The top QBs in the NFL draft

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 24, 2011 - 12:57 AM

Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton and Jake Locker are among those to lead the way.

hide

Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert threw against Iowa in the Insight Bowl.

Photo: Matt York, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

1 BLAINE GABBERT, MISSOURI

Height/weight: 6-4/234

Upside: Extremely athletic, possesses a rapid release and can throw from a variety of angles. Has the ability to escape the rush and throw on the move. Intelligent and competitive; should be able to pick up things quickly at the next level.

Downside: Used exclusively out of the shotgun with predetermined reads in college; tended to panic when primary read was covered. He can be rattled by pressure; footwork can be faulty. A sidearm or three-quarters delivery troubles some scouts.

Statistically: Had 6,822 yards passing with 40 touchdowns, 18 interceptions and a 60.9 completion percentage in 31 games (26 starts) over three seasons.

Getting to know you: Vikings brass dined with Gabbert after his pro day in March in Columbia. The Vikings would love to have him, but unless they trade up to get him, Gabbert will be long gone by the time the 12th pick arrives. Projections have him going to Arizona with the fifth pick.

2 CAM NEWTON, AUBURN

Height/weight: 6-5/248

Upside: Has a big-time arm and can make throws while off balance. Also a threat to run; gives defenders fits because of his size.

Downside: Played in a very basic scheme at Auburn; can he run a much more complex NFL offense? Throwing mechanics could be another issue.

Statistically: Completed 185 of 280 passes for 2,854 yards with 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 14 starts last season in his one year at Auburn after guiding Blinn (Texas) to the 2009 national junior college championship.

Getting to know you: Vikings sent a small contingent to his pro day then worked him out privately in late March in Auburn. Plenty of questions remain about how good Newton will be in the NFL, but it appears the Panthers might be willing to find out by taking him first overall.

3 JAKE LOCKER, WASHINGTON

Height/weight: 6-2/231

Upside: Outstanding athlete, excellent arm strength, best at making throws while on the move. Demonstrates poise that an NFL team wants from its quarterback.

Downside: Needs to improve passing percentage from the pocket and make better decisions. He completed only 55.4 percent of his passes last season.

Statistically: Threw for a career-high 2,800 yards and 21 touchdowns in 12 games as a junior and 2,265 yards with 17 TDs and nine picks in 12 games last season.

Getting to know you: Another case where the Vikings sent only one scout to his pro day, but had previously worked him out in a private session. The Vikings are interested, but would they be willing to use the 12th pick on Locker? Common sense says they might attempt to trade down in the opening round in order to get Locker at a more reasonable place and also recoup the third-round pick lost to New England in the Randy Moss trade. The Redskins could foil this plan if they grab Locker with the 10th pick.

4 CHRISTIAN PONDER, FLORIDA STATE

Height/weight: 6-2/229

Upside: Another intelligent player -- he earned his undergraduate degree in 2 1/2 years -- with good intangibles. Showed his toughness last season by playing despite a bruised triceps, a ruptured right bursa sac and a concussion.

Downside: Suffered a Grade-3 separation of his throwing (right) shoulder and underwent season-ending surgery nine games into the 2009 season. Also has a tendency to make curious decisions at times.

Statistically: Completed 184 of 299 passes (61.5 percent) for 2,044 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 12 games as a senior.

Getting to know you: A day before working out Newton, the Vikings brass made a stop in Tallahassee to put Ponder through a private session. He is considered a very good fit for a West Coast offense, but it is still not known how much of that system new Vikings coordinator Bill Musgrave will retain.

5 ANDY DALTON, TEXAS CHRISTIAN

Height/weight: 6-2/215

Upside: A two-time selection as the Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, he went 42-7 as a starter and led the Horned Frogs to a 21-19 victory over Wisconsin last season in the Rose Bowl for a perfect 13-0 record. A vocal leader who can hold up under pressure and has a quick release.

Downside: Like so many college quarterbacks, his experience came working out of the shotgun. Made some questionable decisions in his throws and doesn't have great foot speed to escape.

Statistically: The four-year starter threw for a career-high 2,857 yards with 27 touchdowns and only six interceptions in 13 games last season, with a .661 completion percentage.

Getting to know you: Was among those to visit Winter Park, but no private workout was known to be conducted by the Vikings. Because he's another QB who could be utilized by a West Coast team, Dalton's stock appears to be on the rise as the draft nears.

6 RYAN MALLETT, ARKANSAS

Height/weight: 6-7/247

Upside: Posted a career record of 21-8 and might possess the best arm of any quarterback in this draft.

Downside: The most scrutinized of any quarterback in this class. Former NFL executive Tony Softli, who works for a St. Louis radio station, reported there were rumors of drug use by Mallett that kept him from coming out for the 2010 draft. Mallett has been knocked for being immature and didn't help his cause at the NFL combine when he seemed to bristle when the media pressed him on the drug rumors.

Statistically: Coming off an impressive season in which he completed 266 of 411 passes (64.7 percent) for 3,869 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 13 games.

Getting to know you: Met with Vikings officials in Minnesota, but no known private workout was conducted on his campus. The Vikings did plenty of homework on Mallett, but it's hard to believe a team coming off the Randy Moss trade fiasco will take a risk on Mallett.

7 RICKY STANZI, IOWA

Height/weight: 6-4/223

Upside: Spent time in a pro-style offense and, unlike many college quarterbacks, is comfortable working from under center. Arm strength has increased in recent seasons. Pro Football Weekly: "Eerily similar semblance to a young Tom Brady."

Downside: Can be forced into making bad throws; needs to improve his ability in reading the entire field.

Statistically: Threw for a career-best 3,004 yards and 25 touchdowns with six interceptions in 13 starts in 2010. His .641 completion percentage (221 of 345) also was the best he posted. Started 35 of 37 games over his final three seasons.

Getting to know you: Vikings made the trek to put Stanzi through a workout last month. He probably belongs in the third or fourth round and, right now, the Vikings don't have a third-round pick. Could move up if there's a run on quarterbacks.

8 COLIN KAEPERNICK, NEVADA

Height/weight: 6-4/233

Upside: Only player in NCAA history to have 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 yards rushing in a career. Considered a very hard worker and intelligent. Handles pressure well and has outstanding velocity on his passes.

Downside: Spent time working in a short-shotgun pistol offense that does not necessarily translate to an NFL style. Actually, he will need to learn to take some velocity off certain passes. Has a tendency to get a bit careless.

Statistically: Threw for 3,022 yards with 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 14 starts last season, completing 233 of 359 passes (64.9 percent).

Getting to know you: Vikings saw him at Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine but did not invite him to Winter Park for a visit and did not go to see him work out. Was their potential lack of interest a smoke screen, or was he crossed off the list early?

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 63 4th Qtr 12:00
Washington 80
Orlando 81 4th Qtr
Charlotte 68
Memphis 57 3rd Qtr
Miami 41
Indiana 27 2nd Qtr 9:17
Brooklyn 26
New Orleans 29 2nd Qtr 8:41
Chicago 30
Atlanta 4 1st Qtr 10:38
Milwaukee 0
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Utah
New York 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 3 3rd Prd
Buffalo 0
Detroit 1 3rd Prd
Ottawa 2
Carolina 0 3rd Prd
Tampa Bay 1
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd
NY Rangers 2
Boston 2 2nd Prd :52
Columbus 5
Winnipeg 1 2nd Prd 2:45
Minnesota 1
Washington 1 2nd Prd 12:48
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 2 1st Prd 1:43
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd
Nashville 1
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd
Arizona 1
Chicago 8:00 PM
Colorado
Edmonton 9:00 PM
Calgary
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 75 3rd OT 0:42
Georgia 84
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 47 2nd Half 4:02
Ohio State 93
Presbyterian 49 2nd Half 10:00
Virginia Tech 62
Brescia 16 1st Half 3:40
Western Ky 31
Tennessee St 8 1st Half 13:35
Tennessee 9
Kennesaw St 8:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Portland 8:00 PM
San Diego
Wayland Baptist 8:05 PM
Utah State
Bristol University 8:05 PM
Weber State
Sacramento St 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
UNLV
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 10 1st Qtr 7:45
(24) USC 7
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 28 1st Half 3:49
Portland 18
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close