Who are the top QB prospects in 2015?
By Justin Walters @SportsRuckus
It’s a 3 horse race for the top draft eligible QB in the 2015 draft class. I feel like I can legitimately make case for all three of these guys being the top QB.
Florida State’s Heisman trophy and National Championship winning QB Jameis Winston has the size, skills, and intangibles way beyond his years. He is a natural leader with a strong arm, has control of his offense, and shows that “IT” factor that is impossible define. I read an article where he was compared to Steve McNair and that was a perfect comparison. I almost wish I came up with it. Like McNair, it’s not always pretty but he just gets it done. His footwork and parts of his delivery scare me but he’s just so strong and talented that he makes it work. I feel like Winston has the highest floor out of these three quarterbacks. The worst he will ever be considered is just good. With that being said, for as mature as he is on the field he has shown the same amount of immaturity off the field, which could be a downfall for him. Another thing I really like about Winston is the fact that he already runs a pro style offense. Jameis has really good touch on his deep ball, shows anticipation, and arm strength to make tough throws. Despite being an above average athlete Winston really is a pass first quarterback. I look forward to seeing what improvements and adjustments he makes going in his redshirt sophomore season.
As I got ready to watch film Marcus Mariota, I expected to see a running quarterback who occasionally threw a pass to a wide-open receiver because of the system. People’s comparison of him and Colin Kaepernick didn’t really have me looking forward to watching, but he really surprised me. He’s a big guy who can really run but he has a cannon for an arm. He made some throws that not many guys can make. The Oregon offense doesn’t allow him to showcase some other skills that scouts would love to see, but I was thoroughly impressed. I would like to see Mariota make more reads and show better pocket presence. I feel like the comparison to Kaepernick is kind of a slap in the face to Mariota. I actually see some Cam Newton with more speed. If this man breaks free, he is taking it to the house, which is a gift and a curse because at times he can be too quick to break the pocket. I also noticed some inaccuracy on out breaking routes, which I think is more of him not stepping into the throw as opposed to being an arm strength issue. From some of the throws I have seen, reaching the sideline is not a problem. I don’t think reaching the peanut vendor in aisle 15 is a problem with his arm strength. He is definitely an elite talent, but I really liked the way he competed in the Stanford losses all the way to the end. I can’t lie and say he doesn’t play in a QB friendly system but his skill set takes that offense to another level. Also the improvements he made as a passer from year one to year two shows you he is a hard worker who loves the game. He has the potential to be a star at the next level with a few tweaks to his game.
Last but not least is the wildcard of the group, UCLA QB Brett Hundley. Watching his tape I saw a combination of skills that Winston and Mariota had plus a comfort level and ability to maneuver around the pocket. He does all of this while keeping his eyes downfield looking for an open receiver. Not to mention that assault rifle attached to his right shoulder. He has elite arm strength as evidenced by the 15-20 yard out routes thrown on a line from the opposite hash. He can make all of the throws. He also has the ability to escape the pocket and break long runs. Sounds like the perfect prospect doesn’t it? “Not so fast my friend!!” Every time I got ready to make him my number one quarterback he would make a terrible decision that made me scratch my head and say what the heck is this guy doing. Whether it was missing a wide-open receiver or throwing into quadruple coverage. I just don’t know. Hundley is blessed with all the talent in the world and if he can fix these poor decisions he could be not only the most talented quarterback in this class, but also the most talented quarterback to come along a while. In my opinion the scary thing about Hundley is that in five years he will either be a great quarterback or a major bust. I don’t really see a middle ground. I feel like he’s worth it though, because he is a good kid and player but then again I’m not paying the money. Some other areas he needs to improve at are getting to his second and third option and developing more consistency on his deep ball. But he is a tall, well built QB who gets good zip on the ball, shows good touch, and can squeeze the ball in tight spaces even if his feet aren’t set. He has undeniable talent and still has room to grow. He could be special.
The good thing is all these guys have time to improve and each could stay another year if they choose to. All three quarterbacks look to be top 10 to 15 picks in the 2015 or 2016 draft. In fact I would have taken all three of these guys as the top quarterback in the 2014 class. Add in seniors Bryce Petty from Baylor and Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton and you have a QB class that has NFL GM’s salivating. I look forward to seeing who comes out on top. So who do you got????
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