2012 quarterback class archives

I’ve written a lot about the 2012 class of quarterbacks and wanted to create a reference point. There’s a fair amount of game tape in these pieces, so it’s also good to keep that close by. I suspect that we’re going to be talking about the upcoming quarterback class an awful lot, possibly to the point of nausea. We might aswell embrace that now.

Here’s to nausea.

Summer quarterback grades
Quarterback rankings and early draft grades prior to the 2011 college football season. “I’ve had a chance to take a look at the latest batch of quarterbacks that could be available next April and I want to put the grades down now as a marker for comparison during the season.”

Andrew Luck vs Matt Barkley
Why they might be closer than some people think. Includes game tape. “Poise, accuracy, athleticism and ideal mechanics. Neither has the physical qualities of Cam Newton, Jake Locker or Blaine Gabbert, but they make up for it with high grades in all of the other criteria.”

Andrew Luck vs Oregon and Matt Barkley vs UCLA
All PAC-10 game tape from last year for the top two quarterbacks in college football.

Matt Barkley tape review vs Virginia (2010)
Game tape and thoughts on Barkley’s performance against Virginia last year. “He’ll be a true junior in 2011 having started as a freshman, but it’s unclear whether he’ll declare for next year’s draft. In 2012 sanctions will be lifted on USC allowing them to participate in a BCS Bowl and that could be tempting enough for Barkley to return for a fourth year.”

Landry Jones tape review vs Florida State
A big win for the Sooners and Landry Jones, here’s the tape and the breakdown. “This is pretty much eight minutes of screen passes and you could cut most of it out and be no more incapable of making a pro-judgement. Welcome to the Oklahoma offense.”

Landry Jones vs Nebraska (2010)
As it says in the title. “Here’s tape of Landry Jones’ performance against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game from 2010. I discussed Jones in more detail during this interview with Field Gulls’ Dan Kelly earlier in the week.”

An interview with Austin Davis (QB, Southern Miss)
I recently had a chance to speak to Austin Davis and get his thoughts on the new college season and the 2012 draft. “During my conversation with Southern Miss quarterback Austin Davis, two things became evidently clear. Firstly, that he understands what it will take to get to the next level. Secondly, that he’ll do what it takes to get there.”

Austin Davis thoughts and tape
Game tape and thoughts on the Southern Miss QB. “Nobody is talking about Austin Davis. Search out a list of quarterbacks to keep an eye on in 2011 and you’ll do well to find any listing the Southern Miss quarterback. I guess I have a higher opinion of Davis than most – and it’s an opinion I will be looking to develop with more tape this year.”

Kirk Cousins (QB Michigan State): further analysis
Cousins reminds me a lot of Kevin Kolb. Here’s my analysis on the Michigan State QB. “The one player he reminds me of a lot is Kevin Kolb. Similar slingy release, similar size and mobility. Both have a tendency to make bad or risky decisions and take chances that lead to turn overs. At the same time, both are not severely limited and given a nice collection of playmakers, can succeed as a starter.”

Kirk Cousins is the next… (insert lazy comparison here)
Why the Minnesota Vikings’ decision to draft Christian Ponder in round one makes me question where Kirk Cousins could fall next April. “If Cousins carries Michigan State into an unbeaten season while increasing his numbers, he could find himself near the top of the second tier of quarterbacks that follow Andrew Luck (Stanford) and Matt Barkley (USC).”

Kirk Cousins (QB, Michigan State) tape vs Michigan
Game tape from Cousins’ performance against rivals Michigan.

Some thoughts on Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M)
Converted receiver who enjoyed an incredible end to 2010. Can he do it again this year? Includes tape from the Cotton Bowl against LSU. “It’s easy to make an assumption about a player based on his circumstance, but I was surprised by how orthodox Tannehill looks for a quarterback who has switched positions twice.”

Nick Foles (QB, Arizona) and tempered expectations
Some thoughts on why I think the over rated Nick Foles is a key example as to why people are wrongly hyping up the 2012 QB class. “First of all, Foles is a big guy. He’s listed at 6-5 and 245lbs and although I suspect he weighs less (more like 230-235lbs), he’s basically got prototypical size for the position. Unfortunately, he has anything but prototypical physical attributes to start in the NFL.”

Ryan Lindley (QB, SDSU) vs TCU
Tape from a hit and miss performance from Lindley.

Wednesday notes – Kellen Moore and much more
I’ve given Moore an UDFA grade, here’s the reasoning. “You might see words like ‘moxy’ (cringe) tweeted several times tonight as KM moves the Broncos to another solid touchdown drive. When a quarterback’s greatest quality is ‘moxy’ it’s time to ask – ”why?””

Some thoughts on Terrelle Pryor
Will there be a supplemental draft? Terrelle Pryor hopes so. “When you throw on the tape it’s very easy to determine what is Pryor’s defining strength – evasiveness. When it’s third and ten, you’re pass rush has penetrated into the backfield and is just about to make the sack – he finds a way to avoid the pressure and make a gain instead of taking the loss.”


  1. Cliff

    I like at next years draft as who could be in the top 5 to get Luck/Barkley if he declares and who’ll be in the top 10-15 to get Jones or whoever else is rated that high..
    Next year i see the Bills, Broncos, Bengals, and Redskins all around the top 5 to me. I’m sure Carolina will be around there too but probably not bad enough to get Luck and most likely wont draft a QB. The Raiders, 49ers, Browns, Miami and the Hawks will be in the top 10-15 and be vying for Jones.
    Miami NEEDS a QB and will probably draft Jones if he’s there. The Raiders could draft him depending on how big of an arm Jones has/how well Campbell does. The 49ers have a QB to build with in Kaepernick so they might not be in the picture and the Browns (Holmgren) could fall in love with Jones and draft him. Though Holmgren could also fall in love with any other QB as he likely has the picks to move up and acquire almost whomever he wants.
    The Hawks could move up to get a QB like Barkley but the cost would be an exorbitant amount of high draft picks in 2012 and 2013. We maybe looking at the “2nd tier” QBs such as Austin Davis/Tannehill/Cousins as real options next year and we could move up from the 2nd to get our boy. A lot could happen. Lance Jones could fall out of the 1st and into the 2nd round or one of the “2nd tier” QBs could perform well enough to be considered a first round pick around where Jones is being drafted. If we’re in the top 15, we could trade down and pick said player up or just take him there. Maybe even a Cam Newton will appear out of no where and go in the top 5.

    With that said my guess would be we get a “2nd tier” QB prospect while taking best available talent on D with our first. in your interview with Austin Davis he seems like the perfect prospect for Pete too, although i also like Tannehill. It will be exciting to watch as we have the whole season ahead of us to grade them. What are your thoughts Rob?

    • Rob

      I think you’ve made some valid points there Cliff. I like Cousins and Davis, there are certainly aspects I like about Tannehill. I don’t think any of the three will necessarily be able to start quickly like Luck or Barkley, but then they are rare talents. Logan Thomas is a guy to watch at Virginia Tech in terms of a ‘Cam Newton type’ who could jump onto the scene.

      I look at Cincy and Oakland as my favorites to pick early, with Denver, San Fran and Miami definitely in the mix to pick first overall. There’s a lot of teams who need a franchise QB who will be picking early. It won’t be easy for Seattle to fill that hole next year wherever they end up picking.

  2. Ralphy

    You are still forgetting about Weeden. I know he is older but please watch some video and tell me what you think. He has a cannon of an arm and is very accurate. Also has a legit shot at the Heisman this year.

    • Rob

      I keep saying Ralph – I’m not forgetting about Weeden. I’ve seen him plenty of times and have formed an opinion on him. There really is no escaping the fact he will be a 29-year-old rookie. If he’s serious about the NFL, why not declare to be a 28-year-old rookie this year? You just cannot invest your future in a guy who, once given an acceptable amount of learning the pro-game, could be well into his 30’s. It’s more than just being a bit older. He’s not a guy who’s been on a mission and is now 24-25 as a senior like John Beck. He’s going to be 29 before taking a NFL snap. That is a huge white elephant in the room.

      • Hawksfan33

        With weedens age he’ll be lucky to get drafted at all

    • Karlos

      Weeden’s best bet is to hope OSU runs more of an Pro-Style offense so their won’t be such a big learning curve their. Seems like every year thats the knock on so many college qb’s & with his age factor (Being 26 or 27) teams won’t see potential. If I’m a GM I think at the worst grooming a qb 3yrs, by that tiume Weeden would be roughly 30 & still lacking game experience.

      • Rob

        He’ll be 29 during his rookie season. Three years of learning would mean a 32 year old starter.

        • Karlos

          That GM would need to be fired on the spot… Reminds me of Chris Weinkie without all the honors.

          • Ralphy

            I would still love to see a scouting report from you on Weeden that focuses on his game and not his age.

          • Rob

            Sure – I’ll put one together. But if we’re talking about legitimate options for the Seahawks as a long term QB prospect, there’s little point dwelling too much on a guy who took a chance at football after failing to nail down a career in baseball.

    • Ralphy

      I believe he was making over $500,000 a year for five years so I don’t think you can call that too much of a fail.

      I would love to know your true thoughts on his talents while ignoring what his age will be when he enters the league. He is far more talented than Weinke by the way.

      Rob you have been very high on Blackmon but you need to remember that the reason he basically came out of nowhere is because of Weeden. Watch where the throws are on his long TD catches. They are perfect. There were a lot of people that thought Anyiam would be the number one once Dez left but thanks to Weeden Blackmon won the Bilitnekoff.

      • Rob

        Yet he’s out of baseball and now playing college football in his mid-20’s. If success was judged on how much money you earn relative to the common man, they’d all be Hall of Famers.

        And I’ve never argued Weeden doesn’t have talent, but it’s all about perspective. Let’s be brutally honest here. If he had a NFL career ahead of him, at the age of 28 he would not be going back to OSU this year. The age thing is already a big blark mark against him, coming back for another year compounds that. I’ve no doubt at all he received the relevant information that every eligible player received, and he’s just enjoying playing some college ball while he can.

        He’s played in an offense that has always been ultra productive. Quarterbacks before him have enjoyed that system (Zac Robinson etc) and QB’s after him, now at WVU, will benefit from Dana Holgorsen. Sure he helped Justin Blackmon, but he also benefits from playing with a talent like that in a system that has been prolific for a while.

        I like Weeden, it’s just that he’s a complete non-starter as a potential franchise QB. He would have to be insanely talented to even warrant a draft pick at that age, and I don’t think he’s insanely talented. Nice guy, good college QB, will win again in 2011. But realistically what team drafts him?

        • Ralphy

          Rob you know I love your site and almost always agree with you but I don’t think we will ever agree on this one. I think the reason he went back is the fact that he already has his money thanks to baseball and knows they have a shot at a national championship. I don’t agree with your argument about probable draft grade because obviously Blackmon got a good one and he also chose to return as did the two studs from OU. All of them did because they believe they have a shot at a national title.

          I was a big fan of Zac Robinson but I don’t think he had the arm that Weeden does. I know the age thing is a problem but you see QBs sit on the sidelines waiting for them to mature and learn the game. Well maybe Weeden is already there? He also wasn’t getting beat up by lineman for the five years he was with the Yankees so his body doesn’t have the same wear and tear that a typical QB would have. I know this is wishful thinking on my part but I have not seen many QBs in college that I think are on his level.

          • Hawksfan33

            where do you think Weeden should be drafted Ralphy? In my opinion, its just not a wise investment to make on a guy who isn’t a CLEAR superstar and is also very old. I say he’s an undrafted free agent. Might get into the 7th just based on the need in the NFL for QB’s.

    • Ralphy

      I have heard that he had a third round grade last year but I don’t know if that is true or if it was speculation. I do think he has some “super star” qualities about him. He has a cannon of an arm, is accurate and very composed. I obviously don’t think he will be in the first two rounds but when you consider the garbage QBs teams have been reaching for after those rounds why not take an older QB with all of these qualities?

      I am sure I am in the minority with this opinion but the Pokes will be playing on national television every week this year so when they are on I would encourage you to watch them and let me know what you think of Weeden. Or go watch some Blackmon highlights now.

  3. David

    Kirk Cousins has nice footwork and seems to have the arm strength to make strong off balance throws. He’s my favorite. The negatives came when pass protection broke down and he had to sling the ball off his back foot. At 6-2 205 lbs. I see Kirk Cousins as the underrated talent that will fit Pete’s philosophy. Besides, Jones and Barkley will be gone by the time Seattle picks.

    • Rob

      There is a lot to like about Cousins, but he is a bit slingy, inconsistent and he needs to transfer his weight to generate more velocity. A capable starter down the line though.

      • David

        Thanks for your reply, Rob. I agree with you. However, I think slingy can be a good thing sometimes. I characterize Brett Farve as slingy too but he makes up for it with great improvisation skills. It’s hard to tell who has this “it” factor though and it’s not a good basis to pick a franchise QB of the future.

        • Rob

          Sure, I agree. However, if I’m listing positives and negatives I will put a not ideal release point or throwing motion on the list. It won’t make or break a player (P. Rivers is very slingy) but his mechanical issues remind me somewhat of the major issues I had with Jimmy Clausen.

        • Hawksfan33

          the thing about Favre though is that he was “slingy” with a an all-world cannon of an arm. Cousins just doesn’t have that period.

  4. Hawksfan33

    I love me some Quarterback debate nausea

  5. Brian

    If we go 6-10 we should end up with a pick in the 8-12 range and can pick someone like Landry Jones. Unfortunately playing in the creampuff division it’s going to be tough to rack up a 12 or 13 loss season to draft Luck or Barkley unless one of them has a big nosedive this year.

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