With the Super Bowl behind us, the NFL calendar turns to draft season, as each squad in the league begins the process of making over their squads. The NFL scouting combine is two weeks away, and free agency starts a month from now. For those that miss the games on the field, there will be plenty of action off of it in the coming weeks.
The NFL draft takes place in late April, but the evaluation process has been underway since January. With that in mind, who are the top prospects in this year's class? We are glad you asked (I know you didn't, but bear with me), because our own John Harris has his list ready.
We unveiled the 'Harris 100' yesterday, which is a collection of the top athletes you'll see on Sunday next season. If you want to immerse yourself in the entire list, click here. That said, I think it is also fun to break out certain groups of that 100, to give a closer look at the positions the Texans might select down the road.
Harris has seven QBs in his top 100, but for the purpose of today's article, we are going to look at the top five. Who stands out according to our draft guru? Take a look below.
Report: Perhaps the most polarizing prospect in this 2016 QB class...struggled often in his last two years at Penn State…mechanics, footwork and timing seemed to be well off from what it was as a freshman under Bill O’Brien…new ‘O’, new guidance, new objectives take time to adjust…that said, he has more next level gifts than any player in this draft eligible class…spins it…ball comes out easily and hot…footwork was askew seemingly throughout the past two years though…threw it well on the run, in fact some of his most impressive throws were on the run (they had to be, honestly)…when he got pressured and hit often, later in the game he would back away from some throws just to get them off…tough kid, though, he took a ton of shots the past two seasons...there are a ton of reasons why he didn't succeed at Penn State but those will fall on deaf ears for many for a number of reasons.
2016 Senior Bowl Update: Turned down the invitation, which raised a few NFL Scouts' eyes down in Mobile. Report: Pocket passer who can escape the pocket…improved decision making as year went on…faces a ton of zone/pattern match/quarters in B1G…led Michigan State to the 2013 B1G championship and 2014 Rose Bowl…2014 Rose Bowl Offensive MVP...injured at key times during 2015, in fact, he was injured and missed the team's big win over Ohio State in Columbus...intermediate accuracy needs a bit of work, but game will slow down even more...gunslinger-type mentality which provides good and bad result (see 2016 Cotton Bowl)…bounces back from bad throw or bad series well…2nd Team All-B1G in 2014 (media & coaches).
Report: The tall pocket passer, or so it seems...my Texans broadcast partner Andre Ware called Lynch and Memphis' win over Ole Miss and said to me "that joker can make any throw out on the field. Any. Throw."...in that game, he made a couple of throws to spots no one could catch passes other than his Memphis receivers...does rush some throws at time and the ball placement can be off when he's out of rhythm...has a plus arm but doesn't have quite the velocity of a guy with similar dimensions in the league - Ryan Mallett...however, he can launch it deep - see the reverse TD pass v. Bowling Green - 65+ yards in the air with ease...can escape the pocket and make plays with his legs...in fact, he's much faster than his 6-7 frame might indicate...didn't finish with a flourish in the bowl game v. Auburn...Auburn's pressure frustrated Lynch and may have given many pause about his ability to consistently handle pressure at the next level.
2016 Senior Bowl Update: There's little question which player got everyone's attention in Mobile. He was as advertised. He spun it well throughout the week. There wasn't a throw that he couldn't make, even though it took a bit to get comfortable with an eclectic mix of North team receivers. It's been a meteoric rise, but it's warranted. The ball comes out of his hands hot but it's a catchable ball. Heard a couple of scouts discussing Wentz and the two were convinced that he wasn't getting out of the top 12 or 13. Report: Led the Bison to two consecutive FCS Championships, although he missed a huge portion of the 2015 season…racked up a win in his debut as the starter at Iowa State…six to one TD to INT ratio in the Bison four playoff games…his athleticism really pops off the page when watching him…sort of a poor man’s Cam Newton…as a next level QB though, he has exactly what teams desire…tall in the pocket…classic release…poised v. pressure for the most part…can make throws on the run…strong and accurate arm, in terms of ball placement…came up big in the clutch last season, especially late in FCS Championship game in 2014.
Report: Wouldn’t be a draft season without a system quarterback reference, I suppose (which I despise)…that’s a faulty way of looking at Goff but there will be those comparisons for sure…quick release…ball comes out of his hand hot…not a true over the top thrower, more of a 3/4 release…does show that he has full field progression ability…doesn’t have a cannon arm…succeeds more with touch and ball placement than he does NFL-type bullet throws…in fact, his ball placement is on par with some of the best I've studied over the past two decades...made a HUGE transformation from 2014 to 2015...arm strength improved as he got bigger and more filled out...hasn’t gotten great protection in the past so he has happy feet in the pocket…fairly quick release on shorter throws…when he’s got to drive the ball in a tight spot or make a significantly long throw, he tends to wind up a bit to deliver the rock with some juice...the leap he's made from skinny true freshman to accomplished third year starter was stark and made him a top ten caliber player in this draft class.