The 2016 NFL season has yet to start, but teams are already looking at the 2017 NFL Draft. That's just the nature of the NFL, and of course, the QB position is getting plenty of focus. So which QBs are expected to be among the first ones taken in the 2017 Draft?
If you're wondering where Baker Mayfield is on this list, we excluded him because the Big 12 made him eligible for 2017. Given the fight Mayfield put up to get that extra year, it's likely he'd return for his final season at Oklahoma. Plus, his play style is a better fit in college than it is the pros. Much of the same is true for Texas Tech junior Patrick Mahomes. Also missing is Minnesota's Mitch Liedner, because Todd McShay is the only one really on that bandwagon. The top two QBs are relatively clear, but everything after that is muddled and could change throughout the season. With that in mind, here are the 5 best QBs for the 2017 NFL Draft.
5. Luke Falk, Washington State
Mike Leach's offense is not known for producing NFL QBs, but Falk might be the exception. He has the size at 6-foot-4, and the quick release as well. The arm strength won't wow anyone, but he did complete nearly 70 percent of his passes. With his quick release and completion percentage, he could be a good fit in a west coast style offense where the ball is designed to come out quickly. Falk doesn't offer much on the ground.
4. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
The biggest question for Rudolph is how he plays in the red zone. J.W. Walsh, who was more of a runner, was the red zone QB for a big chunk of last season for the Cowboys. But Walsh is gone and the show belongs to Rudolph. He has the arm and looks the part of a QB in a vertical attacking offense. Improving on his reads and progressions is a must, but that's the case for many college QBs.
3. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
Unlike the others on this list, Kelly is actually a senior. A former Clemson transfer who left because of off-the-field issues, Kelly has focused at Ole Miss. Another dual-threat on this list, Kelly will likely draw comparisons to Johnny Manziel because of his play style and his earlier maturity issues. The nephew of Jim Kelly needs to improve his consistency as a passer, but the athleticism will appeal to teams.
2. Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL)
If Kaaya can play like the QB many think he can be, he could surpass the No. 1 player on this list. Kaaya has all the physical tools and has steadily improved in his two years as a starter at Miami. Now that Mark Richt is in town, it's time for Kaaya to make the leap. He's a prototype drop back passer, and although his TDs dropped last year, so picks plummeted. He needs a bit more consistency, but Kaaya could end up being a real franchise QB. There's some assumed progression in this ranking, because Kaaya does need to improve.
1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson
A sophomore last year, Watson was one of the best players in the country. He threw for over 4,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000, making him the only player to do that. Although Watson dislikes the dual-threat dubbing and he's right that's it's a stereotype too often, it fits for him. He's dynamic on the ground and through the air, but he needs to improve a bit as a passer. His deep ball is impressive, but the intermediate stuff could use some polishing. Still, all the tools are there and "Don't win for Deshaun" could be the ideal route for several teams next year.Back to the NFL Newsfeed