2010 NFL Draft - Ranking The Quarterbacks
Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen & OU QB Sam Bradford
Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen & OU QB Sam Bradford
Posted Apr 2, 2010

The 2010 NFL Draft is almost here. From a college football perspective, here's the CFN ranking of the top 30 quarterback prospects, highlighted by the fight between Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford for the top spot, along with the most overrated and underrated prospects and the deepest sleeper.

2010 NFL Draft Position Rankings


By Pete Fiutak

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

This Class Is … Bad. Sam Bradford is hardly without major concerns, Jimmy Clausen isn't for everyone, and there isn't a sure-thing ten-year starter in the bunch (and that includes Bradford because of his shoulder). Welcome to the world of the spread offense that produces quarterbacks with no arms, bad mechanics, and little upside.

The Best Value Pick Will Be … Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan
Most Underrated … Levi Brown, Troy
Most Overrated … Sean Canfield, Oregon State
The Deep, Deep Sleeper Is … Trevor Harris, Edinboro (Pa.)

1. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame 6-3, 222 (Jr.)
After arriving in South Bend with much fanfare and tremendous hype (and in a limo), Clausen spent most of his career trying not to get killed behind a porous line. While he broke down from time to time with an elbow injury and a right toe problem, he showed excellent toughness by trying to gut it out. In 2009 he became clutch, leading the team to some key, close wins that kept the season from turning into a disaster early, and he was able to live up to all the pressure and showed that he really was worth all the press. Even though he was tutored by Charlie Weis, he still has a little bit of mechanical issues (most notably a laboring throwing motion on his deep passes) and he's not quite as polished as he probably should be. He'll also have to go out of his way to early on to be one of the guys and could rub some people the wrong way with a personality that might not be for every team. The basics are there, but he's hardly a sure-thing star considering he might not be the type of player the rest of the team will run through a brick wall for.
CFN Projection: First Round, Top 15 Overall

2. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma 6-4, 236 (Jr.)
The 2008 Heisman winner has excellent size, a good arm, and smart decision-making ability, but there are major question marks. While he has the pure passing skills to be a No. 1 overall pick type of franchise quarterback, he might have to be in the right system. First, he has to prove he can be consistently effective under center after working mostly in the shotgun for the Sooners. Second, he has to show he can handle a steady pass rush. Playing behind a tremendous line, he got all day to throw. While he didn't struggle when under pressure, he wasn't nearly the same passer when he was getting hit. Can he throw to a covered receiver? He didn't have to do it too often at OU. And third, and the biggest problem, can he take a hit? He was rarely touched in 2008 and crunched his shoulder early in 2009. Average arm strength was a knock before, and his bad shoulder isn't going to help the cause. As good a college player as he was, he doesn't have sure-thing, standout NFL skills. If he can stay healthy he's not going to be a bust, and if he gets time and is allowed to be in the shotgun (and gets time), he could be special. But the concerns are simply too great to take a big risk on him when next year a star quarterback might come far, far cheaper.
CFN Projection: First Round, Top Five Overall

3. Colt McCoy, Texas 6-1, 216
It's all going to be about what's asked of him. If he's going to be expected to bomb away, he's going to struggle. If it'll be his job to play in a West Coast attack where he's able to dink and dunk with short-to-midrange timing passes, he could be special. No, he's not Joe Montana, but he has similar size and mobility and can be used in the same sort of way. He throws great on the move, is tough-as-nails when he has to take a shot, and most of all, he has impeccable character and is the type of leader the rest of the team will follow into the fire and the coaching staff will love to have on the field. On the down side, he's not all that big, doesn't have a live arm, and he has a ton of tread on the tires after getting beaten up over the last four years. He'll need some time and some work in a pure pro-style offense, but he's a quick study. There might not be a high ceiling, but there's almost no downside. At the very least he could be a good backup who hangs around the league for more than a decade.
CFN Projection: Second Round

4. Dan LeFevour, Central Michigan 6-3, 230
A baller. Arguably the greatest player in MAC history did it all at the non-BCS level, played well against the better teams, and he looked the part in offseason workouts and practices against the big boys. One of the best all-around combinations of run-pass skills in the draft, he's great on the move and finds ways to make big things happen by getting the ball into the hands of his playmakers. You don't win as many big games and as many championships (three MAC titles) as he did without knowing what to do. While he doesn't have a cannon for an arm, he's accurate enough to get by and he's a great decision maker. The arm strength for his size is an issue and he spent most of his career in the shotgun, but if he gets a little time to work on speeding up his throwing motion, he has a chance to be a solid NFL starter. However, he'll need the right system; he's not the typical NFL quarterback prospect.
CFN Projection: Third Round

5. Tim Tebow, Florida 6-3, 236
Tebow could be the call of the draft as opinions fluctuate wildly on what he can and can't do and what he can and can't become. A peerless leader with all the intangibles, every coaching staff will love him. However, he's not for everyone and his rah-rah, let's-go! style, along with his open preaching and showing of faith, will wear thin immediately if he tries to be Joe College when surrounded by grown men at the highest level (this was an issue for some at the NFL Combine). What made him so great, besides the leadership, was his running ability, which doesn't translate in any way, shape, or form for the NFL; he's not going to run over any NFL linebackers. Of course, the biggest issue is his throwing motion that he has had to break down and create from scratch over a few short weeks. However, he never received enough credit for being one of the most accurate, efficient passers in recent college football history, and if you go back and watch the 2008 SEC Championship game against Alabama, he was throwing darts to covered receivers (unlike, for example, Sam Bradford, who almost always threw to a wide open target). He'll never be Peyton Manning as a passer, but if he's allowed to be Tim Tebow as a short-to-midrange thrower out of the shotgun, he can succeed and thrive. He might turn out to be the ideal backup.
CFN Projection: Second Round

6. Tony Pike, Cincinnati 6-6, 223
The potential is there to grow into an Matt Schaub-like starter. He has excellent size, an accurate arm, and he's a great decision maker. Tough as nails, he'll play through injuries when he's able to, but that's part of the problem; he was always hurt. While he has a live arm, he doesn't have a powerful one and isn't going to make too many plays because of his gun. He'll get knocked for his size, but he's roughly the same size as Sam Bradford and is the same sort of player who could be had much, much cheaper. Like Bradford, Pike threw to open receivers as part of a great system and he has to prove he can hold up after getting beaten up. There are big concerns and question marks, but he could grow into a nice NFL starter.
CFN Projection: Third Round

7. Jarrett Brown 6-3, 224
Extremely intriguing, he's a project worth the time and the development. He has a great combination of mobility and arm strength with the potential to be used as a Wildcat quarterback early on while he learns the ropes. He only played one year after working behind Pat White and he didn't always shine under pressure even though he had been in the system and was supposed to know what he was doing. With his arm and his upside, he has the basic tools and now he needs the reps. It's a shame this wasn't a few years ago as he'd have been great to develop in NFL Europe to see more time under fire. He's like a baseball player who needs to log in the at bats before he gets comfortable. It's hard to tell if his tentativeness and shaky decision-making ability is because he hasn't seen enough action, or if he doesn't have the ability. Some quarterback coach will fall in love with the potential.
CFN Projection: Third Round

8. Levi Brown, Troy 6-4, 229
It took a little while, and a transfer from Richmond, but Brown turned into a whale of a playmaker for a great Sun Belt team. Once the light went on, he was a cool, steady bomber who made all the throws and showed a great command of the offense. A baller, he's the type of player who's going to work his tail off to become a good player and has the intensity and focus lacking among many prospects in this draft. He'll need mechanical work, and lots of it, needing to come up with a more compact throwing motion, and he has to get used to working up under center, but he has the makeup to be a solid starter if given the chance to work through his mistakes.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

9. Mike Kafka, Northwestern 6-3, 225
An interesting prospect with enough game to be a long-time backup with starting potential in a few years. He only started for one season at Northwestern and was considered more of a runner than a thrower until last year, and then he bombed away with no ground game to help him out. He needs reps and he needs more live action as his immaturity on the field showed with way too many bad reads and way too many bad throws. However, he's smart, will work his tail off, and won't have any problem with any playbook. He's not going to throw a grape through a brick wall, but he has enough of an arm to push the ball down the field, and the mobility to make things happen on the move. After looking great in offseason workouts and practices, he's worth developing.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

10. John Skelton, Fordham 6-5, 243
Forget about all the spread quarterbacks; here's a true bomber who can push the ball all around the field. There's a problem with arm strength in this class, but not with Skelton who has the gun to make all the throws with the raw skills that Sam Bradford, Jimmy Clausen and the other top prospects aren't close to owning. Playing at Fordham was an issue and he needs time against faster, better competition, and there are some major design flaws that have to be worked on. His mechanics are lazy because of his arm and he has little in the way of mobility. He's hardly a special prospect, but he has enough of an arm to make NFL quarterback coaches think that something might be there.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

11. Jevan Snead, Ole Miss 6-3, 219 (Jr.)
Everything is there except the ability to play quarterback in the NFL … for now. On promise and projection, he has the raw talent to be the most talented quarterback in this draft, but he doesn't have "it." The size is there, the arm strength is fantastic, and he's good on the move, but he was always a second-banana, choosing Texas after Tim Tebow committed to Florida, and bolted to Ole Miss after he couldn't beat out Colt McCoy. While he looks the part, he makes puzzling decisions under fire and is wildly inconsistent throwing way too many interceptions. He's the type of quarterback who could bounce around the league for several years as team after team looks at him in workouts and thinks something might be there, but he's not an ideal backup. He lacks the makeup to come in cold and pull a team out of the fire, and he's way too wild to be a starter right away. However, if he's given a few years to develop and can stay with one team and learn one system (he's book smart, but not football smart), he could have a Derek Anderson-like stunner of a season down the road.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

12. Sean Canfield, Oregon State 6-4, 223
One of the few true pro-style passers in the draft, he doesn't need to learn about being under center and he doesn't need a ton of work on his mechanics. He has the size and he has the teaching playing under Mike Riley, but he's limited. Everything has to be perfect for him to succeed, and he's not going to do anything to make a team better just because he's the quarterback. He lacks the big-time NFL arm needed to make all the throws, and considering he doesn't have much in the way of mobility, the only way he'll succeed is in a quick-hitting offense with a great line in front of him. He'll be someone's backup for a long stretch, but he's not starting material.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

13. Daryll Clark, Penn State 6-2, 235
If playing in the NFL was all about intangibles, character, and leadership, Clark would be a top pick. He's built like a linebacker, and is strong like one, with a big arm that can push the ball down the field without a problem. He doesn't have a whole bunch of touch and doesn't have the type of short-to-midrange accuracy to be used as a dinker and dunker at the NFL level. Considering
CFN Projection: Free Agent

14. Tim Hiller, Western Michigan 6-4, 229
You could do a lot worse than getting a guy who'll be a near-perfect backup and potentially a spot starter who can step in and produce whenever needed. One of the smarter players in the draft, Hiller has book smarts and football smarts with great decision-making ability and a solid, accurate arm. However, he doesn't have a big time gun and he can't start for a long stretch without the ability to drive the ball down the field to scare any secondary. His biggest problem is a knee that was destroyed in 2006. There's no mobility whatsoever and he might be one bad hit away from being done. If he's your starter for a long stretch, you're in trouble, but he'll hang around the league because of his intelligence.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

15. Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State 6-3, 214
While there's no upside whatsoever as a pure passer, he's one of the better athletes among the quarterbacks with the ability to make things happen on the move. He has a good enough arm to hit the deep ball and is accurate enough to potentially be solid in a West Coast offense. However, he played behind a tremendous line and didn't have to deal with a steady pass rush. While his arm is fine, he doesn't have enough to push it outside the hash marks. Because of his running ability he might make a roster with some thought of making him a backup safety and a third QB, but he's not a starter.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

16. Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State 5-11, 187
What is he? A superstar at the lower level, Edwards has the mechanics, he has the 4.4 speed, and he has the experience having started for all four years at ASU playing at the highest of FCS levels with two national titles and the epic win over Michigan. One of the most dangerous quarterback options in the draft, he could be more than just a Wildcat specialist with the delivery and the awareness to lead a team for a stretch. However, the lefty is way too small to be an NFL quarterback, has a mediocre arm, and has major durability questions. Because of his size, his football smarts, and his quickness, he'll make a team as a receiver and a No. 3 quarterback, but he's not going to be a star at quarterback.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

17. Max Hall, BYU 6-1, 209
Incredibly feisty and a major competitor, Hall is a good leader and the type of player who could win at the next level if thrown into the mix in an emergency situation. He wants to be a player, he works at his job, and he has a good, accurate arm. However, he's not big, has a knucklehead streak and melted down in a few key games. The arm isn't good enough to be anything more than a No. 2 quarterback, at very best, and he's not nearly mobile enough. Compounding his negatives are a personality that won't be for everyone and the limited upside with a short window. He'll be 25 this fall.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

18. Thaddeus Lewis, Duke 6-1, 215
Smart, experienced and with decent upside, Lewis thrived when David Cutcliffe took over as the head coach. While he's not necessarily a runner, he moves around well and is good at buying time, and most importantly, he's extremely careful with the ball and doesn't take many unnecessary chances. He's not all that big, doesn't have any zip on the ball, and lacks the raw passing skills to be a starter, but he'll be a great scout team quarterback and could stick on a team as a No. 3.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

19. Trevor Harris, Edinboro (Pa.) 6-2, 214
A tremendous D-II performer with experience, desire, and all the intangibles. He's a natural leader who succeeds through hard work and good decision making ability. However, he's not big, doesn't have a big arm, and he only played at the lower level. While he has enough skills and potential to get drafted and get a look, he's limited because of his arm and his size.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

20. Dom Randolph, Holy Cross 6-2, 224
Experienced and extremely productive at the lower level, he started for the last three years and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award all three seasons. While he's not all that big, he's a good athlete and he throws a nice, catchable ball in places where the receivers can do something with it. The arm is fine, but hardly special, and he doesn't exactly look the part. Too productive not to get a long look in a camp, he's not likely to overcome his flaws to see the field outside of an emergency situation.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

21. Bill Stull, Pitt
22. Tyler Sheehan, Bowling Green
23. Matt Nichols, Eastern Washington
24. Juice Williams, Illinois
25. Andy Schmitt, Eastern Michigan
26. Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic
27. R.J. Archer, William & Mary
28. Jonathan Crompton, Tennessee
29. Chris Turner, Maryland
30. Todd Reesing, Kansas