We have worked hard at Rookie Blitz headquarters to compile information and game tape for the 2010 NFL Draft class.
We are now ready to release our initial rookie fantasy rankings after reviewing college production, scouting reports, all-star games, and the scouting combine. We have already reviewed the top tight ends, wide receivers and running backs available.
This group of quarterbacks is reminiscent of the quarterbacks in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers were both in contention to be the first quarterback selected. Eventually, Smith was the first overall selection to San Francisco and Rodgers slipped to Green Bay at pick 24.
Smith was an impressive athlete that was especially productive in the spread offense of Urban Meyer. Aaron Rodgers was the equal of Smith athletically and learned from one of the best quarterback coaches in the country, Jeff Tedford.
The recent failures of Jeff Tedford quarterbacks in the NFL (Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, and Kyle Boller) hurt Rodger’s draft stock in 2005. What Rodgers had that was overlooked was a 63% completion percentage in a pro-style offense.
If the 2005 draft were held again today, there would be no question that Rodgers would be taken before Smith.
Fast forward to 2010 and NFL general managers face a similar dilemma.
Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen are now competing to be the first quarterback selected. Bradford and Alex Smith are very similar players who succeeded in a spread offense in a conference that is not known for defense. Bradford’s statistics are inflated from throwing many short passes to wide open receivers because of the superior talent that Oklahoma had over the rest of the Big-12 conference.
Jimmy Clausen, like Aaron Rodgers, also has learned from one of the best quarterback coaches in Charlie Weis and has started in a pro-style offense for three seasons. Weis also tutored recent first round selection Brady Quinn and was an influence on the development of Tom Brady in New England.
The recent struggles of Brady Quinn are fresh in the mind of everyone, which has hurt the draft stock of Clausen. The jury is still out on Quinn, who was recently traded to Denver after only 12 starts for the Cleveland Browns in three seasons.
Clausen has won with less talent than his counterparts, faced a tough schedule and he has completed over 60% of his passes in a traditional pro offense. The maturity questions remain; however, you cannot discount his fiery leadership and desire to win.
We like Sam Bradford as a player; but Jimmy Clausen will become the better quarterback of the two.
There is steep drop off in talent after our top two quarterbacks.
Colt McCoy may not have the elite arm strength that NFL teams covet, but he has all the intangibles that are required of a starting quarterback in the league.
Dan LeFevour impressed us at the Senior Bowl and he may be the one quarterback in this class that could eventually challenge Bradford or Clausen for top honors in this draft class.
Tim Tebow has dominated draft coverage to date and many scouts question his ability to develop into a starting quarterback. We love his intangibles and wish him the best in his career, but the reality is that Tebow is a two year project for any team that selects him to correct his mechanics.
The one word that sums up Tony Pike, Jarrett Brown, and Jonathan Crompton is potential. They are the last prospects available that could eventually develop into starters in the right scheme and situation. Pike needs to fill out his frame, Brown needs more experience, and Crompton needs to tighten up his timing.
Notably missing from the conversation about possible starters is Jevan Snead. Snead is too erratic and inconsistent and made a mistake leaving Mississippi early.
John Skelton has generated buzz as a small school prospect from Fordham. He likely will be a late round flier but he has some intriguing attributes and could be worth a roster spot in the deepest of dynasty leagues.
1. Jimmy Clausen – Notre Dame
2. Sam Bradford – Oklahoma
3. Colt McCoy – Texas
4. Dan LeFevour – Central Michigan
5. Tim Tebow – Florida
6. Tony Pike – Cincinnati
7. Jarrett Brown – West Virginia
8. Jonathan Crompton – Tennessee
9. Jevan Snead – Mississippi
10. Sean Canfield – Oregon State
11. Armanti Edwards – Appalachian State
12. Levi Brown – Troy
13. Max Hall – Brigham Young
14. John Skelton – Fordham
15. Zac Robinson – Oklahoma State
16. Rusty Smith – Florida Atlantic
17. Tim Hiller – Western Michigan
18. Matt Nichols – Eastern Washington
19. Michael Kafka – Northwestern
20. Juice Williams – Illinois
21. Bill Stull – Pittsburgh
22. Ryan Perriloux – Jacksonville State
23. Thaddeus Lewis – Duke
24. Daryll Clark – Penn State