2016 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterback

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

13.) Marquise Williams, North Carolina (6’2 | 225 | 4.78) – Finished off a roller coaster college career with an impressive senior season, throwing for 21 TDs, running for 11 more, and even catching one for 33 total touchdowns on a team that just missed the final four. Scouts are mixed on whether Williams is a legit NFL quarterback prospect, but I think he’s underrated.

Williams completed over 60% of his passes since taking over as a full time starter last year and has had some huge games. His consistency and accuracy are issues, but when he’s on he looks like a draftable QB.

He has the size, arm strength, and speed to be a dual-threat NFL quarterback. Williams will need to clean up his footwork and technique, like most college QBs, but the size, arm strength, and innate talent is there for Williams to develop into a potential starter down the road.

14.) Cody Kessler, USC (6’1 | 210 | 4.85) – Started for three years in an NFL-style offense, is very accurate on short-to-intermediate passes, moves well in and out of the pocket, has a quick and technically sound release, and progresses through his reads quickly.

On the down-side, Kessler is small for an NFL QB, lacks the arm to throw an effective deep ball, his offense bumped up his stats with screens and other short routes, and he got jittery under pressure. To me Kessler looks like a back-up with the upside to be a good back-up.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports /

15.) Dak Prescott, Miss St (6’2 | 230 | 4.69) – Not a traditional NFL QB prospect, but has a lot of intriguing characteristics. Prescott had a breakout season as a junior, completing 61% of his passes for 3,449 yards and 27 TDs / 11 INTs. He was even better last year, improving his completion percentage to 67%, his yardage to 3,793, and his ratio to 29 TDs / 5 INTs. Prescott also rushed for 21 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Prescott’s detractors compare him to Tim Tebow which is somewhat understandable considering that they ran the same offense under Dan Mullen, but Prescott is a much better passer, actually throws the ball like a normal QB, and has considerably better pocket presence. He also reads defenses well and makes good decisions on when to throw the ball and when to pull it down and run. When Prescott decided to throw, he actually can which to me disqualifies the Tebow comparisons.

I see Prescott as more of a very poor man’s Cam Newton. He has a powerful arm, but needs to clean up his footwork and mechanics, and runs like a running back once he crosses the line of scrimmage. Prescott will probably end up as somewhere between Newton and Tebow at the NFL level, which more than enough to earn a spot as a quality backup QB.

16.) Matt Johnson, Bowling Green (6’0 |219 | 4.83) – Undersized QB who played against sub-oar competition in the MAC, but put up ridiculous stats like a 67% completion percentage, 4,946 passing yards, 46 TDs, and 8 INTs. Johnson has above-average instincts and awareness with a decent arm and good accuracy, but he’s short and doesn’t have much of an arm compared to most NFL QBs. Johnson has a shot to stick around as a lesser Hasselback brother-type backup.

17.) Trevone Boykin, TCU (6’2 | 205 | 4.59) – The fact that he missed this year’s bowl game due to a run-in with cops, where Boykin supposedly resisted arrest, will hurt his already shaky draft status. Though if a documented scumbag like Greg Hardy can get a job, I’m pretty sure that some team will take a chance on Boykin.

Despite his ridiculous production over the last two seasons (7,474 passing yards, 1,309 rushing yards, 64 passing TDs, 27 rushing TDs, 20 INTs) Boykin isn’t considered much of an NFL prospect. Most draft analysts had him listed as a solid day 3 pick pre-arrest, but now most draftniks have Boykin as an undrafted free agent.

That’s a mistake in my opinion. There were few college QBs who were more dynamic play-makers than Boykin over the last two seasons. He has a natural gift to avoid defenders and has a cannon arm that he can unleash on the run with impressive accuracy. Maybe Boykin isn’t going to be a QB at the next level, but he’s a unique athlete who will find a role somewhere in the NFL. If Boykin is still available on day 3, some team will get a legitimate play-maker.

¹ Scouting reports on players are from a combination of watching plenty of college football, individual player tape from Draftbreakdown, and various reports from CBS Sports, Walterfootball, NFL.com, and of course ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.