We introduced new NFL and draft writer Eric Judd earlier today with his Bounty Gate editorial, but now he is here to help out with our draft coverage heading into the final couple of weeks.
He starts his draft coverage with TSHQ’s 2012 NFL Draft: Top 5 Quarterback prospects, with a familiar name at the top.
Andrew Luck QB Stanford (RS JR)
6’4”. 234lbs. 4.67 40yard. 1.65 10yrd split. QB1. #1 Pick
#1 overall prospect. Possibly ever. He has the measurables to be great, and the intangibles to be special. Aside from falling into the pit that is the Indianapolis Colts Post-Peyton, Andrew Luck’s biggest challenge will be to overcome the monumental expectations that have been laid out before him. His accuracy, on all routes (short, medium, deep) will be top 5 in the NFL, midway through his rookie season. His pocket awareness will be his number 1 defense against the constant pass-rush he will face.
His under-rated athleticism will be his fall back, and could very well lead his team in rushing yards and attempts at some point in the year. If Luck is able to overcome the lack of weapons, run game, offensive line, defense, not to mention his chipmunk cheeks and win; like his predecessor, it will only cement his status as a phenom, and cause the rest of the NFL to wonder just how many rabbit’s feet Jim Irsay has locked away.
If he struggles, how quickly he will be cast in the same lot with David Carr and Matt Leinart. He could be the gold standard, by which all other NFL quarterbacks are judged. He could also be a testament to overcoming the diversity of a demolished franchise. He also could become the definition of squandered, overhyped ability.
Robert Griffin III QB Baylor (RS JR)
6’2”. 223lbs. 4.4 40yard. QB2. #2 Pick
RGIII was, arguably, the most electrifying player in college football since the illustrious Michael Vick. After winning the Heisman and leading Baylor into national prominence, Griffin will, most likely end up in Washington under the tutelage of Mike Shannahan.
RGIII is fortunate to not have the mounds of expectations dropped on his shoulders that Luck has. RGIII can take more time to acclimate himself to the NFL without the pressures of following a first ballot Hall of Famer, all the while displaying his other-worldly physical skills. His deep ball is uncanny; he has the speed to break games open, and has the poise and character teams look to build around.
RGIII will, undoubtedly, have the most statistically successful rookie season, when compared to his draft mates, and even surpass the records set by Cam Newton in Carolina. At worst, he will be a gimmick QB, attempting to play college football in the NFL (see Mike Vick in Atlanta). At best, he could be the perfect combination of Michael Vick (Philadelphia 2010) and Steve Young. If given the chance to develop correctly, he could be the better of the two elite QBs in the 2012 draft.
Ryan Tannehill QB Texas A&M
6’ 3 7/8”. 221lbs. 4.65 40yard. QB3. 1st Round
Ryan Tannehill is yet another perfect example of how QB driven the NFL has come. A stout defense and a solid run game used to win in the NFL. Now, and for the foreseeable future, without an elite QB your chances of success are slim.
After beginning his college football career as a wide receiver, Tannehill transitioned to QB in 2010 with 2011 being his only full year at QB. He has the pocket presence of a 4 year starter, and displays tremendous accuracy while on the move, which he is, and will be, quite frequently. His arm strength isn’t elite and needs more experience leading an offense.
He will, without a doubt be over-drafted because of the position he plays (like Jack Locker and Blaine Gabbert) and should expect similar results. He has the tools to be successful, but it is unlikely that his production will be equivalent to his draft spot.
Brandon Weeden QB OKSt
6’ 3 ½”. 221lbs. 4.92 40yard. QB4. Late 1st Round.
Brandon Weeden is old, turning 28 prior to the start of his rookie season. His age can be looked at in one of two ways; that all the immature struggles of a young QB have already passed, and he is ready to play in an NFL offense from day 1. OR you’ve lost out on roughly 4 years of development and you are risking your franchise future success because in 10 years he’ll be pushing 40.
He played the in spread at Oklahoma State, and was fortunate enough to be throwing to the 2-time Biletnikoff winner, Justin Blackmon, but his accuracy and arm strength are both NFL caliber.
Weeden does not have the experience in finding his auxiliary reads and can often panic when facing adversity. These deficiencies from his college career will make his transition to the NFL difficult, further emphasizing the shortened window for success.
Brock Osweiler QB ASU
6” 6 7/8”. 242lbs. 4.85 40yard. QB5. 2nd Round.
Osweiler is ONLY ranked this high because of potential. His size is, obviously, his most talked about feature. His arm strength is a close second. While not a fair comparison, these are attributes he shares with Ben Roethlisberger. If a team is willing to pay the, relatively steep draft price tag, and allow him to sit, and learn how to play football, working through his issues with mechanics and footwork, Osweiler could develop into the type of QB that NFL teams look for.
However, there are few teams in the NFL that have the luxury to use a high-ish draft pick on a QB that will sit behind their established starter for multiple seasons and learn the fundamentals. If pressed to quickly into a starting role, Osweiler’s size and arm strength will only save him for a short time.