2017 NFL draft rankings: Quarterbacks

The Browns, 49ers and Bears could all use their first pick on a quarterback. Alone, that’s enough to think another early quarterback run is waiting at the 2017 NFL draft, even if this year’s class winds up not entirely warranting such a commitment.

The top four names in our QB rankings right now are the prospects you are likely to hear most about between now and April 27—though several others may wind up among a group of promising mid-round types. But is there enough talent at the top for those teams in need?

 
Rank Player School Measurables
1 Deshaun Watson Clemson 6' 2", 221 lbs.
2 Patrick Mahomes Texas Tech 6' 2", 225 lbs.
3 DeShone Kizer Notre Dame 6' 4", 233 lbs.
4 Mitchell Trubisky North Carolina 6' 2", 222 lbs.
5 Brad Kaaya​ Miami 6' 4", 214 lbs.
6 Nate Peterman Pittsburgh 6' 2", 226 lbs.
7 Jerod Evans Virginia Tech 6' 3", 232 lbs.
8 Davis Webb Cal 6' 5", 229 lbs.
9 Chad Kelly Ole Miss 6' 2", 224 lbs.
10 Joshua Dobbs Tennessee 6' 3", 216 lbs.

Each of the top four quarterbacks has a claim to the top spot, as well as a glaring issue that comes with his game. Watson turned the ball over too much, Mahomes comes from a Texas Tech “Air Raid” system that could make his NFL transition difficult, Kizer wilted in 2016 as his team struggled and Trubisky has footwork issues that could take a while to fix. Watson holds an edge here as much for the work he does pre-snap as the production he put up—the former certainly led to the latter. He showed up on the biggest stages. With a game built so much around how he can improvise, Mahomes won’t be for everyone, but he has a huge arm and incredible upside. Kizer has an inch-plus of height and a good 15 to 20 pounds on Watson, which counts in the pocket, and he also can get out and run when he needs to. Trubisky is such a mixed bag: He might be the first QB off the board, and he also might need the most seasoning before he’s ready to start.

Virginia Tech’s Evans was a surprise entry to this year’s draft. His size and ability on the move is reminiscent of what Kizer can do. There’s a drop-off beyond the top four in this class, so why not roll the dice on a multi-dimensional threat?

It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Kelly, who has off-field red flags and is working back from a torn ACL. He did not receive a combine invite.

Montana’s Brady Gustafson drew the early tag as “2017 Carson Wentz”: tall, FCS program, high-powered offense. Don’t forget the name Alek Torgersen, though. We talked about the Penn QB on a recent On the Clock podcast, and there’s a lot to like in his game.

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