Pre-Season NFL Draft Watch: Quarterbacks
The prospects within the specific categories are not listed in any particular order
Cardale Jones, Ohio State
It may be hard to believe that a player who has just three starts under his belt is in line to be an first round pick. But Jones has mobility and the best arm strength in this class hands down. And by no means is he a raw thrower, showing generally good accuracy and decision making in his limited reps. However, he must show drastic improvement in his footwork, pocket presence and touch going forward.
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Like Jones, Cook has a great arm, but he also boasts some more nuanced traits. He makes a ton of NFL caliber throws at the college level and shows good accuracy in making those throws. His pocket presence is also very good, and he is willing to take a hit to complete the pass. On the other hand, his decision making is not spectacular and his accuracy, while good, can be inconsistent at times.
Sleepers and Mid Round
Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Simply by looking at the numbers, Hackenberg seems to have greatly regressed in his sophomore season. This was due in large part to a terrible supporting cast at Penn State both at receiver and on the offensive line. But what really prevents Hackenberg from being listed as a “Top Tier” player is his accuracy, which can look amazing one play and horrific the next. If he can improve in that aspect, Hackenberg’s arm strength, footwork, pocket presence and mobility make him first round caliber.
Jared Goff, Cal
Goff is a player who can make a big jump with a strong 2015. The most immediate tool that stands out is his arm strength, giving him the ability to make almost any throw on the field. Goff is generally a very good decision maker and shows good pocket presence to move around as the play breaks down. His accuracy is good but not great.
Gunner Kiel, Cinnciniati
A former top-rated quarterback recruit out of high school, Kiel left Notre Dame after he failed to beat out Everett Golson. Kiel boasts a great arm and some really good accuracy, though it can really suffer when he takes shots down the field. His delivery is a little unorthodox, and he needs to build on his pocket presence along with his decision making.
Best of the Rest
Cody Kessler, USC
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Everett Golson, Notre Dame
Chuckie Keaton, Utah State
JT Barrett, Ohio State
Josh Dobbs, Tennessee
The Vol’s starter from last season has some intriguing tools and is worth following during the 2015 season. Dobbs is a highly mobile, big-armed passer. His decision making was usually pretty sound, but his touch and accuracy are two big components of his game that need to be developed.
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Hogan’s delivery does not feature as much of a windup as it used to, but it is still not as compact as some other passers in this group. While making very few throws at Stanford due to the offense, Hogan is a sound decision maker and is pretty accurate in the short and intermediate areas of the field. His arm strength is below average.
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Travis Wilson, Utah