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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The 2010 Quarterback Class

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 10:47 AM

Page 3 of 3

Tim Tebow, Florida 

The Good: Well, he's Tim Fucking Tebow, isn't he? How can you question that? 

Seriously, though, there's plenty to like with Tebow, who is one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in the history of college football. He can make plays with both his arm and his legs, and has outstanding size as well. Tebow has the same sort of two-way ability of a player like Donovan McNabb or maybe even Michael Vick, though he lacks Vick's elusiveness. He's made some strides with his passing, as well, becoming more accurate and efficient since being seen as strictly a college option QB early in his career. 

The Bad: Tebow still isn't a particularly natural passer, and does most of his damage by moving around the field and forcing the defense to account for him. He's much less effective dropping back out of the pocket; his raw arm strength is decent, but he rarely shows it in games. Part of that is questionable mechanics, as Tebow has an extremely long release and gets too much air under the ball. He can throw the deep ball, but lacks even the most basic touch on most throws. His footwork when passing is still horrendous. 

The Bottom Line: Personally, I'm not a big believer (pun most definitely intended), in Tim Tebow. Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden both love him, though, so maybe I'm just missing something. In the end, though, I think Tim Tebow's best fit in the NFL is either as a player in a wildcat-type offense, sort of the Pat White route, or maybe if some team wants to bring back a true option offense. He'll almost certainly go in the top 15-20 picks, but I'm not real sure I would want the Rams to pop him in the top 5. 

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

The Good: Ryan Mallett just might have the strongest arm of any of the 2010 quarterbacks. Think Joe Flacco or Kyle Boller, one of those guys who can throw a ball 50 yards from their knees. He also happens to be the most impressive physical specimen, standing 6'7" and tipping the scales near 240 lbs. 

Besides the ridiculous arm, Mallett also has the size and strength to escape from tackles, moving around the pocket and shedding defensive linemen. He could end up being a better pro quarterback than he's ever been in college, as his development curve is pointing in the right direction, to say the least. After transferring from Michigan to Arkansas and sitting out the 2008 season, Mallett has shown much greater maturity and touch in all facets of the game this season. 

The Bad: Mallett has struggled with his accuracy in the past, and doesn't have great feet. While he moves fairly well in avoiding tackles, his mobility is not a strong point outside the pocket. Appears uncoordinated at times, largely due to his great height. Due to the fact he played backup at Michigan and sat out a year after transferring, Mallett has much less experience than many of the quarterbacks on this list. 

The Bottom Line: Ryan Mallett is a monster. He's a huge man with a huge arm. That being said, he's still very raw compared to many of the other top QBs in next year's draft and would likely require more development time. His size and strength have garnered lots of comparisons to Ben Roethlisberger, but he simply doesn't have the kind of mobility Big Ben has. Regardless, there's every reason to believe he'll go some time in the first two rounds, and has a ton of upside down the line. 


In the end, I think if Clausen is sitting there when the Rams pick next April, they snatch him up, and gladly. If he's gone, the picture becomes much hazier. None of the other top quarterbacks in the draft really jump out and scream top five pick. Bradford's future is uncertain due to his injuries, Locker's upside isn't that of an elite passer, Mallett has a long ways to go, and there are still plenty of questions about how well Tebow's game will translate to the next level. 

If Jimmy Clausen is available, I think he's the next quarterback of the Rams. If not, I think they take a guy like Ndamukong Suh, the monster D Tackle out of Nebraska, or Eric Berry, the safety from Tennessee, then take their chances a guy like Mallett will be available later. Or, if all else fails, maybe Keith Null really is the guy. 

A lot can change between now and April, but I have to say, looking ahead right now, I'm not sure this coming draft is going to do the Rams as much good as they need it to. 

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