My parents would say that I 've wasted many a Saturday watching college football; I prefer to think of it as an investment. This will be the first part of many detailing the top 5-10 players at each position in the NFL draft.
Let 's kick this off with the QB position. As always, if you have questions, concerns, or you just have another method for me to go about these, let me know.
Height: 6'2" Weight: 235 lbs
If Sam Bradford had come out this year, there would have been quite the battle for who goes before who, and I bet that Bradford would 've gone first. However, this isn't a knock on Stafford at all; he's still a hell of a quarterback in his own right.
Playing at Georgia is positive for a quarterback in two respects: You play in the defensively-tough SEC and you play in a pro-style offensive system. Not only that, but he was never surrounded with top-notch talent. (Disclaimer: I realize that Georgia was preseason #1. I also realize that Knowshon Moreno is a great running back. But he was never surrounded with the offensive talent of teams such as Oklahoma, Texas, USC, and Florida, which meant that Stafford had to make his teammates better instead of relying on their elite talent).
Skills-wise, Stafford possesses an absolute cannon for an arm. He is not very mobile, so don't expect him to turn into a Donovan McNabb-esque quarterback.
Three things concern me about Stafford: His footwork, his inconsistency and his judgment. I've seen Stafford play a fair amount throughout the year, and those are the only three weaknesses I've found. When excited or rushing a throw, his footwork is left by the wayside and his accuracy is compromised. He also has a tendency to be inconsistent from drive-to-drive; one drive he will look great and make horrible decisions the next drive. He will force some balls to favored receivers at times.
One of the statistics I came up with to analyze part of a player 's potential is something I call the BGA (big game analyzer). The BGA looks at a player 's performance in either a rivalry game or a game against a ranked opponent. Italicized games are ranked opponents, while games in bold are rivalry games.
|11/29||Georgia Tech||L 45-42||24||39||407||61.5||49||5||1||186.38||4||-14||-3.5||0||0|
|Capital One||@Michigan State||W 24-12||20||31||250||64.5||35||3||1||157.75||6||9||1.5||11||0|
Average: 19-31, 264.8 yards, 2.2 TD’s, 1.1 INT’s. Pretty good, especially playing against tough SEC defenses. There was only one game that Stafford bombed it (versus the eventual national champion, Florida), but he looked good in every other game.
Bottom line: He has done more with less while playing in one of the toughest conferences in the country. I believe that Stafford is ready to step in and lead a team from day one.
Teams likely to draft Stafford: Lions (#1), Chiefs (#3), Jaguars (#8), SF (#10), Bills (#11), Broncos (#12), Jets (#17).
Sanchez’s decision to skip his fifth year was not welcomed by Pete Carroll, as evident in this press conference (link) . It is pretty clear Carroll is more worried about his football empire than this young man’s talents and dreams, but that’s a post for another day.
I will admit early on in this analysis that I’m not a big fan of Mark Sanchez. To be fair, he does possess a strong arm with good accuracy.
My problem with Sanchez is both his supporting cast and conference. If any of you follow college football recruiting, even a little bit, you know that USC gains dominant, blue-chip prospects year in and year out. USC’s team is, for all intents and purposes, a collegiate version of a fantasy football program. Sanchez was the beneficiary of having a stellar OL, RB’s, and WR’s. Not to take anything away from what Sanchez accomplished, but one must keep that in mind (think Graham Harrell from Texas Tech).
My other problem with Sanchez is that he played in the Pac-10. I realize there may be some Pac-10 supporters out there, so let me explain. The Pac-10 has taken a turn for the worse and moved into the bottom tier of BCS conferences. The SEC, Big XII, and even the Big 10 played top-to-bottom stronger football than the Pac-10 did. You will look at Sanchez’s stats and be pretty impressed. Just keep in mind that much of that is coming up against subpar competition.
However, Sanchez is a genius. He knew that coming out this year where solid QB’s are few and far between would boost his draft status. Plus, next year he won’t have to deal with the likes of Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy.
Let’s take a look at the BGA of Sanchez:
|9/13||Ohio State||W 35-3||17||28||172||60.7||35||4||1||152.32||2||-10||-5.0||1||0|
|11/29||Notre Dame||W 38-3||22||31||267||71.0||39||2||2||151.70||5||2||0.4||14||0|
|Rose Bowl||Penn State||W 38-24||28||35||413||80.0||45||4||0||216.83||7||16||2.3||6||1|
Average: 20-30, 281.8 yards, 2.8 TD’s, .67 INT’s. Not bad. USC didn’t play that many rivals/ranked opponents this year, but Sanchez’s numbers still look good.
Bottom line: Sanchez is going to get drafted a lot higher than he should due to a glut of teams having a need at QB.
Teams likely to draft Sanchez: Lions (#1), Chiefs (#3), Jaguars (#8), SF (#10), Bills (#11), Broncos (#12), Jets (#17).
Height: 6’2 Weight: 217 lbs.
I really like Nate Davis. I struggled to decide whether to place Davis or Sanchez as my 2nd ranked QB. It was close, but I went with Sanchez. However, whoever picks up Davis is getting a great QB.
He’s 6’2 with a good arm and better accuracy. One of the best things about Davis is that he can buy time with his feet. He’s not a Vince Young or a Tim Tebow; if his first two options aren’t available, he doesn’t automatically look to run. Rather, he checks down his options regularly. There are a few minor negatives to Davis. He does lack experience; he has started from his freshman year on, but he also has not gone up against stiff competition on a regular basis. At times, his throwing motion is a little long. Finally, like Stafford, sometimes he gets happy feet. With good coaching, two of those negatives can be eliminated.
I could not find any information on Ball State’s rivals, so GallopingGhost, let me know who your rivals are and I’ll update the list. For now, I have the top teams of the MAC listed as the variables for the BGA. Anyways, let’s take a look at the BGA of Nate Davis:
|11/5||Northern Illinois||W 45-14||18||22||300||81.8||42||4||0||256.36||5||10||2.0||6||1|
|11/19||@Central Michigan||W 31-24||12||22||175||54.5||45||4||0||181.37||7||42||6.0||22||0|
|11/25||Western Michigan||W 45-22||17||25||273||68.0||40||1||0||172.93||7||64||9.1||34||1|
Average: 17-29, 248.8 yards, 2 TD’s, .8 INT’s. Davis completed 58% of his throws and also ran for three TD’s throughout those five games.
Bottom line: Davis might sneak into the 1st round, but is looked at as a for-sure second rounder. If Angelo moves down the draft board, we might be able to grab him.
Height: 6’5 Weight: 250 lbs.
Freeman is one of those boom-or-bust draft picks. I’ll run through his strengths and weaknesses first, then explain my previous statement.
Freeman has a great stature as a QB, he’s tall and can run if he needs to. He has an absolute cannon for an arm and can also throw a good ball on the run. For a big guy, he’s extremely mobile and "feels" a pass rush coming on.
There are some big negatives to Freeman. First, his accuracy was terrible his junior year. He also tends to lock onto receivers and forces balls; he possesses bad field vision. Also, like Stafford, is somewhat inconsistent, although Freeman is even more so. When he’s hot, he’s red hot, but when he’s cold, he’s really cold.
No one is quite sure of his work ethic, leadership, etc., so it’s tough to call whether he’ll be a first or second-day prospect.
Let’s take a look at the BGA of Freeman:
|10/4||Texas Tech||L 58-28||13||28||170||46.4||33||1||0||109.21||7||13||1.9||5||2|
Average: 20.5-38, 244 yards, 1 TD, 1.5 INT. Again, not great, not bad. Freeman is mobile and scored three times on the ground, but...
Bottom line: I’m not going to speculate on where he’s going to go. The combine (especially the psychological side of it) will show us more about who Josh Freeman is as a person. Regardless, someone will be getting a QB who can throw the ball but needs some good coaching to become a legitimate NFL QB.
Who didn’t make the list:
Chase Daniel, Senior, Missouri
He’s short, he has attitude issues (I have a good friend who was on the OL at Southlake Carroll with him), he’s overweight, and struggles with major lapses in judgment. His play isn’t spectacular in any sense of the imagination.
Graham Harrell, Senior, Texas Tech
Harrell is accurate and throws (for the most part) a pretty ball. But he also played behind one of the biggest and best OL in the nation. If that’s not enough, he also had the Biletnikoff winner as his #1 wideout. You can toss all the arguments you want at me, but mark my words: he won’t be a starting NFL QB.