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2011 NFL Draft - Quarterback Rankings
Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert & Jake Locker
Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert & Jake Locker
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 7, 2011


This could be one of the wildest drafts ever for quarterback prospects. Is Cam Newton worth the risk? Can Jake Locker overcome his negatives? Will Blaine Gabbert really be the top pick? There will be plenty of second guessing when it comes to picking the stars. From a college football perspective, here's the ranking of all the top 2011 quarterback prospects.

2011 NFL Draft Position Rankings

Top Ten Quarterbacks


By Pete Fiutak

2011 NFL Post-Combine Draft Rankings
- Top 32 Talents
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders & Top Free Agents  

2011 NFL Combine Position Analysis
- QB | RB | WR | TE
- C | OT | OG | DE
- DT | ILB | OLB | S | CB
- 2012's Top Returning NFL Prospects - Offense

THE 2010 NFL DRAFT


2010 CFN Talent Rankings
- 1st Rounders
- 2nd Rounders
- 3rd Rounders
- 4th Rounders
- 5th Rounders
- 6th Rounders
- 7th Rounders 
- Top Free Agent Talents 

2010 CFN Position Rankings & Analysis

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Quick Looks & Post-Combine Rankings

- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs

2010 NFL Combine Results
- QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs
- Cs | OTs | OGs | DEs
- DTs | ILBs | OLBs
- Ss | CBs 

2010 NFL Combine
- Offensive Winners  
- Offensive Losers 
- Defensive Winners 
- Defensive Losers

- 2011 NFL Quarterback Rankings - No. 11 to 30

This Class Is … Scary … for good and bad. Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett, Colin Kaepernick and Jake Locker have tools, athleticism, and skills the NFL has rarely seen, but there are huge question marks about all of them. Is Blaine Gabbert an I-Want-To-Win prospect? There could be a LOT of second guessing.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … T.J. Yates, North Carolina
Most Underrated … Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M
Most Overrated … Jake Locker, Washington
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … K.J. Black, Prairie View A&M

1. Cam Newton, Auburn 6-5, 248 (Jr.)
One of the most polarizing NFL draft prospect in years, he’s the ultimate boom-or-bust pick. There are screaming, seemingly-obvious warning signs that will keep several teams from investing their hopes into, but his talent is so immense and his raw skills are so great that anyone who passes on him might be blowing off the next big thing.

The Heisman winner carried Auburn to the national title with a slippery running style and tremendous leadership and clutch play, but he also finished second n the nation in passing efficiency. With 30 touchdown passes, 1,473 rushing yards, and 20 scores on the ground, and with the national championship, he had the greatest single season of any quarterback in college football history.

He’s huge. He’s Daunte Culpepper, but bigger, strong, and even more athletic. While he can shake off pass rushers without a problem, he can also run around them when needed. Auburn didn’t ask him to do anything crazy with the passing game, mainly using him to see-throw/make-throw, but coaches crowed that he would’ve been special in any passing system. The arm is there, the athleticism is peerless for a guy with his bulk, and despite what others might have you believe, he was a leader the rest of the Tigers rallied around.

The problem is 1) the entire act comes across as phony; 2) he only did it for one year and will need to take his lumps for a few seasons; and 3) he isn’t exactly the most trustworthy of characters. Can he handle it when he stinks it up as a rookie and gets lustily booed? Can he handle failure after failure? No college quarterback has ever had to undergo the scrutiny he went through, yet he always compartmentalized well and came up with great performance after great performance. However, now he’s outside of the bunker-down, kiss-butt Auburn bubble. While he needs tons of work on his mechanics, and there’s a big Buyer Beware sign around his neck, but if someone is willing to be very, very patient, and if he’s coddled, the upside is limitless.
CFN Projection:
Top Ten Overall

2. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri 6-4, 234 (Jr.)
There’s no wow factor. There’s no bust potential, but there’s nothing in Gabbert’s game to suggest that he’ll be a special, “I’m going to Disney World” type of superstar. He has all the tools, the athleticism, and the personality and make-up to be a very, VERY good pro for the next 15 years, but it’s not like he was a special college player – he was the only quarterback who couldn’t seem to throw against the miserable 2010 Texas Tech pass defense - and he had major problems against anyone with a strong pass rush. On the plus side, most of his negatives can be quickly fixed. His throwing motion doesn’t need that much tweaking, and for those who don’t think he can connect on the deep ball on a consistent basis, go back to the pills he was slinging to Danario Alexander two years ago. The bigger issue is that he’s not Cam Newton. Gabbert is the safe, secure pick who should be a rock-steady starter in two years, but if you’re passing on Newton for him, you’re not slinging for the stars … and that might not be a bad thing. Gabbert has the rare issue of still scratching the surface on what he can be, while also having a hard ceiling on where he can take a team. If he ends up winning a Super Bowl, it’ll be because he’s a good player on a special team.
CFN Projection: Top Ten Overall

3. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada 6-4, 233
If someone is willing to make the investment, and if someone is willing to be very, very patient, Kaepernick has the tools to be a special player. One of the greatest running quarterbacks in college football history, he ran for 4,112 yards and 59 scores, but he’s not just an ultra-mobile prospect throwing for 10,098 career yards and 82 touchdowns. He’s a big, strong player with a phenomenal arm -possibly the best in the draft - and there’s no questioning his ability to make things happen on the move. A phenomenal leader and a film rat, he’ll work to make himself better and he’s the type of player you want as the main man for your franchise. However, he doesn’t seem to make the same throw twice and he needs to work on his delivery. While he got better as a passer, he’s hardly polished and he needs to be more accurate and he has to show a better touch. Again, he’s a project and a prospect, so the hope is for a payoff in three years … and it could be big.
CFN Projection: Third Round

4. Jake Locker, Washington 6-2, 231
He doesn’t have prototype height and he doesn’t have big hands, but that’s about it as far as the physical knocks. An elite athlete for an NFL quarterback, he runs extremely well, has a live arm, and he’s tough as nails. A peerless leader and a pure baller, he’s a fantastic guy with the type of attitude and intangibles that makes him easy to root for. There’s one problem … he can’t throw. Everything looks right, even though he seems like he’s about to run too much when he should be setting his feet to fire, but the mechanics aren’t all that bad. You can’t teach accuracy, and in a world where two of the most accurate quarterbacks in NFL history, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, are the standard-bearers for Super Bowl winners, Locker has a hard ceiling on how far he can likely take a team. If he’s asked to go out there and just play, he should be fine. If he’s asked to be Tom Brady and a pro style passer, it’s not going to happen.
CFN Projection: Second Round

5. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas 6-7, 247 (Jr.)
If you could promise that he’ll get a three-Mississippi count, he’ll destroy NFL defenses. There’s no one in the draft who’ll be better with time and a clean pocket, with the arm to put a pass anywhere on the field and the ability to use the howitzer to put a deep ball on a line and stretch a defense. The issue is whenever there’s a slight bit of pressure. He locks on to one target way too often, and if there’s so much as a stiff breeze coming his way, it’s a toss-up whether or not he’ll make the throw or put it in the fifth row. There’s no mobility whatsoever and there’ll be times when his NFL offense will be shut down cold if the line isn’t doing its job. And then there’s the character factor. Forget about the rumors swirling, the big issue is a confidence level that’s occasionally a plus, but more often than not appears to rub people the wrong way. However, even with all the concerns and all the question marks, if he gets to play behind a top line, and if he learns how to get the ball out of his hands faster, the upside is there to be fantastic.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Christian Ponder, Florida State 6-2, 229
The athleticism is there, the tools are there, and the toughness is there. Ponder shows nice touch, is a playmaker, and is a fiery, old-school leader who acts the part. There’s nothing phony about him; he’s a baller who just seems to like being the main man for an offense. As tough as he is and as hard-nosed as he is, that’s also his problem as he takes too many shots and gets hurt way too often. While he has a nice arm, it’s nothing special and he’ll likely need to work in a timing attack. The problem is that he thinks he has Brett Favre’s gun at times and he can’t seem to make the throw he’s able to see. While he’s not a fastball pitcher, he does a decent job of putting a nice touch on his deeper throws. It would be nice if he was a little bit taller, and it’ll be tough to count on him for a full season, but he should be more than just a nice No. 2 option.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

7. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa 6-4, 223
Opinions have always varied for the Iowa star. While he has the NFL height and a good look with excellent mechanics and an Elway-like knack for coming through in the clutch – at least as a junior – but there are too many missing parts. The arm is mediocre and he doesn’t throw well in the face of a top pass rush (if you listen quietly, Arizona just came up with another fourth quarter hurry). With the right tutor, and if he can suppress his goofy streak, he could be a sleeper starter, but the upside is limited. He’ll be overdrafted.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Andy Dalton, TCU 6-2, 215
He’s not all that big and he doesn’t have a live arm, but he’s a dream of an NFL backup. He’ll always be prepared, he’ll always be ready, and no one will outwork him. A baller, he’ll do whatever is needed to make a play and to keep the offense moving, and he rarely makes a misread of a big mistake. Pressure means nothing to him; throw a pass rusher under his chin and he’ll still deliver the ball. Forget about any big throws deep and he has to be in West Coast attack, but he’ll be a nice late round prospect who’ll hang around the league for a decade.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

9. T.J. Yates, North Carolina 6-3, 219
Watch him against LSU in the 2010 opener or against Tennessee in the bowl game and he looks like a can’t-miss prospect. He was in total command of the Tar Heel offense at times and he’s ready to go right away in a pro style attack and potentially produce. However, it seems like it takes two days for his passes to get to the target and he got dinged around way too often. He has the upside to take a flier on late and hope for a lesser-armed Matt Schaub.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

10. Greg McElroy, Alabama 6-2, 220
There’s no questioning his smarts, just missing out on becoming a Rhodes Scholar, and he’s mega-tough, but he doesn’t have a great arm and he has limited tools. A great leader who happened to be a perfect fit for a national title team, he was great at being a game manager - and not in a bad way - keeping the mistakes to a minimum. There’s nothing there to think he can be a regular starter, but he could have a good career as a reliable backup.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

- 2011 NFL Quarterback Rankings - No. 11 to 30