Quarterback Class Isn't "Great"

Despite the production and potential displayed by first-round quarterback candidates Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, and Josh Freeman, their lack of ideal experience as juniors declaring early for the NFL Draft raises concerns for NFL decision-makers.
According to Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who conducted a poll of 18 NFL personnel executives, Stafford received the most first-place votes as the top quarterback prospects with 11 votes followed by Sanchez with five and Freeman with two.
Overall, though, it’s not viewed as a stellar quarterback class.
“It’s not the great year,” Buffalo vice president Tom Modrak said.  “You can find flies on all these guys.  It gets to be a dilemma because there’s certainly a year or two of training.  But if the quarterback doesn’t come in by mid-October you’re in trouble with everyone.”
Sanchez has started just 16 games, so he doesn’t have the usual body of work to judge.
“Sanchez is probably the riskiest,” St. Louis Rams vice president Tony Softli said.  “The other guys have been starting since they were freshmen so they got three years in.  He has 16 games.  That’s really scary.”
Concern was also expressed about Ball State quarterback Nate Davis’ supposed learning disability.  He scored an 11 on the Wonderlic, which ranks below the NFL average of 19.5 and the quarterback average.
According to the report, the lowest scores for starting quarterbacks in the past 15 years have been registered by Vince Young with a 15, Donovan McNabb with a 12, Charlie Batch with a 15, Kordell Stewart with a 15, and backup quarterback Seneca Wallace scored a 10.
[Editor’s note:  Young got a 15 on his do-over, the day after registering a six or a seven.  Dan Marino scored a 13 in 1983.]

24 responses to “Quarterback Class Isn't "Great"

  1. Doesn’t it take 3 years (and possibly more with QBs) to judge a draft class?
    Either way, its a tough scenario for these QBs. If they get drafted high by some lousy team with no line and no help they’re likely to fail anyway, regardless of their actual ability.

  2. If this class of QB’s is so bad than why are 3 projected to go with in the top 17 picks? I know they suck after Freeman but three qb’s in the top 20 is not that bad.

  3. On Sanchez, isn’t it easier playing on a team that just about every player on your team, offense and defense, is better that the players that they are going against? Isn’t playing downhill, almost all the time, easier?

  4. Lets see, Vince Young, Donovan McNabb, Charlie Batch, Kordell Stewart, and Seneca Wallace… The Wonderlic must be racially-biased.

  5. Nate Davis has a learning disability? First time I’m hearing this. Care to explain?

  6. I’ve been shouting all offseason that these QBs aren’t that good at all, and I think sanchez and Freeman will fall farther than expected in the first round. They’re just not worth the risk, when this draft is full of interior defensive linemen and linebackers. And I actually think this class of wide recievers is pretty impressive with a few great playmakersthe likes of Crabtree and Harvin.
    Quarterback is not the way to go in this draft… and the teams that go for those “first round” are going regret not waiting another year.

  7. obviously, especially when Josh Freeman can be thought of as a first round qb. this isnt jay cutler at vanderbilt with a 5-7 record playing in the SEC, its the no defense playing Big 12 and his numbers are very average. this guy is going to cost some team a lot of money.

  8. these kids are used to bring in millions to their respective colleges and their education is not made a priority. It’s sad. That test is so easy. I feel for these young men.

  9. So your saying Nate Davis has a learning disability and still scored better than Vince Young.

  10. This looks like a very risky crop of first round QB’s. Stafford looks to be the best of the bunch, but he has questions.
    Teams that need a QB should be figuring out how they can position themselves to get two #1 picks next year. It sure looks like next years draft will be a much stronger year for QB’s than this year. Other than the obvious 0-16 route of Detroit to get the first pick, the best route to get a top five pick would be to work out trades that get you an additional #1 pick next year and then packaging your own #1 and the additional #1 to move up in the draft and getting a premier prospect. Then you hope for the best, because for every Manning there is also a Leif.
    Oh, by the way, every time I hear Dan Marino speak I still find it hard to believe that he even scored a 13 on the Wonderlic. (And I like the Dolphins!) But he sure could play!!!!

  11. Nate Davis does compare to McNabb and is worth a “project” pick in the second day. Denver could be the team. MickyD knows how to use him.

  12. I can only wonder what Brad Childress would score on a Wonderlic? Does it go into the negative numbers?

  13. the test is just like any other standardized indicator. As many failures with low scores as there, I’m sure we could name a number of failures who nearly scored perfect on the thing.
    Bottom line is can you play. It’s like students who have all these credentials out of college, but have no idea how to apply it. The only way to see if they can perform is let them sink or swim in the real world. It’s more evidence of what an overanalytical process the draft has become when execs are scred of getting fired for mistakes. IF the fact that two of the best QB’s over the last 25 years (Marino and McNabb) doesn’t indicate that this test is irrelevant, I don’t know what does.
    Ryan Fitzpatrick got a 36 or something…you want him to be your starter next year? Didn’t think so.

  14. This just in… Wonderlic is useless. Alex Smith scored a 40 or some such nonsense and Donovan McNabb scored 12; who would trade McNabb away for Smith? I suppose we’ll just have to evaluate these players on something relevant… perhaps statistics and game tapes? What a radical idea.
    This QB class is mediocre, not horrendous, and not spectacular. None of them are #1 pick talent, but all of the big 3 are first round calibur. If you put these boys in a situation where they have a team around them, then all of them could do ok, but if you put them on a team with no talent (i.e. anyone picking in the top 5) then they will be failures of epic proportions.
    If he didn’t shoot himself in the foot down the stretch, then Nate Davis would be in second round discussion. The guy will be good value where he gets picked (which will be day 2) and given a little time to coach up I think he’ll be a legit NFL QB. I think that the late round selections at QB are underrated in this draft. Look for a few of them to make waves in the next three years. Guys like Bomar, Harrell and Teel can play and play well and two or three of the 4-7th round QB’s will see substantial starting time at some point and I fully expect one to become a top ten NFL starter within 5 years.

  15. This is a bad year to need a QB.
    Next year’s class is much much better, matter of fact the only reason Sanchez came out this year is because the class is so weak. Next year he may not have even gone in the 1st round.
    For people who say “you can’t be guaranteed a top 10 pick next year to get one of the top QB’s”, how many games do you think you’re going to win with a fill-in guy at the most important position?
    With the exception of Seattle, I don’t think any team in the top 10 should take a QB this year.
    Wait until next year and you can get Bradford, McCoy, Tebow, LeFevour, or Pike.
    You could also get whomever the Browns don’t keep our of Quinn or Anderson (or both if they draft Sanchez), plus Brodie Croyle, Jason Campbell, and Kellen Clemens will be free agents.
    The guys coming out this year may be worth taking a chance on, but not in the top 10, because you’d have to pay them JaMarcus Russell money and they’re just not worth that.

  16. If I was the Lions, I’d concentrate on fortifying the rest of the team and relying on Culpepper as the QB for the year.
    THEN in 2010, draft the QB of the future or see who is available via FA or trade.
    Don’t draft a QB at #1 if he’s not _really_ the QB of the future!
    (and I’m a Patriots fan, I just think this whole “Lions pick a QB at #1” stuff is insane and only continues the spirit of Millen)

  17. The way I look at it is, if a team is in the top 5-7 picks, they are no good. And if you have everything you need BUT a QB? You’re not in the top 5-7. Look at the Vikings. Everyone says the only missing piece is the QB… but they’re not in the top 7 picks, they made the playoffs. You can make the playoffs without a QB. And you can have Jay Cutler or Aaron Rogers and still not make the playoffs. Taking a QB in the 1st round is generally pretty stupid. Take lineman or defensive players in the first round. Lineman, while not a sure bet, are much more likely to excel than a skill position player, for sure.

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