Positional Analysis: Quarterbacks

John Holler scours the statistics, scouting reports, all-star footage, pro days and more to come up with an in-depth look at his top 10 quarterbacks in the 2010 draft. In an interesting class, mid-round picks could end up stars and some picks might not even be playing quarterback in a few years.

VIKINGS QUARTERBACKS — Brett Favre, Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels.

VIKINGS NEEDS — Much of the needs area for the Vikings will hinge on whether Favre returns. If he does, there may be more of a push to trade Rosenfels, who is being paid low-end starter money and spent the entire 2009 season inactive as the third quarterback. There might be the inclination to go after a young QB in the middle rounds if Rosenfels is dealt, but otherwise the Vikings likely won't be in the market for one of the top QBs on the board

THE CLASS OF 2010 — A decent group, headed by Sam Bradford, but not high on top-end quality. Beyond Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, there might not be a QB other than them taken in the first two rounds. There are a few interesting prospects, tops among them being Tim Tebow of Florida. He has incredible passion for the game and could be a player a lot of teams will be sad to see come off the board whenever he does. VU DRAFT GRADE: C-plus.


Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, 6-4¼, 236 — Fourth-year junior…Started all 31 games of his college career…In two full seasons as a starter, completed 68 percent of his passes for 7,841 yards with 86 touchdowns and 16 interceptions…Won the Heisman Trophy as a junior, completing 328 of 483 passes for 4,720 yards with 50 touchdown passes, five touchdown runs and just eight interceptions…Played in only three games in 2009 after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery to his AC joint…OU's career passing yardage (8,403) and touchdown (88) leader…Has a very quick release…Has the arm strength to make all the required NFL throws…Extremely accurate passer who rarely throws a bad pass…Has good field vision and reads defenses well…Very smart and a two-time team captain for Sooners…Excellent on-field leader…Took almost all of his snaps from the shotgun and will need to adjust being under center…Has an awkward delivery at times and will get too many passes tipped if he doesn't settle on a higher release point…Despite having decent footwork, is not very agile and isn't a scrambler…Bulked up 20 pounds since his injury in October and some believe his natural playing weight is 10-15 pounds less…Didn't work out at the Combine. PROJECTION: Bradford did all the right things to impress NFL scouts, adding weight and putting on a strong showing at his pro day. He is likely going to go to St. Louis with the first pick in the draft.

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, 6-2¾, 222 — Third-year junior…Had a record of 42-0 as a high school QB in California…Had surgery the spring before his freshman year at Notre Dame to have bone spurs removed from his throwing shoulder…Started 34 of 35 games for the Irish, throwing for 8,148 yards with 60 touchdowns and 20 interceptions… Had toe surgery in January to fix a tendon problem…Adept at finding the hot read and exploiting a defensive weakness…Stands tall in the pocket and will deliver passes even if it means leaving himself open to a hard hit…Has three years of experience in a pro-style offense – something many of the other QBs in this class don't have…Was durable – starting each of his last 34 games…Plays with a lot of emotion…Plays well with the game on the line, which was often with Notre Dame…Won't be overwhelmed by the NFL…Loses his accuracy the farther he has to throw…Doesn't have ideal footwork or foot speed and will take his share of sacks at the next level…Is viewed by many scouts as being much too cocky, reminding some of Bills bust J.P. Losman, who seemed to rub everyone the wrong way…Doesn't have a quick delivery and needs to wind up too much to throw the bomb…Didn't work out at the Combine. PROJECTION: Clausen is one of the key players to this draft, much like Mark Sanchez turned the 2009 draft on its head when the Jets started a trading frenzy by moving into the No. 5 spot to take him. He could land with Washington at No. 4, Seattle at No. 6 or Cleveland at No. 7. If he makes it past all of them, it might take a trade to keep him from dropping into the second half of the round.


Tony Pike, Cincinnati, 6-5¾, 223 — Fifth-year senior…Two-year starter who was No. 3 on the depth chart during spring ball before his junior season…In his final two years, started 19 of 22 games – completing 400 of 662 passes for 4,927 yards with 38 touchdowns and 17 interceptions…As a senior, threw 29 TDs and just six picks…Broke his left (non-throwing) forearm and had surgery to insert a plate and six screws, yet came back after missing just two games and played wearing a cast…Has poise in the pocket, feels the pressure and moves to avoid the heat and deliver a pass…Has prototypical quarterback height and rarely has passes knocked down…Has a big-time arm that can make all the throws with velocity…Can throw well on the run…A tough guy who plays through pain…Has very long arms and can fire the ball like a poor man's Joe Flacco…Is too thin and has a laundry list of injuries from high school through college…Took very few snaps under center and will need to refine his mechanics…Loses his accuracy downfield and will overthrow receivers…Gets down on himself if he struggles…Ran a 4.91 40 at the Combine with a 28½-inch vertical jump and a 9-0 broad jump. PROJECTION: If he was 20 pounds heavier, he might be a top-five pick. As it stands, he comes with limited experience, less against top-end competition, is too skinny and is injury prone. In a quarterback-driven league, guys of his height and arm strength don't come around often. He's a risk-reward pick in the second or third round.

Tim Tebow, Florida, 6-2¾, 236 — Fourth-year senior…Three-year starter who completed 639 of 962 passes for 8,937 yards with 83 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, while rushing 603 times for 2,882 yards and 49 touchdowns in that three-year span…A Parade High School All-American, setting Florida high school records in passing yards and touchdowns…Won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, throwing for 3,286 yards and 32 touchdowns (just six interceptions) and rushing 210 times for 1,002 yards and 23 more TDs…First QB from a power school to ever have 20 TDs passing and rushing in a season…His 57 career rushing touchdowns broke the SEC record held for 25 years by Herschel Walker…Both parents are missionaries in the Philippines and he was home-schooled…Had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder in January…Incredible passion for the game and arguably the best team leader at QB to come into the draft in years…Has a strong arm and can throw the deep ball with velocity…Loves the game, from game day to the practice field to the weight room…Has a quick release, especially when on the move…Started his last 41 games in three years and showed the ability to play through pain…Does not have good mechanics at all for the pro level…Played in a spread offense that didn't require him to take a direct snap and he struggled badly at times at the Senior Bowl…Has a big windup to get rid off a long pass…Despite good lower body strength and a willingness to fight for yards rushing, he isn't especially adept at footwork as a passer…Inconsistent accuracy, especially when pressured…Most routes in the Florida offense were quick reads that didn't require to read through his progressions that often…Will lock on primary receiver too much…Ran a 4.72 40 at the Combine with an impressive 38½-inch vertical jump and a 9-7 broad jump. PROJECTION: If heart played anything into draft stock, Tebow would go No. 1. But he is going to require a lot of work. Would be an ideal type of a fit with a team that has an aging or injury-prone starter. He won't do anything early in his career, but with his drive and determination, he could turn into a solid pro QB. Look for him to go in the second round and don't be surprised to see someone like Jacksonville trade into the round to get him.

Colt McCoy, Texas, 6-1¼, 216 — Fifth-year senior…Four-year starter who started 52 of 53 career games and holds 47 school records…His teams were 45-7 in games he started…In his career he completed 1,157 of 1,645 passes (70.3 percent) for 13,253 yards with 112 touchdowns and 45 interceptions…Was also a threat on the ground, rushing 447 times in his career for 2,260 yards and scored 20 touchdowns…As a junior, set an NCAA completion percentage record (76.7 percent) and was runner up in the Heisman Trophy balloting…Owns or shares 47 records for quarterbacks at Texas…Has good quickness to buy himself time in the pocket…Comes to the NFL with a ton of experience against top-end competition…Is well-schooled at reading defenses and rarely gets burned – over the last two years, he threw 61 touchdowns and just 20 interceptions…Is intelligent and a student of the game…Has a quick release and can unload the ball in a hurry and into tight spaces…Has played some of his best games in big games and is a winner in every respect…Doesn't have top-end arm strength and at times has struggled with deep accuracy…Is too short and too skinny, which will scare off some teams from the get-go…Gets rattled when pressure comes and doesn't always stand in the pocket and take a hit to make a play…Doesn't have consistent mechanics and will drop his arm on too many throws, which could haunt him at the next level…His offense at UT only asked him to make one or two reads on most plays, so he isn't overly experienced in reading his progressions…Suffered a shoulder injury early in the National Championship Game, which will concern some teams early…Ran a 4.79 40 at the Combine and had a 9-6 broad jump. PROJECTION: McCoy was a consummate winner at Texas, but his size and arm strength limitations will be of concern to a lot of teams. His best fit is likely in a West Coast Offense like the Vikings run, so if he's still on the board after 50 picks, he might get some consideration.

Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan, 6-3¼, 230 — Fifth-year senior…Four-year starter who started the final 51 games of his college career…Dual threat who completed 1,171 of 1,763 passes (66.4 percent) for 12,905 yards with 102 touchdowns and 36 interceptions, while rushing 671 times for 3,589 yards and 47 touchdowns…The only player in NCAA history to throw for 12,000 yards and rush for more 2,500 yards, and in 2007 he became only the second college QB (joining Vince Young) to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season…His 150 total touchdowns is the most for any QB in modern college history…Experience is his calling card, as he has been both productive, multi-faceted and durable…Has ideal size for the position…Is an adept scrambler who picks his spots to run well…Has good lateral movement to buy a couple of seconds in the pocket and let plays develop…Has very good accuracy in the short to intermediate passing game…Doesn't have good mechanics and will overthrow open receivers too often when asked to go deep…Spent entire career playing primarily out of the shotgun and will have to adjust to dropping back from under center…Played against relatively weak competition most of his career…Doesn't have good arm strength and struggles to get velocity on deep pass patterns…Leaves his feet much too often, especially when throwing…Ran a 4.66 40 at the Combine with a 29½-inch vertical jump and 9-2 broad jump. PROJECTION: A small-school project who will likely be a third-stringer to begin his NFL career. When activated, could be used in Wildcat packages, but he doesn't have the kind of intangibles that will have him off the board before the fourth or fifth round.


Levi Brown, Troy, 6-3½, 229 — Fifth-year senior…Spent two years at Richmond before transferring to Troy and sitting out the 2007 season…In two years at Troy, started 21 of 23 games, completing 522 of 830 passes for 6,284 yards with 38 touchdowns and 12 interceptions…As a senior, he threw for 4,254 yards, becoming the first Sun Belt Conference player to throw for more than 4,000 in a season…Has very good size and has the ability to make plays with arm and on the run…Has a very good, quick release and gets the ball out in a hurry…Very strong arm, able to fling deep passes and quick-flick short passes accurately on the run…Loves the game and is willing to give up his body to make a big play…Doesn't force the ball into traffic too often and make stupid mistakes…His release is so dart-like, he often doesn't get much velocity on deep passes…Some scouts think he is too cautious, taking too many sacks when he could take off or throw the ball away…Played in a spread offense that doesn't translate well to the requirements of an NFL quarterback…Because of his high-speed release, a lot of balls will sail over receiver's heads…Takes too many big hits because he doesn't have great pocket awareness…Didn't play top-end competition…Ran a 4.99 40 at the Combine, was one of the few quarterbacks to lift – doing an impressive 20 reps of 225 pounds – with a 31½-inch vertical jump and an 8-10 broad jump. PROJECTION: Didn't help his cause at the Texas Versus the Nation game, looking awkward dropping back from under center. His grittiness and leadership ability will get him noticed, but he won't get much consideration until deep into the middle rounds.

Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State, 5-11, 187 — Fourth-year senior…Four-year starter who started 49 of 51 career games…In his career, he completed 768 of 1,180 passes for 10,392 yards with 74 touchdowns and 33 interceptions…An accomplished rusher, he ran 755 times for 5,008 yards and 65 TDs…Turned down several scholarship offers from larger schools because they wanted to move him from the QB position and make him a wide receiver…Won back-to-back Division I-AA national championships…Was named the Walter Payton Award winner in 2009, given annually to the top Division I-AA player…Only player in Division I-AA to have 9,000 career passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards…Has excellent speed and good throwing mechanics…Can zip passes on target deep down the field…Has excellent in-pocket mobility and doesn't take off when the pressure is on and will buy an extra couple of seconds with his feet to let plays uncover downfield…Has had numerous injuries, but has shown a lot of toughness, playing in 51 games over four years and missing just three…Worked completely out of spread shotgun formation and will need a lot refining…Is much too short by NFL standards for a quarterback and is also viewed as being too thin to withstand the kind of pounding quarterbacks take at the next level, missing parts of several games with ticky-tack type injuries…Doesn't have consistent velocity on passes and some will float or sail…Has way too many passes batted down at the line…Didn't face much stiff competition in college. PROJECTION: To look at him, the lefty appears like a smaller, less explosive version of Michael Vick. He may face the same problem at the pro level that he did when he was recruited out of college. Most teams will see him as an Antwaan Randle El type of slot receiver. Because of the expansion of the Wildcat formation, he could be a mid-round pick, but he is a huge longshot to be still playing quarterback three or four years from now unless he lands in the perfect situation.

Jarrett Brown, West Virginia, 6-3, 224 — Fifth-year senior…Didn't become a full-time starter until 2009, when he completed 187 of 296 passes for 2,144 yards with 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while rushing 117 times for 689 yards and six touchdowns…Also played basketball for a season at WVU…Has a big-time arm and can throw the deep ball with a lot of zip…Has ideal size and can make a lot of plays with both his arms and running the ball…Has a good release and can make all the throws needed for an NFL QB…Has good accuracy both short and deep…Is very raw, having started just15 games in four years and suffering injuries in a handful of them…Might be viewed by many teams as a better athlete than a quarterback…Put up pretty pedestrian passing numbers in his only season as a starter…Will panic when pressured and not stay in to make a play happen…Ran a 4.54 40 at the Combine with a 34½-inch vertical jump and a 9-6 long jump. PROJECTION: A developmental project in every sense of the word, he has the kind of intangibles that will give a coach with an established veteran someone to groom for two or three years to see if he can become the type of player he is capable of being. He has a big learning curve ahead of him, but should get drafted late and be a diamond in the rough for some NFL team.

John Skelton, Fordham, 6-5½, 243 — Fourth-year senior…Became a starter midway through his freshman season and started 41 of the 43 games in which he played…Completed 802 of 1,363 passes for 9,923 yards with 69 touchdowns and 36 interceptions, adding 1,216 rushing yards and 14 more TDs…Played through much of the 2008 season with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee…Had a monster 2009 season, throwing for more than 300 yards in eight of 11 games and topping 400 yards four times…Fordham's all-time career leader in completions, yards and TDs…Has prototypical size and rarely gets passes knocked down…Has a strong arm and, when he strides into deep passes, has good accuracy…Will find open receivers and throw passes in traffic that only his guy can catch…Is gone on slants and timing routes and typically makes the hot read correctly…Is a legitimate tough guy who will play through significant pain…Another quarterback who played almost entirely in a spread offense and will need major adjustments…Very streaky – can look great one game and like a lost in the next…Played the last two seasons with a restrictive knee brace that limited his rushing ability…Will take too many chances trying to force passes when he feels a sack coming and will lose accuracy when throwing on the move or under duress…Has had problems maintaining his weight and has played as much as 20 pounds heavier than he showed up at the Combine…Ran a 4.86 40 at the Combine with a 33½-inch vertical jump and a 9-0 broad jump. PROJECTION: Has the size intangibles and arm strength that will get someone's attention, but he didn't cap off his college career with the kind of consistency that was expected going in. A team will have to be patient with him, but the team that risks a pick in the fifth, sixth or seventh round may find themselves pleasantly surprised in a year or two.

Sean Canfield, Oregon State, 6-3¾, 223
Daryll Clark, Penn State, 6-2, 235
Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee, 6-3, 222
Mike Kafka, Northwestern, 6-3¼, 225
Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State, 6-2½, 214
Jevan Snead, Mississippi, 6-3, 219

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