NFL draft preview: quarterbacks

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2012 - 11:56 AM

Today is Day 2 of the Star Tribune's position-by-position preview of the NFL draft April 26-28 in New York City.

Today: quarterbacks

When is it necessary to "reach" for a franchise quarterback?

That's a question all teams without one face each and every April.

Without making the commitment to a franchise quarterback hopeful, teams know they're essentially left to wander aimlessly with the bottom feeders in a pass-crazed league that last year produced a record-tying 10 4,000-yard passers, including a record-breaking three who surpassed 5,000 yards.

That's why Indianapolis jettisoned 36-year-old Peyton Manning to make room for Stanford's Andrew Luck as the No. 1 overall draft pick. That's why Washington didn't flinch when it sent three first-round picks and a second-round pick to St. Louis so it could move up four spots to select Baylor's Robert Griffin III No. 2 overall. And that's why some of the juiciest pre-draft chatter now centers on whether QB-needy teams such as Cleveland (No. 4) or Miami (No. 8) will trade up to the Vikings' No. 3 spot in order to "reach" for Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. is among those who expect a team to reach for Tannehill.

"He's being overdrafted," Kiper said. "We saw it last year with Christian Ponder [No. 12 to the Vikings]. He should've been a second-round pick. Overdrafting is taking place at quarterback, and it's going to happen again with Ryan Tannehill."

Keep in mind that "overdrafting" or "reaching" is an opinion that's in the eye of the beholder. And, believe it or not, sometimes media experts are wrong.

It's far too early to determine whether Ponder, Jake Locker (No. 8) or Blaine Gabbert (No. 10) were "overdrafted" last April. At this point, all that's known is they were picked by QB-starved teams that identified a preferred quarterback prospect and knew they needed the courage to pull the trigger ASAP.


Andrew Luck, Stanford

Talk about pressure. Luck has been the consensus No. 1 overall pick since before last year's draft. He's compared to John Elway. And his mere availability led to Peyton Manning's release, which led to Tim Tebow's trade.


Robert Griffin III, Baylor

He'll have a lot to live up to in Washington. But his athleticism, arm strength, quick release and 67.1 completion percentage in college could give him a fighting chance to succeed.

Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M

Spent his first two seasons at receiver, but his intriguing skills at quarterback have him rising. He's relatively raw, but his college coach (Mike Sherman) is now offensive coordinator in Miami, which has the No. 8 pick.

Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State

A former minor league pitcher, Weeden has exceptional arm strength. He also has good touch and completed more than 400 passes in 2011. But injuries and his age (28) will cause teams to be extra careful in selecting him.


Russell Wilson, Wisconsin

He was an exciting college player, not to mention the nation's most efficient passer in 2011. But he's also 5-11, 204 pounds, so he's most likely a late-round prospect, at best.

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL


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