2016 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterback (Updated)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports /

10.) Nate Sudfeld, Indiana (6’6 | 240 | 4.90) – I’ve only watched two full game tapes on Sudfeld and seen a handful of live Indiana games the last two seasons, but saw enough flashes of talent to believe he can eventually develop into a starting NFL QB. He has ideal size, an effortlessly powerful arm, nice touch when needed, patience in the pocket, the ability to step up in the pocket and take a hit in order to get the pass off, and enough mobility to escape the pocket when necessary.

He’s far from a perfect prospect obviously or he’s be much higher on the list, Sudfeld’s mechanics aren’t consistent which leads to some accuracy issues. In the two tapes I watched, he overthrew plenty of open receivers each game. His accuracy numbers weren’t bad overall though (61%) and his suspect receiver core dropped a lot of passes. Sudfeld was able to put up very solid numbers over the last two seasons (5,707 yards, 45 TDs, 14 INTs) despite playing on an offense with very little talent around him.

The draft projections on Sudfeld range anywhere from the 4th round to an undrafted free agent, but if he’s still there in the 4th the Bears should pull the trigger.

11.) Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky (6’3 | 220 | 4.86) – One of my favorite late round QB prospects who doesn’t get enough love from scouts due to the QB-friendly offense that WKU runs. Doughty put up monster numbers the last two seasons. He led all FBS QBs in passing yards for two seasons in a row with 9,885 yards, 97 TDs, and just 19 INTs over the last two seasons.

Regardless of conference, those numbers are crazy. Doughty has decent size for an NFL QB, a lightning quick release, the willingness to step up in the pocket and take a hit to deliver the ball, and very good accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws.

What Doughty lacks is a elite arm strength. He is never going to be a great deep ball thrower, but how many bombs are exactly completed at the NFL level? He occasionally stares down receivers, his footwork is inconsistent under pressure, and he holds the ball too long at times. Those flaws are almost universal among young NFL QBs.

Doughty has an NFL skill-set and I disagree with most of the analysts who have him pegged as a career backup at best. I think Doughty has starter potential and worst case will be an instant offense reserve in the NFL.

12.) 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 top-teir back-up and effective spot starter.

13.) Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech (6’4 | 234 | 4.68) – Former five star high school recruit who started off his career with an awesome freshmen season at Florida (10 TD / 2 INT), then slowly regressed over the next three years including multiple benchings during his time with the Gators.

After four seasons in Florida, Driskel transferred to Louisiana Tech where he rebuilt his draft stock with a solid season. With the Bulldogs Driskel completed 62% of his passes for a whopping 4,026 yards and 27 TDs, which is more than he threw for in four years combined at Florida, and a 150.2 passer efficiency rating which was in the top 25 nationally.

It’s hard to get a read on Driskel, who looked like a sure-fire first round pick after his freshman year at Florida then a player who had no chance of being in the NFL just a few years later. Driskel wasn’t on many radars when he transferred to LTU, but he had such an impressive season that the book has been reopened on Driskel.

He still has the physical skill-set that made Driskel a 5-star prospect coming out of high school. He has good length, enough bulk to take a beating, and a powerful arm that can make all of the NFL throws. Driskel also has the speed to make things happen on the ground as he showed at both schools with just under 1,000 yards and 14 rushing TDs.

His Florida tape is a mess, but his most recent tape at LTU is pretty impressive. There are no doubts that he has a powerful arm, but he showed the ability to throw with accuracy and touch both in the pocket and on the move. Driskel’s ugly Florida career will hurt his draft stock, but some team could get a steal if he falls to late on day three of the draft.

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports /

14.) Matt Johnson, Bowling Green (6’0 |219 | 4.83) – Undersized QB who played against sub-par 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, good accuracy, reads defenses well, and despite just a mediocre arm throws an excellent deep ball.

Johnson is shorter than ideal though and doesn’t put as much zip on the ball as most NFL QBs. He has enough skill and awareness to stick around as a Hasselbeck brother-type backup.

Next: Quarterbacks 15-18