With the Chicago Bears playoff chances all but dead, I’ve decided to start my NFL draft preview a little early. It’s looking like Jay Cutler is in the midst of his last season in Chicago, which means the Bears will need a replacement next season. They probably shouldn’t have waited this long to find Cutler’s successor, but that’s where we are right now.
This year’s draft doesn’t have many sure-thing, no-doubt top quarterbacks, but it is a deep draft a the position with as many as ten players projected to be selected during the draft’s first two days. Most of them have significant flaws, but also plenty of physical talent and upside.
I’ve broken down my top eight QB prospects below in order of preference and will have the next eight posted later this week. It seems pretty certain that the Bears will use one of their first three picks on a quarterback, so one of the players below could very well be a Chicago Bear in 2017.
2017 Draft – QB Rankings
1.) Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame (6’4, 230)
Has the ideal height, sturdy frame, and throwing arm for an NFL QB and unlike most players on this list, plays in an offense with at least some resemblance to an NFL scheme. His experience taking some snaps under center gives Kizer a significant advantage over most of the other top QBs in this year’s draft, who may take a year just to adjust to playing anything other than the shotgun.
There is a lot more to like about Kizer besides his size and snaps in a pro-set offense, for one he has a cannon arm and the touch to drop deep passes in the bucket. The fact that he can do it under pressure from the pocket is another plus. Kizer uses his eyes well to look off safeties and has shown the ability to progress through multiple reads.
Kizer is near the top of the rankings in all the relevant categories among this year’s QB draft class and has the potential to get even better. His primary weak spot is his decision making, he already has 17 interceptions in just a season and a half as a starter. That could be chalked up to inexperience though and the rest of his profile is pretty darn impressive including 40 touchdown passes in the same time frame.
This year’s draft class isn’t overly impressive at quarterback but if I had to pick one player who has the potential to be a franchise QB, it’s definitely Kizer. He has the size, strength, footwork in the pocket, speed (4.74), and rocket arm to be the next Ben Roethlisberger or Cam Newton.
Projection: Top ten overall
2.) Mitch Trubisky Jr, North Carolina (6’3, 220)
The surprise breakout candidate of the 2017 QB class, despite only eight college starts so far. Trubisky has made the most of his starts so far with a 70%+ completion percentage, 22 touchdowns (four rushing) and only four interceptions.
The quality of defenses Trubinsky has faced haven’t been very impressive for the most part, but his decision making, accuracy, and touch on mid-to-deep range passes have been outstanding. Trubisky has played with surprising confidence given his lack of experience and had combined his cannon arm and 4.6 foot speed to become a dangerous weapon at QB. Trubisky has played as well as any college QB so far this season, but is still raw.
As impressive as his arm strength, athleticism, and accuracy have been so far, Trubisky could use a more experience. His footwork and overall mechanics are too inconsistent to succeed at the NFL level right now and he could use one more season at NC. Though if Trubisky declares for the draft, he’s shown enough potential for NFL teams to take a chance on him with an early round pick.
Trubisky’s size, arm strength, athleticism, and surprising confidence have rocketed him up draft boards and if he can continue to play well through bowl season and clean up some of his footwork issues, could end up as the first QB taken in the draft.
Projection: Mid first round