Draft Coverage: Quarterbacks

March 2nd, 2009
From Matthew Stafford to Rhett Bomar and Pat White, Joes got you covered with the btst position-by-position NFL draft coverage anywhere

From Matthew Stafford to Rhett Bomar and Pat White, Joe's got you covered with the best position-by-position NFL draft coverage anywhere

Subscribe to Joe’s premium draft content. It starts here with our complete breakdown of potential impact quarterbacks!

Every week here at JoeBucsFan.com, Justin Pawlowski, of 620 WDAE-AM, The Sports Animal will roll out position-by-position analysis leading up the April 25 draft.

Subscribers also get phenomenal mock drafts each week, podcasts and more. Plus post-draft analysis.

Best of all the package comes with FREE FOOD or FREE BEER.

 And everybody gets a free $10 gift card from Courtside Grille.

QUARTERBACKS – By Justin Pawlowski {+++}

Quarterbacks are a real weak position this year. There are a couple good ones at the top with Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez, but I wouldn’t put them in a class with last year’s top five QB, Matt Ryan.

After that, you have Josh Freeman who’s very intriguing like Joe Flacco was a year ago. I’m wondering if Freeman has a late push because of his size, arm strength, and potential, much like Flacco had a year ago?

Nate Davis completes the list of top QBs in this draft. Coming from a small school, there will be a learning curve. The Panthers or Bears could be options for Davis in the second round. After Davis there is a huge drop off.

My recommendation is draft a quarterback early if you need one. This might be a good year to add other pieces to your puzzle and look to getting a QB next year when the draft SHOULD be loaded with them. Here is a list of my top quarterbacks for 2009.

Underneath each name is the player’s height, weight, and 40-yard dash time from the combine.

Matthew Stafford, Georgia
6-2, 225, 4.81
Top 10 pick

Why I’m taking him — The first two positives about Stafford to me are his size and arm strength. Stafford can make every throw on the field with tons of velocity. His toughness also stands out to me. Stafford can take a hit in the pocket and get right back up. I love his pocket presence. He is extremely athletic as a pocket quarterback. Playing in a pro-style offense doesn’t hurt either.

Why I’m staying away

Inconsistency worries me most with Stafford. I’m not overly thrilled with his accuracy. He has a strong arm, but sometimes forgets to add touch to his passes. A huge pet peeve of mine for a quarterback is to be able to read a defense. After watching film on Stafford, there were just too many times when he would stare down his intended receiver. With a strong arm, you can get away with that in college, but not in the NFL.

Impact on the Bucs roster: Anything can happen in the NFL Draft. If Stafford fell to the Bucs at No. 19, he would have to be their selection and would immediately become the Bucs franchise quarterback. A strong armed quarterback is just what the Bucs are looking for with Jeff Jagodzinski’s vertical attack now in Tampa. A move like this would not be good news for Josh Johnson, who would likely never be more than a back-up in Tampa. As for Luke McCown, he’d be given a chance to beat out Stafford in training camp, but odds are that Stafford would get the nod.

NFL Comparison: Jay Cutler:

Both Stafford and Cutler have big arms and are very intelligent. Cutler has done a very good job of going through his progressions the last couple years. Stafford will have to do that to be successful in the NFL.

Mark Sanchez, USC,  6-2, 227, 4.94
Top 20 pick

Why I’m taking him: {+++}The main reason I’m taking Sanchez is his ability to read a defense, find an open receiver, look off the defender, and place the ball with ideal accuracy to his receiver. Also, his outstanding agility inside the pocket allows him to buy time, all while still searching for open receivers down the field. Sanchez is plenty tough and plays with a ton of heart. As for arm strength, he can make any throw on the field, he might not have the strongest arm, but it’s more than adequate.

Why I’m staying away: Experience is my biggest concern with Sanchez. He only started 16 games at USC and as we all know, game experience is the best kind of experience. He also suffered a few injuries in college, one being a dislocated knee cap (don’t worry, doctors found it), but his health would be a concern. He also likes to wear his emotions on his sleeve, and sometimes, those emotions get the best of him.

Impact on the Bucs roster: There’s a better possibility of Sanchez falling to the Bucs than Stafford falling to the Bucs. You might ask why, and the answer is that Stafford has the arm strength NFL teams covet and experience, while Sanchez is an accurate passer without the experience. Experience wins out, and Sanchez should fall, although I believe Sanchez might be the better prospect. The drafting of Sanchez puts an end to the Josh Johnson project, while also ensuring Luke McCown of a backup role.

NFL Comparison: Matt Hasselbeck: This was a tough one. I had to really go back and watch specific quarterbacks. Honestly, I see a combination of Drew Brees, Matt Hasselbeck and Aaron Rodgers. However, Sanchez’s skill-set matched mostly up with a HEALTHY Matt Hasselbeck.

Josh Freeman – Kansas State
6-6, 248, 4.97
Fringe first round

Why I’m taking him: Freeman’s biggest attribute is his arm strength. He has the arm strength to thread the needle with any throw to any place on the field. He also has a ton of confidence in that arm strength. Freeman’s big frame is also a tremendous attribute. At over 6-6, Freeman has the size to view the entire field over his linemen, and a big strong body that’s hard to take to the ground. With that size, he is surprisingly agile.

Why I’m staying away: Freeman thinks he can squeeze any pass into any opening. This is not good since openings in college are much different than the ones in the NFL. This could result in many interceptions. He also needs a lot of work on his mechanics as a quarterback and his accuracy. His decision-making could be improved as well.

Impact on the Bucs roster:  The Bucs will take a long look at Freeman. I believe that one of the main reasons Jon Gruden was fired was because he never drafted and developed a young quarterback. You take that and factor in that Raheem Morris was the defensive coordinator at Kansas State when Freeman was a freshman, and you’ve got some good motives as to why the Bucs would go with Freeman. I don’t feel Freeman would be able to step in on Day One and be the starter, which would bode well for Luke McCown to be the starter in 2009. Josh Johnson would no longer be in the Bucs plans as a franchise quarterback.

NFL Comparison: JaMarcus Russell: I do feel Freeman has a better work ethic than Russell, but the rest of their attributes are oddly the same. After seeing what Russell was doing in the last few games of 2008, if Freeman shows that kind of progression at the end of his second year, whatever team drafts him will be very pleased.

Nate Davis, Ball State
6-1, 226, 4.98
Second or third round

Why I’m taking him: I think Nate Davis could be a pretty good pro. I think the main thing that would make me draft Davis would be his heart and will to win. For him to take little Ball State and make them as good as they were last year was amazing. I also like his movement inside the pocket, while all-the-time having his eyes up the field looking for the big play. His movement inside the pocket reminds me a lot of a younger Jeff Garcia. He’s got great zip on passes all over the field, and knows just when to take a little off a pass and add some touch.

Why I’m staying away: I’m slightly worried of Davis’ play in big games. We can start with the MAC title game from this past season, after his team went all of 2008 undefeated, Nate Davis threw for one TD and one INT in a losing effort to Buffalo. Ball State then went on to play Tulsa in the GMAC Bowl, and didn’t fair much better. Actually, it got much worse, as Davis threw for 145 yards, no TDs, and one INT as Ball State lost to Tulsa 45-13. In those final two games of 2008, in addition to his INTs, Davis fumbled the ball a combined eight times. Even last season in the International Bowl against Rutgers, Davis threw for over 350 yards and three TDs, but most of those stats came later in the game when Rutgers had a big lead and was playing a prevent defense. Height can also be a slight concern.

Impact on the Bucs roster: Davis would be interesting for the Bucs as either a second or third round pick. There would be a learning curve with Davis, but it would tell me that Josh Johnson wouldn’t be the future quarterback of the Bucs. Also, drafting Davis would ensure that Luke McCown would be the starter in 2009 because Davis just wouldn’t be ready.

NFL Comparison: David Garrard: Garrard might have a heftier build, but watching both of these quarterbacks in game action is very similar. Much like Garrard, Davis has a strong enough arm to push the ball down the field, a quick release, and good accuracy. Also, their movement within the pocket is very similar. They aren’t threats to take off for a 40-yard run, but they will extend the play and give their receivers extra time to get open.

Pat White, West Virginia
6-0, 197, 4.55
Second-fourth round

Why I’m taking him: I’m taking Pat White because he’s a playmaker. He should be able to help me as a RECEIVER and in the return game. He’s shown over the course of his college career the ability to make people miss and provide big plays on offense. Maybe, playing quarterback in college might help him read coverages in the pros and help him get open as a receiver. As a quarterback, his arm strength is very good.

Why I’m staying away: The guy was a quarterback in college, but won’t be one in the NFL. If I want a receiver, I’m going to draft a receiver. I’m not going to draft a quarterback and hope that he makes the transition to receiver. If he never pans out as a receiver, it becomes a wasted draft pick. As a quarterback, I am not impressed at all with his decision making.

Impact on the Bucs roster: To be quite honest with you, I’d be pretty surprised if the Bucs selected White in any round. To me, White is a luxury pick for whom a team with little needs can take a chance. Unfortunately, the Bucs have many needs. If the Bucs want a receiver, I suggest drafting a receiver, and the same goes for quarterback

NFL Comparison: Antwan Randle El: There was a debate here between Randle El and Brad Smith of the Jets. Randle El wins out simply because of the similarities in size and speed. I’m not sure Pat White ever becomes a starting receiver in the NFL like Randle El, though.

Rhett Bomar – Sam Houston State
6’2” – 225 lbs – 4.82
Third-fifth round

Why I’m taking him: Bomar’s an interesting cat. He was once regarded as the best recruit in the country coming out of high school, so he must have something going for him. I’d draft him simply for the potential he brings. He’s got good arm strength and accuracy on his throws and delivers the ball with nice touch and timing. He’s also an intense competitor on the field, but is cool under pressure.

Why I’m staying away: Character and decision-making would steer me clear of Bomar. Before he was dismissed from Oklahoma for violating NCAA rules as a result of accepting pay from what was essentially a no-show job at a car dealership, he had been cited twice as a minor in possession of alcohol. Because of these things, Bomar was forced to transfer to Sam Houston State where the competition was not of a very high standard. He also seems to have too much confidence in his arm as he will tend to throw too many interceptions.

Impact on the Bucs roster: If the Bucs draft Bomar, you’d hope it would be later rather than early. If they do select him, expect for Luke McCown to still be the starter and for Josh Johnson to compete with Bomar for the title of “Quarterback of the Future”.

NFL Comparison: Jake Delhomme: I know Delhomme didn’t have the off-the-field problems Bomar had, but if Bomar’s going to make it in the NFL he might have to take a similar path to Delhomme. Both players are intense competitors who are calm when the pressure is on.

Cullen Harper, Clemson
6-3, 225, 5.06
Fourth-sixth round

Why I’m taking him: Hell, maybe I’m taking him because I think it’s the 2008 Draft. Harper was terrible as a senior in 2008 while battling injuries, but as a junior in 2007, he was brilliant. During that 2007 season, he threw for 2,991 yards 27 TDs and just six INTs. I like his accuracy on short to intermediate passes. I’d also take him because of his intelligence and leadership qualities.

Why I’m staying away: Unfortunately for Harper, he did play his senior season. In 2008, he battled a shoulder injury and threw for just 2,395 yards, 11 TDs and 12 INTs. That shoulder injury is worrisome. Durability is a major concern of mine, since his arm strength wasn’t great to begin with, and was even worse with the injury. Obviously, with a lack of arm strength, Harper struggles with the deep ball.

Impact on the Bucs roster: If the Bucs selected Harper, it would simply be a developmental project. McCown would be your starter in 2009 with Harper and Josh Johnson your two developmental projects. It wouldn’t be an ideal situation for the Bucs, but better than watching “Son of Bob.”

NFL Comparison: Eric Ainge: Harper reminds me a lot of Ainge at Tennessee. Ainge dealt with a few injuries and didn’t have the strongest arm. I believe they might both be looking at similar careers in the NFL, as well.

4 Responses to “Draft Coverage: Quarterbacks”

  1. SuperSix Says:

    Pretty ballsy asking for $$$ to subscibe.

  2. crease22 Says:

    Really enjoying my subscription for a whopping 10 spot. Always somebody willing to whine out there. At least Joe isn’t trying sell us a t-shirt or begging for donations.

  3. admin Says:

    SuperSix – Joe is very proud to be offering something worth paying for! …And all the usual stuff readers have enjoyed for the past 7 months on JoeBucsFan.com will stay free.

    For $1 per week, draft coverage here is well worth the money. Plus Joe is giving a $10 gift certificate with every subscription.

  4. Vince Says:

    Billy Mays here for Mighty Putty!