ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay hosted a Wednesday conference call, and was asked by Jim Corbett of USA Today to assess this year’s quarterback class in relation to Super Bowl XLV quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.
Corbett, specifically, asked McShay to relate Rodgers and Roethlisberger’s ability to “make plays outside the pocket against exotic blitzes” to the skills of Blaine Gabbert of Missouri and Cam Newton of Auburn.
“The more of those type of quarterbacks that come out and succeed in the NFL, the more willing NFL teams are to overlook some of the traditional aspects of the quarterback position,” said McShay. “Aaron Rodgers does everything pretty much by the book. … Ben is not quite as artistic, if you will, at the quarterback position.”
After calling Roethlisberger “not … the guy that’s studying the most tape and the first guy in the building and the last guy out of the building and understanding every little thing,” McShay likened Big Ben to Cam Newton.
McShay mentioned the “creativity” of Roethlisberger and Donovan McNabb as a characteristic that will help Newton’s draft stock, but called Newton’s character concerns and off-the-field issues “the biggest issue(s) in the draft right now.”
“With Gabbert, he’s more of an Aaron Rodgers type,” added McShay. “The understanding of the position, he’s gonna continue to improve in that area. Gabbert has a chance to become really technically sound. He shows great football intelligence.
“Obviously, we’re going to see these quarterbacks come off the board pretty quickly.”