Previewing Draft Day Sleepers- QB

Everybody knows the big names in the draft. The Vince Young's, the Reggie Bush's, the Matt Leinart's. Raise your hand though if you know who Paul McQuistan, Brett Elliott, Delaine Walker, and Drouzon Quillen are. Well I am here to tell you who they are and why they would be good picks for the Buffalo Bills. The draft doesn't really even begin untill day 2 kicks off and I am going to show you who you should look for come April 30th.

Charlie Whitehurst 6'4 216lbs 40yd dash-4.7 Clemson Projection: 4th Rd
Positive:
Charlie posses a real NFL arm. He can make all the throws and better yet he can make them all accurately. He has great size at 6'4 and is a tough athlete. He can run if need be but he is a pocket passer. He posses great vision and the ability to see the receivers throughout the field and not just lock on to primary targets. One of Whitehurst's greatest strengths however may be the ability for him to roll out of the pocket and accurately hit his targets both in the intermediate plane and the distant one.

Negative:
The biggest knock on Whitehurst has always been his consistency. He will look like a top 5 QB one drive and the next look like he shouldn't be drafted. Its very tough to get a good read on Charlie Whitehurst because of this. He ran a very simple offense at Clemson so there is some concern about his learning curve once he reaches the NFL. Whitehurst worked mostly out of a shotgun set and will need work on his under center play. He also needs to work on reading defenses and how it affects his decision making. He tends too often to try and rely too heavily on his arm to fit the ball in tight spots.

Darrel Hackney 5'11 240lbs 40yd dash-4.9 UAB Projection: 4th Rd
Positive:
Hackney possesses one of the strongest arms in the draft. He regularly showed that off in the 2004 season hooking up with former first round pick WR Roddy White (Falcons). Hackney while not overly fast has a lot of quickness and he is able to read blitzes well to know when he should be ready to move out of the pocket and when he shouldn't. Hackney is a true leader and extremely competitive. He gets very fired up on game days. Lastly Hackney makes his progressions very smoothly as he transfers from primary receivers to secondary and dump off receivers.

Negative:
Its no big secret that Hackney lacks ideal size. At only 5'11 it will be somewhat of a struggle for him to see over his tall lineman and offenses will have to be curtailed so they open up the proper lanes of vision. He has also had some issues with his weight and its been known to fluctuate in the off-season if he's not monitored. Hackney played in a spread offense at UAB and will need to learn a pro system and there also some flaws in his technique that need ironing out. Lastly with his size there are always durability concerns.

Bruce Gradkowski 6'1 220lbs 40yd dash-4.8 Toledo Projection: 5th Rd
Positive:
Gradkowski is your prototypical NFL QB. He has the right size and the right mechanics. He is deadly accurate and when he gets into his rhythm watch out. Gradkowski is a proven leader with Toledo and took a lot of punishment there that he played through. He has NFL QB smarts and excels throwing the underneath routes. Was the guy at a very successful Toledo program in the underrated MAC conference which has a history of good QB prospects.

Negative:
Has an issue with a hand and shoulder injury that never fully healed and has been looked into prior to the draft. He is still a little shorter than one might want at QB. Gradkowski played in a spread offense with mostly shotgun formations, He also has had a history of passes being batted down at the line. His arm strength leaves something to be desired still.

Tavaris Jackson 6'1 221lbs 40yd dash-4.75 Alabama St. Projection-6th Rd
Positive:
Jackson originally played for DI Arkansas before being buried on the depth chart and transferring to ASU. Jackson is an athlete he runs well and he throws well. He also throws well on the run. He is very accurate and has the arm strength to hit the deep out routes. Jackson is incredibly competitive and will work on anything he can to try and improve his game. He has huge upside and untapped potential.

Negative:
Jackson's mechanics could use some serious work. He comes from a small school in DII and he never really needed to learn how to use proper footwork there. He tends to lock onto WR's who are his primary targets and has shown inconsistency from drive to drive. He as of right now gets happy feet and wants to run when he has time to look for another target.

Erik Meyer 6'1 215lbs 40yd dash-5.02 Eastern Washington Projection-7th Rd
Positive:
Meyer has a great arm and on top of that has displayed incredible touch on his throws. He is very accurate hitting the underneath routes and can lead his receivers properly on the route for yards after the catch. He is a good leader and was a true field general at Eastern Washington.

Negative:
Coming from a small school with inferior talent Meyer will struggle reading the complex coverage schemes of the NFL. He also has a lack of patience to let things develop. He is only a one year starter and lacks experience starting at the position.

Others to watch: QB Bruce Eugene-6'0,220lbs,40-5.18, Grambling-7th/FA
QB Brett Elliott-6'2, 203lbs, 40-5.26, Linfield (DIII)-FA


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