Andrew Luck*, QB, Stanford
Height: 6-4. Weight: 235. Projected 40 Time: 4.72. Projected Round (2012): First Overall Pick. 1/9/12: Luck had a standout season, completing 71 percent of his passes for 3,517 yards with 37 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Three of his interceptions came on tipped passes. He has shown good mobility this year and is extremely accurate throwing on the run. The cerebral signal caller took over a lot of the play calling for the Cardinal and had fabulous decision-making. Luck also made a one-handed 13-yard catch this season. He has a good arm with excellent accuracy. Making Luck's performance even more impressive is he didn't have a good stable of receivers to work with.
During the regular season, Luck led Stanford to a comeback, signature, triple-overtime win at USC. He showed leadership, fire and bounce-back ability in the game. Luck played well in his Bowl game against Oklahoma State and if it wasn't for some missed field goals, he would have led his team to a victory. Luck looks like a lock to be the first-overall pick next April.
8/18/11: Andrew Luck probably would have been the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft if he had chosen to leave college. Right now, he is the clear favorite to be the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Many NFL scouts feel that Luck is one of the most pro-ready quarterback prospects over the past decade. Luck will be challenged to meet expectations for this season, but Stanford has talent around him so it won't be a one-man show.
Stanford enters the season ranked sixth overall in the coaches poll. Only Oregon ranks ahead of the Cardinal from the PAC-12. Thus, Luck will enter the season with a target on his jersey. Last year, he completed an amazing 71 percent of his passes as a sophomore. Luck threw for 32 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. He also ran for 453 yards and three scores. Luck showed massive improvement compared to the previous season. In his first year as a starter in 2009, Luck threw for 2,575 yards and 13 touchdowns with four interceptions. He completed 56 percent of his passes and ran for 354 yards and two touchdowns.
Luck is a complete package. He has the size, arm strength and mechanics to be a lethal pocket passer. Luck also has good mobility, a seven yards per carry average in his career, and escapability when he sees a rush. His footwork is phenomenal and he clearly is well-groomed by former head coach Jim Harbaugh. Luck is extremely intelligent. As a result, some question his competitive drive because he is described as somewhat nerdy and focused on his academics, but Luck is a winner and a hard worker that looks like a very safe pick at the top of the draft.
Robert Griffin*, III QB, Baylor
Height: 6-2. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.52. Projected Round (2012): Top 10. 1/9/12: Griffin earned his Heisman Trophy and truly was the best player in college football this season as he led Baylor to a 10-win season. Griffin carried Baylor to thrilling wins over Oklahoma, Kansas and TCU. He has displayed a very strong arm and good mobility. His accuracy was phenomenal on passes to the short, intermediate, and deep part of the field. In 2011, Griffin completed 72 percent of his passes for 4,293 yards with 37 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has also rushed for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns. His decision-making was superb.
Griffin is not the biggest player, but there is no doubt that he has toughness. Griffin played through a concussion late in the season, and took a lot of big hits when he ran with the ball. One challenge will be fitting Griffin into a pro-style offense. He rarely took the snap from under center, and will need some development at the pro level. However it shouldn't be a problem as Griffin is extremely intelligent. He is known as a high character individual off the field and a hard worker.
8/18/11: Robert Griffin III is a sleeper prospect who could surprise many in 2011. Baylor is busy promoting him as a Heisman candidate, and the junior signal caller is an exciting playmaker.
Last year, Griffin completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,501 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also ran for 635 yards on 149 carries (4.3 average) with eight touchdowns. Griffin was limited to only three games in 2009 due to a season-ending knee injury, but he looked strong and fast in 2010. Griffin carried the Bears to a seven-win season and being a formidable opponent on Saturdays. He combines a strong arm with his top-notch speed and mobility. Griffin's definitely a player to keep an eye on.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-4. Weight: 219. Projected 40 Time: 4.61. Projected Round (2012): 1. 1/9/12: Tannehill had some massive games in 2011. He also had some bad performances in the second half of games that contributed to the Aggies blowing big leads and thereby losing games to Oklahoma State and Arkansas. Tannehill threw three interceptions per game against the Cowboys, the Sooners and the Longhorns. For the season, he completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,744 yards with 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Tannehill is an excellent athlete and is very dangerous running with the football. Aside from his passing, he ran for 355 yards with four touchdowns. Tannehill has a strong arm with the potential to grow into an accurate passer. The senior also has special mobility.
Tannehill still needs to make up for a lot of lost time to learn the mental necessities of the position. The lack of quarterbacks in this class pushes him into first round, but he will enter the NFL with only 20 starts at quarterback. Tannehill has a special skill set, but he is going to need a lot of grooming at the professional level. However, the unknown of if Tannehill can handle it, pushes up the riskiness of picking him. He should be a second-day pick, but the demand for the position has seen his stock rise significantly.
8/18/11: After playing wide receiver in 2008 and 2009, Ryan Tannehill became the starting quarterback during the 2010 season. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,638 yards with 13 touchdowns and six interceptions in seven games at quarterback. The background as a wide receiver can be seen in the athletic Tannehill. He is an elusive runner with deceptive speed. Tannehill needs more time to develop as a signal caller. His accuracy and mechanics are definitely a work in progress. For a team looking for a developmental, backup quarterback who could contribute in a Wildcat package, Tannehill could be a good mid-round pick. He is a gamer and should impress coaching staffs in pre-draft meetings.
Nick Foles, Arizona
Height: 6-5. Weight: 235. Projected 40 Time: 5.01. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 1/9/12: Foles was a warrior this season as he had to carry his team to keep them competitive in games. Arizona's defense was terrible, and he had the pressure of having to get into shootouts on a weekly basis. Foles completed 69 percent of his passes for 4,334 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He is a big-armed pocket passer. Early in the season, Foles was doing a good job of avoiding turnovers, but late in the season, he threw a bunch of interceptions. One of the reasons for the interceptions is his inclination to lock on to one receiver and not make progressions through his different reads. Foles' field vision will need work and that is the big detriment to his game.
8/18/11: Nick Foles is a big quarterback with an NFL skill set. Last year, he threw for 3,191 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions while completing 67 percent of his passes. Foles was consistent with his sophomore production when he completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,486 yards. He tossed 19 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Foles? completion percentage is inflated by the number of short-swing passes he threw. In order to improve as a prospect, Foles needs to become more accurate in the intermediate and deep part of the field. There were times where he was bailed out on throws by wide receiver Juron Criner.
Foles has the arm and pocket presence to become a starting quarterback in the NFL. He'll need more developmental practice time compared to the top-three signal callers in the draft. Foles needs to work on going through his progressions and finding an open receiver. He has the tendency to only look at one side of the field. Foles needs to increase his touchdowns and decrease his interceptions to improve his status.
Tyler Wilson*, Arkansas
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.85. Projected Round (2012): 2-3. 1/9/12: Wilson was the top passing quarterback in the SEC this season. He threw for 3,422 yards with 22 touchdowns and six interceptions, completing 63 percent of his passes. Wilson performed well against Alabama and LSU. He had a simply massive game against Texas A&M, throwing for 510 yards and three touchdowns in a furious second-half comeback win. Playing under head coach Bobby Petrino, Wilson comes from an advanced passing attack that is good preparation for the NFL. The redshirt junior submitted paperwork with the NFL Advisory Committee, but it would be surprising if he entered the draft.
In 2010, Wilson filled in for Ryan Mallet against Auburn, the eventual National Champions. Wilson threw for 332 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Kirk Cousins, Michigan State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 202. Projected 40 Time: 4.85. Projected Round (2012): 3-4. 1/9/12: At times this season, Cousins displayed good potential, but was held back by an offense that aimed to keep the ball on the ground. Against a good Nebraska defense, he struggled. However, Cousins came up clutch in the Spartans' two games against the Badgers. He threw three touchdowns in each of the battles with Wisconsin. For the season, Cousins completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,016 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
8/18/11: Kirk Cousins completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 2,825 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Like Foles, Cousins? numbers were similar to his sophomore year production when he completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,680 yards and 19 touchdowns with nine picks.
Cousins has an enough of an arm to be a starting NFL quarterback. He is a good game-manager who could be a good quarterback to install in a play-action-based passing attack with a strong running game. When given time to throw Cousins is very effective. He struggles and makes bad decisions when he gets defensive linemen in his face. Cousins will have to improve that to have a shot at sneaking into the first round. He has good leadership skills. The smart and efficient signal caller is the type of quarterback who should have a solid senior year and is a safe bet to be a second-round draft pick.
Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
Height: 6-8. Weight: 240. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2012): 4-5. 1/9/12: Osweiler is big-armed pocket passer who has surprising mobility. The former basketball player has good athletic ability for being so tall. Looking at him, one would think he would be a statue in the pocket, but that is definitely not the case. As a junior this year, Osweiler completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,036 yards with 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also ran for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Osweiler set the school record for yards, completions and attempts. In 2010, he had only two starts, but played well throwing for 797 yards and five touchdowns with zero interceptions. He also ran for 168 yards and a score.
Osweiler has real arm strength and the gun to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He is very raw and needs some work. If Osweiler goes to a good coaching staff that can develop him for a few years, he could turn into something. It wouldn't be surprising if Osweiler's stock rises during the lead up to the draft. He should have stayed in school and improved before going pro.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2012): 4-5. 1/9/12: Weeden completed 72 percent of his passes for 4,727 yards for 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He had a massive game in leading a furious comeback win over Texas A&M. Weeden had a rough game against Iowa State in an upset loss that killed any hope of Oklahoma State reaching the BCS National Championship Game. Throughout 2011, he displayed a strong, accurate arm and good pocket passing skills.
Weeden finished his season with a huge game against a good Stanford defense. In the Fiesta Bowl, he threw for 399 yards and three touchdowns. Having Justin Blackmon made his job a lot easier as the nation's best receiver accounted for 186 of those yards, and all three touchdowns. If Weeden were six or seven years younger, he would be ranked at the very least on the second day of the draft.
8/18/11: Brandon Weeden is college football's current version of Chris Weinke, a baseball prospect who turned to football in his mid-20s. As a result, Weeden is going to be a 29-year old rookie in the NFL. Last year, he completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,277 yards with 34 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. Weeden did a fabulous job of getting the ball to his playmakers. He has a strong arm, excellent pocket presence, good decision making and can make all the throws. Weeden's age is such a limiting factor in his draft status. It is essential for Weeden to show coaches that he is a quick learner who won't have much of a learning curve in the NFL.
Case Keenum, QB, Houston
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210. Projected 40 Time: 4.83. Projected Round (2011): 4-5. 1/9/12: Keenum set all kinds of NCAA records with a massive senior season. He completed 71 percent of his passes for 5,631 yards with 48 touchdowns and five interceptions. Throughout 2011, Keenum put up staggering numbers but had a disappointing home game loss to Southern Mississippi that cost Houston the Conference USA Championship and an undefeated season. In his bowl against Penn State, he bounced back, throwing for 532 yards and three touchdowns. Keenum looks like a system quarterback who needs to do well at the Senior Bowl to show he can be more than that.
8/18/11: Case Keenum went down in Week 3 of the 2010 college football season with an ACL injury that cost him the rest of the season. In 2009, Keenum had insane numbers with 70 percent of his passes completed for 5,671 yards with 44 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He also ran for 158 yards and four scores. Keenum is a product of Houston's system and that is why he does not project to be any higher than a mid-round signal caller.
Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
Height: 5-11. Weight: 201. Projected 40 Time: 4.68. Projected Round (2011): 4-6. 1/9/12: Wilson is a fantastic college quarterback. He has a good arm, makes big plays with his feet and comes through in the clutch. Plus, Wilson is difficult for defenses to defend, and he can put up points on the scoreboard. The reason why his draft ranking is this low is his height. Wilson could easily be shorter than his listed height and that really makes it tough to project him as a starting quarterback in the NFL. In that regard, he is similar to former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith who was a late-round pick in 2007.
Wilson led Wisconsin to the Big Ten Title and a spot in the Rose Bowl. He had a stellar senior season in his one-year at Madison. Wilson completed 73 percent of his passes for 3,175 yards with 33 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also ran for 464 yards and six touchdowns. Compared to playing at North Carolina State in his first three seasons, Wilson had a much better supporting cast, along with one of the best running games in the country.
Wilson was consistently productive at North Carolina State. He completed 58 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions as a junior. In 2009, Wilson had a 59 percent completion rate for 3,027 yards with 31 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. As a freshman, he completed 54.5 percent of his passes for 1,955 yards with 17 touchdowns and one interception.
Kellen Moore, Boise State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 187. Projected 40 Time: 4.93. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 1/9/12: Moore has put up some big numbers in leading Boise State's potent offense. He completed 74 percent of his passes for 3,734 yards with 43 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2011. A lack of arm strength and size issues make Moore look like a backup at the NFL level.
8/18/11: Kellen Moore is college quarterback who looks like a limited pro prospect because of a lack of size and physical tools. He had massive production throwing to Titus Young and Austin Pettis last season. In his junior season, Moore completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,845 yards with 35 touchdowns and six interceptions. Moore is a gritty football player that is a winner, but he is not going to pass the eyeball test from NFL coaches.
Due to the height and weight concerns, Moore going in the fourth or fifth round is generous. It will be interesting to see if he checks in at under six-foot at the Senior Bowl or combine. That could send him down to the late rounds.
Dominique Davis, QB, East Carolina
Height: 6-3. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 1/9/12: This season, Davis completed 68 percent of his passes for 3,225 yards with 25 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. The senior has some good physical tools, and he had good games against South Carolina and North Carolina. However, Davis played poorly against Houston. He could interest teams looking for a developmental prospect.
8/18/11: Dominique Davis had an impressive debut as the starting quarterback at East Carolina last season. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 3,955 yards with 37 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. Davis ran a simple offense with a lot of quick passing and some designed runs mixed in. He needs to show more pocket passing potential in 2011.
Jordan Jefferson, LSU
Height: 6-5. Weight: 223. Projected 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 1/9/12: Jefferson was suspended for the first four games of the season. It took some time for him to break into the lineup because Jarrett Lee was playing well and the Tigers were winning. Jefferson came back to lead LSU to some big wins over Alabama and Arkansas. For the regular season, he completed 50-of-83 passes for 684 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Jefferson also ran for 309 yards and three scores.
Austin Davis, Southern Miss
Height: 6-2. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.78. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 1/9/12: Davis completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,848 yards with 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. At times, he displayed some quality arm strength and accuracy. The senior came up with a huge game to upset Houston on the road in the conference championship, but he played poorly in the Hawaii Bowl against Nevada. Davis could be a sleeper prospect with some developmental potential.
8/18/11: Austin Davis broke into the lineup as a freshman and threw for 3,128 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. An injury cost him half of his sophomore season. Last year, he returned to throw for 3,103 yards with 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. For his career, Davis has completed 62 percent of his passes while running for 1,023 yards and 21 touchdowns. He is a sleeper quarterback who needs to have a dominant senior season.
Ryan Nassib, Syracuse
Height: 6-2. Weight: 229. Projected 40 Time: 4.80. Projected Round (2012): 4-6. 1/9/12: Nassib came through and improved his accuracy in his final collegiate season. His completion percentage was 62 percent and he totaled 2,685 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Nassib also ran for 155 yards and two scores. Against West Virginia, hr came up with a big game. Nassib threw for four touchdown passes in Syracuse's upset win. He has some tools to work with and could be a sleeper prospect.
8/18/11: Nassib completed 56 percent of his passes for 2,334 yards with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Heading into the draft Nassib needs to show improved accuracy as a senior. He ran for 255 yards and a touchdown as junior.
Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
Height: 6-2. Weight: 220. Projected 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 1/9/12: Harnish has completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,942 yards with 26 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also has run for 1,488 yards and 11 touchdowns. Harnish has been consistent this season except for not having a productive game against Wisconsin. The senior could garner some developmental interest, but he probably does not have the arm strength and physical tools to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
8/18/11: Chandler Harnish is an experienced signal caller who enters his fourth season as a starter. In his career, he has completed 62 percent of his passes for 5,728 yards with 40 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Harnish also is a running threat with 1,604 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns over the past three seasons.
Ryan Lindley, San Diego State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 210. Projected 40 Time: 4.90. Projected Round (2012): 5-6. 1/9/12: Lindley did not have the senior year that he needed to improve his draft stock. Lindley completed only 53 percent of his passes for a total of 3,153 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also had bad performances against TCU and Michigan, two of the better opponents on his schedule. Lindley overthrows the ball routinely and his struggles with accuracy kill his draft stock.
8/18/11: Ryan Lindley is an experienced signal caller after being the starter for San Diego State the past three seasons. He has increased his touchdown production each season from 16 to 23 to 28. His interceptions have stayed in the same range as well after tossing nine in his first year as a starter, he had 16 in 2009, and 14 last year.
Lindley operates a pro-style offense, but his big problem is accuracy. He completed 58 percent of his passes last season, and that was his best output. His completion percentage was at 54 percent in 2009 and 57 percent the year before that. Lindley has to become more accurate to improve his draft standing, and have a shot at being anything more than a mid-round pick. Part of his accuracy issues look to be from underdeveloped mechanics. He has a quality arm and some developmental tools.
G.J. Kinne, QB, Tulsa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 215. Projected 40 Time: 4.63. Projected Round (2012): 5-7. 1/9/12: In 2011, Kinne completed 63 percent of his passes for 3,090 yards for 28 touchdowns for 12 interceptions. He has some physical tools. Kinne beat up on weak competition, but did not produce a big game against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Boise State.
8/18/11: G.J. Kinne had a quality season guiding Tulsa to 10 wins in 2010. There are spells where he is very inaccurate. Kinne also holds the ball for too long at times. He definitely needs to improve his footwork and mechanics in order to become a more accurate passer. Kinne completed 59.8 percent of his passes last season. He totaled 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Kinne is a quality runner with 561 total yards on the ground with seven touchdowns. He does not look like more than a college quarterback who could be an NFL backup.
Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern
Height: 6-1. Weight: 210. Projected 40 Time: 4.70. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 1/9/12: Persa missed the first three games of the season. In his return, against Illinois, he tossed four touchdown passes on only 10 completions and 14 attempts. This year, Persa completed 73 percent of his passes for 2,408 yards and 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
8/18/11: In his first season as the starter, Dan Persa had a fabulous completion percentage (73.5) to go along with some good rush yards (519) and nine running touchdowns. Persa threw for 2,581 yards with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions. He is a gritty football player who throws well on the run. Northwestern claims he's a Heisman candidate and that is hilarious, but Persa could appeal to NFL teams late in the draft.
Jarrett Lee, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 206. Projected 40 Time: 4.82. Projected Round (2012): 6-FA. 1/9/12: Early in the season, Lee replaced Jordan Jefferson as the Tigers' starting quarterback and had some good games. His play trailed off, and Jefferson took over the position. Lee has completed 62 percent of his passes for 1,306 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions.
John Brantley, Florida
Height: 6-3. Weight: 217. Projected 40 Time: 4.69. Projected Round (2012): 7-FA. 1/9/12: At the beginning of the season, Brantley showed a lot of improvement under Charlie Weis. Brantley was playing well against Alabama's defense comprised of NFL talent before an injury knocked him out of the game. He never got back into the groove and played poorly against South Carolina, Georgia and Florida State. Brantley has completed 60 percent passes for 2,044 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Durability is another concern.
8/18/11: John Brantley is Charlie Weis' newest resurrection-quarterback project. Brantley showed some initial promise as a backup to Tim Tebow. At one time, Brantley beat out Cam Newton to be Tebow's backup, but that could have been more because of off-the-field issues with Newton more than anything else. Nevertheless, Brantley has some size and a strong arm to be a pocket passer. That automatically makes him a better fit in Weis' offense compared to the spread option that the Gators ran under Urban Meyer.
Last year, Brantley was a square peg in a round hole. He threw more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (9) with 2,061 yards passing while completing 60.7 percent of his passes. If Brantley can take advantage of Weis' coaching while getting the ball to playmakers like Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey and Deonte Thompson, it is possible he could make a move towards the middle of the draft.
Jacory Harris, Miami
Height: 6-4. Weight: 200. Projected 40 Time: 4.75. Projected Round (2012): FA. 1/9/12: After showing some improvement throughout the season, Harris ended the year with a four interception game at home against Boston College. He was suspended for the Hurricanes' first game of the season for his role in the Miami scandal. Harris completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,486 yards for 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
8/18/11: Harris is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2010 season where he completed only 54 percent of his passes with more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (14). Throughout his college career, Harris has had terrible decision making. Too often he throws the ball up for grabs in places where the defensive back can make an easy play on the ball. There is going to have to be a massive turnaround in Harris' accuracy and decision making to have a shot at getting drafted.