The Top 3 Quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft

Contrary to what some want to believe, this year’s quarterback class is the weakest in years. That said, there still will be some who are over-drafted and will under-perform when they get to the NFL. That has been the case in the NFL for years. Come draft day, clubs panic and take players at that position long before they should be taken. In reality, there may be only one or two quarterbacks in this class that can become a quality starter and a couple more who may become adequate starters in time. 1) Jameis Winston – Florida State Just looking at raw talent, Jameis is by far the best quarterback in this class. He has all the physical traits to succeed in the NFL. He has great size, is a better athlete than he tested out to be, has a very strong arm, and has a strong competitive nature on the field. Looking at the tape, he is more advanced than Cam Newton was when he came out and has just as good a chance to get his team into the playoffs on a consistent basis. The problem isn’t what we see on the field, it’s what happens off the field. The big question is, can Winston overcome his immaturity and bad decision making and develop into the face of the franchise that drafts him? His backers say yes. History says no. None of us will likely have the real answer for a couple of years. Tampa Bay is in a rough situation, they are dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t. The future careers of Jason Licht and Lovie Smith will depend on them making the right decision come draft day. 2) Marcus Mariota – Oregon As talented as Mariota is, he is a long ways away from being a good NFL quarterback. He was very successful in college because of the system he played in. Mariota is a great athlete and does an excellent job when throwing on the run and just making plays with his feet. In the Oregon offense he makes quick reads and in most cases throws to either his first or second option. Many of his throws are at or close to the line of scrimmage and that is why his completion percentage and turnover ratio is so good. Where Mariota has problems is with throwing the ball downfield. I charted three games, and on throws longer than 15 yards from the line of scrimmage he was less than 35%. That is not close to what NFL coaches want for accuracy. What makes me believe that Mariota will succeed is his outstanding football character. He is a hard worker who wants to be a great player. He will respond to coaching and do what eve it takes to be successful. The team that drafts Mariota has to have patience, as he what we call a “work in progress”. If he is forced into action to early, he will struggle. Give him time to learn and develop, and he has a chance to become a winning NFL quarterback. 3) Garrett Grayson – Colorado State If Grayson had been at a school like USC, LSU or Alabama, he would be talked about in the same breath as Winston and Mariota. At Colorado State, he didn’t have anywhere near the supporting cast that quarterbacks at those schools have. Grayson has started 36 games over the last three years. He is a very good athlete with quick feet. He can throw from the pocket or on the run and shows good accuracy along with good ball placement skills. On top of that, he seldom turns the ball over. I look at him as an ascending player who will still get better. He may have more upside than the other two quarterbacks. On top of that, he has strong football character and is a strong leader, two traits needed to become a good NFL player. Grayson had a very good week at the Senior Bowl, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a team has his name in the second round. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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