So if you were watching Path to the Draft this evening, you know the NFL Network asked Charlie Casserly to rank top prospect Blaine Gabbert versus the other successful 1st round QBs who have come out of the past 3 drafts. Charlie combined all the first rounders from 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and came up with the following rankings.
- Sam Bradford, Rams 2010
- Matt Ryan, Falcons 2008
- Matt Stafford, Lions 2009
- Blaine Gabbert, ???? 2011
- Mark Sanchez, Jets 2009
- Joe Flacco, Ravens 2008
- Josh Freeman 2009.
There you have it folks, Charlie says Sam is the best pro-prospect QB of the past four seasons. How about 'dem apples? You can watch the video here.
Why Sam? One word: Accuracy. I had a hunch he was going to say that. Casserly makes no bones about it when he says that throwing accuracy is the most important talent/skill a quarterback can possibly have. As Troy Aikman says, all the size, strength, speed, and toughness in the world won't do a QB any good if he can't put the football where it has to go on any given play. Charlie says Sam is way more accurate that any other guy on that list.
The one quibble I had with his ranking system is the position of Josh Freeman at #7. Although I have not said much about it, I am very bullish on the future of the Bucs. I think they are looking like a fundamentally solid team on offense. They need some additional work on defense, but I think they will make the playoffs and give some people fits in 2011... if there is a 2011.
Certainly, Freeman is the key to their success. Tampa won some very close games last season, not the least of which was their battle with my Rams. That had a hell of a lot to do with the clutch drives and clutch plays Josh Freeman made late in the game.
I am extremely partial to clutch players. If you are a QB with fantastic comeback ability, you will score thousands of extra credit points in my book. The Unitases, Staubachs, Elways, and Roethlisbergers of this world rank at or near the top of my all-time great list because of their incredible clutch play.
Josh Freeman has already shown that he can turn the tide of battle in the clutch moments of the game. Personally, I would put him no lower than 3 on the list.
In Charlie's defense, it seemed that he was ranking these young QBs as prospects. That is, based on their pre-draft scouting reports. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that some of their pro play leaked into his report, though. I will grant you that Josh Freeman surprised many of us with his clutch play. I don't know about you, but I didn't see that in the tea leaves.