Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quarterbacks for the 2009 NFL Draft

The 2009 NFL Draft should be an interesting one for quarterbacks. Unfortunately, many fine, experienced senior quarterbacks will be overlooked in favor of stellar juniors. Here are my NFL Draft Rankings of the top senior quarterbacks in projected draft order.

2009 College Football Senior Quarterbacks In Projected Draft Order
The 2009 NFL Draft should be an interesting one for quarterbacks. Unfortunately, many fine, experienced senior quarterbacks will be overlooked in favor of stellar juniors. Here are my top senior quarterbacks in projected draft order.

1. Cullen Harper, Clemson
Projected Round: 1
Cullen Harper, despite playing on a over-rated Clemson team, is a phenomenal quarterback. In his first season as a starter, Harper posted 27 touchdowns next to only six picks, which is fantastic when you consider his opponents, including Virginia Tech and Boston College. Oh yeah, and to cap it off, he threw for over 2,700 yards. He is definitely first round caliber, and if no high-caliber juniors come out early, he will have an edge over Hunter Cantwell to be the first QB taken.

2. Hunter Cantwell, Louisville
Projected Round: 1-2
For a few years now, Hunter Cantwell has been the best back-up in the country. A pro-style pocket passer, he’s ready made for the NFL, just as Brian Brohm should have been. He has a strong, accurate arm; and his only negative is inexperience, which is really a little misleading because every time Brohm went down, Cantwell played more than admirably, posting a completion percentage of 64.3%. That’s fantastic for a college QB. If he is pushed to the second round it will be due talented junior quarterbacks.

3. Curtis Painter, Purdue
Projected Round: 2
Curtis Painter, arguably the most prolific passer in Purdue history, has shown improvement over his two full seasons. He passed for fewer yards last year, but went up in touchdowns to twenty-nine, and down in interceptions to eleven. He is not immobile but he is a pocket passer, as his 40 time shows. Painter, however, plays in the Big Ten, which means that he won’t be drafted as high due to the misconception that Big Ten competition is somehow lesser than say, SEC opponents. The only other knock on Painter is his tendency to have his worst games against top opponents, like Ohio State and Wisconsin.

4. Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State
Projected Round: 3
Rudy Carpenter is one tough mother, well, you get it. He was sacked 54 times last year; that’s right, 54 times. When he wasn’t busy being sacked, he was completing 62% of his passes and tossing 25 touchdowns; with only 10 interceptions. Carpenter would make an excellent game manager in the NFL, but his upside might be more limited than say, Curtis Painter. A pocket passer, Carpenter deserves a shot right around round 3 or even 4.

5. Todd Boeckman, Ohio State
Projected Round: 3-4
Why is every body so down on Todd Boeckman? The NFL likes: tall quarterbacks, big arms, and diplomas from major BCS-conference schools. So what’s wrong with Mr. Boeckman? Two names: Beanie Wells and Tyrell Pryor. They steal his thunder and his numbers. But I’m not worried; whoever takes Boeckman here will have a big time, NFL ready quarterback and some early round weapons for him to hurl it to. By the way, he’s not immobile either; he has been clocked in the 40 at 4.74, which is really pretty good at his size. Threw 25 touchdowns and 14 picks in his junior year.

6. Pat White, West Virginia
Projected Round: 4
That’s right, Pat White. It’s too bad no one in the NFL will let him play quarterback. He can really throw and he is a full 6-2, he’s not “6-0” like Chase Daniel. This is where I would draft Pat. If this team doesn’t want to play him at QB, well, he can REALLY run, so HB or WR would be options as well. As long as he put on some muscle, he could play many other positions at the next level.
7. Nathan Brown, Central Arkansas
Projected Round: 4-5
I haven’t seen too much of Nathan Brown, but what I have seen, I like. Unfortunately, he plays at a small school, and normally that does not bode well for NFL prospects. He threw 26 touchdowns and 10 picks as a junior.
8. Tom Brandstater Fresno State
Projected Round: 4-5

Impressive guy at a smaller school. Playing in the WAC is probably his biggest knock, especially when you consider that he plays on a team that needs to run the ball. But he can throw it. He threw 15 touchdowns and only 5 picks in 2007, and e needs to raise that to warrant higher draft consideration.

9. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
Projected Round: 5
Another Texas Tech guy, huh? Hopefully Graham Harrell won’t end up in the Arena League like Sonny Cumbie, although, from what I’ve seen, the AFL is on the rise. But that’s neither here nor there. Graham Harrell has decent height for a quarterback at the next level, and he has shown touch and arm strength none of his predecessors possessed. If someone takes a shot on this guy, in 2 or 3 years he could develop into a fine, pro-style quarterback. He threw 48 touchdowns in 2007.

10. Chase Daniel, Missouri
Projected Round: 5-6
Chase Daniel is awesome. He makes plays on the run and he can fit the ball into windows not often reached by college quarterbacks. His is very athletic and he deserves a shot. He is, however, pretty short for his position. I’m doubtful that he is actually 6-0, he’s likely closer to 5-10. To most this is not that big of a deal, but to NFL teams height means a lot. There have been great NFL quarterbacks under 6-0, Doug Flutie, to name one. I hope that some team gives him a chance to play, as he is very exciting, not to mention productive. Over two years, he has not had a game with a completion percent under 50%.

11. Brian Hoyer, Michigan State
Projected Round: 6
Another middle-of-the-road Michigan State QB. Seems like they never produce top Quarterbacks. He did, however, throw for 20 touchdowns in the Big Ten and he warrants consideration, possibly as a back-up because his upside is limited.
12. Chase Holbrook New Mexico State
Projected Round: 6-7
A bigger version of Colt Brennan. He’s a big guy with a good arm, but he plays in the spread, so that can be misleading. He went down from 34 touchdowns to 28 in 2007, but a good senior year will lead to hearing his name on draft day.
13. John Parker Wilson, Alabama
Projected Round: 7
A guy who knows how to lead. I compare him to Matt Flynn, who just beat out Brian Brohm to be Green Bay’s second quarterback. He plays in the SEC and still put up good numbers, and had his best games in 2007 against Arkansas and LSU, with 3 and 2 touchdowns, respectively. He figures to be a back-up, but you never know. No one thought Tom Brady would make it, either.
14. Stephen McGee Texas A&M
Projected Round: 7-FA
Played well as a sophomore, but his claim to fame was his low pick total, and it went up from 3 to 8 in one campaign. A good senior year gets him drafted, but a serious recent shoulder injury could curtail his draft hopes.

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