NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
With college football right around the corner, it is time to take a look at the players who will be looking to hear their name called in the 2017 NFL Draft. Obviously this list is far from complete. Some players on this list will not live up to expectations while others will pop up throughout the college season to make a name for themselves. This should serve as a guide for any of you who want to get a head start on scouting some of these players. I like to do this exercise so I can plan out which games I want to fill the DVR with and watch as the season progresses. Today, I start with the most important position on the football field, the Quarterbacks.
The NFL Draft can be frustrating and exhilarating at the same time. As a Patriots fan, the frustrating part seems to win out more often than not. Bill Belichick and his staff usually leave us fans scratching our heads after each draft. Belichick’s track record however makes us all realize that he is playing chess while we are all still playing checkers. I thought the team might take a QB in the 2016 draft, but I was thinking a late rounder to develop, not a 3rd round pick. So this year, QB cannot be a high priority, right? Not so fast my friends. Brady will look to continue to defy the odds and play at a high level into his 40’s, but there is not guarantee that will happen. Jimmy G could be moved if he plays well and the price is right. That could mean the Patriots look to add another QB at some point in the draft. Do I think it will be a high priority? No, but I will pay attention more to this year’s class than I did last year. Here are the names I will be keeping an eye on this year.
(note: this list is only Seniors as I am not going to speculate on underclassman)
Josh Dobbs, Tennessee (6’2″, 205 Lbs.)
Chad Kelly, Mississippi (6’2″, 215 Lbs.)
Gunner Kiel, Cincinnatti (6’3″, 208 Lbs.)
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (5’11”, 209 Lbs.)
Mitch Leidner, Minnesota (6’3″, 235 Lbs.)
Wes Lunt, Illinois (6’4″, 215 Lbs.)
Brady Gustafson, Montana (6’6″, 235 Lbs.)
Seth Russell, Baylor (6’2″, 208 Lbs.)
CJ Beathard, Iowa (6’1″, 208 Lbs.)
Zach Terrell, Western Michigan (6’1″, 205 Lbs.)
Cooper Rush, Central Michigan (6’2″, 215 Lbs.)
Overall, this Senior class doesn’t do a lot for me. Dobbs will probably be the highest rated QB in the class, but I don’t see him as a franchise QB at this point. I have heard a lot of positives things on Minnesota’s Mitch Leidner, but he needs to show me more this year. In all honesty, I don’t see a sure fire first rounder at all in this class, not just the Seniors. I am sure one or two of these guys will get pushed up due to the position and need.
If there are any other Seniors you think deserve to be on this list, let me know and I will add them.