The Eagles got their franchise quarterback last season, so the likelihood that they are in the market for another quarterback this draft is slim to none. Now that Nick Foles is in the fold as Carson Wentz’ backup, the Eagles have no need to even address the backup quarterback position. However, quarterbacks are fun to discuss every season, so let’s just dive into this class. Obviously I did not go crazy watching quarterbacks this year because the Eagles have more pressing needs, but the top guys in this class are all intriguing enough to be explored. After going through a few players, I am shocked people are so comfortable dismissing that quality of this quarterback draft.
2016 Stats per ESPN.
Quarterbacks who just missed the Cut: Davis Webb and Nathan Peterman
6. Josh Dobbs, Tennessee
63% Completion, 2946 Passing Yards, 27 TDs, 12 INTs, 831 Rushing yards (5.5 YPC) 12 Rushing TDs
Josh Dobbs has improved every year he’s started at Tennessee. While he does not have a lot of plus physical traits as a passer, he is a very smart, acurrate player who excels attacking the middle of the field. He is a bit undersized at 6’3, 216 pounds, but has proved durable in college. His cerebral style of play mixed with deadly mobility should make him a guy who could be a high quality back up with the upside to become a decent starter in the NFL.
5. Jerod Evans, Virginia Tech
63.5% Completion, 3552 Passing Yards, 29 TDs, 8 INTs, 846 Rushing Yards (4.1 YPC), 12 Rushing TDs
Jerod Evans had a strong debut season in Justin Fuentes’ new look offense at Virginia Tech. While the talented signal caller was better off staying in school after only playing one season, he still offers a good amount of intrigue as a draft prospect. He is a well built, tough quarterback with good mobility and a strong arm. His accuracy could use a lot of work and overall he is a very raw passer due to lack of experience. A good staff would probably like someone of Evans’ physical talent and competitive demeanor in their quarterback room as a developmental player.
4. Mitchell Trubisky, UNC
68.2% Completion, 3748 Passing Yards, 30 TDs, 6 INTs, 308 Rushing Yards (3.3 YPC), 5 Rushing TDs
Mitchell Trubisky really made a poor decision to change his name from Mitch, which is a certifiably cool name. Regardless, Trubisky has impressed NFL scouts in his one year starting at UNC and there are moments when it is easy to see why. He is a very accurate passer who flashes moments of brilliance in terms of making big plays happen. His inexperience shows in inconsistent mechanics that affect his arm strength, poor decision making and inconsistency dealing with pressure. Also the fact that UNC took a step back with him from their previous quarterback (Who went undrafted) despite having all the same skill players is somewhat of a red flag. Trubisky has shining moments that are exciting and make sense of his hype, but there are too many red flags in terms of on field issues and experience to anoint him a top quarterback prospect. He does have potential to be a very solid starter in the NFL, however.
3. Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame
58.5% Completion, 2925 Passing Yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs, 472 Rushing Yards (3.7 YPC), 8 Rushing TDs.
Deshone Kizer enjoyed a phenomenal debut after taking over for Malik Zaire early in the 2015 season. Kizer finished the year strong and Notre Dame was riding high heading into 2016 before it all fell apart. Kizer regressed, the team regressed and Brian Kelly’s antics made everything worse. Kizer is still a very gifted passer who has a massive arm, great size and mobility to extend the play. He has first overall pick type moments, but also can collapse into himself and make boneheaded mistakes. It is clear Notre Dame was toxic this year, so it will be interesting to see if Kizer can regain some of his confidence and, thus, consistency once he gets to the NFL.
2. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
65.7% Completion, 5052 Passing Yards, 41 TDs, 10 INTs, 285 Rushing Yards (2.2 YPC), 12 Rushing TDs.
Patrick Mahomes is among the more exciting players in this year’s draft. He is a well built and incredibly physically gifted player with one of the strongest arms to come out of college ever. Mahomes has the passing ability to hit any window and his gunslinger style of play is conducive to big play after big play. People may call him too reckless, but his 93/29 TD/INT ratio is among the best in the class. Mahomes will need to reel in his sandbox style of play, but he is a much smarter quarterback than given credit for and he should be making an impact in the NFL sooner than later.
1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
67% Completion, 4593 Passing Yards, 41 TDs, 17 INTs, 629 Rushing Yards (3.8 YPC), 9 Rushing TDs.
Two straight years, Deshaun Watson led Clemson to a National Title and though the Tigers lost in their first bout despite bringing the Crimson Tide to the brink, Watson got the last laugh in having a walk off win against Alabama this season. Watson might not be prototypical in terms of size, but he is an incredibly smart passer who does a great job making pre-snap reads and he is aggressive enough to take chances down the field and be effective in the red zone. He has a tendency to almost follow pre-snap reads to a fault, which accounted for a lot of interceptions, but that is a consistent issue quarterbacks coming out more spread oriented passing games had (Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota, for example). Despite his flaws, Watson is consistently unafraid of any obstacle and bounces back from mistakes like I have rarely seen in a quarterback prospect. He seems to be getting overthought in this draft cycle, but there is no doubt that Watson has what it takes to be a star in the NFL.