Sunday, July 24, 2011

2011 Rookie QB Club

Andy Dalton - QB Cincinnati Bengals
Congratulations Andy you have been drafted and are now an NFL QB. Problem is you have been drafted by the Bungals who are determined to start you day one. The Bengals are dead set on letting Carson Palmer sit out the year or possibly trading him away to someone like Arizona who is in desperate need of a signal caller. Dalton is a solid QB, but probably has no business starting year one. In college he threw the ball all over the place against suspect defenses most of the time and put up gaudy numbers. His skill set is very good...he is an accurate passer with the mobility today's NFL QB's need, but mentally he is not ready for this jump. This is the perfect example of a kid that could do very well in the league, but needs a season to sit and watch and learn the way NFL defenses disguise coverages and come at you with the blitz. One of Dalton's weaknesses is he gets happy feet when pressured, which really did not happen all that often in college. Well Andy, welcome to the AFC Central where you will face Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice a year and a Cleveland team that is not afraid to bring the house and hit the QB. Forget about drafting Andy unless you are in a keeper setting and are looking at 2012. One positive note is that the Bengals did draft super freak WR A.J. Green so he does have a prime target to grow up with...but right off the bat expect more growing pains than growing.

Blaine Gabbert - QB Jaguars
I really like Gabbert...this in fact was one of my favorite selections of the 2011 NFL draft. Gabbert is in a great situation in Jags town, because they have an established starter in David Garrard, so Gabbert can sit back and watch David and learn throughout the 2012 season. Blaine Gabbert has the poise, arm, and the professionalism to be an NFL franchise QB and he should start down that road by the 2012 season. The Jags brass is just looking for a reason to get rid of the coaching staff and start over and you can bet that rebuilding project will start with Garrard being traded and the Gabbert era beginning. If you are in a dynasty league don't be afraid to pull the trigger on the former Missouri Tiger and stash him away. With a quick release and ability to make all the NFL will be glad you did.

Jake Locker - QB Titans
Jake Locker is a tough SOB...he is like Tim Tebow without the wins. Jake had a monster Jr season in college and if he would have came out then he would have been the number one pick of the STL Rams (thank God he didn't!). Jake's Sr season was a revealing year to NFL scouts as he faltered and regressed in many areas. Jake Locker is an NFL QB, but he needs a whole lot of seasoning. Here's hoping the Titans let old man Kerry Collins play another year or so and let Jake simmer on the bench...let him learn what it means to be an NFL player. Jake often blew up college db's and seemed to enjoy pounding them rather than running out of bounds or sliding down...that habit must be broken . Locker is a big, strong, beast of an athlete with the will to win, but he must sit or the Titans risk disaster because he is not ready for the league. He is a dynasty league draft pick only.

Cam Newton - QB Panthers
It seems like critics cannot wait for this guy to bust. Sure he is arrogant, sure he is not the most likable player out there, but the NFL is not about being likable. Cam is a winner...all he has ever done is win. Cam is so freakish with his size and ability to run and make plays on the run it's no wonder he carried Auburn to an undefeated record in the SEC. The critics loved Mike Vick when he came into the league fact they were ready to make him the face of the league gracing advertisements and video games across the world...then his character was revealed and all that came crashing down...none of that changes that he was a flawed player during the height of his popularity. That didn't hurt his marketability or the fans going crazy to see him play nor did it prevent Chris Berman's constant "whoop" during his highlight runs. I remember watching him throw 10 yd outs over the players standing on the sidelines...he made horrible throws and only made things happen on the run or with long bombs to his WRs. Cam in fact may not be as bad a passer as Vick was when it came in and could be even more impressive than Vick was coming out of college...and Cam faced much better defenses that Vick did on his way to the NFL. The SEC forced him to play vs speed superior to every conference out there. Did Mike Vick win his National Championship game? (answer is no) Sure he may not be a scholar and the Panthers coordinators are most likely going to have to scale down the playbook early, but the kid can make can't teach that. The kid is a highlight waiting to happen and will eventually be a fantasy player that people are going to want own. I don't think with that Panther O-Line that you can throw him out there early and expose him to the pressure right out of the gate...but the fans are going to want Cam sometimes this can bet on that one. Let's remember Vick sat behind Chris Chandler for a year and a half before being let loose on the NFL. Bust or not, I can't wait to see Cam on the field, Jamarcus Russell he is not. Year one projection has him sitting behind Jimmy Clausen until late in the year when he may get a spot start or two as the Panthers look to 2012. I may be totally wrong on this one...but I don't think so.

Christian Ponder QB Vikings
The only thing that will keep Christian Ponder from being the starting QB week one for the Vikings is maybe the signing of Donovan McNabb after the Skins cut him. My opinion is that Ponder will start the entire year for the Vikings and that he will have a good rookie campaign. Ponder is somewhat prone to getting hurt so the Vikes will need to protect him and get the ball out of his hands quickly. The kid is a PRP(pro ready player) and could be a real real good one down the road providing he can stay upright and be allowed to progress through early growing pains. In keeper leagues snag this kid late as your 3rd QB and maybe fringe QB #2 in deep deep leagues and feel confident you will have him for years to come. Not a big fan of Florida State QB's through the years, but Ponder could be the exception.

Here are some quick notes on a few other signal callers who were drafted this year.
Tyrod Taylor - love watching this kid play in college...great athlete, but won't see the light of day on a veteran laden Ravens squad.
Ryan Mallet QB Pats - Thank goodness this kid is behind Tom Brady so he can learn how to be a professional...character issues and immaturity would have this kid folding like a bad poker player if he were to be thrown in the fire anytime soon. He is not built like a 2011 NFL QB, no movement in the pocket, and would be a huge (6'7")target for today's sack artist defensive ends.
Colin Kaepernick QB Frisco - Maybe he can learn to be a journeyman type of player under QB guru Jim Harbaugh...Andrew Luck he is not!
Greg McElroy QB Jets- Smart player who does exactly what he is asked to do. Should be a solid NFL QB with time to develop. Probably won't see the field for 2 years or so.
Ricky Stanzi QB Chiefs - Journeyman in the making...will be lucky to ever make an NFL start...then again that's what they said about Kurt Warner. Good team player, will not pressure Matt Cassell for playing time any time soon.

Well there ya have it....that's a wrap on QB's. Seems like the theme for this season is "wait til' next year" Next year will bring Andrew Luck out of Stanford...who seems like he is the next Peyton Manning/Tom Brady in the much so I can see teams that really suck tanking the whole second half of the season to get this type of talent.


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