The 2017 NFL draft is quickly approaching as we’re now roughly four months away from draft weekend. Currently, the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers look to be locks for the top two picks in the draft and both teams desperately need a franchise quarterback.
The problem for those two organizations is that the 2017 draft class doesn’t have a clear-cut No. 1 quarterback prospect like an Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, or Matt Ryan. Instead, this year’s class is a lot like the 2016 class that featured California’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz being selected with the top two picks.
Wentz has shown flashes with the Philadelphia Eagles this season, but the team wasn’t even going to start him until general manager Howie Roseman traded starting quarterback Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings prior to Week 1. Goff, on the other hand, has really struggled with the Los Angeles Rams and there have been reports that he’s struggled to pick up the entire offense.
Let’s take a look at the top quarterback prospects in the 2017 NFL draft.
Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina – A number of outlets, including CBS Sports, have Trubisky rated as the No. 1 quarterback in this draft class. In 2016, Trubisky completed 68.9 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He showed the ability to be an elite quarterback, but this season was his first year as a starting quarterback, which could pose problems for NFL teams who are looking for more of a sure thing.
— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) December 19, 2016
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame – Kizer took over as the starting quarterback last season for the Fighting Irish after Malik Zaire suffered a season-ending injury and helped lead Notre Dame to a 10-3 record in 2015. This year, Kizer beat out Zaire in preseason camp, but only completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 2,925 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Notre Dame QB Deshone Kizer had a 155.0 QB Rating on play action passes this year, best in college football.
Straight drop backs? 85.5 pic.twitter.com/3094Z4uzUo
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 16, 2016
Deshaun Watson, Clemson – If you look purely at stats, then Watson could easily be the top quarterback in this class. Over the last two seasons, he’s completed 67 percent of his passes for an average of 4,009 yards, 36 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. Unfortunately, the turnovers and a perceived inability to consistently make NFL-type throws make Watson a little more of a wild card than some expected.
— TigerNet.com (@ClemsonTigerNet) December 13, 2016
Brad Kaaya, Miami – Kaaya has all the tools to be an elite quarterback, but he’s struggled with consistency. In the season opener against Florida A&M, Kaaya completed 12-of-18 passes for 135 yards with four touchdowns as the Hurricanes won 70-3. The very next game, Miami played Florida Atlantic, a team that finished the season with a 3-9 record, and Kaaya only completed 17-of-31 passes with zero touchdowns and two interceptions.
In total, Kaaya completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 3,250 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Looking at the positive side of things, Kaaya has played in a pro-style offense all through college and should have no problems transitioning into an NFL style.
— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) December 15, 2016
Chad Kelly, Ole Miss – Kelly is the nephew of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and he may have the most talented arm in this draft class. Unfortunately, Chad has had a number of off-field issues and is currently rehabbing a torn ACL. Kelly also has a tendency to be a bit of a gunslinger, which leads to turnovers on occasion.
QB: Chad Kelly
RB: Derrius Guice
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) December 12, 2016
[Featured Image by Mike Comer/Getty Images]