Saturday, February 22, 2014

NFL Draft Looking Back: 2012 QBs

We're looking back at our notes from two years ago, and letting you have a look at what we said about the 2012 draft class. I thought it would be fun and open myself up to some critiques about how we wrote up that class as we prepare to write up the 2014 class for our 2014 NFL Draft Prospectus. Here's what we said about the 2012 Quarterback class...

#1 Andrew Luck, Stanford
Luck, son of West Virginia AD and former NFL QB Oliver Luck, is a lock for the best QB in the 2012 draft in our opinion. He may not have had the flashy numbers that others had in front of him on the stat sheet, but he certainly is the most pro ready QB in the draft, and even stayed a year longer in college to develop further, despite the departure of head coach Jim Harbaugh for the 49ers. Those expecting a Harbaugh/Luck NFL reunion can forget about it, as the Niners will never be able to climb high enough to pry the top pick out of the hands of the Colts. Besides, Luck certainly proved in 2012 that he was his own man.
Pros: It's been a long time since I have seen a QB in the college game operate the way that Luck does under center. He already possesses the innate skill at reading defenses and realigning his offense to suit what the defense is throwing at him. He almost operates as his own OC on the field, changing plays like the best of them. He reads defenses spectacularly well, and has an amazing football IQ. He is certainly a high IQ guy, on and off of the field. He has the right build for the position, and is built to take some punishment. He fits just about any offense in the NFL, as he has operated in a run first, grind it out offense in 2012, and in prior seasons had also shown the ability to toss the ball around. He started for three years, which means that he has an amazing amount of experience. Luck passed for 3517 yards and 37 TDs in 2012, and threw only 10 picks while completing 71.29% of his passes, all outstanding numbers. He passed for 3338 yards with 32 TDs and 8 picks, completing 70.7% of his passes in 2010, and passed for 2575 yards with 13TDs and 4 picks as a freshman. He progressed and got better every season at Stanford, and the team got better around him, including in 2011, when he had probably the worst receivers during his time at Stanford. Makes all of the throws, and is smart about where he puts the football on throws. Can also make plays with his feet, in and out of the pocket.
Cons: Can't really find many in his game. The only drawback that one can think of is that he may not be a great fit for a high powered pass happy team. He is best in a balanced system, where he can play off of a power run game in play action. Fits best with a team that uses the TE, but really, he can fit anyone's scheme at the end of the day. May struggle at first with a team that may not have the best line in front of him. As was said earlier, he is built to take a beating, but that doesn't mean that he should.
Overview: His percentage improved every season at Stanford, and he continues to grow every season. He is a motivator. He takes the reigns of his team and moves them on his shoulders. Do not blame the end of the Fiesta Bowl this season on him, as play calling from the sidelines was awful in OT. Luck is a consummate leader and pro, and whomever drafts him may get one of the best young QBs to enter the league in a long time. Put a good, solid power back behind him, give him top flight TEs, and watch him go to work. He will likely play on a dome team in Indy, but he could fit very nicely in any of the cold weather outdoor cities as well. Luck is the absolute best player available, and will be the face of a franchise.

Update: Largely the best QB from that class, and one of the best in the last 10 years. Had some minor issues in 2013, but nothing that can't be undone.

#2 Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Overview: I like Griffin very much, but there are concerns with him. If he is handled the right way, you get a great player, but if he is thrown to the wolves with too many responsibilities early on, he may flame out. Let us not forget, he has the Heisman curse to live off of. That being said, he was a one man wrecking crew at Baylor, and took that program where they have not been before. He has the potential to be a super talent for the right team, but he has to go to the right team. Where Luck can thrive in any environment, Griffin cannot, and would be a terrible fit for a team like the Bears or Redskins. He is a dome QB to the letter on the next level, and if the right players are not around him, he may be a dangerous pick for some teams. He is a major risk/reward selection, and the jury will be out on him until he shows what he can do in training camp and beyond. All of that taken into consideration, he is still a top 3 selection, worst case.

Update: The Redskins haven't been much good with him, and injuries have been an issue, as he has tried to do too much. He ended up in a bitter feud with Mike Shanahan, and Shanahan was fired. Not a great start.

#3 Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
Overview: I am a Weeden fan, but he has many risks involved. That being said, he also has huge upside as he was extremely efficient and successful at Oklahoma State, driving them to a league title as QB in the Big 12 last fall. He has the ability to be very successful in the right situation, but taking him early would be a big picture mistake. If you can take him in the 3rd or 4th round, that is a great thing. If there is a run for him earlier than that, let someone else take the gamble and be happy that the pressure is not on you. Do not be too tempted by the upside to take too early a grab, or you could get stung. Weeden is all about value, and is a winner. It's tough out there for a 28 year old rookie.

Update: The Browns reached, and got stung. He's been largely a flop who's just hanging on by a thread to an NFL job.

#4 Nick Foles, Arizona
Overall: He was a great QB on a bad to maybe average at best football team, and has never been a big winner. Someone will take a flyer on Foles, but realistically, there are enough red flags here to move him down to the 3rd round or lower. He is a gamer, and a stat producer, but his lack of winning, and his injury and INT history shows some issues that have to be worked out early in his NFL career, and it may take some time. If you draft him and throw him into action too early, he will be labeled as a likely bust. A few years as a backup would serve him very well, if he played under a decent QB with a stable coaching staff. Foles is good, but not yet great.

Update: I preached patience with Foles, and the Eages largely showed restraint with him early on. I believe that he developed ahead of the curve, and became the man in Philadelphia under Chip Kelly. His development time on the bench certainly helped.

#5 Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Overview: I have mild interest in Tannehill, but only because of the unexplored potential that he has. He still has much work to accomplish before he is even remotely ready to run an NFL offense, He dangles a carrot in front of you, for certain, but whether he can deliver or not is completely an enigma. He does have some skills, but once more, he was a solid player on a not so solid football team, and Mike Sherman did not survive as coach after last season, so that’s something to consider. Tannehill should be viewed as a three year project before he is ever ready to fully run the QB position for any NFL team.

Update: Drafted by the Dolphins, they jumped the gun by forcing him to be the guy early on. Results have largely been mixed, and he hasn't been to the playoffs yet in two seasons.

#6 Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Overview: Cousins can be high reward at times, but can also be exceptionally frustrating, as he has that tendency to fold at times. His mistakes certainly became fewer as a senior, but he still has a bunch of work to do on the next level to become a successful NFL QB. He'll take some coaching, and will need a few years on the sidelines learning to read NFL defenses. He has potential, but may also never fully develop into a starting NFL QB. Too many inconsistencies that must be broken. Definite second day pick.

Update: Cousins showed early potential when Griffin got injured, and was dangled as trade bait before Washington decided to pull him back. Still a risk/reward guy, but he has value now.

#7 Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
Overview: Wilson has a major choice to make between baseball and football. He may not fit in entirely in the NFL due to his physical stature, but at the same time, he has been so amazingly productive that it hurts to not take a look at him and kick the tires. Wilson has never been a bad QB...ever. If I were an NFL GM, I may be tempted to make a mid-round gamble on him just to see what happens. He is worth that chance.

Update: The first QB from this class to win a Super Bowl with Seattle. He's not flashy, and is a typical point guard QB...he dishes the ball safely, doesn't turn it over, and wins. Was not drafted in 2012, but Pete Carroll did what I said someone should do...he gave Wilson a chance, and it paid off.

#8 Kellen Moore, Boise State
Overview: Moore is way too productive a QB to ignore, but NFL teams end up falling in love with physical packages rather than productivity, and if that is the case again with Moore, than he will fall like a rock, because he does not look like an NFL QB. If I am a GM, I take him no later than round three and take the risk. If teams let him slide to the bottom, he would be a rock star in the CFL, where his skills would be a perfect fit. I would rather see him do that than languish on a bench for his entire career. However, I see a guy who can make it on the next level, and I truly believe in him.

Update: Third string QB for the Lions, where he will languish forever. Never too late to bolt for the CFL game...

#9 Case Keenum, Houston
Overview: He put up far too many numbers to completely ignore, but the NFL learned all about system QBs with Andre Ware and David Klingler. I can see Keenum going in the 6th or 7th round, but he is far too much a gamble to take any earlier than that. He may just be too lost in translation to make it.

Update: Keenum was given a chance by his hometown Houston Texans, and even got some starting experience in 2013 when Matt Schaub was injured, and later benched. He played well enough, but the Texans are now flirting with Johnny Manziel, which I see as a huge mistake for the organization, but more on that later...

#10 Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
Overview: Osweiler does not bring nearly enough upside to you for any value as a drafted player. Look not at the one season totals, which were good but not great, but look at the big picture which shows an erratic at best player that never really asserted himself in a conference where the QB is king. Do the right thing by your franchise, and let someone else make this mistake.

Update: Osweiler is behind Peyton Manning in Denver, and is never going to be a starting QB in the NFL. His play in the pre-season has largely been crap.

Others of Mention

Mike Glennon, NC State
Sat behind Russell Wilson forever. Made a name for himself in one short season.
Update: Was named the starter with the Buccaneers in 2013, where he's been largely ineffective.

Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Nassib was the best QB at Syracuse since McNabb, but took time to get there.
Update: Drafted by the Bills, and has been ineffective. As have the Bills.

Ryan Lindley, San Diego State
Went from being elite to falling like a rock. Struggled badly in 2011.
Update: Lindley got limited opportunities with the Cardinals, but has largely just been bad.

Bo Levi Mitchell, Eastern Washington
Huge talent who won Payton award, national title at EWU.
Update: Has been a rising star in the CFL. Has a future in Canada, and wasn't afraid to grab it. Great choice.

Next: A look back at the Running Back class of 2012...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 NFL Draft: Declared Underclassmen Breakdown

Wing on the 2014 Draft Prospectus, we begin by presenting a breakdown of the underclassman group by name, by position and by school. list was broken down by Keith Harding, our stat and research editor.

NFL 2014 Draft Early Entrees
Player Pos. College Announced
1 Davante Adams  WR Fresno State  12/272013
2 Nick Addison S Bethune-Cookman  1/14/2014
3 Jace Amaro  TE Texas Tech  12/31/2013
4 George Atkinson  HB Notre Dame  1/8/2014
5 Odell Beckham WR Louisiana State  1/5/2014
6 Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State  1/10/2014
7 Kapri Bibbs HB Colorado State  12/29/2013
8 Brendan Bigelow HB California  1/15/2014
9 Alfred Blue  HB Louisiana State  1/13/2014
10 Russell Bodine  C North Carolina  12/30/2013
11 Blake Bortles  QB Central Florida  1/5/2014
12 Chris Boyd  WR Vanderbilt  11/26/2013
13 Bashaud Breeland CB Clemson  1/5/2014
14 Martavis Bryant  WR Clemson  1/5/2014
15 Ka'Deem Carey  HB Arizona  1/13/2014
16 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix  S Alabama  1/9/2014
17 Jadeveon Clowney  DE South Carolina  1/2/2014
18 Brandon Coleman  WR Rutgers  12/14/2014
19 Brandin Cooks  WR Oregon State  1/2/2014
20 Scott Crichton  DE Oregon State  1/3/2014
21 Isaiah Crowell HB Alabama State  11/28/2013
22 Jonathan Dowling  S Western Kentucky  12/13/2013
23 Kony Ealy  DE Missouri  1/4/2014
24 Eric Ebron  TE North Carolina  11/26/2013
25 Bruce Ellington  WR South Carolina  1/3/2014
26 Mike Evans WR Texas A&M  1/2/2014
27 Ego Ferguson  DT Louisiana State  1/3/2014
28 Cameron Fleming OT Stanford  1/14/2014
29 Khairi Fortt LB California  1/9/2014
30 Austin Franklin  WR New Mexico State  12/17/2013
31 Devonta Freeman  HB Florida State  1/11/2014
32 Carlos Gray  DT North Carolina State  1/15/2014
33 Xavier Grimble  TE Southern California  1/8/2014
34 Terrance Hackney  OT Bethune-Cookman  1/15/2014
35 Victor Hampton  CB South Carolina  12/1/2013
36 Jeremy Hill HB Louisiana State  1/13/2014
37 Kameron Jackson  CB California  12/24/2013
38 Nic Jacobs  TE McNeese State  1/10/2014
39 Timmy Jernigan  DT Florida State  1/9/2014
40 Anthony Johnson  DT Louisiana State  1/2/2014
41 Jamel Johnson  WR Alabama State  1/19/2014
42 Storm Johnson  HB Central Florida  1/6/2014
43 Henry Josey  HB Missouri  1/7/2014
44 Cyrus Kouandjio  OT Alabama  1/9/2014
45 Jarvis Landry WR Louisiana State  1/14/2014
46 Cody Latimer WR Indiana  1/5/2014
47 Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State  12/27/2013
48 Marqise Lee WR Southern California  1/3/2014
49 A.C. Leonard TE Tennessee State  12/13/2013
50 Albert Louis-Jean  CB Boston College  1/19/2014
51 Colt Lyerla  TE Oregon  10/6/2013
52 Aaron Lynch  DE South Florida  12/17/2013
53 Johnny Manziel  QB Texas A&M  1/9/2014
54 Marcus Martin  C Southern California  12/27/2013
55 Tre Mason  HB Auburn  1/9/2014
56 Chris McCain DE California  1/15/2014
57 Terrance Mitchell  CB Oregon  12/30/2013
58 Viliami Moala  DT California  1/10/2014
59 Donte Moncrief WR Mississippi  1/5/2014
60 Adam Muema  HB San Diego State  12/19/2013
61 Jake Murphy TE Utah  12/27/2013
62 Troy Niklas  TE Notre Dame  1/10/2014
63 Louis Nix DT Notre Dame  12/8/2013
64 Jeoffrey Pagan DE Alabama  1/9/2014
65 Ronald Powell  DE Florida  1/6/2014
66 Calvin Pryor S Louisville  12/29/2013
67 Loucheiz Purifoy CB Florida  11/30/2013
68 Kelcy Quarles  DT South Carolina  12/16/2013
69 Darrin Reaves HB Alabama-Birmingham  1/6/2014
70 Ed Reynolds  S Stanford  1/14/2014
71 Antonio Richardson  OT Tennessee  12/6/2013
72 Paul Richardson  WR Colorado  12/2/2013
73 Marcus Roberson  CB Florida  1/3/2014
74 Allen Robinson  WR Penn State  1/2/2014
75 Greg Robinson  OT Auburn  1/7/2014
76 Bradley Roby CB Ohio State  11/20/2013
77 Richard Rodgers  TE California  12/26/2013
78 Bishop Sankey  HB Washington  12/30/2013
79 Lache Seastrunk  HB Baylor  1/6/2014
80 Austin Seferian-Jenkins  TE Washington  12/28/2013
81 Ryan Shazier LB Ohio State  1/4/2014
82 Yawin Smallwood  LB Connecticut  12/7/2013
83 Brett Smith QB Wyoming  12/28/2013
84 Jerome Smith  HB Syracuse  12/20/2013
85 Willie Snead WR Ball State  1/7/2014
86 John Spooney  HB Brown  1/15/2014 Redshiret Jr. in 2013. Senior eligble to return in 2014
87 Josh Stewart  WR Oklahoma State  1/7/2014
88 Xavier Su’a-Filo  OG UCLA  1/4/2014
89 Vinnie Sunseri  S Alabama  1/12/2014
90 De’Anthony Thomas  HB Oregon  1/5/2014
91 Stephon Tuitt  DE Notre Dame  1/5/2014
92 Trai Turner OG Louisiana State  1/13/2014
93 George Uko DE Southern California  12/31/2013
94 Pierre Warren S Jacksonville State  1/11/2014
95 Sammy Watkins  WR Clemson  1/5/2014
96 Terrance West HB Towson  1/6/2014
97 James Wilder HB Florida State  1/7/2014
98 David Yankey  OT Stanford  1/13/2014
The following players have in timely fashion under NFL rules officially notified this office that they have graduated.  Consequently, they are eligible for selection in the 2014 Draft:
Player Pos. College Announced
1 Dion Bailey  S Southern California  12/23/2013
2 Carl Bradford  DE Arizona State  1/13/2014
3 Teddy Bridgewater  QB Louisville  1/1/2014
4 Adrian Hubbard  LB Alabama  1/8/2014
Listed by School
Alabama (5)
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix  S
Cyrus Kouandjio  OT
Jeoffrey Pagan DE
Vinnie Sunseri  S
Adrian Hubbard  LB
Alabama State (2)
Isaiah Crowell HB
Jamel Johnson  WR
Darrin Reaves HB
Ka'Deem Carey  HB
Arizona State
Carl Bradford  DE
Auburn (2)
Tre Mason  HB
Greg Robinson  OT
Ball State
Willie Snead WR
Lache Seastrunk  HB
Bethune-Cookman (2)
Nick Addison S
Terrance Hackney  OT
Boise State
Demarcus Lawrence DE
Boston College
Albert Louis-Jean  CB
John Spooney  HB
California (6)
Brendan Bigelow HB
Khairi Fortt LB
Kameron Jackson  CB
Chris McCain DE
Viliami Moala  DT
Richard Rodgers  TE
Central Florida (2)
Blake Bortles  QB
Storm Johnson  HB
Clemson (3)
Bashaud Breeland CB
Martavis Bryant  WR
Sammy Watkins  WR
Paul Richardson  WR
Colorado State
Kapri Bibbs HB
Yawin Smallwood  LB
Florida (3)
Ronald Powell  DE
Loucheiz Purifoy CB
Marcus Roberson  CB
Florida State (5)
Kelvin Benjamin WR
Devonta Freeman  HB
Timmy Jernigan  DT
James Wilder HB
Davante Adams  WR
Cody Latimer WR
Jacksonville State
Pierre Warren S
Louisiana State (7)
Odell Beckham WR
Alfred Blue  HB
Ego Ferguson  DT
Jeremy Hill HB
Anthony Johnson  DT
Jarvis Landry WR
Trai Turner OG
Louisville (2)
Calvin Pryor S
Teddy Bridgewater  QB
McNeese State
Nic Jacobs  TE
Donte Moncrief WR
Missouri (2)
Kony Ealy  DE
Henry Josey  HB
New Mexico State
Austin Franklin  WR
North Carolina (2)
Russell Bodine  C
Eric Ebron  TE
North Carolina State
Carlos Gray  DT
Notre Dame (4)
George Atkinson  HB
Troy Niklas  TE
Louis Nix DT
Stephon Tuitt  DE
Ohio State (2)
Bradley Roby CB
Ryan Shazier LB
Oklahoma State
Josh Stewart  WR
Oregon (2)
Colt Lyerla  TE
Terrance Mitchell  CB
De’Anthony Thomas  HB
Oregon State (2)
Brandin Cooks  WR
Scott Crichton  DE
Penn State
Allen Robinson  WR
Brandon Coleman  WR
San Diego State
Adam Muema  HB
South Carolina (4)
Jadeveon Clowney  DE
Bruce Ellington  WR
Victor Hampton  CB
Kelcy Quarles  DT
South Florida
Aaron Lynch  DE
Southern California (5)
Xavier Grimble  TE
Marqise Lee WR
Marcus Martin  C
George Uko DE
Dion Bailey  S
Stanford (3)
Cameron Fleming OT
Ed Reynolds  S
David Yankey  OT
Jerome Smith  RB
Antonio Richardson  OT
Tennessee State
A.C. Leonard TE
Texas A&M (2)
Mike Evans WR
Johnny Manziel  QB
Texas Tech
Jace Amaro  TE
Terrance West HB
Xavier Su’a-Filo  OG
Jake Murphy TE
Chris Boyd  WR
Washington (2)
Bishop Sankey  HB
Austin Seferian-Jenkins  TE
Western Kentucky
Jonathan Dowling  S
Brett Smith QB
Listed by Position
Quarterbacks (4)
Blake Bortles  Central Florida
Johnny Manziel  Texas A&M
Brett Smith Wyoming
Teddy Bridgewater  Louisville
Running Backs (20)
George Atkinson  Notre Dame
Kapri Bibbs Colorado State
Brendan Bigelow California
Alfred Blue  Louisiana State
Ka'Deem Carey  Arizona
Isaiah Crowell Alabama State
Devonta Freeman  Florida State
Jeremy Hill Louisiana State
Storm Johnson  Central Florida
Henry Josey  Missouri
Tre Mason  Auburn
Adam Muema  San Diego State
Darrin Reaves Alabama-Birmingham
Bishop Sankey  Washington
Lache Seastrunk  Baylor
John Spooney  Brown
De’Anthony Thomas  Oregon
Terrance West Towson
James Wilder Florida State
Jerome Smith  Syracuse
Wide Receivers (20)
Davante Adams  Fresno State
Odell Beckham Louisiana State
Kelvin Benjamin Florida State
Chris Boyd  Vanderbilt
Martavis Bryant  Clemson
Brandon Coleman  Rutgers
Brandin Cooks  Oregon State
Bruce Ellington  South Carolina
Mike Evans Texas A&M
Austin Franklin  New Mexico State
Jamel Johnson  Alabama State
Jarvis Landry Louisiana State
Cody Latimer Indiana
Marqise Lee Southern California
Donte Moncrief Mississippi
Paul Richardson  Colorado
Allen Robinson  Penn State
Willie Snead Ball State
Josh Stewart  Oklahoma State
Sammy Watkins  Clemson
Tight Ends (10)
Jace Amaro  Texas Tech
Eric Ebron  North Carolina
Xavier Grimble  Southern California
Nic Jacobs  McNeese State
A.C. Leonard Tennessee State
Colt Lyerla  Oregon
Jake Murphy Utah
Troy Niklas  Notre Dame
Richard Rodgers  California
Austin Seferian-Jenkins  Washington
Offensive Tackles (6)
Cameron Fleming Stanford
Terrance Hackney  Bethune-Cookman
Cyrus Kouandjio  Alabama
Antonio Richardson  Tennessee
Greg Robinson  Auburn
David Yankey  Stanford
Offensive Guard (2)
Xavier Su’a-Filo  UCLA
Trai Turner Louisiana State
Center (2)
Russell Bodine  North Carolina
Marcus Martin  Southern California
Defensive Ends (11)
Jadeveon Clowney  South Carolina
Scott Crichton  Oregon State
Kony Ealy  Missouri
Demarcus Lawrence Boise State
Aaron Lynch  South Florida
Chris McCain California
Jeoffrey Pagan Alabama
Ronald Powell  Florida
Stephon Tuitt  Notre Dame
George Uko Southern California
Carl Bradford  Arizona State
Defensive Tackles (7)
Ego Ferguson  Louisiana State
Carlos Gray  North Carolina State
Timmy Jernigan  Florida State
Anthony Johnson  Louisiana State
Viliami Moala  California
Louis Nix Notre Dame
Kelcy Quarles  South Carolina
Linebackers (4)
Khairi Fortt California
Ryan Shazier Ohio State
Yawin Smallwood  Connecticut
Adrian Hubbard  Alabama
Cornerbacks (8)
Bashaud Breeland Clemson
Victor Hampton  South Carolina
Kameron Jackson  California
Loucheiz Purifoy Florida
Marcus Roberson  Florida
Bradley Roby Ohio State
Albert Louis-Jean  Boston College
Terrance Mitchell  Oregon
Safeties (8)
Nick Addison Bethune-Cookman
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix  Alabama
Jonathan Dowling  Western Kentucky
Calvin Pryor Louisville
Ed Reynolds  Stanford
Vinnie Sunseri  Alabama
Pierre Warren Jacksonville State
Dion Bailey  Southern California