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Rating the QB class of 2011

Burgundy Burner

The Commissioner
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Oct 1, 2009
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Memphis, TN
Alma Mater
I really think it is more than obvious that the Redskins will draft a QB at some point in the draft. So, how would you rate this class and who has a chance to make it in this league? My choices will certainly differ from yours, but here is a list from yours truly.

1. Ryan Mallet, Arkansas

2. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada

3. Christian Ponder, Florida St.

4. Jake Locker, Washington

5. Cam Newton, Auburn

6. Andy Dalton, TCU

7. Greg McElroy, Alabama

8. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

9. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa

10. Pat Devlin, Delaware

Most upside potential: Cam Newton - provided he can overcome a simple system and learn the nuances of a difficult and complicated position. His physical gifts are not in question. If he had the kind of success last year in a pro-style system, he is the consensus number one.

Biggest surprise: Ryan Mallet. Who can blame this kid if he comes in with a big chip on his shoulder and proves the many naysayers wrong. He's very mobile for a big QB and has decent football intelligence. He throws well on the run and is already a favorite of some receivers in the NFL.

Biggest downside: Blaine Gabbert. A consensus top pick a few weeks ago now has bust potential. Would it be surprising if he became a third stringer for a few years and then fades away?

Watch out for this QB: Greg McElroy. Yes, he had a great Wonderlic score and that should help - intelligence is certainly needed at this critical position. All he did at Alabama is win games and win a lot of them. This kid is very underrated and has a very strong determination to succeed at the next level.
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I've also been seeing a lot of good stuff about McElroy, as well as Ponder. Frankly, I'd probably rather see either one of them in Burgundy and Gold than either Locker or Mallet.
1- Gabbert
2- Mallet
3- Ponder
4- Locker
5- Kaepernick
6- Newton
7- Dalton
8- Stanzi
9- McElroy
10- Devlin

Even though I have Kaepernick ranked 5 he has as much upside as anyone in the draft. I put Mallet slightly above Ponder due to the Shanahans wanting arm strength. I still think Locker has the most upside but his accuracy (or lack there of) is scary. Eight, nine and ten I think are career backups. I am also not that high on Dalton. I will be disappointed if he is the Skins pick.
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My top.

1. Gabbert
2. Locker
3. Ponder
4. Mallett
5. Newton
6. Kaepernick
7. Dalton
8. Stanzi
10. McElroy

Redskins top choices.
1. Gabbert
2. Locker
3. Kaepernick
4. Ponder
5. Taylor
I am surprised at all of the support for Ponder. He really hasn't done much, seems to choke a lot, and is somewhat fragile. His heisman campaign was a huge bust.

And that's coming from a FSU fan.
I think you get a run first team like Minnesota or Cincinnati that runs west coast offense it would be great spot for him but an offense that lives and dies by the arm of their QB probably needs to go in the other direction.
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O.K. I am going to give this a go. My list might seem dumb to some, but this is how I feel. I have read tons and watched as many videos as I can of these guys. I have changed my mind many times, but I think these are my final thoughts on the QBs prior to the draft.

I put a lot of weight into intelligence, whether or not the QB comes out early and character. I don’t necessarily think these guys will or should be drafted in this order. Newton is probably going in the first and at the latest the second. As you can see, he is last on my list.

1. Christian Ponder Obviously love his intelligence, especially since he is working on his second Masters Degree. He is more athletic than people give him credit for. They say he is not fast, but his 40 speed was only slightly slower than the athletic Locker, he just does not throw his body around.

There are also questions about his health, but I think that can be overcome the shoulder injuries once he gets some strength training at the next level. Bradford had some problems coming out last year and has done pretty well so far. Stafford did not have problems, and where has he been?

His arm strength is not really a negative IMO. His arm is strong enough to be a solid starter in this league. It is reported that he has great accuracy on the short and intermediate throws, but lacks accuracy on the long ball. Coincidentally this is a trait shared by Drew Brees coming out of college.

2. Andy Dalton – I think this guy may be best fit for the Skins in this draft. He broke a bunch of records at TCU. Most of them were owned by some guy named Sammy Baugh. Who is that? I have no clue  Dalton’s major flaws are that he plays in the spread offense and he is a ginger.

He can make any throw asked of him. He is going to have to learn to take a snap from center, like many QBs that have been drafted in the last several years. How quickly he can learn will determine his immediate impact, especially since he is already 24.

Dalton is a student of the game. He genuinely loves football and studies hard. Even though he played in a spread offense, a lot of the terminology he dealt with in college is very similar to what the NFL will ask of him, plus the TCU offense is fairly complex. Dalton ran this offense without a hitch.

3. Jake Locker – This guy is not just a QB, he is a football player. He will put his body on the line to gain that extra yard. However, that can be a huge negative for a QB because of injuries. Of course, he has had plenty, but usually battles through them.

He has a strong arm, but has lacked accuracy in college. He was a baseball player which explains his poor footwork and pocket accuracy. He is very accurate on the run.
He seems anxious in the pocket, of course, that could be because he has a poor supporting cast. Locker will need a great QB coach and one that is cocky enough to believe they can fix his faults, someone like Shannahan. I do not think he fits the Skins right now because he has not shown that he is accurate. Kyle needs an accurate QB. Therefore, I think the Skins would be better looking elsewhere.

If Locker is drafted and is not accurate, the Shannahans may be looking for new jobs in a couple of years. One more thing I do not like about Locker was his pro-day. Pro-days are setup to show a player’s strength. Locker only threw a couple of deep balls which were incomplete. He did no throw any balls outside of the numbers. I think a good question is 'Why not?’ Why do you avoid throwing outside the numbers when you plan on throwing 50+ passes?

4. Ricky Stanzi – Top 5, what???? This guy has been compared to Tom Brady. Not that he is going to be Tom Brady, but his body has not fully developed. He is not even close to the physical specimen that he can be.

He is big, works hard and is fairly accurate. He comes from a pro style system and managed to throw 25 tds, 6 int this past year and had a 64% completion percentage. He is also fairly mobile.

There are not too many videos to watch on Stanzi. From what I read his negatives are questionable pocket presence and he lost more close games than he won. But, those aren’t my words. Pocket presence could change, but losing more close games than he won concerns me.

I think he will be successful if he gets the proper coaching.

5. Blaine Gabbert – Yeah, I have him way down on my list and yes, I know that nobody else does. I am just not enamored with him like others. I really do not think he deserves the hype. I hardly ever see him set prior to throwing. His feet always seem to be bouncing around.

He definitely has the arm strength and the intelligence to be great. He is also very athletic. However, I never see him take chances. He always checks down to the safe throw. His long ball accuracy is horrible. Now, to be fair, that could all have to do with the system he is in.

He has not taken a snap from center. Does not mean he cannot, but on Gruden’s QB show, they showed him with a lackadaisical effort getting out from under center. He lacked explosion. I definitely don’t think he is a first round talent.

6. Ryan Mallett – Too bad there are character concerns surrounding him. He has admitted to drug use to some NFL teams. I am not totally opposed to some recreational use, but you are paying this guy a crap load of money to be the face of the franchise. He has to be squeaky clean IMO. I know not all are, just look at Roethlisberger and Vick.

His arm is second to none and he also has a very quick release. He is very tall, 6’7”, and can see above the O-line easily. However, that makes me question him taking snaps under center in the NFL. It seems to me he would have to bend down more to take the snap which would make him slower getting back to throw.

I have no question about his arm, but whoever drafts him will have to have a pretty solid O-line. I know some say he is mobile, but I just don’t see it. I have seen a couple of his games and he looks like he lumbers to me. I believe he got away with some stuff in college that is going to kill him at the next level. There is so much more speed in the NFL. I have also seen him get rattled by the pass rush. How do you beat Mallett? The same way you beat Bledsoe..blitz..blitz..blitz.

Also, he does not do well in interviews that question anything about his character. I know interviews do not win you games, but when is the last time you saw a solid QB do poorly in interviews and was still great on the field? I think it says a lot about his composure and how he will handle the pressure in the future.

7. Colin Kaepernick – this guy has a huge arm, a flick of the wrist and the ball is gone. He is tall at 6’5”, but he is also very thin. This makes me question how well he is going to take hits at the next level. Will he stay healthy? He also worked out of the pistol offense. I do not know too much more about him, but I doubt he is going to be anything significant at the next level.

8. Cam Newton – Not fond of this guy at all. He is very athletic. Of course, everyone knows that. He can run and has a strong arm. But there are character concerns. You have to wonder if he is going to rely on his athletic skills more than his brain at the next level. He seems to be all about 'swagger.’ Yep, that is the word he uses. If you have swagger, and demand respect, you will be good. He seems to be forgetting about all of the studying that he should be doing. He is more concerned about looking good than playing good.

He is all about whatever is fast and easy. He only made a couple of reads in college and he is a one year wonder. I typically hate one year wonders. Newton will be a solid QB if he sticks his nose in the books and outworks everyone on his team. Sadly I see him going the way of Vince Young. He has all the talent, but will not work hard and put it all together. His teammates will not respect him. He will not be Jamarcus Russell because he will stay in shape and continue to look good.

I am not going any further. I am tired – Greg McElroy would be next on my list, but he won’t go until the 5th or 6th round, if at all. He lacks arm strength, even more so than Ponder. He is intelligent and may end up on a team like the Browns. Although, I could make a case to put him ahead of Kaepernick and Newton.
I dropped Gabbert to No. 4 on my list and may make one more adjustment prior to the draft this week. Gabbert could have bust potential imho. I've edited the op.
I think everyone is against Dalton because he has broken so many of Baugh's TCU records :)

Seriously, why is he so far down some of your lists? I really have him and Ponder neck and neck. I could easily make Dalton my number one QB. I see nothing but upside.
I dropped Gabbert to No. 4 on my list and may make one more adjustment prior to the draft this week. Gabbert could have bust potential imho. I've edited the op.

Every QB in this draft class has bust potential.
I think everyone is against Dalton because he has broken so many of Baugh's TCU records :)

Seriously, why is he so far down some of your lists? I really have him and Ponder neck and neck. I could easily make Dalton my number one QB. I see nothing but upside.

I was joking (South Park reference) - I like Dalton a lot. I would be fine with his name being called this weekend, however I just don't see it.
Yeah, that question wasn't really aimed at you Lanky. I didn't know where you had him listed. I was mainly asking the guys that have him in the bottom 5. I really do not understand why. I would rather hear his name than Locker's.
Dalton's arm strength scares me. Accuracy and leadership is great and I watched Gruden's QB camp and I like the kid. I just see Kyle Shanahan wanting to stretch the field and I'm not sure he can make the throws. If he is drafted by the Skins I will be first in line to get my Dalton jersey but deep down until I start seeing those throws I will be worried. Plus where would we have to draft him? In the first round? Most experts don't think he will be there at 42. So we trade down from ten and take him in the twenties. If we could him later in the draft that would be fine but I don’t see much more than a game manager with Dalton.
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I guess we will have to disagree then. I think his arm strength is just fine. Maybe it is not as strong as Kaepernick or Mallett's, but he does have enough to get the ball downfield. In fact his YPA is right on with Mallett and slightly lower than Newton's. He is better than everyone else in that scenario. (not that YPA determines arm strength)

I have only seen people questioning his arm strength within the last two weeks. Never saw it before then. Makes me question some people's motives. Honestly, I think teams are spreading misinformation. Arm strength is not the only attribute when judging a QB.

This guy will be good if he gets in the right situation. As far as where he will be drafted. Well, he will probably go in the late 1st. Ideally, we could trade down and grab him. Of course, you need partners for that scenario. He is being linked as high as 15 and 16. I have no problems if we are sitting at 10, and there are no trade down partners and the Skins reach for what they believe is a franchise QB. However, they have to strongly believe it.

I do not see too many scenarios where the Skins can flat out screw up this draft.
That is what is great about the draft, sometimes people have to agree to disagree. I think his arm strength started to get questioned about the time he started being considered a first round pick.

If the Skins draft him then the Shanahans must think his arm is strong enough too an I will be an immediate Andy Dalton fan.
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Well some of those in the know on the other board, if they are in the know, are dropping hints to tune in early for the draft...there is movement. If the Skins move up, the only one I see us moving up for is Gabbert. We would have to move to #1, I guess that will mean that we will not have any picks for the rest of the draft.

I will be severely ticked if this happens.
Speaking of the other board...

There can be only two members that I would trust with "insider" info and they are right about 50% of the time. Usually, you can tell when their info is about to pan out.

Also, I really don't think any of the mods over there are "insiders" to the point that they would like to portray themselves as being so. That is not a knock on any of them - it's just a fact when you see what the track record has been since the new regime took over at Redskins Park. I would trust any mod at BGO over any others out there. Just my two cents.

Back to the QB thing...

I dropped Gabbert because of some realistic expectations that have been made in recent days by various scouts. I really think Mallet is the most ready of any of the QB prospects and a year behind Grossman (with some playing time) would do him well, imho. Mallet may never be a Manning or Brady, but he can be a very good QB for many years - and that is what we need.
Without commenting on any site in particular, all "Insider Info," regardless of source, is correct less than 50% of the time. Remember when Adam Schefter reported that the Skins had released Byron Westbrook? He's about as insider as it gets when it comes to Shanahan, and he was wrong.

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