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2009 NFL Draft - Ranking The Quarterbacks

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 22, 2009


The 2009 NFL Draft is almost here. From a college football perspective, here's the CFN ranking of the top 25 quarterback prospects, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Josh Freeman, along with the most overrated and underrated prospects and the deepest sleeper.

 

2009 NFL Draft Position Rankings

The Quarterbacks
 

2009 NFL Draft Post-Workout Rankings

Quarterbacks
| Running Backs | Fullbacks | Receivers | Tight Ends
Centers | Guards | Off. Tackles | Def. Ends | Def. Tackles
Inside LBs | Outside LBs | Cornerbacks | Safeties


By Pete Fiutak

- 2009 NFL Prospect Rankings
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers
Tight Ends | Off. Tackles
| Off. Guards | Centers
Defensive Ends
| Defensive Tackles | Inside LBs
Outside LBs | Safeties
| Cornerbacks

We’ve been watching these players from the start and have analyzed them as collegians for the last few years. Talk about hip snap and bubble butts all you want, but the question is this … can the guy play? Trying to project on to the next level, while taking into account everything that happened on the field during their college careers, here’s the CFN ranking and analysis of all the top pro prospects.

The Class Is ... Awful. There’s Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman. The rest are career backups and developmental prospects at very best. However, it's not going to get any better in the near future with the spread quarterbacks making it harder and hard to find sure-thing pros. There isn't much beyond the stars projected to come out next year, either.

The Best Value Pick Will Be ... Pat White, West Virginia

Most Underrated ... Drew Willy, Buffalo

Most Overrated ... Nate Davis, Ball State

The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is .. Chase Clement, Rice

Rankings of the 2010 Top Prospects
- Possible 1st Rounders
- Possible 2nd Rounders
- Possible 3rd Rounders
- Possible 4th Rounders
- Possible 5th Rounders
- Possible 6th Rounders
- Possible 7th Rounders & Free Agents
- Quarterbacks

- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles 
- Offensive Guards
- Centers
- Defensive Ends
- Defensive Tackles 
- Outside LBs
- Inside LBs
- Safeties
- Cornerbacks
- Punters & Kickers 

THE FRANCHISE

1. Matthew Stafford, Georgia 6-2, 225 (Jr.)
Everyone knew he was going to be a pro out of high school, and he didn’t disappoint. While he failed to lead Georgia to a national title, and didn’t even get the Dawgs to the SEC championship game, Stafford showed off the arm strength and the talent from day one to show he was going to become a NFL starter in the very near future. While he’s not the biggest passer around, NFL types tend to like the tall, 6-4ish bombers, he has an arm that can throw a pea through a brick wall. He can make all the throws and he has the character and makeup to handle the pressure of being a franchise savior. Extremely smart, he’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes to reading defenses after a little bit of time. Now he needs to be more consistent and he’ll need elite coaching to work on his accuracy. His problems are fixable, but the big issue hanging out there is why Georgia didn’t do more with Stafford under center. The Dawgs were fine, but Stafford didn’t take the program to another level. While he won’t have a Matt Ryan-like first season, he’ll end up being the better player over time.
CFN Projection: First Round, First Pick Overall

2. Mark Sanchez, USC (Jr.) 6-2, 227
One of the toughest calls of the draft, Sanchez isn’t the talent that Carson Palmer was coming out of USC, and he appears to be more fired up about being a great quarterback, rather than a big star, than Matt Leinart. The big knock is his lack of playing experience having only been the main man for roughly a year and a half. The other knock is that he hasn’t faced a whole bunch of adversity playing with all the talent around him at USC. The Trojans weren’t nearly as talented when Palmer was under center, and Leinart had proved himself in national championships (even in the loss to Texas) and in tight battles against Notre Dame and Fresno State. Sanchez was fine, but nothing special despite a tremendous performance against Penn State in the Rose Bowl. To be a star in the NFL, he’ll have to be a gym rat and they’re going to have to kick him out of the weight room. He needs to get bigger, stronger, and faster; he’s not an elite athlete in any way. On the plus side, he has a good enough NFL arm to make all the throws, he’s used to competition, and he appears to want to make himself better and will do all the dirty work needed.
CFN Projection: First Round    

3. Josh Freeman, Kansas State 6-6, 240 (Jr.)
There a some teams out there hoping to steal the former Wildcat star late in the first round, but there might be some jockeying from some teams to move up. Thrown to the wolves as a true freshman, Freeman handled himself well in a tough situation. He didn’t have a defense to help him out and the talent level around him was above-average at best, outside of WR Jordy Nelson. He has the size, a little bit of mobility, and a huge arm, and he looks the part. Now he needs coaching. Still a work in progress, he needs to be more consistent and he needs to work on his mechanics with rep after rep after rep. At the next level he’ll have to learn how to get rid of the ball far faster; he took way too many hits at KSU. However, he always kept going on despite playing behind bad O lines and he rarely appeared shell-shocked. It’s going to take a few years, but he should be great on a team that has a good veteran who’s willing to be his mentor.
CFN Projection: First Round  

POTENTIAL NFL STARTERS

4. John Parker Wilson, Alabama 6-2, 220
While he might not go to many Pro Bowls and he isn’t going to be a franchise quarterback to build an offense around, Wilson has the potential to be the type of quarterback who leads a good team to great things simply by being smart and by not screwing up. With a great mind and good decision-making skills, he’ll be able to handle the pro playbook right away and he could flourish if he gets some steady coaching. He had three different offensive coordinators to deal with at Alabama and he still managed to produce, but without a big-time arm and with average mobility there will be a limit on what he can do. Put in the right setting on a team with a great defense, so there won’t need to be shootouts every week, he could exactly the type of move-the-chains player who can eventually take a team deep into the playoffs … but not the Super Bowl.
CFN Projection: Third Round   

5. Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State 6-2, 225
Forgotten in the craziness of Bomar’s career was how he was considered to be every bit the superstar prospect that Adrian Peterson was at Oklahoma. With a rifle arm, tremendous mobility, and a gunslinger’s mentality, he was supposed to be the one who led the Sooners to greatness over the last few years. Of course, he was booted off the team for taking some cash from a car dealership and ended up at Sam Houston State where he was able to bomb away. Despite suffering a torn ACL, he’s still able to move as well as before and he can make any throw from anywhere. However, he needs to fine-tune the howitzer. He’ll throw a pass that maybe five current NFL quarterbacks could make on one play, and then he’ll air mail the next and throw a wormburner to follow. While he was a team captain at SHSU, he’ll have to work on his leadership skills, he could rub some people the wrong way, but he’s ultra-intense and he has the tools to be a steal if he gets the right coach with the right temperament.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round  

6. Pat White, West Virginia 6-1, 197
Forget about what White isn’t and focus on what he is, and also throw out the notion of what a pro style quarterback needs to be. Yes, White will likely make his money as a receiver and a slash type of pro, but he wants to be a quarterback and someone will give him a shot … at least for a few practices. No, White isn’t going to be Peyton Manning, and no, he won’t be Michael Vick; he doesn’t have the arm. But what he can be is a devastating weapon to use in a Wildcat-like formation or 10-of-15 plays a game and he’ll force opposing defensive coordinators to spend at least a day to prep for him. While he doesn’t have elite speed, he’ll effortlessly run for first downs and he has a more accurate, stronger arm than he gets credit for. More than anything else, he’s a winner. A peerless leader who’s tough as nails, he’ll have no problem earning the respect of his teammates. Any offensive coordinator worth his salt will be drooling at the possibilities.
CFN Projection: Third Round, but as an all-around prospect

7. Curtis Painter, Purdue 6-3, 225
When the 2008 season started, Painter was supposed to be the top quarterback prospect among the seniors. Without the great receiving corps he had earlier in his career, he struggled early on as he pressed too much to make thing happen. After losing his job for a stretch, he came back roaring to close out his productive career with a bang. He has good size, a live arm, and just enough mobility to get by. With a good attitude and the right makeup, he could be the type of prospect who sticks with a team for a few years and then shines once he gets his chance. While he has a lot of the tools, he needs to find a killer instinct. He didn’t lead Purdue to many big wins and he wasn’t clutch. However, he’s worth developing.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round  

8. Nate Davis, Ball State (Jr.) 6-1, 225
Welcome to this year’s Andre Woodson. Like the former Kentucky star, Davis was considered a possible first round prospect early on in the evaluation process before his stock started slipping, and sliding, and slipping some more after some average workouts. He’s not all that big and he timed slow despite showing good mobility in games. With a nice arm, he can make all the throws and is accurate on the move. However, he’s not all that big and he has yet to do anything in the off-season to wow anyone. There’s a limit on his upside; this might be it. He could still use some tweaking and some work on his mechanics, but he doesn’t appear to have the all-around ability to be more than a spot starter and a career backup.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

BEST OF THE REST

9. Stephen McGee, Texas A&M 6-3, 225
Welcome to the hot prospect of the off-season. McGee never got the chance to show what he could truly do at A&M having been used as a runner and eventually losing his job, partly due to injury, under Mike Sherman last season. While he ran the ball well showing off great speed at times, he’s a passer who wasn’t used correctly. One of the best athletes among the quarterbacks and with great size and toughness, he has the makeup to work through his issues, like his questionable decision-making ability, to become a player. He’ll need a few years and a lot of footwork reworking, but if someone is patient there could be a Matt Cassell-but-athletic-like reward in a few years.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

10. Hunter Cantwell, Louisville 6-5, 235
The hot unknown coming into this year, after spending years playing behind Brian Brohm, Cantwell only occasionally showed off why he was considered such a tremendous prospect by so many scouts. He has the size, the arm strength, and the look, but he didn’t produce. While his arm strength alone will get him on a team, he’s going to have to show far better touch to stick. A statue, his decision-making ability will need to be spot on to get the ball out of his hands in a hurry and to avoid getting killed.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

11. Drew Willy, Buffalo 6-3, 215
A four-year starter, Willy went through the ringer and came through with a nice reward leading UB to a MAC title. A steady leader with a good passion for the game and good enough arm strength to get by, he’s a can’t miss No. 3 quarterback on a roster and a possible No. 2. He doesn’t move well out of the pocket and he needs to get a lot stronger, but he’s a good worker who’ll do whatever he can to try to make it. He’s the type of player you want leading your scout team for a few years before hoping he can develop into a steady game-manager-type of passer. Those aren’t negatives; he’s a quarterback that someone will want to have around the team.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

12. Nathan Brown, Central Arkansas 6-1, 220
Tremendously productive, albeit at a lower level, Brown is a fantastic athlete who threw for 31 touchdowns and four interceptions last year to get on the radar. Great on the move and with a decent accurate arm, he has the potential to shine with a Jeff Garcia-like career in a West Coast attack. Extremely tough, he’ll take a beating and will always come back for more, but he has some major flaws. He’s not big, needs to totally rework his funky throwing motion, and doesn’t have an NFL deep arm. Even so, he could be a nice flier to take for someone hoping to hit the jackpot in a dink and dunk attack.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

13. Chase Daniel, Missouri 6-0, 220
He’s just not tall enough. Daniel is an uber-competitor who’ll try to do everything for an offense to a fault. When he was in a groove and was able to spread the ball around to all his targets, he and the Mizzou offense were unstoppable. When he tried to run too often, force the ball when pressured, and tried to make things happen when they weren’t there, things fizzled. He’s a high-character gunslinger who you root for to pull out wins, but he’s too limited. He doesn’t throw the most catchable of balls, at least at an NFL level, and he isn’t the type of prospect who can quickly adjust and thrive if he plays under center.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

14. Cullen Harper, Clemson 6-3, 225
Just how good is he? Harper has a few durability concerns and had to go under the knife a few times after suffering shoulder problems, but he almost never had time to operate playing behind a shockingly bad offensive line. While he doesn’t have a great deep arm, it’s good enough, and he can be streaky at just the right time. However, he might be a big gunshy after getting battered and bruised over the last few years. While things weren’t exactly going well early last year, he rebounded and led the way to a gutty finishing kick. While he’ll never be a star, he has enough talent to become a good backup for the next ten years. He’ll work his way into a job everywhere he goes.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round    

15. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 6-2, 220
The best of all the Red Raider quarterbacks under Mike Leach, Harrell is a smart, clutch, ultra-tough producer who throw a great ball on the move and loves the nuts and bolts of football down to the film study and the practice reps. However, he doesn’t have the arm. While he was great in the Texas Tech attack, when he had to throw NFL passes in off-season workouts and all-star practices, he couldn’t. While he might stick on a team as a No. 3 quarterback purely on smarts and practice production, he doesn’t have enough arm to be a regular starter.
CFN Projection: Seventh Round

16. Brian Hoyer, Michigan State 6-2, 215
Hoyer was a very nice Big Ten quarterback. Nothing more. Some teams are going to like him because he played in a pro style offense, but he failed to make his receivers better and he didn’t benefit from having a great running game to take the heat off. On the plus side, he looks the part with a good arm and a nice delivery; his mechanics don’t need a lot of retooling. The down side is that he’s not that big, his arm isn’t special, and he didn’t produce enough against the better teams. His off-season workouts and all-star practices opened up enough eyes to get drafted, but there’s a hard, immovable ceiling on what he can become unless he’s on a team that lives on the short to midrange passing game.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

17. Mike Reilly, Central Washington 6-3 215
The one-time Washington State Cougar was able to get in plenty of work and plenty of experience at Central Washington where he was tremendously accurate at the D-II level. The D-II level … the D-II level. His mediocre arm wasn’t quite enough for D-I/FBS, much less the NFL, but he throws a nice, catchable short ball and he’s fantastic at reading defenses and making plays on the fly. He makes himself shorter with his low delivery and he has to work to get a little more zip on his fastball, but with a little work he could become a nice backup for someone who doesn’t care about bombing away.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

18. Mike Teel, Rutgers 6-3, 230
All of a sudden the light went on and boom went the dynamite. After struggling early last year, with a missed punch of a teammate on the sidelines the lowlight, he caught fire and started to bomb away to become a decent NFL prospect. When he was on there were few better, but when he was off, things were really, really ugly. He has the experience, a live arm, and good size, but he needs to have a calmer, steadier demeanor and has to be able to forget about the misses and move on quicker. However, he has the tools to develop into an interesting project with a coach who wants to make him a star.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

19. Tom Brandstater, Fresno State 6-5, 220
It all appears to be there from the size, the mobility and a decent arm, but he doesn’t have it. He didn’t produce nearly as well as he should have considering his experience and the speedy receivers he had to work with. His throws are too erratic and he needs to completely overhaul his throwing motion to throw up to his size. When he was on, he had the look of a can’t-miss world-beater. But those moments were few and far between.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

20. Chase Holbrook, New Mexico State 6-5 240
After a somewhat strange and slightly disappointing career having failed to improve much in his years under Hal Mumme, Holbrook will be nothing more than a flier for some team. He’s very big, almost too big, and has a great arm that can make every throw in the book as long as he isn’t on the move. However, he doesn’t get rid of the ball in a hurry and will force too many throws that aren’t there. He’ll be a sitting duck at the next level, but he’s used to getting popped. Even so, if he plays behind a great line he could have spurts where he puts up big numbers. Throw a pass rush his way and it’s over.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

ON THE RADAR


21. Willy Tuitama, Arizona
22. Rudy Carpenter, Missouri
23. Brian Johnson, Utah
24. Joe Ganz, Nebraska
25. Chase Clement, Rice