The NFL Draft will be here in a few months and with it comes a thousand mock drafts on every football website. We’ve already done a mock draft so instead we will rank the Top Ten QBs coming out. Let’s get to it.
10. Jacob Coker Alabama
Coker never really was asked to do a lot at Alabama this year. After winning the starting job when Blake Simms graduated Coker was considered a game manager similar to the way AJ McCarron ran the offense when he was in Tuscaloosa. When you have Derrick Henry taking handoffs and running six yards everytime you don’t have to do much. But when the National Title was in question earlier this month Coker found OJ Howard when it mattered and passed for 335 yards. It’s not likely that he will be a starter next year but the Crimson Tide QB will get a chance to make an NFL roster this summer.
9. Cody Kessler USC
Kessler lit up the PAC-12 this year passing for 3536, 29 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. There have been questions about his arm strength but the USC and had big games against Notre Dame and Oregon. Like Coker he was labeled a game manager but in his defense Kessler didn’t have a lot of talent around him. USC had lost scholarships due to sanctions and he had to do a lot by himself. He isn’t Michael Vick in the open field but he can elude linebackers who get in the backfield. Kessler will hear his name called on the last day of the draft.
8. Cardale Jones Ohio State
Had Cardale Jones come out last year after Ohio State won the National Championship it’s possible he would’ve gone in the first two rounds. Now after an up and down year that saw him lose the starting job Jones’ draft stock has fallen. He is surprisingly mobile and has a big arm but Barrett has shown that he is inconsistent and has a tendency to throw into windows that quickly close. When he had the improbable run to the National Title he basically was a game manager and handed off to Ezekiel Elliott. Jones made throws when he had to but he wasn’t asked to do a lot. The Ohio State QB has a lot of upside and will get drafted. Jones just needs to find the right coaching staff who will bring him along slowly and not expect too much too soon.
7. Christian Hackenberg Penn State
Coming into last season many thought that Hackenberg was a slam dunk first round pick. But with no offensive line to protect him the Penn State QB spent most of the year running for his life. Hackenburg’s best season was a true freshman when he threw for 2955 and 20 touchdowns. The Nittany Lions were ravaged by NCAA penalties and sanctions and there wasn’t enough talent around him the last two years to live up to the promise he showed as a freshman. He has the size, arm and can make all the throws but unlike other guys on this list he never could put the team on his back in big games against Michigan or Ohio Stat and find a way to win. Hackenburg will get picked up in the second round and hopefully given some time to develop instead of being thrown to the wolves as a week one rookie starter.
6. Connor Cook Michigan State
Cook had a Jekyll and Hyde year for the Spartans last year. Statistically he was better as a junior but last season he feasted on bottom feeding defenses and struggled against elite teams. Cook blew up against Air Force, Penn State and Nebraska but wasn’t even a factor going up against Iowa and Alabama late in the year. The Crimson Tide defense held Cook to 210 yards passing and picked him off twice. The Spartan’s QB has opted to skip the Senior Bowl to prepare for the Combine. The same decision cost AJ McCarron a lot of money two years ago when he slipped to the fifth round after making the same mistake. Cook better hope he has a big day at the Combine because a lot of scouts noticed him falter against the Tide in the College Football Playoffs.
5. Carson Wentz North Dakota State
Wentz is an intriguing prospect with a ton of upside. However, some NFL teams are skeptical of taking a QB who beat up on FCS teams and comes into the draft with inflated numbers. Wentz has the size and arm that NFL GMs covet but he will have to impress teams at the Senior Bowl and Combine to standout from other quarterbacks who played against Power 5 opponents most of the year.
4. Brandon Doughty Western Kentucky
Doughty was the Hilltoppers offense the last two seasons. He led WKU to a 12-2 record this year including a win over a good Vanderbilt defense in their first game. The Hilltoppers lost against LSU on the road in October but that didn’t stop Doughty from lighting up the Tiger’s defense for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns. The WKU quaterback threw for an ungodly 5,055 yards and 48 touchdowns. He may not be from a big school but Doughty has a big arm and is a legit NFL prospect.
3. Dak Prescott Mississippi State
Prescott was dominant in college. And he did it against SEC West defenses like Alabama and LSU the past few years. The Bulldog QB put the team on his back when he had to and led the team to a #1 ranking in 2014. Last season he threw for at least 300 yards in seven games. Against Arkansas in November Precott exploded for 508 yards and 5 touchdown passes. He also ran for two leading Mississippi State to victory in one of the most exciting games of the season. The knock on Prescott is that he’s Tim Tebow 2.0. He’s built like a fullback but can air it out when he needs to. He will be drafted late in the draft but he is one hell of an athlete with a ton of an upside. If he can find the right fit he could have a career similar to Daunte Culpepper.
2. Paxton Lynch Memphis
Paxton Lynch was a guy flying under the radar until he led the Memphis Tigers to an upset win over Ole Miss in October. Lynch exploded for 384 yards and 3 touchdowns against the dominant Rebels defense to put himself on the map. The Memphis QB had at least 300 yards passing in eight consecutive games. However, the magic seem to wear off late in the year as the offense sputtered the last three games. Against Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl the War Eagle defense had their way with Lynch holding him to 106 yards passing and an interception in the end zone that turned the game around. Lynch is 6’7 245 pounds and is very durable. He’s also surprisingly quick and can get out of the pocket to extend the play. Some scouts have complained about his footwork and it does need work. But the bottom line is that Lynch is a pro-style QB who has the potential to be a franchise QB. I think he might need a year to learn but that doesn’t mean he will have the luxury.
1. Jared Goff Cal
Jared Goff is the best QB prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft. In his worst game of the year he only threw for 268 yard and 3 touchdowns against Texas on the road. Even against good PAC-12 defenses like Stanford he still threw for 386 yards and 2 TDs. The last time we saw him against Air Force in their bowl game Goff was showing out, throwing for six touchdowns. At 6’4, 210 pounds Goff will need to bulk up a little but with his arm and knack for reading defenses the Cal QB will likely go in the top five.