Evan Silva

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Draft 2011: The Quarterbacks

Sunday, March 20, 2011

6. Andy Dalton, TCU

Height/Weight: 6'2/215
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.87
Comparison: Matt Flynn
2010 Stats: 209-of-316 (66.1%) for 2,857 yds (9.04 YPA), 27 TD/6 INT; 6 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Seahawks, No. 57 overall

Positives/Negatives: A "winner," Dalton finished his career with 42 victories and just eight losses, collecting Mountain West Player of the Year honors in both his junior and senior seasons. No quarterback in this class has started more games. TCU's all-time passing leader, Dalton is a sound decision maker (71:30 TD-to-INTs) with underrated athleticism (5.1 YPC). Like Ponder, however, Dalton is short on arm strength and struggles to "make all the throws." Unlike Ponder, Dalton played in a dink-and-dunk spread offense, operating strictly from the shotgun. He is the smallest quarterback in the top ten, and was unremarkable at the Senior Bowl and Combine.

Outlook: For the reasons stated above, it should be no surprise that NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock recently moved Dalton behind Ponder in his updated quarterback rankings. Dalton projects as a game-manager type, and may be best suited as a long-term backup.

7. Jake Locker, Washington

Height/Weight: 6'3/231
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.59
Comparison: Drew Stanton
2010 Stats: 184-of-332 (55.4%) for 2,265 yds (6.82 YPA), 17 TD/9 INT; 3.4 YPC, 6 TDs
Draft Prediction: Redskins, No. 10 overall

Positives/Negatives: A two-time major league baseball pick, Locker has rare athleticism and ideal arm strength for the position. He is considered particularly accurate on throwing outside the pocket. Locker showed toughness playing through a hairline rib fracture as a senior, although that goes both ways. He missed all but four games as a sophomore with a broken thumb and has been injury prone. Locker also failed more than he succeeded in his Huskies career. His 15-25 record is easily the worst among QBs likely to be drafted, and Locker's 53.9 career completion rate and 6.65 yards-per-attempt average are even more startlingly poor. Locker apologists point to a poor supporting cast, but elite quarterbacks typically make their teammates better. Locker has flirted with the idea of returning to baseball during the lockout, making him a risky investment.

Outlook: Locker played for quarterback guru Steve Sarkisian in his final two seasons at Washington, and regressed from year one to year two in Coach Sark's system. It's fair to wonder whether Locker will ever get "it" as a thrower. Some team will draft Locker early in April based strictly on potential; he has not been a successful passer. He's another boom-or-bust prospect.

8. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa

Height/Weight: 6'4/223
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.93
Comparison: Chad Henne
2010 Stats: 221-of-345 (64.1%) for 3,004 yds (8.71 YPA), 25 TD/6 INT; 2 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Browns, fifth round

Positives/Negatives: 26-9 as a three-year starter, Stanzi took major strides as a senior. He considerably cut his interception total (15 to 6) and sack rate (one per 14 passes to one per 19), while making leaps in completion percentage, yards per attempt, and touchdowns. The Hawkeyes run a pro-style, West Coast offense under Kirk Ferentz, and reading defenses is considered one of Stanzi's strengths. His arm is regarded as above average, and Stanzi's work ethic is unquestioned. Stanzi was inconsistent throughout his career, however, often lacking aggressiveness and "it" factor. In his best year, Stanzi was not even recognized as an honorable mention All-Big Ten performer. He is an average athlete and struggled in Combine passing drills.

Outlook: Stanzi isn't as NFL ready as the other QBs with pro-style backgrounds, and he has plenty of physical limitations. Ultimately, he's going to be drafted with a fourth- or fifth-round pick. This should give Stanzi a decent chance at long-term success, but he lacks a high ceiling.

9. Greg McElroy, Alabama

Height/Weight: 6'2/220
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.91
Comparison: Brian Hoyer
2010 Stats: 222-of-313 (70.9%) for 2,987 yds (9.54 YPA), 20 TD/5 INT; 1 RUS TD
Draft Prediction: 49ers, sixth round

Positives/Negatives: Highly intelligent, McElroy recorded the best Wonderlic score (43) in this year's QB class and is a Rhodes Scholar-caliber student (3.9 GPA, graduated in three years). This shows up in his decision making; McElroy's career TD-to-INT ratio was 39:10. McElroy has a long track record of winning, going 43-3 dating back to his senior season in high school. All three losses came as a college senior. McElroy demonstrated toughness playing through cracked ribs in the Crimson Tide's January 2010 BCS Championship Game win over Texas. However, McElroy's passes lack ideal velocity, and he was annually surrounded by one of the nation's most talented supporting casts. McElroy's ball placement is impressive in the short passing game, but his deep balls flutter and float, and he cannot consistently power throws 18-25 yards downfield.

Outlook: Much like Alabama predecessor John Parker Wilson, McElroy projects as a long-term backup with the ability to manage games if injuries force him into action. It's worth noting that McElroy is a better prospect than Wilson, however, and should ascend to the No. 2 spot on a depth chart more quickly. He'll be an attractive draft pick in rounds five through seven.

10. Ben Chappell, Indiana

Height/Weight: 6'2/224
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 5.07
Comparison: Patrick Ramsey
2010 Stats: 302-of-483 (62.5%) for 3,295 yds (6.82 YPA), 24 TD/9 INT; 3 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Chargers, sixth round

Positives/Negatives: Chappell is a big-armed passer with an aggressive, gunslinger-type mentality. Essentially playing in a Pistol offense in Bloomington, Chappell took just 11 sacks as a senior and finished his career with a 61.1 completion rate in 27 starts. His primary strength is making downfield throws. A bright student, Chappell was an annual Academic All-Big Ten pick and graduated in 2010 with an accounting degree. Chappell was often overweight in college, however, ballooning into the 250s before getting down to 224 for his Pro Day. His style of play seemed lackadaisical, possibly because he was out of shape. Chappell went 10-17 in his career.

Outlook: Chappell's physical tools are intriguing from a developmental standpoint, and he is not considered an especially inaccurate passer. His commitment level may be a concern. Ultimately, Chappell grades as a late-round or priority free agent flier who could earn a roster spot after time on a practice squad. He's got a better arm than many passers ranked ahead of him.

11. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech - 6'1/216 ... Former five-star recruit ... Unfairly stereotyped as a "running" quarterback, and a highly underrated passer ... Has some Seneca Wallace to him.

12. T.J. Yates, North Carolina - 6'4/221 ... Took way too many sacks at UNC, not much of an athlete ... Aggressive passer with 44 career starts ... Most draftniks are not high on Yates.

13. Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin - 6'2/209 ... Described as "ideal Mike Martz quarterback" ... 32:18 career TD-to-INT ratio ... Lacks intriguing athleticism and arm, but is accurate thrower.

14. Pat Devlin, Delaware - 6'3/226 ... Vastly overrated dating to high school ... Couldn't beat out Daryll Clark and Anthony Morelli at Penn State before transfer ... Exposed this offseason.

15. Ryan Colburn, Fresno State - 6'3/218 ... Played in pro-style offense for coach Pat Hill ... 16-10 career record with 42 TDs, 20 INTs ... Southpaw passer succeeded Tom Brandstater.

Other QBs with an outside shot to be drafted: Scott Riddle (Elon), Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M), Josh Portis (Cal, PA), Mitch Mustain (USC), Nathan Enderle (Idaho), Taylor Potts (Texas Tech), Adam Weber (Minnesota), Jeff Van Camp (Florida Atlantic).

Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
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