Luke Easterling's quarterback rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft.

Luke Easterling rolls out his full QB rankings for the 2016 NFL Draft.


1. Jared Goff | California | 6'4" | 210 | Junior | 1st Round

There's no Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota in this year's class, but Goff is still a top-10 talent who should become a quality starter in the NFL for years to come. His combination of deep-ball accuracy, touch and anticipation set him apart from the rest of this year's crop of signal-callers, and if any team in the top 10 needs a franchise quarterback, Goff is the closest thing to a sure bet this year.

2. Carson Wentz | North Dakota State | 6'5" | 233 | Senior | 1st Round

Wentz has been the fastest riser in this year's quarterback class, despite missing a decent chunk of the season with a broken wrist. He returned to lead the Bison to yet another FCS national title, then followed it up with a strong showing in the Senior Bowl. He's only got one full season of starting experience at the FCS level, but he's got the size, arm strength and intangibles to develop into a successful starter in the NFL if he lands in the right spot.

3. Paxton Lynch | Memphis | 6'7" | 245 | RS Junior | 2nd Round

Lynch's size and arm strength are obviously the first things to jump out on tape, but he's still got a long way to go when it comes to the finer points of being a consistently successful quarterback. That said, he's an impressive athlete for his size, and he's likely to entice a QB-needy team to grab him early in the first round. He struggled against top competition last season and is still pretty rough around the edges, which is why I'd feel much more comfortable taking him in the 2nd round and letting him develop slowly.

4. Connor Cook | Michigan State | 6'4" | 220 | RS Senior | 2nd Round

Cook checks the boxes when it comes to size and arm talent, but his lack of consistency and questionable leadership ability give me serious reservations about his ability to be a long-time NFL starter. His mechanics can get sloppy at times, but when he puts it all together, he can look like a top-five pick on certain throws. If he can focus on improving in those two areas of need, he could easily outplay my grade here, but I have my doubts.

5. Dak Prescott | Mississippi State | 6'2" | 226 | RS Senior | 3rd Round

He's likely to get tabbed as a "running quarterback" by many, but Prescott's development as a passer from 2014 to 2015 was a night-and-day transformation. His accuracy is still a bit spotty, but he's got adequate arm strength and has greatly improved his comfort level when throwing from the pocket. He's got a rock-solid frame that can take the pounding of an NFL season, and he's taller than I think many expected him to be. Out of all the quarterbacks in this year's class, Prescott may intrigue me the most.

6. Christian Hackenberg | Penn State | 6'4" | 228 | Junior | 4th Round

Hack might be the most polarizing prospect in this year's class, regardless of position. After showing plenty of promise as a freshman under Bill O'Brien, Hackenberg has regressed over the past two seasons under new head coach James Franklin. There's no denying his physical tools and natural talent as a passer, but it may take time for him to regain his confidence and maximize the potential he showed during his first year in Happy Valley.

7. Cardale Jones | Ohio State | 6'5" | 250 | RS Junior | 4th Round

Easily one of the most difficult quarterback prospects to project in this year's class, Jones was wildly inconsistent as a thrower in 2015, but still has a ridiculous set of physical tools that will have NFL decision-makers digging deep to evaluate. His combination of size, arm strength and running ability will cause a team to bring him in just so they can see what can be developed from his rare natural skill set. Jones could be one of the biggest boom-or-bust candidates in this year's draft.

8. Jake Coker | Alabama | 6'5" | 236 | RS Senior | 6th Round

Coker went from getting beat out by both Blake Sims and Cooper Bateman in consecutive seasons to getting benched early in the 2015 season. But he bounced back in the biggest way, eventually leading the Crimson Tide to yet another national title. He's obviously got adequate size, along with enough arm strength and intangibles to merit Day-3 consideration. It's unlikely he'll ever be NFL starter material, but he could become a serviceable backup.

9. Vernon Adams, Jr. | Oregon | 5'11" | 195 | RS Senior | 6th Round

Don't let his small frame fool you; Adams is a much more refined passer than he's given credit for. His ability to use his athleticism to make plays on the run is indeed impressive, but it's his ability to do the little things from the pocket (manipulating defenders with his eyes, ball placement, negotiating a messy pocket) that makes him one of the more intriguing quarterbacks in this year's class. He was banged up for much of the 2015 season, but showed flashes of what he's capable of when healthy with a dominant performance in this year's East-West Shrine Game.

10. Jacoby Brissett | North Carolina State | 6'4" | 235 | RS Senior | 6th Round

Though he's shown the ability to make big plays with his combination of size, athleticism and arm strength, Brissett lacks the consistent fundamentals it takes to be a successful passer at the NFL level. If he's ever to develop into an effective passer in the pros, he'll need to greatly improve his consistency when it comes to mechanics, ball placement and decision-making.

11. Kevin Hogan | Stanford | 6'3" | 217 | RS Senior | 6th Round

12. Brandon Doughty | Western Kentucky | 6'3" | 212 | RS Senior | 6th Round

13. Brandon Allen | Arkansas | 6'0", 212 | RS Senior | 7th Round

14. Cody Kessler | USC | 6'1" | 224 | RS Senior | 7th Round

15. Nate Sudfeld | Indiana | 6'6" | 236 | Senior | 7th Round

16. Jeff Driskel | Louisiana Tech | 6'4" | 230 | 7th Round

Bucs Need-O-Meter: LOW

The Bucs obviously have no need to address the quarterback position in this year's draft. With a star on the rise in Jameis Winston and a more-than-capable backup in Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay won't need to spend much time worrying about this group. With Glennon in the final year of his rookie contract, their only attentions should be on potentially extending him or beginning the search for a potential veteran replacement to sit behind Winston.

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