Top Five 2015 NFL Draft Prospects- Quarterback
These young men will be targets to be the future leaders of an NFL franchise. Today I rank the top five quarterback prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State
Bio: In his two years as a starter, Jameis Winston was 27–1 as a starter and completed 562 of 851 passes for 7,964 yards, 65 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. As a redshirt freshman, he led the Seminoles to a undefeated season, a national championship, and was named the 2013 Heisman trophy winner.
Strengths: Has all the natural physical tools needed to be an NFL quarterback. He's big, athletic, has a strong arm and moves well in the pocket. The total package win it comes to all the physical intangibles. Ran a pro style offense in college and delivered strikes before his receivers were out of their breaks or even looking for the ball. Can handle pressure well, evading, resetting and speeding up his process when needed, listening to his internal clock.
Weaknesses: Lacks ideal release time on the ball. Has a tendency to stare down receivers resulting in turnovers. But the biggest issue with Winston is his off the field decisions including alleged incidents of sexual assault, shoplifting, and using vulgar language in a school setting.
Projected Round: 1
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Bio: In three years as a starter, Marcus Mariota set school and conference records for touchdowns and single season total offense. He threw for over 10,000 yards, 105 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions during his Oregon career. He also led the Ducks to two Bowl game victories, an appearance in the first ever college football playoff championship game, and was named the 2014 Heisman trophy winner.
Strengths: Praised for his intelligence, decision making, humility and work ethic. Effortless arm strength to zip the ball up and down the field and his gazelle like athleticism to out run defenders. Does an excellent job of avoiding pressure while keeping his eyes downfield. Has a quick release and flashes deadly accuracy, including when on the move. Very strong arm and isn't afraid to make challenging throws through tight windows. Dangerous speed and can embarrass a defense with his scrambling ability.
Weaknesses: Rarely took a snap under center or dropped back to scan a defense. The system offense of Oregon also simplifies the quarterback position and he has to prove he can make all of the throws. Needs to look at the whole field and learn to transition to his second and third reads. Often throws across his body which raises question about his accuracy.
Projected Round: 1
3. Brett Hundley, UCLA
Bio: In three years as a starter, Brett Hundley threw for 9,966 passing yards and a school record 75 passing touchdowns. He is also UCLA's all time leader in total offense.
Strengths: Visually looks the part with a tall, well built frame, and has the arm to unleash passes all over the field. Easy throwing motion with a strong, accurate arm. UCLA's offense requires quarterbacks to make aggressive downfield throws and Hundley has the poise to take chances on those throws even with multiple defenders in the area. Has the ability to make all the throws and has a quick set up and release. Has the physical talents to be a dual threat quarterback and shows great mental strength in big game situations.
Weaknesses: Needs to operate better from the pocket and show he can handle the pressure of defenses. If his first option isn't there, he scrambles. Needs to read defense better. Has to learn proper ball placement when throwing at receivers.
Projected Round: 2
4. Bryce Petty, Baylor
Bio: in two years as a starter, Bryce Petty accounted for over 8,000 passing yards and 81 total touchdowns. He led the Bears to a share of the Big 12 title in 2014 and set a Cotton Bowl record with 550 passing yards.
Strengths: Has ideal positive throws to go with his size, mobility and resilient toughness to rally the troops. Has more than enough arm strength to make every throw and displays excellent timing with Baylor's shotgun offense. When he is hot, he is highly efficient passing downfield, showing touch, timing and placement especially when testing zone coverage with quick throws underneath. He shows improvement with functional mobility to extend plays outside of the pocket and hit targets downfield for big plays vertically.
Weaknesses: Played in a spread offense and NFL teams are starting to become weary of system quarterbacks. Locks down his primary read and fails to identify defenses when working through progressions. His downfield throws are questionable where he often lobs it up rather than putting velocity on the ball. Some his passes in 2014 are going to affect his stock moving forward.
Projected Round: 3
5. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Bio: A four year starter, Garrett Grayson would go on to obtain every major school passing record including yards, touchdowns, and completion percentage. In the past two seasons, he threw for 55 touchdowns and was named the Mountain West player of the year.
Strengths: Has good instincts for the quarterback position. Keeps his eyes downfield and shows good spatial awareness to slide up and laterally in the pocket to avoid rushers and extend the play. Accurately delivers the ball to receiver and displays great zip and touch on the ball. Shows good arm strength for his size and shows athletic ability when rolling out of the pocket.
Weaknesses: His throwing motion is slower than average and holds the ball back farther than most quarterbacks. His velocity on sideline throws are suspect and fails to go through his progressions. Doesn't always anticipates plays and often waits after targets break out of their before throwing.
Projected Round: 4-5