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Posted Nov. 11, 2008
Junior Quarterbacks to Stay in School
In my latest 2009 NFL Mock Draft update, I discussed my change of thought in Matt Stafford being a top 3-5 draft pick. Part of the reason behind this is that I do not believe any other underclassmen will declare. We all know the senior quarterback class is a disaster. You would have to go back to the 2000 NFL Draft to find a quarterback class this bad. The crown jewel was Chad Pennington, but after him was Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, etc. Granted, Marc Bulger and Tom Brady turned out to be pretty good, but in foresight they were not highly regarded prospects.
Let me explain why I do not see Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Colt Mccoy, Josh Freeman, or Mark Sanchez declaring for the 2009 NFL Draft:
Tim Tebow: If Andre Woodson is going to fall to the sixth round and clear waivers twice because he has a slow release, then why should Tebow be an exception? His release is much worse than Woodson's, and his mechanics have not improved since his freshman year, unlike Woodson. Tebow's mobility does not project to the NFL. Every fake handoff and option he runs will be thrown out by NFL scouts. They see those things on film and know they are irrelevant because he will not run those plays in the NFL. I currently have a fourth-round grade on Tebow. He is not NFL material, and will stay for his senior year in Gainesville to try to win a championship or back-to-back championships.
Sam Bradford: I currently have a top-three grade on Sam Bradford. He is so close to being an elite player in my eyes. Still, he is only a redshirt sophomore, and will probably stay for his junior year at Oklahoma to win a championship. I could be wrong because he is pretty much locked into the first round, but it is rare sophomore quarterbacks declare.
Colt McCoy: McCoy is not an NFL quarterback. I have been saying this for a while despite the hype he received when draftniks declared he was a first- or a second-round pick. He was exposed against Texas Tech for having average arm strength and not being able to read a defense. Texas runs a gimmick spread offense, and McCoy relies on his mobility in designed runs to make plays. He will be exposed by NFL scouts, and will stay for his senior season.
Josh Freeman: Probably no player in college right now is misjudged on the box score more than Josh Freeman. He has a big arm, great mobility, solid awareness and poise in the pocket, but his decision-making is not even close to NFL-level. I have watched three games of Freeman's, and I have to say he is very far behind in his development with reading defenses.
Mark Sanchez: Sanchez will not come out because he has gotten cold of lately and he has limited starting experience. I have a first-round grade on Sanchez, but I think he will stay for their senior season like Matt Leinart.