NFL Draft Primer: Quarterbacks

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Apr 18, 2017

It’s quite possible that there isn’t a quarterback taken in the first 10 picks of the NFL Draft. Even if there is, analysts seem to be torn on which one should come off the board first.

The 2017 NFL Draft is right around the corner, giving us just over one week until we need to re-evaluate everything we’ve talked about for the last three months. If you’ve just crawled out of a football coma where the last thing you heard or read was from the Super Bowl, well, this article is specifically for you.

Over the rest of the week, we’ll be releasing NFL Draft Primers for each skill-position, highlighting what you need to know, as well as what you want to know – what players are going to be relevant in fantasy football.

We’re going to start with the quarterback position today, as it’s the one area that you want to make sure you’re aware of for “water cooler talk.” After all, quarterbacks are king in the draft. If you’d like to read more in-depth scouting reports on some of the top rookies, there’ll be links to their scouting report in the rankings below.


Every single year there seems to be a quarterback in the conversation for the No. 1 overall pick, but this year seems to be a bit different. Almost all analysts have Miles Garrett as the Browns pick to start the draft, and some don’t envision a quarterback taken until the Browns second pick in the draft at No. 12 overall. Even then, there doesn’t seem to be a quarterback that everyone agrees on to be the first quarterback off the board. It’s very possible that a QB-needy team like the Texans trade up in the draft to get the quarterback of their choice, but seeing as that’s impossible to predict, we’ll assume that all remains status quo.

If you’ve read my review of North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky, you know that he’d be my choice as the first quarterback off the board. He stands tall in the pocket, works through his progressions, has a massive arm, and can scramble if necessary. While he may not be ready to come in and be a star immediately, he’s got all the makings of a franchise quarterback. The lone knock on Trubisky is that he only started 13 games in college, making his game film sessions shorter than most.

There are some clamoring for Clemson’s Deshaun Watson to be the first quarterback off the board, as he led his team to the national title over Alabama. After watching Watson’s game film, I came away with many more concerns than I did positives. He lacks an elite arm, isn’t fast enough to be a mobile run-first quarterback, and has shaky accuracy when he tries to zip his passes.

The other quarterbacks in this range include Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes and Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer. The quarterback with arguably the highest ceiling in this draft is Mahomes, who can throw the ball a country mile, but plays like a young Jay Cutler and will be prone to turnovers until he’s taught to harness his abilities, which may take some time. Kizer’s college head coach Brian Kelly came out saying that Kizer should still be in school, that he still needs to grow up on and off the field.

In the end, it’s very unlikely that any of these quarterbacks come in and make an immediate fantasy impact like Dak Prescott did last year. Everyone loves a shiny new toy, so there will be some drafting them with high expectations, though you shouldn’t be one of them. Coming into the league as a quarterback and starting your rookie year is one of the toughest things to do in sports, which is the reason I’m an advocate for signal-callers to take mental reps behind the current starter for at least one year.

Pre-Draft Rankings

  1. Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina (View Scouting Report)
  2. Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
  3. DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
  4. Deshaun Watson, Clemson (View Scouting Report)
  5. Davis Webb, California
  6. Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
  7. Trevor Knight, Texas A&M
  8. Brad Kaaya, Miami
  9. Josh Dobbs, Tennessee
  10. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.


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