2017 NFL Draft: Previewing The Quarterbacks

Sep 17, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) attempts to throw the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter of a game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

It’s never too early to start preparing for the NFL Draft.

This year’s quarterback class is a fairly solid group. Nobody has elite potential, but there are a couple of players who could reach a starter-caliber level. There are a lot of QBs could be selected on late Day 2 or early Day 3 in this class. Three out of the last five drafts have resulted in quarterbacks going back-to-back with the first two picks. This will likely be the case once the 2017 NFL Draft comes around. Let’s dive into this year’s class.

Before we start, I just want to clarify that Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is NOT eligible for this year’s draft. He will be a prospect in next year’s draft.

Star-in-the-Making: DeShone Kizer, rSo, Notre Dame

Before Notre Dame’s showdown against Texas, I didn’t believe that DeShone Kizer was an NFL-caliber quarterback. Boy, was I wrong.

Kizer has taken control over all three of the games that the Fighting Irish have played. Although he wasn’t fantastic in the first half against Michigan State, he took over late in the game and nearly fueled a complete comeback.

He is a fantastic duel-threat quarterback – he can torch you through the air or on the ground. However, he isn’t your typical fast college QB. Kizer has incredible poise in the pocket, great ball placement and improved mechanics. Although the Irish are an embarassing 1-2 to start the year, Kizer has been a lone bright spot. He has potential to be a Pro Bowl quarterback in the NFL.


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Overrated: Deshaun Watson, Jr, Clemson

For months, Deshaun Watson was the consensus #1 quarterback in the 2017 class. Recently though, Watson has been slightly slipping down draft boards. Sure, this is mainly because of the rise of DeShone Kizer, but Watson has been having an off year so far. He’s currently only 46th in the FBS with 692 passing yards, and is 85th in pass completion percentage with a shoddy 56.9%.

Stats don’t tell the whole story. However, Watson’s tape (at least what I’ve watched) is also fairly disappointing. There are glimpses of star potential, but they’re very rare. In my opinion, Watson is a better runner than he is a passer. He’ll still be a first-round pick – and a high one at that – but he hasn’t looked the part yet so far this year.

Sleeper: Patrick Mahomes, Jr, Texas Tech

A lot of Heisman talk has been surrounding Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson (and rightfully so), but it’s about time we start adding Patrick Mahomes to that conversation.

Mahomes has been a stat machine at Texas Tech. He has completed 71.2% of his passes and boasts a passer efficiency rating of 198.2. He leads the FBS in passing yards and touchdowns with 1,493 and 14, respectively. Sure, he plays in a Big 12 offense, but those are still mighty impressive numbers.

Mahomes has a lot of characteristics that scouts like at the next level. He has great size (6’3″, 230 lbs), works well in and out of the pocket, and is accurate with a decent arm. His deep ball accuracy could use some work, but the same thing could be said for a lot of quarterbacks in this class. The big issue is his eventual transition from a Big 12 spread offense to a pro-style offense. It hasn’t been kind on a lot of players (looking at you, Bryce Petty), so Mahomes would be unlikely to start right away. If he gets groomed by the right coaching staff though, he could be a starter in the NFL.

Top 10 Quarterbacks

1. DeShone Kizer, rSo, Notre Dame

2. Brad Kaaya, Jr, Miami (FL)

3. Deshaun Watson, Jr, Clemson

4. Luke Falk, rJr, Washington State

5. Mason Rudolph, Jr, Oklahoma State

6. Chad Kelly, rSr, Ole Miss

7. Patrick Mahomes, Jr, Texas Tech

8. Davis Webb, Sr, California

9. Baker Mayfield, rJr, Oklahoma

10. Seth Russell, rSr, Baylor

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