Thursday, January 28, 2010

What has happened to our Quarterback Draft in 2010

For the past 3 years, NFL draft fans have been looking forward to this years draft as a probable bonanza for quarterbacks. I heard a lot of comparisons to the draft of 2004 and the mythical draft of 1983. So now here we are in 2010, and all the candidates have arrived minus two: Mark Sanchez came out last year, and Jake Locker decided to stay in school for one more year. But what has become of our bumper-crop quarterback draft?

Right now I see a hell of a lot of volatility in the quarterback rankings. There is no agreement about who the #1 guy is. The most frequently mentioned prospects are Sam Bradford, who is injured, and Jimmy Clausen, who is now universally acclaimed. Then you have a crew of other kids who have been ballyhooed at one time or another as the Second Coming. All of them have serious knocks laid on them by one critic or another.

First I hear Mel Kiper Jr. declare that Tim Tebow is not a QB prospect at all; rather he is a Tightend project. Then I hear guys like Charles Davis and Mike Lombardi declare that Tebow will go in the 1st round, and as a QB. The I hear Chris Myers and Steve Hartman declare that he will be a 2nd day draft pick, and they don't know what he will play.

The only thing that seems clear is that Sam Bradford would be a slam-dunk #1 overall pick if he were not injured. Woulda, shoulda, coulda; he's got a surgically repaired shoulder, and everybody is arguing like Hell about how bad the injury is.

Lost in all this commotion are two guys I really like: Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead.

Many are saying that McCoy is going to be a backup at best. I say he is the next Joe Montana, and I ain't kidding. Once you remove the hyper-inflation that Montana's legend has experienced, what you are left with is a very smart QB who made great decisions {most of the time} and threw highly accurate soft passes at highly mobile recievers who could run. If you ask me which kid in this draft most resembles that perfect type, it is Colt McCoy. He has great vision, he makes really good decisions, and he throws highly accurate soft passes at highly mobile receivers who can truck with it. He is the spitting image of Joe. Don't be surprised if he is a lot more successful than they say he will be.

If Andy Reid were to draft him, the sky is the limit for McCoy.

Jevan is the kid who is really getting lost in the shuffle. People who did not watch the Tennessee game or the LSU game are harping on what a horrible season Snead had. They are also focusing on that brutal Cotton Bowl appearance in which everybody but McCluster got killed. Let's remember that Snead was still on the winning side of that bloodbath, and sometimes that's the best you can do.

Mel Kiper Jr. has freely stated that he believes that Jevan Snead made a big mistake in coming out early. He and just about everybody else believes that Snead would have benefited like crazy from another year in college. The talk is very negative. They say he came out because he was having problems with grades & academic eligibility. Not good for a QB. Others focus on the threat of a rookie salary cap in 2011 as driving Snead's decision.

It remains to be seen where Snead will be drafted. I still stick to my guns. He looks like a somewhat smaller and more athletic Phillip Rivers, with a better ability to run, but sans the football smarts at this point. Rivers is a tremendous thinking man's QB; easily the second best after Peyton Manning. Snead needs to reach for that model. Snead does have an M24 sniper rifle attached to his right shoulder. Believe me, he can throw it.

It is still very early. The Senior Bowl has not yet been played. We are no where near the combine yet. We have not yet argued about the combine results. Things are going to change; be sure of it. Still, if I read the tea leaves correctly at this point, only one quarterback is guaranteed to go in the 1st round. That QB is Sam Bradford. Some say Buffalo, some say Washington. Clausen is very likely to go in the first, but this is not certain. Some say Buffalo, some say Washington, some say Seattle, some say Carolina. Based on what I have read, no other QB is likely to go in the 1st round; Mike Lombardi and Charles Davis notwithstanding.

Can you image that? What if we get to 2010 draft day and just two (2) QBs come off the board in the 1st round? What if names like Tebow, McCoy and Snead are around in the 2nd and 3rd round? Does that sound like a QB bonanza to you? We'll have to see. This could be one of those years with a couple of all-pro Hall of Fame QBs going later rather than sooner.

There are some other QBs in this draft as well. I intend to get to know these kids and tell you about them soon.