2011 NFL Draft – Top 10 Quarterback Rankings
1. Blaine Gabbert- Gabbert is the top rated quarterback on my board. While I don’t think he is a Franchise Quarterback who can step in from day one, I think he has the potential to develop into one in a couple of years. While there are the obvious questions coming from a spread offense, I love his size, athleticism and arm. I’ve always got the impression that he is a smart quarterback, which is why I think there is a high probability that he is at least a quality starter. Top 15 talent, will likely be 1st quarterback taken.
2. Cam Newton– While part of me has soured on Newton, it is hard to deny his physical tools and potential. Newton has a chance to be a combination of Vince Young and Josh Freeman, but he is going to have to keep an attitude like Freeman to ensure he succeeds. I do like the reports that he has taken well to coaching, considering he is as raw of a prospect that there is in this class. While I love the potential, if you start him too early he will likely develop the bad habits of Vince Young and he will never become a star. Top 25 talent, should be taken in the top 15.
3. Christian Ponder- Ponder nails down the third spot because his floor is pretty high. While he might not have the ceiling as some of the other quarterbacks, I think he is one of the safer bets to become a good starter in the NFL, and at worst should be a mediocre one. Ponder also gets the nod, because he is one of the closest to being able to start in the NFL. There is not a single area that Ponder will ‘wow’ you in, but he does everything well. Top 45 talent, likely early 2nd rounder.
4. Colin Kaepernick– Kaepernick certainly has the potential to be a star, and his intangibles are off the charts, but he is not without his drawbacks. He has very little experience in a pro style system, and has to work on quickening his release and cleaning up his footwork. I think between his physical skills, drive, and work ethic he will succeed in the NFL. I think he will need at least a year to be ready to start, and it could be closer to two years.Top 50 talent, likely will fall to the third round.
5. Ryan Mallett– Mallett has the big arm, and looks like a classic pro style QB, but there are some major red flags. A lot of people are question his character, and it sound like he brings a lot of baggage to the table. Even without that, there are questions about his play on the football field. His decision making isn’t the best, and he does not handle pressure well. Also he has no foot speed, making him basically a statue in the pocket. Top 60 talent, will likely be drafted higher in the 2nd round.
6. Jake Locker– I thought Locker would rank a lot higher, but his performance Senior Bowl week really sent his stock in a tail spin. Locker is way to inconsistent and inaccurate at this point in his career. And while he has some key intangibles, he can never seem to find his touch. I think he will need a good bit of work, and despite being a senior and coming from a pro style he will need 2-3 years to become successful. Top 75 talent, still will likely be picked high in the 2nd round.
7. Pat Devlin- Pat Devlin looks like a good mid-round quarterback prospect. He doesn’t have the biggest arm, but he is accurate and smart with his throws. He won’t have the impact of his Delaware predecessor, Joe Flacco, but he could develop into a very good quarterback. Top 75 talent, end of 2nd to early 3rd round pick.
8. Ricky Stanzi- Stanzi is what I’d define as an average quarterback. There isn’t anything special that he does, but he shows enough to make me believe he should be a quality backup at worst. I don’t think he’d ever be a great or very good starter, but he should at least be solid-to-good. Top 100 talent, likely an early 4th rounder.
9. Andy Dalton– I expected to see higher level of performance from Dalton at the Senior Bowl, and was disappointed in his practices all week. He has good size and a solid arm, but really struggled in his transition to a pro style system. He very well could develop into a good starter or better at the next level, but I have some questions if he will ever reach that level. Top 125 talent, 4th-5th rounder.
10. Nathan Enderle- I know I’m higher on Enderle than most, but I really like his potential. He has a good balance of size, arm and intelligence, and could really surprise some people. I think he will need a couple of years to develop, but he does have starting capability. Top 140 talent, likely 6-7th rounder.