Your Team’s Franchise QB Is NOT In The 2017 NFL Draft
As we come down the stretch of the college football and NFL season, many professional franchises are already looking toward the future (looking at you Cleveland Browns). With a number of talented rookie quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz selected this past season, teams may be more willing to draft a quarterback in this year's upcoming draft. But if your team is looking for a franchise quarterback the likes of Prescott and Wentz, good luck.
The 2017 NFL draft may be the worst collective group of quarterback prospects in the modern era. Led by Clemson's Deshaun Watson and Miami's Brad Kaaya, there are too many question marks with this class of quarterbacks. Here are the breakdown of each of the quarterbacks expected to be drafted in 2017:
Deshaun Watson, Clemson:
Watson is likely to be the first quarterback selected in next years draft. Watson's skillset is the best of the group. He does so many things well, and in the right scenario can thrive (very close to Dak Prescott). The big negative on Watson is his inconsistency this season. He has had times where his accuracy and timing have looked dreadful when trying to go down the field. Without the ability to go down the field, I don't see how a team could take a gamble on him when throwing the football is as much of a necessity in today's game than ever before.
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame:
Kizer's raw ability could make him the best of the bunch. However, Kizer is one of the quarterbacks in this group who's inconsistency to throw the ball in the pocket may cost him in the end. Kizer has been benched already this year for his poor play and there isn't much optimism around college football that he can turn it around. With that poor play, comes poor confidence as well; that needs to be adjusted too. Kizer reminds me of a poor-man's Cardale Jones without the ability to throw the ball down the field. Too many issues to take a chance on him in my mind.
Brad Kaaya, Miami:
Kaaya plays behind the weakest offensive line of any players on this list. Their shakiness is directly impacting his performance, so he has that going against him. The biggest question mark on Kaaya is his body. A very frail player, there is no way Kaaya would be able to hold up through the course of a full NFL season without some sort of injury that may or may not affect his ability on the field.
C.J. Beathard, Iowa:
Beathard is a guy that struggles from what I like to call "The Hackenberg Effect", which is having immense talent, but an offensive line made of Swiss cheese that hurts your overall draft stock. Beathard comes from a pro-style system at Iowa. He can make all the throws you want a quarterback to make, but can some of his struggles from this season carry over into the NFL like they did for former Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg? We'll have to wait and see, but if any quarterback has a chance to at least be a starter in the NFL for a decent amount of time, I believe Beathard can be the guy.
Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina:
Learn the name Mitch Trubisky now, because you will hear a lot of him as we get closer to the draft. Trubisky is having a breakout season at North Carolina with 18 touchdowns and 2 interceptions to go along with his 71.2 completion percentage (5th in the nation). Trubisky is an extremely raw prospect and would thrive in a system known for developing quarterbacks because he will need time. Like a lot of guys on this list, Trubisky is a big unknown. A team will likely take a chance on him though as his upside may be worth it.
Luke Falk, Washington State:
Luke Falk is an interesting player. Perhaps the best when it comes to reading a defense out of all the possible quarterbacks in his class. Falk leads the country in completion percentage (72.7%) and can make a lot of the throws, but can the style of offense he runs at Washington State transfer to the NFL? That's the major question. Washington State hasn't had a rich history in producing great NFL quarterbacks... remember Ryan Leaf?
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss:
The mentality of a Phillip Rivers or Brett Favre is the biggest attribute Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly has. The arm talent alone, can back that up. But his major concern is decision making. Much like Favre, Kelly likes to force the ball to certain receivers and in tight holes as well. Reading the defense at the line-of-scrimmage is also a concern as he fails to recognize the blitz at times. Off the field, his maturity is a huge question as well. Earlier this month, Kelly was involved in an altercation at his younger brother's high school football game.
If your team is in need of a franchise quarterback, you're not going to find one out of this bunch. With a class as unproven as this, upcoming free agents like Kirk Cousins, Brian Hoyer, Case Keenum, and Landry Jones may be even more coveted by teams in search of a quarterback. Don't leave out teams who already have back-up quarterbacks with upside as well; the Oakland Raiders have former Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook, who many teams coveted in the 2016 NFL Draft.
When the combine concludes and we're on the eve of the 2017 NFL Draft, we'll know more about these prospects, but at the moment, this class is as far as it gets from any class we have seen in the past decade or so.