2016 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterback (Updated)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

6.) Jacoby Brissett, NC St (6’4 | 235 | 4.83) – When ranking QBs, I always give credence to upside. So few college QBs ever even take a snap at the NFL level, I’d rather roll the dice on a player that has at least some chance of being good in the NFL than a guy with a ceiling of a backup QB at the next level.

That is my reasoning behind having Brissett this high. I’m sure most will disagree, but he is one of my favorite sleeper prospects in this year’s draft. He has the natural talent to be an All-Pro QB but most draftniks aren’t as high on him since he couldn’t put his myriad of skills together consistently in college.

I see a QB with ideal size and arm strength, who has flashed the ability to pass from the pocket, the athleticism to run when needed, throw on the move, enough accuracy to complete 60% of his passes in two seasons as a starter, and leadership intangibles.

Brissett had a 42/11 ratio in two years as a starter and makes enough “wow” plays where some team will take a chance on him early, but is raw enough that many teams will drop him down their draft boards. He probably needs a year or two of seasoning to improve his read progression and footwork before he can be an above average NFL QB, but the talent is there for Brissett to be special.

7.) Kevin Hogan, Stanford (6’4 | 220 | 4.79) – Has been moving up draft boards lately due to a cleaned-up throwing motion. Hogan has ideal size, good enough arm strength and underrated athleticism as his 4.79 40-time attests to. Hogan was also a proven winner in college, going 31-10 as a starter and leading the Cardinal to three consecutive Rose Bowls (won 2).

The common scouting report on Hogan is that he’s a game manager, but a lot of that has to do with Stanford’s conservative run-heavy offense. A college QB can only run the plays that are called for him. Hogan wasn’t asked to throw vertically often, but he showed a powerful, accurate arm when needed. He completed 67% of his passes his last two years as a starter and had a 46/16 ratio the last two seasons.

Hogan can make all the NFL throws, has better speed than most QB in this draft, and could turn into much more than a game manager in a more open offensive scheme. If he falls to day three, some team will get a steal.

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

8.) 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 against the fierce defenses of the SEC. 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 similar offenses under Dan Mullen, but Prescott is a much better passer who 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 could which to me disqualifies the Tebow comparisons. All reports say Prescott aced the interview portion of the combine as well, increasing interest from multiple teams.

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

9.) Christian Hackenburg, Penn St (6’4 | 234 | 4.87) – Was considered a possible #1 overall pick after being the B1G freshmen of the year, but had awful sophomore and junior seasons. Many draftniks blamed it on a poor Penn St o-line, but Hackenburg wasn’t any better last year despite improved blocking. Hackenburg himself has reportedly blamed his struggles on head coach James Franklin, which isn’t endearing himself to NFL teams.

He still has ideal size, arm strength, and mobility but only completed 54% of his passes and had inconsistent accuracy, footwork, and decision making. There are also rumors about locker room issues and Hackenburg not being a good teammate / leader. On a positive note, Hackenburg did occasionally flash elite talent only to have passes dropped or big plays called back by penalties. The big plays just didn’t happen as much as they should have for a guy with his talent level.

Some draftniks think Hackenburg’s innate talent will get him drafted much higher than his production deserves, possibly even on day 1, while others think he’s a day 3 pick at best. I wouldn’t even consider Hackenburg until the 4th round.

Next: Quarterback 10-14