Sep 10, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Patrick Mahomes II (5) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
There are a lot of talented quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft, but only five are worthy of the first round. Here is a list of those potential superstars.
Make no mistake about it, there was a lot of solid talent in the NFL this season, especially at the quarterback position. If a team wanted to pick a franchise quarterback, the 2017 NFL Draft is the perfect time to do it.
Along with talent, there was also a lot of variety. This class will see multiple scramblers, a few pro style guys, and some strong-arm, pocket passers. This is a good thing because every team has a different style, so if there are various types of quarterbacks to choose from, those teams feel more optimistic about picking their possible franchise guy.
While there was a lot of talent, only five of those players can be considered worthy of a first-round pick. The others will likely be drafted, but they will be labeled as “project” players who will have to sit and learn under a veteran before they have a chance to be a successful starter in the NFL.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to those top gunslingers in this year’s draft class.
Next: 5. Deshaun Watson
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) throws the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
5. Deshaun Watson
There’s no doubt that Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson deserves to be on this list. He’s got a powerful arm, he’s accurate, and he makes good decisions. Along with that, he’s got great rushing ability. Watson often has a tendency to scramble out of the pocket and pick up multiple yards in doing so.
Another one of Watson’s qualities is his toughness. He may not look that big, but he is tough to keep down. The Alabama defense witnessed this toughness in the 2017 National Championship game. Since these teams played each other in last season’s National Championship, Alabama knew how effective of a runner Watson was, and they didn’t want to be embarrassed again.
No matter how hard Alabama hit Watson, he would not go down. He kept running, and he kept making good throws. His outstanding performance helped Clemson win the game by a score of 35-31. With all of this, there should be no question that Watson is worthy of a top draft pick.
Next: 4. DeShone Kizer
Nov 26, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) throws a pass against the Southern California Trojans during a NCAA football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4. DeShone Kizer
Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer is another mobile quarterback in this class. This guy is tough, he’s got great elusiveness, and he knows when to scramble, and when to make a throw.
Not only can he run, but he’s got a great arm. He had 5,805 passing yards and 47 touchdowns in his two years as a starter. If a team wants a tough quarterback as their franchise guy, Kizer could be the way to go.
The one bad thing is that he never had a lot of success when it came to winning football games. The team lost the Fiesta Bowl in 2015 and went 4-8 in 2016. If a team wants a player to be a captain, Kizer probably isn’t the way to go. He’s got talent, but overall, he’s only a system quarterback, and if someone takes him out of that system, who knows what they’ll get.
Next: 3. Patrick Mahomes
3. Patrick Mahomes
Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been electric ever since he replaced Davis Webb in 2014. He’s shown that he’s good with his legs and that he also has a cannon arm.
Last season, Mahomes threw for 5,052 yards and 41 touchdowns. He also showed his rushing ability by rushing for 12 touchdowns. There should be no doubt that this kid could become a top quarterback in the NFL.
While he is elite, he does have one problem, and that’s his accuracy. He’s often inconsistent with his accuracy, and the stats show it. In his three years as a starter, he only averaged a 63.5 completion percentage. If he wants to be a high first-round pick, he’ll have to show that he’s improved on this in the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.
Next: 2. Mitch Trubisky
Oct 15, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky (10) attempts a pass against the Miami Hurricanes during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
2. Mitch Trubisky
While all of the quarterbacks on this list have the potential to be elite, North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky is one of the two quarterbacks on this list who would be able to start out strong in the NFL by Week 1. He’s a leader, he’s accurate, and he’s got a football mind.
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It’s not every day that a quarterback with only one year of starting experience in college football jumps onto the scene as one of the best in his draft class. This kid had 30 touchdown passes with only six interceptions. He also brought this team to a bowl game, where they lost by only two points.
Trubisky’s offense scored 20+ points in almost every game, and if North Carolina had a better defense, then this team would’ve been a lock for the National Championship.
Bottom line is that Trubisky has got NFL franchise quarterback talent, which is why he is No. 2 on this list.
Next: 1. Davis Webb
Oct 27, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Davis Webb (7) passes against the USC Trojans during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
1. Davis Webb
California quarterback Davis Webb is the best quarterback in this class, and he showed it in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he threw for 165 yards and a touchdown (the first touchdown pass of the game).
While he didn’t have a whole lot of winning seasons in college, he did show off a great arm and terrific poise in the pocket. Even though three of his four starting seasons ended in no playoffs, he did earn a bowl win for Texas Tech his freshman year. He was also the MVP of that game, throwing for 403 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
If a team needs a quarterback, then they need to draft Webb. He makes quick decisions, he’s accurate, he’s tall enough to see the whole field without trouble, and he’s got a cannon arm. Seriously, what more could a team want?
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There are plenty of quality quarterbacks in the draft this year, but these five definitely stand out. These guys are NFL caliber players just waiting for a team to prove themselves, and they will likely get a chance to in 2017.