“There is nobody that really stands out like Sam Bradford did last year,” said Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt. Their may not be any football players in this National Football League (NFL) draft, that are similar to Sam Bradford. However, there are still several talented quarterbacks in the draft with a large amount of potential. There could be four quarterbacks picked in the first round. Therefore, who are the best quarterbacks in the 2011 NFL Draft?
#4 Ryan Mallett
Ryan Mallett has excellent arm strength. He can make throws that many quarterbacks cannot make. He has great size and height. Mallet has good field vision. His height allows him to see over the top of lineman and read defenses. Mallett has a quick release and he has a good touch on his passes. He also has experience playing in a pro-style offense.
Mallett has some weaknesses. He has below average athleticism and he is not mobile. He will need to be protected by a strong offensive line to be effective. Additionally, there are questions about Mallet’s character and maturity. He has a brash personality which made hinder his ability to be a leader.
There are several NFL teams interested in Mallett such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars.
#3 Jake Locker
Jake Locker has a good arm strength. He can throw over 60 yards with a tight spiral. He has experience taking the snaps from center and playing out of shotgun. Locker has good foot speed, balance and agility. He is a good thrower on the move. He is extremely competitive and he has good leadership skills. Likewise, Locker has a great work ethic.
Locker does have some flaws. He has to improve on setting his feet before making a throw. Some scouts are concerned if he is focused on football because he is dual sport athlete. He has been drafted twice by Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles of Anaheim. Locker has limited field vision and sometimes misses wide open receivers. Moreover, he has a bad habit of forcing throws.
There are several teams interested in Locker. The Tennessee Titans have officially parted ways with Vince Young. They have been taking a close look at him. The Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks have shown interest in him.
#2 Cameron Newton
Cameron Newton has excellent accuracy on deep throws. He has very good touch on his passes. Newton has incredible arm strength. There are not many quarterbacks in the NFL that can out-throw him. He is a very dangerous runner. Newton is capable of eluding defenders and he has a rare acceleration. He has ideal size and strength for a quarterback. He is a fierce competitor and emotional leader.
Newton has some weaknesses. He needs to improve on reading defenses. He mostly made just 1-2 reads at Auburn. Newton has only one season of major college football experience. He does not have experience with pro-style offense. There are concerns about his character. In addition, there were rumors that he was dismissed from the University of Florida because he allegedly stole a computer.
There are many NFL teams interested in Newton. The Carolina Panthers are very interested in him. “The young man has tremendous physical talents, the ability to run, a tremendous arm, and a pretty good pocket presence,” said head coach of the Carolina Panthers Ron Rivera. The Buffalo Bills need a franchise quarterback and they are interested in Newton.
#1 Blaine Gabbert
Blaine Gabbert has a quick release. He has a solid arm and he throws a tight spiral. He is very accurate passer with short and intermediate throws. Gabbert is good at reading the defenses. He is an intelligent football player that understands coverages. Gabbert has a near-photographic memory. He has prototypical size for a quarterback. He has the quickness, agility and speed to avoid sacks. He can make throws on the move. Gabbert has good leadership skills. He has the confidence to win over the huddle and he is extremely competitive.
Gabbert has some flaws. He played in a spread offense for Missouri. Therefore, he has no pro-style offense experience. He is inconsistent on throws when under pressure. Gabbert needs to improve on his footwork. He also needs to learn to take velocity off certain throws.
There are several teams interested in Gabbert. Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals are interested in him. The Arizona Cardinals really need a quarterback and they have show interest in him.
These are the best quarterbacks in the 2011 NFL Draft. They all have a lot of talent and potential. Only time will tell if they have a great rookie year like Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons or if they become the next NFL draft bust like JaMarcus Russell.
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