2016 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterback

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s finally time to start talking about the NFL Draft again! It’s my favorite sporting event of the year (except for maybe Cubs playoff games) and covering draft prospects is one of the most enjoyable parts of my gig here at Beargoggleson. I watched a ton of college football this season and have been watching tape and reading scouting reports for the last two months or so.

I’m ready to start my draft coverage and from today on you’ll see a steady barrage of positional rankings, prospect breakdowns of players I think would be good fits for the Bears, and of course more mock drafts then you will probably want to read.

Quarterback seems like the logical place to start and this year I’ll be supplementing my positional draft rankings with breakdowns of the Bears situation at specific positions and also available free agent targets at that position.

More from Chicago Bears Draft

So in theory if you were wondering what the Bears are doing at defensive end in 2016, you’ll be able to check out the current DEs on the roster, the available free agent options, and the top 12-15 DEs available in the draft all within one article. Click below to check out the Bears QB situation and QB free agents they may target in the offseason:

Bears QB Preview: https://beargoggleson.com/2016/01/20/chicago-bears-2016-position-preview-quarterback/

Bears Potential Free Agent QB Targets: https://beargoggleson.com/2016/01/19/bears-2016-free-agent-targets-quarterback/

Now that that’s out of the way, here are my initial 2016 NFL Draft QB rankings:

*If you have any problems with my rankings or questions about a specific prospect who isn’t listed, feel free to address it in the comments or reach out on twitter (@MikeFlannery_)

QB Rankings:

1.) Jared Goff, California (6’4 | 210 | 4.71) – The clear cut #1 QB in the draft and probably the second overall pick to the Browns this year. It’s a bit hard to judge Goff in his QB-friendly offense, but he’s shown enough arm strength, accuracy, eye talent, instincts, and mobility to convince teams that he has top-tier potential at the NFL level.

There are some question marks with Goff, as most of his best games came against poor competition and he struggled early in the season against better defenses (Utah, UCLA) but played well late in the season against both USC and ASU.

Goff did show some technical flaws as well with the tendency to force balls into small windows and a bad habit of sloppy mechanics under pressure. Overall Goff reminds me a lot of Jay Cutler. He has the easy arm strength that makes it look like he can throw 50 yards on a line with an arm behind his back.

Goff also has underrated mobility with the ability to make people miss in the open field and run for first downs when available. Those are the postiives that reminds me of Cutler… Goff also shares some negative traits as well with the over-confidence in his ability that leads to him forcing passes into windows that are barely there and a tendency to get lazy with his footwork and throw off his back foot when under pressure.

Overall Goff has more talent and potential than any QB in this draft by a pretty significant margin, but he is far from a sure thing. No NFL offense he ends up in will be as QB-friendly as the one Goff played in at Cal, he’ll probably end up on a team with a bad line so he will need to learn to make quicker read progressions, and his thin frame will need to hold up while taking hits from much bigger, more powerful D-linemen. I think Goff will end up being an above-average NFL QB, but it may take a couple years.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

2.) Carson Wentz, North Dakota St (6’6 | 235 | 4.85) – FCS prospect who made a huge leap up draft boards this season. If Wentz had played in a big 5 conference, he most likely would be in the running for the #1 overall pick in the draft. Wentz has completed 64% of his passes for two seasons in a row, has ideal size for the position, might have the most powerful arm in the draft and generates it with minimal effort, runs like a running back, has a quick release, and was clearly the best player on the field at the FCS level. What does that mean at the NFL level though?

There have been a few FCS QBs who have had solid NFL careers, like Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, and Steve McNair so it’s not unprecedented. Watching Wentz’s junior and early senior season tape (before his wrist injury), he looks like a sure thing. Really the jump from the FCS level to the NFL is the only concern with Wentz.

It’s a significant concern though considering the massive speed and strength jump between those two levels. Based on his tape alone, I am tempted to put Wentz #1 overall, but want to see how he performs at the Senior Bowl next weekend before I decide on the final rankings.