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Top-10 NFL Draft Prospects: Quarterbacks

Top-10 NFL Draft Prospects: Quarterbacks
Carson Wentz

Carson Wentz is believed by many to be the top QB prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft

Football fans know there is no such thing as an offseason when it comes to the NFL. As soon as the Super Bowl is over, our attention is immediately turned to the combine and Pro Days. Now, it’s time to focus on the upcoming NFL Draft. This year’s draft will once again take place in Chicago starting April 28 and running through April 30.

General managers swing and miss on college prospects more than major league baseball players do when facing Clayton Kershaw. Rarely is there a “sure” thing coming out of colleges like Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck, or Adrian Peterson. Often it’s the guys who don’t get much love during the pre-draft conversation, like Tom Brady (sixth round) and Russell Wilson (third round), that have as much, if not more of an impact, as the guys who were selected before them.

Over the next week, we will take a look at the top-10 draft prospects from each of the major fantasy positions. Typically rookies don’t have a tremendous impact in fantasy, besides wide receivers, but every now and then there is someone who enters the NFL and is a fantasy stud right away. Just last year Todd Gurley and David Johnson were two running backs who became fantasy MVPs for their owners.Who will it be this year?

Who will it be this year?

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Last year there were only two quarterbacks who were fantasy relevant and they were the first two picks in the drafts, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota. It’s understandable why teams always reach for a quarterback in the draft. It’s hard finding a franchise guy. Think about it. How many franchise quarterbacks are there in the league today? Chances are if you have one, you’re competing for a playoff spot every year, rather than selecting near the top of the first round on an annual basis. This year there could be as many as three quarterbacks selected in the first round and as many as six selected in the first two. Below is a list of the top-10 quarterbacks in this year’s draft.

Carson Wentz – North Dakota State
Wentz is believed to be the top quarterback prospect in this year’s draft. He has the arm talent, ball placement, and field vision to thrive at the next level. Add to that his athletic ability and you have the makings of a “can’t miss” prospect. The only question that remains unanswered with regard to the 23-year-old is can his game translate to the speed of the NFL, given that he played at North Dakota State. The Bisons run a pro-style offense and Wentz was asked to handle snaps under center, so all indicators would seem to say that he should be able to handle it.
Projected Round: Top-Five Overall

Jared Goff – California
Similar to Wentz, Goff can make all the throws that are asked of him. Goff was a three-year starter at Cal and his numbers improved every year he was there. On paper, the 21-year-old has all the tools that one would want in a quarterback. According to many reports, though, Goff interviewed poorly with the Browns which leads everyone to think that he will inevitably be the second quarterback chosen in this year’s draft. Depending on where he goes in the draft, Goff could be a good pick in dynasty leagues.
Projected Round: Top-Five Overall

Paxton Lynch – Memphis
Lynch is the tallest of the quarterbacks in this year’s class (6-foot-7). Although he has a strong arm, the 22-year-old did not play under center at all, nor was he asked to call plays while in college. He’ll have to show his future head coach that he is able to do those things before he’s given the opportunity to start an NFL game. Depending on who drafts him, he’ll most likely be a backup his rookie season. Lynch is being compared to Brock Osweiler. Osweiler sat behind Peyton Manning for two years before finally being given a chance to play last season. That may be what happens to Lynch as well his first few years in the league.
Projected Round: Mid-to-Late First

Connor Cook – Michigan State
Two years ago, I thought Cook was one of the best college prospects in the game. Now, after failing to be named a captain his senior year at Michigan State, his attitude and leadership have been questioned by scouts. His ability on the field is unquestionable, though. Someone will draft him and then we’ll see if he develops into a leader on and off the field.
Projected Round: Second

Dak Prescott – Mississippi State
After a somewhat disappointing senior year (more for the Bulldogs than for Prescott), his draft stock dipped a bit compared to where it probably would have been if he had come out his junior year. The buzz around him has been growing as of late. Scouts have been raving about his leadership and football smarts. He was very impressive at the Senior Bowl. Although he will most likely start his career as a backup, Prescott would be a good pickup in dynasty drafts because he could become a starter a few years from now.
Projected Round: Third

Christian Hackenberg – Penn State
Like Cook and Prescott, Hackenberg had more buzz around him earlier in his career than he had last season. His accuracy and decision making have come into question by scouts, which is not good. Many people thought the Houston Texans would draft Hackenberg in the second round because of the relationship with their head coach Bill O’Brien (former coach at Penn State). However, with the recent signing of Osweiler, that may not be the case anymore.
Projected Round: Third

Cardale Jones – Ohio State
Talk about a guy who made a big name for himself based on one game. After sitting behind Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett, Jones came in and played magnificently, leading the Buckeyes to a National Championship in 2014-15. Jones was a bit inconsistent, though, last season and needs to develop his football IQ. He has first-round talent, but mid-round experience. If he can mature a bit once he’s drafted, he could one day turn into a steal of a pick based on his ability.
Projected Round: Third-to-Fifth

Kevin Hogan – Stanford
Hogan was inconsistent his senior season at Stanford. He will more than likely be a backup in the NFL and not fantasy relevant.
Projected Round: Fourth

Nate Sudfeld – Indiana
Sudfeld has the ability to be good but needs to work on his release, as well as his accuracy. He is a work in progress that will start on the bench, but could perhaps become fantasy relevant in a few years.
Projected Round: Fifth

Vernon Adams Jr. – Oregon
Adams lacks size (he’s only 5-foot-11) but was very impressive in the East-West Shrine game this year, throwing for three touchdowns. He’s been compared to Russell Wilson because of his size. If he can land in as good a situation as Wilson did with Seattle, Adams has a shot to be a deep sleeper.
Projected Round: Sixth

AJ Stone is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from AJ, check out his archive and follow him on Twitter @ajstone18.

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