Top Five Quarterbacks
|1. Mitchell Trubisky|
|2. Deshaun Watson|
|3. Davis Webb|
|4. Pat Mahomes II|
|5. Brad Kaaya|
The quarterback formerly known as Mitch has risen up the ranks of many media draft scouts, and for good reason. I have tried to distance myself from watching any quarterbacks or listening to the hype until now, but you can never fully insulate yourself. Mitchell is a capable athlete with a lightning release. Another aspect of Trubisky’s game that I really like is his anticipation, in the GIF below Trubisky displays good anticipation to get the ball out of his hand before the receiver ever starts his break.
One thing I don’t particularly like is his tendency to jump as he throws the ball on rollouts, I’d prefer him set his feet so he can generate more power. Trubisky also struggles with more exotic college blitzes, which will be commonplace in the NFL, especially once teams realize that it has an impact on his game. As a one-year starter, Mitchell will have questions to answer, but I prefer to look at the film.
Pro Comp: Alex Smith
Round Projection: 1st
After going to back to back National Championship games, and winning one, Watson decided to head to the NFL. Without a doubt, Watson had his biggest and best games against Alabama in the championship games. However, that is not a direct indicator of success at the next level. One thing that will directly help him at the next level is his arm strength; he regularly threw the ball down the field on back-shoulder fades and Go routes.
One thing I would like to see from Watson is improved footwork on quick passes, which would really start with there being any. When Watson is going to throw a slant he catches the ball and his feet never leave the turf again until he throws, as the GIF below illustrates. Watson also needs to work on pocket awareness and mobility, as his athleticism won’t allow him to run away from NFL defenders. Watson has a big arm, and at Clemson, it was occasionally too big as he would overthrow his receiver, that should be easy to fix as NFL receivers will be faster.
Pro Comp: Ryan Tannehill
Round Projection: 1st
The replacement for Jared Goff at Cal, Webb has risen up the ranks this year as well. While he won’t be the first pick overall, more than likely, Webb has apparently been given a first round grade by at least ten teams. Of course, this is all information coming from him, but I have a hard time seeing him as a first round pick. After the struggle that Jared Goff had I think teams will be slightly apprehensive to draft another Cal play caller that early. That being said, I think he has the second best pure arm in the draft this year. Webb looks effortless throwing the ball around the field, and if his mechanics looked that effortless I’d have him locked in as a first-round pick.
I’m not sure Webb made many post-snap reads all year, and he has a tendency to lock in on receivers which can lead him to some less than ideal decisions. He also has a tendency to back pedal out of throws, which leads to him floating them to the receiver. He can throw with good anticipation, but only if his first read is a timing route. An early day two selection wouldn’t shock me.
Pro Comp: Jay Cutler
Round Projection: 2nd
Pat Mahomes II:
Of all of the quarterbacks in the draft Mahomes has the most pure arm talent, and if they all had the same mechanics he’d be far and away the best quarterback in the draft. They don’t though, and he isn’t right now. Mahomes might actually have the worst feet I have ever see on a quarterback. He regularly has his feet square to the line of scrimmage, which makes some of his throws that much more impressive. He makes some of his throws essentially with only his arm. Mahomes is tough and will stand in the pocket and take a shot to make a throw, and he ignores players around his feet.
His game is a combination of Brett Favre, Johnny Manziel, and Jameis Winston. He has Favre’s arm, Manziel’s mentality, and Winston’s athletic ability. I only included Brett Favre since his mentality and arm are comparable; I am not saying Mahomes has a Hall of Fame arm. However, the trust in his arm is almost exactly like Favre.
Pro Comp: Blake Bortles
Round Projection: 2nd
After coming to Miami and starting as a true freshman, and switching coaching staffs each year, Kaaya has declared for the NFL draft. Last year Kaaya got his first look at a pro-style scheme, which will really entice teams thinking about drafting him. When Kaaya has good protection, which was rarely at Miami, he looks like a first round talent. He can make throws to every level of the field and can even look off defenses on occasion.
However, when the protection breaks down Kaaya’s mechanics immediately do the same. When Kaaya’s mechanics fail his throws are erratic and it is very frustrating, it is worth mentioning that he was sacked a ridiculous amount at Miami. Kaaya shows great anticipation, especially this year in his new scheme. Kaaya has little to no value as a runner and almost looks robotic on the move (not in a good way). He also tends to check the ball down too often, earning him a check-down Charlie in my notes. The last two points may make Ram, Viking, and Eagle fans cringe due to recent quarterback play.
Pro Comp: Sam Bradford
Round Projection: 3rd-4th