Home > Draft, NFL > 2010 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks (FINAL)

2010 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks (FINAL)

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I’ve poured over these quarterback ratings since Halloween, and I think I’ve eventually arrived at the same consensus everyone else has regarding this quarterback class: it’s good, and there are about four guys in it who project as starting quarterbacks.  After all this time, and absorbing opinion after opinion, and throwing considerable amount of personal research into this, I’ve arrived at the same conclusion that pretty much everyone else has about the top four.  I just don’t think the right to choose your quarterback in this draft is all that important.  Ideally, you’d want to go for the best fit for your situation, but when teams take a quarterback early, they tend to work to tailor the situation to their quarterback pick, so perhaps that’s an irrelevant situation.

1. Colt McCoy, Texas, Mid-first round grade

2. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, Mid-first round grade

3. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame, Late-first round grade

4. Tim Tebow, Florida, Late-first round grade

Neither Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen really fits the bill as a top five prospect, and Clausen in particular is fighting an uphill career against a few unfortunate trends: Notre Dame quarterback, underclassman, inaccuracies between the numbers, holding the football.  I tentatively gave Clausen the nod over Tim Tebow for No. 3 QB in this draft, but again I think I could win with either of them, especially if I could get them with my second pick in this draft.  McCoy and Bradford are both quite good, but I think McCoy has both the greater upside, and will reach his potential faster.  The only thing that keeps McCoy from being a first overall pick is that the scheme is always going to have to protect his weaknesses in stature.  Bradford has different derivation of the same fatal flaw: he’s going to have to move just not to get hit.

Clausen is the game-manager type in this draft.  He’s essentially Matt Leinart: he will play the game-manager role in the NFL, and you can get a first round picks value out of that if you don’t have a quarterback, but if you already have competency in that position, he’s not much of an upgrade.  Tebow is kind of the same way: they’re both NFL game managers, but if that’s what you need, that’s what you should take.  Not every team needs a scheme superstar like McCoy or Bradford.

Class Strength: Strong

Put more simply, it’s a quantity over quality class.  It’s four deep with starting QB prospects, and there’s plenty of depth after it to boot.  I think it’s a stronger class than 2006, and in the last ten years, third only to 2004 and 2008.

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5. Dan Lefevour, Central Michigan, second/third round grade

6. Zac Robinson, Oklahoma State, second/third round grade

7. Mike Kafka, Northwestern, 3rd round grade

8. Tony Pike, Cincinnati, 3rd round grade

A wide range of prospects in the second tier, these guys are lumped together because I think they all exhibit different abilities of starters, if not the complete package.  I think Dan Lefevour is a bit limited in his upside, as that looks something like a mid-tier starting NFL QB, but he just looks different in pads with a pass rush coming at him than he does in a pair of shorts.  Robinson, on the other hand, has considerable upside to perhaps someday be a top ten NFL quarterback, and will have the advantage (curse?) of not playing right away.  Mike Kafka is more raw than anyone in this class as a passer, but he and Tony Pike are both Lefevour-type gamers who could creep into the second round in a little bit lighter draft.  Pike is what you look for in a passer physically, and comes from the Brian Kelly passer tree, and I know that there are a lot of teams that think they can turn Tony Pike into Joe Flacco, and at least one that thinks they can turn him into a poor man’s Tom Brady given enough time.

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9. John Skelton, Fordham, fourth-round grade

10. Jarrett Brown, West Virginia, fourth-round grade

11. Jonathon Crompton, fourth/fifth-round grade

These mid-rounders are your big armed prospects with NFL abilities who don’t have a starters draft profile, but at least have the opportunity to receive the Charlie Whitehurst treatment (for a limited time only: a good thing!) in an otherwise prosperous career as quality NFL backups.  I’ll be honest, any of these three guys probably profiles as a better prospect than Mike Kafka, but I had to give Kafka a bonus for the starter’s upside I believe he possesses, even if he ends out flaming out badly when he gets there.

And… the rest of the guys I think will have at least a cup of coffee in the NFL from this draft class:

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12. Tim Hiller, Western Michigan

13. Max Hall, Brigham Young

14. Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State

15. Bill Stull, Pittsburgh

16. Sean Canfield, Oregon State

So there you have it.  A list six months in development: the official LiveBall Sports top 16 QBs in the NFL draft.

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