The most important position in any sport is the quarterback position. Most scouts believe this is the weakest class of quarterbacks we have seen in a long time. Is there any talent in this 2017 NFL Draft who could become a decent NFL starter? My series on evaluating each positional group in the draft continues with the quarterbacks. Who is the best player in the position group? Safest pick? Boom-or-bust pick? Underrated? Sleepers? Let’s dive in!
Best Player in the Position Group: Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina)
This is very tough, but I like Trubisky just a bit more than the others for right now. I don’t think he has the highest ceiling, but he may be the quarterback who shows the most promise early in his career. All the tools are there for him to be an above-average quarterback in the NFL. The question is if he has enough experience in college and if he will still need time to develop before becoming a starter. He has the NFL arm along with elusiveness in the pocket to escape trouble if needed. He has the second highest ceiling in this draft class and could be a face of the franchise if given the appropriate environment to develop.
Safest Pick: Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh)
He has the experience in the pro-style offense and has the key components of at least getting a shot at starting in the NFL. He is very accurate all over the field, solid pocket presence and makes good decisions. He could be similar to Alex Smith, which a lot of teams in the NFL would be happy to have as their quarterback.
Watson has the intangibles and the winning pedigree on his resume. That will likely keep him in the first-round conversation. The question will be can he adjust to the NFL with faster reads, better players on defense and challenging offensive concepts. If he gets put in the right situation and not forced to do too much right away, he will have a shot at developing into a solid starter in the NFL. He is a fighter that knows how to win and that will keep him in the league.
Kizer looks the part and has the physical attributes necessary to be a stud quarterback. The great arm strength, well-built frame and mobility in and outside the pocket. The questions are if he is too skittish in the pocket, lack of consistent accuracy and the football IQ aspect of playing the position. A team with a great quarterback developer could see the potential and take him, but if you expect to be a starter soon in the league, you may be disappointed.
Underrated: Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech)
All this kid needs is some coaching. He plays with the swagger, arm strength and grit that you would imagine out of your franchise quarterback. If he gets with the right head coach and a proven quarterback developer, he could be extremely special. He needs to go to a team with a quarterback in place for at least the 2017 season so he can learn and develop for a season. He could be a Brett Favre type of player in the NFL if he gets the time to learn the NFL game for a season. On draft night, I’m watching Arizona (Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer), San Francisco (Kyle Shanahan and Brian Hoyer), Green Bay (Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers), New Orleans (Sean Payton and Drew Brees), and Kansas City (Andy Reid and Alex Smith) as ideal destinations. He is my favorite quarterback in the draft and my No. 1 overall quarterback. The problem will be if he does not end up in a favorable situation like the ones listed above because then.. he may turn out like Jay Cutler.
Sleeper: Joshua Dobbs (Tennessee)
If I’m going to draft a quarterback late in the draft, I want to draft a guy who has all the intangibles of being at least a solid backup quarterback in the league. Dobbs is very intelligent and a respected leader on his team. He can easily be a solid backup quarterback in the league with potential of becoming an eventual starter in the league.