Mel Kiper, ESPN’s top NFL draft analyst, believes the top tier of quarterback prospects this year consists only of Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin. On a teleconference this afternoon, Kiper said he believes Luck is a lock for the top-overall pick, and he expects Griffin to be selected between picks Nos. 2 and 4.
That scenario would leave the Redskins, who have the sixth-overall pick, empty-handed unless they trade up.
So let’s turn our attention to the second tier. As Kiper sees it, that presents a significant dropoff from Luck and Griffin. Kiper believes three quarterbacks — Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler, Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill and Arizona’s Nick Foles — comprise a group that doesn’t merit first-round consideration.
As we move into the meat of the pre-draft process beginning with Senior Bowl week on Monday, here are Kiper’s breakdowns of the three quarterbacks who comprise the second tier.
Brock Osweiler, junior (6-8, 240)
2011: 26 TD, 13 INT; 63.2 comp pct
“With Osweiler, the big thing is the bad decisions. He forced a lot of balls into coverage this year. He had several games where he had multiple interceptions. It was [five] games total and [four] losses. The delivery is going to both some. It’s a little unorthodox delivery. I don’t worry about that because he’s 6-7 and it didn’t bother [San Diego Chargers quarterback] Philip Rivers or hamper him.
“But I think the decision-making, the tendency to force the ball — he made that terrible decision throw when they were in that game against Boise State. It was returned 100 yards. It wasn’t just that one play. It was multiple games where he threw a couple picks. But he did look real good against USC; outdueled Matt Barkley and did a great job.
Ryan Tannehill, senior (6-4, 222)
2011: 29 TD, 15 INT; 61.6 comp pct
“As far as Tannehill is concerned, I think the Texas game was kind of a red-flag game He had a lot of trouble in that Texas game (20-of-49, 224 yds, 2 TD, 3 INT). He didn’t look like the quarterback he was in some other games against lesser defenses. He doesn’t have a ton of starts at quarterback, which is something that you look at (Only 243 collegiate pass attempts before 2011). Now, of course, he’s injured (broken foot). But he’s got some skills that indicate he could be an effective starting quarterback.”
Nick Foles, senior (6-5, 240)
2011: 28 TD; 14 INT; 69.1 comp pct
“For Foles, I think you look at…accuracy. At times he’s a little off target, not as precise as you need to be throwing into those tighter windows in the NFL that he’ll see. That’s an issue there. A little bit more time to transition. He may be more of a developmental quarterback, and a lot of teams are looking for those quick fixes now the way these young quarterbacks have played. But you can’t argue with the arm strength and the size. He can throw on the move very effectively. So there’s a lot of things to like, but there are some concerns.”
…what are your thoughts on these three guys. Would you be OK if the Redskins waited until the second round to take a quarterback instead of expending the resources to trade up to draft Griffin?