one might be unpopular, but there is very little that leads me to believe that he could be a good NFL QB. He has a weak enough arm that it becomes a problem. He can't out-throw defenders out and comeback routes and he has issues pushing the ball downfield. He adds a little jump at his release point in order to generate more power, but this puts his accuracy in the toilet. One mechanical problem he has that limits his power is his tendency to set up with his feet too close together at the end of his drops. His delivery itself is slow. His pocket awareness is pretty rough, and he has very limited improvisational skills to go along with that. Overall, he has little upside. Though he probably will go in the 2nd or 3rd, he shouldn't be looked at as anything much more than a backup.
From a QB perspective, Mettenberger is better than most guys in this class. He has a strong arm, good mechanics, and high level accuracy. He can throw on a line as well as deliver touch passes to all areas of the field. His biggest problem comes with his left leg when he steps to throw. He locks his knee and torques it in a way that makes it very vulnerable to injury. He has past injury issues to that knee anyway, and it won't hold up if it gets hit while he's throwing. If not for the knee, he would have first round ability, but teams shouldn't risk the very likely possibility of re-injury.
Another QB coming off an ACL injury, but this one has a legitimate chance of succeeding in the NFL. His arm is good enough for the NFL, partially because he uses great mechanics. His accuracy is consistently good. He has a wide arsenal of rockets and touch passes, including a very solid endzone fade. His improvisational skills are much better than I expected. The biggest issue I see in his game is the offense he played in. Many of his passes were single reads, which may raise concerns about his ability to read full defenses from the snap or to make reads quickly. Though he honestly has the ability to start in his first year, he would benefit greatly from a year or two of sitting behind someone.
Everybody's new favorite these days, but don't count me among the "everybody". His cannon arm and prototypical size make him an easy target for scouts and draft experts. However, there are serious about his ability to read a defense, make reads quickly, and deliver the ball accurately. His footwork is frantic, showing indecision and confusion. He hesitates to throw to open receivers, severely limiting his ability to anticipate routes. Also, his decision making is poor at best. He routinely throws into double and triple coverage, most likely because he doesn't read defenses well enough to tell which receiver will be open. His erratic footwork could also lead to his inaccuracy. His crazy powerful arm is the only thing that keeps me from saying he should be undrafted. He has the physical ability to start in the NFL, but right now it looks like he's never had to rely on anything other than his arm. The mental aspect of the NFL may be too much for him.
After being heralded as a potential first overall pick a couple years ago, he's dropped to the point of being undrafted in many circles. I see many things in his game that could turn him into a great QB, but he's still very raw. As many know, he has a stupidly powerful arm along with some pretty solid footspeed. He also is pretty accurate inside the pocket when he is given enough time to complete his drops. On the other hand, his footwork is inconsistent and slow. His 5 and 7 step drops are okay when he has enough time to set up. His 3 step drops and quick hitters are pretty terrible mechanically. Also, though he doesn't get happy feet, he doesn't do a great job of sensing pressure and avoiding sacks. Most of all though, he seems to have progressed very little in the past couple years. This indicates that he either had poor QB coaching or he simply isn't responsive to it. The latter is what keeps him in the lower rounds. He could truly succeed with a good QB developer in the NFL, but if he doesn't, he'll likely wash out of the league sooner rather than later.