Pro Football Focus tabs WSU junior Luke Falk the No. 3 QB prospect in upcoming NFL draft

LUKE FALK IS only halfway through his college eligibility but Pro Football Focus already tabs the Washington State signal caller the No. 3 quarterback prospect in the nation for the upcoming 2017 NFL draft. That naturally begs the question about the fourth-year junior's draft prospects, if he decides to go pro early -- how soon does the No. 3 QB tend to come off the board?

First, here's PFF's write up on Falk as the nation's No. 3 QB draft prospect (behind Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph and Clemson's Deshaun Watson).

3. Luke Falk, Washington State
Why he’s on the list: Using a quick release and good touch, Falk does a nice job of finding open receivers in zones and hitting them with good ball location. He doesn’t have great zip on the ball, but he makes up for it with his release. Falk does his best work at the intermediate level of the field.

What we’d like to see:   Falk must become a better decision-maker, particularly over the middle of the field. The same skills that allow him to find receivers in between zones also get him into trouble as he floats far too many passes that give linebackers and safeties a chance for interceptions. Improving his arm strength a touch could help mitigate some of those risky throws.

CF.C went back over the last 10 NFL drafts to see when the third QB came off the board

2016: First round. Memphis' Paxton Lynch, No. 26 overall to Denver. (Quarterbacks went 1-2 with the first two picks).

2015: Third round. A similar scenario to '16 as a pair of QBs went 1-2 with the first two selections. But the next QB didn't come off the board until the third round (Colorado State's Grayson Garrett, No. 75 overall to New Orleans).

2014: First round. Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville, No. 32 overall to Minnesota.

2013:  Third round. N.C. State's Mike Glennon, 73rd overall pick to Tampa Bay.

2012: First round. Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, drafted with the eighth overall pick to Miami.

2011: First round. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, 10th overall pick to Jacksonville (UW's Jake Locker was chosen with the No. 8 overall pick that year by Tennessee).

2010: Second round.  Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen,  No. 48 overall pick to Carolina.

2009: First round. K-State's Josh Freeman, No. 17 overall pick to Tampa Bay.

2008: Second round. Louisville's Brian Bohn, No. 56 overall pick to Green Bay.

2007: Second round. Houston's Kevin Kolb, No. 36 overall to Philadelphia.

For those scoring at home, the third QB taken in the NFL draft the past 10 years went in the first round 50 percent of the time. The other 50 percent of the time the third QB went in the second round (three times) and third round (20 percent). 

Meanwhile, PFF also says Washington State is No. 1 in the Pac-12 -- and No. 6 in the nation --  when it comes to returning snaps and on-field production. Nationally, WSU is behind only Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma and North Carolina in PFF's experience metric.

"We looked up and down the rosters of all FBS teams to determine which teams are returning the most production using last year’s PFF grades and snap counts," says PFF.

"While Washington is receiving most of the offseason hype in the Pac-12 North, Washington State is quietly returning a lot of productive players. QB Luke Falk is primed to be one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, and he’ll be throwing to WR Gabe Marks, the number two-graded returning PAC-12 receiver. Up front, the Cougars lose start left tackle Joe Dahl, but they return three offensive linemen who graded at least 79.0 or higher in C Riley Sorenson, RT Cole Madison, and RG Eduardo Middleton. Defensively, Washington State is bringing back a lot of experience, headlined by DE Hercules Mata’afa who posted the PAC-12’s fourth-best grade among interior defensive linemen to go with eight sacks, nine QB hits, and 21 hurries a year ago. Keep an eye on CB Darrien Molton who ranked sixth among true freshmen corners last season at 78.3."

No other Pac-12 team made PFF's top 10.  Washington State's Week Two opponent, Boise State, was mentioned first in its Group of 5 category (non-Power-5 schools).

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