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 could be Round 1-bound, but several others may wind up among a group of promising mid-round selections. 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 Nathan Peterman Pittsburgh 6' 2", 226 lbs.
7 Jerod Evans Virginia Tech 6' 3", 232 lbs.
8 Davis Webb Cal 6' 5", 229 lbs.
9 Joshua Dobbs Tennessee 6' 3", 216 lbs.
10 Chad Kelly Ole Miss 6' 2", 224 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 10 to 15 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 that denied him a combine invite and is working back from a torn ACL.

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 an episode of the On the Clock Podcast, and there’s a lot to like in his game.

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